For our summer project, our embroidery guild is learning to work with silk. We’ll be using different types of stitches in our silk work sampler, many of which will be some sort of “shading” technique. If you want to see the pattern we’ll be working with, I posted the silk work sampler pattern some time back.
During each embroidery guild meeting so far this summer, we’ve gone one step at a time in setting up the sampler, and we will all be working one step at a time in stitching it, so that everyone has time to get the different techniques down.
We haven’t started stitching yet! We aren’t taking any “short cuts” – we each framed up our pieces, then we traced our designs, pricked them, pounced them, and finally, using a fine paintbrush and watercolor paints, we painted in the design.
So here’s my pattern, transferred to the fabric and ready to go:
The sampler itself is about 7.5 x 10 inches. We’re using Legacy linen (Alba Maxima), and we purchased 18″ x 18″ squares, to mount up on 16 x 16 frames. We’re using stretcher bars, with the fabric tacked all the way around. The linen was pre-shrunk and ironed before mounting. I like using the larger frame for this kind of project (a 14 x 14 or even a 10 x 12 would have sufficed), but it’s good to have the extra space to practice a bit on the side lines if necessary.
Here are the threads we’ll be using:
The top row of tubes is flat silk from the Japanese Embroidery Center. We’re working with 5 shades of green, 3 shades of red or of coral, 3 shades of blue, and gold. We’ll also be using a little bit of reddish-brown, for different stems. The silk in skeins is Soie d’Alger.
I picked out the colors from the thread sample binder of the Soie d’Alger. Then I matched my colors of Soie d’Alger to the thread palette of flat silk from the Japanese Embroidery Center. I was so happy to find a practically perfect match for all colors! Of course, the colors will still look slightly different, because the light will play on the flat and twisted silk differently. The stitches used will also change the look of the threads a bit, because of the way the light plays off different stitches.
We’re starting with the middle flower at the top, which will be worked in long and short stitch in the twisted silk. The center of the flower will be a lattice work filling, in the gold and either red or blue, depending on the color of the flower. The side flowers will each be worked in different stitches, but they will be worked in flat silk.
I’ll keep you posted as we progress – right now, I’m going to work up a sample section for Monday’s class!
I’ll be posting updates and explaining the stitches we’re using as we go. If you want to stitch along from a distance, feel free!