Art Nouveau Flowers-cross-stitch designs
These floral studies of stylized iris, tulip and columbine are brought together as a series by the unifying border design used on each. The border is based on one used to advertise the new ‘L’ Art Nouveau’ gallery which
opened in Paris in 1895. The motifs at the corners are stylised plant forms, and the shallow, flattened curves with sudden, sharp angles are very characteristic of the Art Nouveau style. Long, thin proportion is typical of the period. There had been a tendency to elongate figures – Edward Burne-Jones’ ladies were a good example. Aubrey
Beardsley continued and exaggerated the trend, and other artists applied it to plant forms as well as to the human form, Japanese prints, so very influential on the art of the late nineteenth century, often came in extremely long, thin proportions – a novelty that artists and designers wanted to experiment with.The iris was a favourite flower at the time. Its proportion and its strong, sculptural shapes appealed to designers. Its habit of growing near
water was an added attraction. The curves and eddies of water and the long, sinuous curves of waterweed were ideal subjects for Art Nouveau artists. There was a vogue during this period for creating patterns from the most unlikely insects, but the most popular was the dragonfly, shown here hovering over the iris. The inspiration for the iris design was a textile designed by Lin say P. Butterfield and woven by Alexander Morton & Co. around 1900. The original textile repeated groups of plants, but I have chosen just one here.The tulip is also derived from a textile design.
The original is printed on a dark navy cotton background and has an additional leaf, a large five-sided, waterlily leaf, behind the two flower heads.
The columbine, or aquilegia, design is based ona plate in Eugene Grasset’s collection of plant studies, published as L a Planteetses Applications Ornementales in 1897. The columine is anunusual and pretty flower with
attractively shaped leaves. Columbine-Pictures-these floral pictures of columbine, tulip and iris, all elegant and curving in the typical Art
W M . Nouveau style, are easy to stitch using only cross stitch and back stitch and would make lovely gifts,
either singly or as a set.
Each 4,5′ x 9,5’in (11 x 24cm) approximately, for a frame or mount aperture of 5% x 11 in (14 x 28cm)
Stitch count: each 63 x 130
MATERIALS (for each design)
• 9!^ x 16^in (24 x 42cm) 28-count Zweigart very pale blue Annabelle evenweave, colour 550 (or 27’A x 16&n
(70 x 42cm) for all three designs)
• Stranded cottons as listed in each key
Mark the central horizontal and vertical guidelines on the fabric with tacking. If you have chosen to use the evenweave fabric illustrated (a 28- count cotton, slightly slubbed to give a linen look) then use an embroidery frame for best results. If you prefer to work on Aida choose Fabric Flair 14- count Aida in snow blue, color 550. For each design about half a skein of the dark smoky green 3768 will be needed and small amounts of the other colors.
Following the relevant chart , work the design over two threads of the fabric, using two strands of stranded cotton for the cross stitch. Work the cross stitch first, leaving the back stitching detail until the end. If you want to start with the border, begin at the center line and work outwards, counting carefully. When you begin the flower designs, start
near to the center guidelines so that you have a reference point to count from.
To work the back stitch in the tulip and columbine designs, use two strands. To work the back stitch in the
iris design, use two strands for the flower. Instead of keeping to the vertical and horizontal, the lines stretch
diagonally over longer distances, though try to avoid making a single stitch cover more than two squares
on the chart. Using an evenweave will allow you to be more flexible with the placement of stitches. Outline
the dragonfly wings in the dark blue used to outline the flower. The leading edges of the upper wings, between
the dark pink cross stitches, is worked in two strands, the rest in one. All the lines inside the wings are worked
with a single strand of the dark pink.
When all the embroidery is complete, remove the guidelines, press and frame.
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