"Sword Lily" sounds very exotic, but I had always known this flower as Gladiola, which I've just learned is the botanical, and not the common name. It's the flower for the month of August - and I have procrastinated for nearly a year finishing this one.
I was as intimidated by this one as I was the sweet peas for April. I had sent the picture - the one that is almost hidden, to Jean at River Silks, and she was wonderful at choosing the colors for me - really beatiful!! The 7mm was what was required to get the effect I wanted, but it's always a surprise when they take on a character of their own - usually not what I intended.
Anyway, armed with these photos and my beautiful ribbon, I started about two days ago to embellish and enhance with SRE. On this one, as well as the April birthday heart, I won't say it was "instant gratification," as I struggled a bit with the flowers to make them work.
The background patches have been finished since the end of last July, but I hadn't done the seam treatments yet - so that had to be accomplished. In this case, they needed to be simple and not compete with the brilliant colors of the flowers. The chain of peridots is quite effective, I think. (my daughter's birthstone).
To begin the embroidery, the leaves for the flowers had to be done first - in 4mm green ribbon. I used the Japanese ribbon stitch, which was shown before on the sweet peas, but in this case, instead of leaving the small loop at the top, it was pulled all the way through to produce a folded, very sharp end on the leaf. I spaced the leaves, as I wanted to use three shades of green, inserting them between the dark ones, which were done first.
Next, the gladiolus flowers! I started at the bottom with the 7mm ribbon, and made big, loose 3 wrap French knots, pulling them progressively a little tighter as they went toward the top. The arrows point to the unopened buds at the top of the "spear." Against the blue patch, I had already made Fly Stitch around each little bud - you can see where the other arrow points how it looked before Fly stitch. Soy Luster was used for this - 2 plies. It's soft, flexible, and so great for this purpose.
The next detail photo shows the flowers completed.
This is enough for tonight. I'm almost finished with the little white "field flowers" that were needed on the lower orange/pink patch - and I've also begun putting beads on the yellow patch, and almost finished with that - tomorrow maybe!