It’s been a while since I’ve mentioned progress on my silk and goldwork hand-embroidered Christmas ornament! Don’t worry – this isn’t an example of one of those projects that went to pot shortly after take-off! Sometimes, that happens, and often, when I make a mistake, I’ll have a hard time really getting back into a project. But the minor mistakes I’ve made on this little project have all been pretty positive, so I’ve been chugging along on it still. Here are some photos for you…
Last time we touched upon the embroidered Christmas ornament, I was not liking (and then I was liking) the orientation of the center design, especially the red satin-stitched areas with the lattice work on them. Many good people gave my heaps of great suggestions on how to improve it. I think, before all is over, I will take up the suggestion of changing the orientation of the lattice work.
At this point, I’m just pluggin along on the couching around the outside edge. I’m using #5 gold passing (2%), and working around in a bricking pattern, using shades of a cranberry red silk.
The most tedious part of the ornament so far has been this outside edge. Oh, woe is me. Never, ever start a project without enough of the needed supplies on hand. My original intention was to work this entirely from stash, and so far, I have been able to keep that resolution! But it’s been hard! I’m taking every tiny measure I can think of to conserve thread as I go, including not carrying to the next area of the same shade. I’m using tiny stitches to anchor each piece of thread… and it’s getting… really…. t-e-d-i-o-u-s.
This is a very wobbly looking corner. Dang.
The other way I managed to stretch my thread stash in these colors was actually to use more shades than I intended. Originally, I was going to use two shades of this silk, but as I ran out of the darkest shade, I moved to one shade lighter. Then, as the second darkest shade started dwindling, I moved to one shade even lighter, and used less of the dark shade. So I’m ending up, in all, using four shades of cranberry, which may actually end up being five shades by the time I’m finished!
The bricking goes from dark and close together in the corners to lighter and farther apart towards the middle stretch on each side. Some of my bricking isn’t perfect. Oh, wait. Most of my bricking isn’t perfect!! But don’t try to talk me into taking it out…. Please….
I think I have about three more double lines of couching to do to fill this area. Here’s hoping the thread lasts. If it doesn’t, I’ll come up with “something,” though I haven’t the foggiest idea what.
My plan is to continue with the gold passing, even on the yellow felt (we’ll see – I’m having second thoughts), but to couch that in gold thread so that the gold looks brighter. I would divide the two areas of passing with a wrapped pearl purl (a new technique I learned when working on the goldwork pomegranate), which I would like to sit up above the passing area a bit, so I’ll work that on top of the lines, I think.
Then, there’s chipwork to add still, and sequins and beads and then I’ll think about the back. But right now… I gotta get that edge finished!!!
You’d think, knowing that I have to get that edge finished, I’d just go finish that edge, right? Right!
Wrong. Right now, I’m heading to the studio to lay out some designs for towels-turned-tea-cloths-and-basket-liners that I’m making as Christmas gifts. One design I’m going to use is this corner embroidery pattern of leaves and flowers that I’m going to blow up to make about a 3″ or 4″ deep edge. That’ll be fun. The other design I want to work on today I’m adapting from a book – it needs to be enlarged and repeated and elaborated upon. I hope to be able to share it with you, once I figure it out! It’s kind of “folky” in an Italian-pottery sort of way.
That’s what I’m up to – the rest of the world seems rather quiet. What are YOU up to these days as far as needlework goes? Are you preparing holiday projects? Doing any finish work? Just having fun with your needle and thread? If you’ve got pictures online – on a blog or flickr or whathaveyou – feel free to post a link to your current project and tell us something about it!
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