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 and Tudor Designs: Possibilities!


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I’ve really been itching to do some goldwork lately, but I’ve got so many projects already going and several projects that I need to get started on, that all I can do when it comes to goldwork right now is dream. You know how that is, don’t you? This one particular design has be besotted…

BibliOdyssey is one of those places I go to get inspired, and last week when I visited, I wasn’t disappointed – there was no lack of inspirational stuff floating about the website. This post on The Tudor Pattern Book really caught my eye, and this one pattern in particular struck me as particularly suitable for goldwork.

Stylized Tudor Floral Pattern for Hand Embroidery

When considering an picture or design that is not made specifically for embroidery, I usually try to isolate the elements within the design that would work as an embroidered image. So I took this picture from BibliOdyssey, opened it in Photoshop and got rid of the background. I didn’t spand a lot of time cleaning the thing up – just a few button clicks – but I did at least isolate the part I like.

At this point, I figured I could trace the image in Inkscape or a similar program, to end up with a crisp line drawing, but instead, I started playing with a couple very basic filters in Photoshop and reduced the image to this:

Stylized Tudor Floral Pattern for Hand Embroidery

For some reason, a black and white image is my preferred format for any kind of potential embroidery design. I seem to see more possibilities when I can reduce the image to outlines with a bit of shading but no color.

With this piece, I’m thinking in terms of a combination of silk shading and goldwork.

So what do you think? Should I just chuck everything else and launch into a completely senseless goldwork project?

Oh well! Since “chucking” everything else right now probably isn’t prudent, I suppose I’ll just stay the present course. However, if I do drift off…

… you’ll know what I’m doing!

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(15) Comments

  1. :)) you and patterns related/associated/recalled to pomegranate, Mary!!!
    It's a lovelly pattern for only silk work too, isn't it?

  2. It's a lovely design, Mary and I can see why it appeals to you. I can also see it's potential. It will be interesting to see if you embroidery it the way I imagine.

  3. I would love to see what you do with this design… It is beautiful. I have not done Goldwork yet but you have put that in my must try list. Thanks Mary

  4. Like you, I can see so much potential in that design. The B&W; image is really popping out at me with ideas — some of the lines of the design almost look like lines of couched cord, or maybe very small chain or a whipped stitch, or ….

  5. Thanks for the links. The pics were achingly beautiful! But I don't see how you can resist not starting immediately! And why not? Drift off! If you don't it will haunt your thoughts and you won't concentrate on the other projects! So why not just dive in and "scratch the itch"!

  6. I love the design! And envy your skills with photoshop etc.
    Life is Short!
    Drop everything!
    Or find one of your 15 minutes a day slot….
    Two weeks ago, my van broke down on the day I was going to visit friends down south for my birthday.
    One week ago a storm took my landline and internet access down.
    My oil fired range has been dormant for months and won't light, so needs a service before it gets really cold.
    Well, when I couldn't go away, my neighbour offered to drive me to Aquatic Plant place 70 miles away….the money I would have spent on diesel went on plants for my new pond!
    When I was without transport,and the phone went down, and the range wouldn't light, I realised it was nature's way of getting me out there, planting new babies….
    And coming back to 70 messages in my Inbox,I vow to spend less time glued to this machine.
    good Luck Mary…can't wait to see what you do with that design!

  7. Great Design! Makes the fingers itch to do something wonderful. I'm struggling with transferring patterns to dark fabric. I'm planning on embroidering a stand mixer cover, naturally the fabric is black. Any ideas?

  8. Well, *weren't* you going to do something in colour/gold after doing the whitework – but then got distracted by the L&S; lessons??

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