bee stitch a long week 1
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Bees and Blossoms week 1: Bumblebee

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Welcome to the ‘Bees and Blossoms’ Stitch A Long

This Stitch A Long will take place for 10 weeks on the Stitchdoodles blog – Starting Wednesday 18th May 2022 and finishing on Wednesday 20th July 2022.

Each Wednesday during the SAL – a new tutorial will be published on the blog with all the information you need to complete a part of the Bees and Blossom Pattern.

If you are not familiar with a Stitchdoodles SAL and this is all new to you and you would like to join in, please go to this page to get all the information.

The Mini Stitch a Long

If you have decided to join us for the first 3 weeks to stitch the mini pattern, then the tutorials are exactly the same regardless. You will just finish on Wednesday 8th June.

Do you need help with any of the stitches?

A Stitch A Long doesn’t provide you with the step by step instructions for the stitches themselves – it is a tutorial on how to stitch the pattern design – colours, techniques and stitches used etc. I will link to a ‘How to’ for certain stitches where I can, if you need further guidance, please take a look here …

Now it’s the exciting part – time to get Stitching…

For the first week we are starting with the main event – the bumblebee. This gorgeous bee really does look amazing and is so much fun to stitch. By starting with the bee you can’t fail to be inspired throughout the rest of your stitching as this stitch a long progresses.

You will need the following colours…

#3820, #310, #712

Use 2 strands throughout unless stated otherwise.

To start we are going to stitch the yellow parts of the bee…

#3820: Split stitch the yellow areas going across the width of the bee.

Make sure you stitch the small area on the bottom, the middle area below the wings and the top band just below the tiny head area.

#310: The 6 legs have thicker areas nearer to the body (the back 2 legs also have a thicker area in the middle as well.)

For these thicker areas stitch an elongated chain stitch and fill with a straight stitch, then finish off the ends of the legs with straight stitch – including the antennae.

Stitching the Wings: I wanted them to look delicate but have a raised appearance so decided on whipped back stitch.

Use 1 strand of #712 and back stitch the lines inside each wing and then around the outline (keep your stitches small to maintain the shape). When done, Switch to a tapestry needle and with 1 strand whip the back stitch to give a nice raised smooth line. Don’t pull the thread too tight – keep an even tension so you don’t distort the lines.

If you struggle with this, you can always do the wings in split stitch – keep the stitches nice and small to maintain the curved lines.

Stitching the black body:

As soon as I started stitching this Bee, I knew I wanted to use Turkey Rug Stitch for the black area to give it a fuzzy look. Even though it is a time consuming stitch I find it so much fun. Here’s a step by step tutorial should you need it… How To: Turkey Rug Stitch

If you are a beginner or simply don’t like the fuzzy stitch – I have stitched up a simpler version with Split stitch – I think it looks just as fabulous for those who need a simpler alternative.

Here’s a comparison of the Bee stitched with Turkey Rug Stitch and Split Stitch so you can decide which one you want to do…

For those using split stitch, fill in the 2 black areas across the width of the bees body like you did with the yellow areas.

For those wanting the fuzzy look, practice filling a small shape with Turkey Rug Stitch before attempting the bee, so you understand how the stitch fills the area. You want the stitches to be close together so you get a full fuzzy effect.

Start with the black area on the lower part of the bee, stitch your first row of loops on the lower edge and then keep stitching rows of loops above each other until the shape is full.

Once you have stitched the loops it should look a complete woolly mess like the one below… The next part is really fun as you will need to trim the stitches. Have a look at my bee before and after his haircut!…

Here’s a video of me trimming the loops. You need a nice sharp pair of embroidery scissors and take it slow. It took me about 20mins of shaping and cutting and going back over areas to get a nice smooth even effect…

You want to stitch through the loops first so they are all separated and then start to trim the length to an even effect. Be very careful not to snip through any of your stitched areas – especially the legs and wings – I did manage to snip through 1 leg so had to go back and re stitch it!

Once you’ve finished the black body areas you just need to split stitch the tiny head area and your bee is all complete…

I really hope you have enjoyed this first week.

Make sure you show off your wonderful bees in the Happy Stitching FB Group or on Instagram with #stitchdoodlesembroidery.

If you need help along the way just ask in the FB group as there are lots of lovely people stitching along with you who can offer lots of advice and support if needed.

Week 2 is on the blog Wednesday 25th May… See you then!

Happy Stitching!

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