I finally took the plunge and started to put together a practice embroidery project that will include beetle wings and goldwork. I’m pretty excited about it, so I thought I’d show you the beginning of the project in photos.
I’m afraid you won’t see any goldwork or other embroidery actually worked yet! Instead, I’ll just chronicle how I’m starting out, and then I’ll give you updates as I go.
I started by considering the type of fabric I wanted to work on. I have an upcoming project that I was considering working on velvet or cotton velveteen, so I thought this would make a good opportunity to practice a bit working on velveteen, just to get comfortable with it. It’s not the most luxurious fabric – I’d rather be working on silk velvet, and perhaps for something grander, I will. But in the meantime, I didn’t want to buy stuff I didn’t have on hand or make an investment in fabric for a practice piece.
The design was conceived on a paper towel while I was sitting at the kitchen table drinking tea and doodling. I liked the paper towel scrawls, so I snatched a piece of paper and the bag of wings, and I laid out the wings in the general pattern so that I could see what size the pattern should be overall. Then I just sketched around them with a pencil, and, when I got to where I liked it ok, I drew over it with a black pen.
My next step was to pick out three wings that were relatively consistent in color and size. They look good on the red velvet! (At least, I think they do!)
Then I framed up my fabric.
I tacked the fabric to 8″ x 10″ stretcher bar frames. I do love those frames! They are a quick way to frame up a project squarely and securely.
You can see here the back of the project. I’m probably going to grumble a bit over the raw edges, which will surely shed little bits of red all over the place. I could take care of that and brush the edges with fray check to prevent future frustration!
Notice that the back of the project looks white – that’s because I’ve lined the velveteen with muslin to provide support for the goldwork. I’m not planning on a lot of goldwork, but I do like a double layer when working with metal threads.
The pattern will include a couple kinds of gold, beetle wings, and some beads, though I haven’t figured what kind of beads yet. I was thinking something like pearls would look nice and rich, but I may find some darker specialty beads that will go along with the wings. We’ll see.
I don’t plan on this project taking very long – but my hobby plans and the rest of my life do not always coincide, especially with Thanksgiving right around the corner.
Any suggestions for beads?
I’ll keep you posted on progress!