Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Goldwork Embroidery Outline Complete, Wings Attached


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I was able to finish up the basic outline of the beetlewing embroidery project and attach the wings, so I thought I’d share some photos!

I still have some work to do on my goldwork and beetle wing project, but in these photos, you can see that all the major embroidery is done – it’s now just a matter of embellishing it a bit further and putting on the finishing touches.

Goldwork Embroidery and Beetle Wings

This is the main part of the design – the big flower. I outlined the petals in #5 gold passing thread, alternated with Elizabethan twist. (The petals with the little scroll tips are done in the twist.) Passing thread is a bit stiffer, I think, than the twist, but it’s also finer. Gold passing is couched onto the ground fabric. It makes a wonderful filler. For example, you can take a look at it around the edge of my Agnus Dei project from last spring. Normally, passing thread is worked two at a time, couching perpendicular to the gold thread over two strands.

The wings are actually slightly different colors. I had the blue hues separated from the yellow / green (keep in mind the wings overall are green, but some reflect blue or yellow or copper more than others). So I alternated the colors every other petal as well. I’ll try to get a clearer picture of that eventually! Perhaps taking the pictures outside on a sunny day will help.

Goldwork Embroidery and Beetle Wings

This is the little paisley leaf on the left of the design. I split the beetle wing in half and trimmed one half smaller, to get them to fit in the base of the paisley leaf. I’ll put something between the two wings up the middle of the paisley.

Goldwork Embroidery and Beetle Wings

This is the smaller flower on the right. The petals are outlined in #5 passing and in Elizabethan twist as well, just as on the larger flower. On this smaller flower, I put the wings at the base of the petals. I figured, since it’s more of a bud than a full-fledged flower, I wanted it to look slightly different. I used half wings on the outside petals, and on the inside petal, I trimmed the middle wing to have more of a point. I’m also going to add some filler or something to the petals on the “bud.”

Goldwork Embroidery and Beetle Wings

And here’s the whole design so far! Overall, I do like it. I’ve had fun working with the gold! In fact, given the hectic holiday yesterday and company this morning, I haven’t had a chance to get back to it lately – soooo… I hope you enjoy your Friday evening! As for me, I’m going to go thread my needle!


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(6) Comments

  1. It reminds me of peacock plumage.

    (My mind went completely blank on ‘peacock’. lol. It actually took several minutes to think of the name of that bird.)

  2. How lovely! It’s great to see how it turned out. The sheen of the gold and the iridescent green of the wings look so perfect together.

  3. Thank you for the kind compliments, all! I haven’t finished yet – still a tiny bit of gold seed stitches in the small flower on the right….!

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