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 Project: Finishing the Silk


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I was super-eager to finish the silk shading on the “fruit” part of my present goldwork project, because then I could move on to the gold! After all, what’s a goldwork project without gold?? So I hastened to get the rest of the color worked on the fruit…

With the lattice design in the middle of the fruit, there are so many options for interpretation. I decided to go with silk shading in the middle of the fruit, with goldwork around it. So that central lattice section is solid (shaded) color. It was actually at the point of finishing it that I decided my stylized pomegranate is looking more like an artichoke.

A red artichoke, no less.

Goldwork Embroidery: Stylized Pomegranate

The first thing I did was split stitch the lattice in the darkest red. This provided an outline for each diamond, which I shaded using long and short stitch and four shades of red – the lightest pink at the top, followed by the next lightest shade, and then one of the medium values, and ending with the darkest at the base of the diamond.

Goldwork Embroidery: Stylized Pomegranate

You can see the shades here a bit better. I didn’t cover the split stitch line, by the way. I left that visible, to mark the lattice.

Goldwork Embroidery: Stylized Pomegranate

You can see here a couple layers of shading and the basic shape I followed for doing the long and short stitch.

Goldwork Embroidery: Stylized Pomegranate

And that’s the finished center area. I’m not sure – I might put some gold in there. What do you think? It might be easier to decide after seeing the goldwork around this section first.

Goldwork Embroidery: Stylized Pomegranate

For the little fleur de lys tip, I started at the top with the lightest pink and shaded down the center section, and then, with the two arms under the turn-overs (the frito-looking felt things!), I used the darker values down to the base.

So there it is – the silk shading is finished on the fruit. I’m going to do the goldwork on the fruit before moving on to the stem. Otherwise, we’d be waiting forever to get to the really fun stuff!

Tomorrow (Tuesday, March 9th) I’ll be giving away another copy of Susan O’Connor’s Embroidered Flowers for Elizabeth. It’s going to be a short run on the give-away, so do make sure you stop by!

For all the posts in this series, please visit the following links, which are arranged in the order of the project’s development:

Stylized Pomegranate Pattern used for this project
Setting up the Project on a Frame
Preparing the Ground Fabric with Felt Padding
Selecting Colors of Silk for the Project
The Stitching Begins – SIlk Shading
Continuing the silk shading – the left side
Finishing the silk shading
The Goldwork Begins: Smooth Passing Thread
Check Thread for Outlining
Chip Work Filling with Check Purl
Outlining with Stretched Pearl Purl
Filling the Bowl with Passing Thread
Finishing the Tips with Passing Thread
Finishing the Fruit
Beginning the Stem
Continuing with the Green on the Stem
Almost finished! Chip work on the Stem
The Finished Goldwork Pomegranate


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(26) Comments

  1. I have learned so much from reading your blog. Your long/short series was very informative. And I am just amazed by this latest project. Just beautiful.

  2. This is looking very good. I was thinking it would be nice to do the lattice in gold.

    Please enter me in the drawing for the book giveaway.

  3. Another gorgeous project!

    I do have a question – I've only seen goldwork in person 1 time, at the Kroyje (sp?) exhibit at the National Czech-Slovac Museum in Cedar Rapids Iowa about 4-5 years ago. If I recall correctly, that gold and silver work was done over leather, not felt. Does it make a differnce what the item is to be used for, or might it be a tradition thing to use leather vs. felt?

    Also, I have washed craft felt. It does have a tendency to pill, or have "threads" start lifting from the surface. Or sometimes if it gets wrapped around another item, it will stretch out of shape. But I'd think if it's under other stitching, it would be fine, it doesn't shrink or bleed color that I've ever seen.

  4. I forgot to mention, I think a *small* amount of gold in the center area would tie the goldwork and the red bits together nicely.

  5. Mary, i'm soo impressed with your gold work. i have so enjoyed watching your work on this project. please put my name in your hat for your book ' flowers for Elizabeth"thanks ahead,

  6. Hi Mary–

    This project is turning out quite interesting–different from what I thought it would look like in my head, and different from how I would stitch it as well. I might have been tempted to try some stumpwork and textured stitches on it.

    Please count me in on the giveaway for the Embroidered Flowers book!

    Carol Sylvester

  7. Hi Mary,

    I think your shading is beautiful, in each section. However, as each section is worked in the same way, the shaping it gives is only to each section, not the pomegranate/artichoke bulbous bit as a whole. I think that if it were worked to give the whole thing shape, rather than just each individual section, it would look less flat and more rounded. Do you get what I mean? Think of it as a pear shape with lattice around the pear, not a flat surface divided into lattice sections.

    But I don't want to discourage you – I think it is coming along beautifully!


  8. mary
    read your newletter every day and have learned so much. but I am almost hyperventilating to see the gold work stitching.

  9. This piece is shaping up so beautifully! I am learning so much just from watching the progress. I'm itching to begin another project myself, just need to finish cleaning up the room first! Toss my name in for the "Flowers for Elizabeth" book, please.

  10. G'day Mary,
    Your excitement about starting the gold work is contagious.

    The 'quilted' seeds are beautiful. I'll wait on the goldwork issue there but am interested as to the outcome.
    Let's just say, (Yvette's comment) that the fruit was sliced down there. Once it's pointed out I can see it, but it's so lovely as it is.

    The 'flame' tip of the fleur de lys, matching the seeds is appealing. A symbol of purity for the gold as in refining it.
    The pomegranate itself is so steeped in symbolism that the imagination is the only limit, I'd say, and I'll leave that to the…er..imagination?!

    I'm realising how well the composition is working. To me it is flowing, balanced and keeps the eye interested.

    Roll out the gold!

    Thank you Mary, Kath

  11. I love your blog Mary…it provides wonderful eye candy. It is so much fun to watch your projects evolve and I learn so much from you. Thank you!

  12. Beautiful shading! Love the composition of the piece and am looking forward to seeing the final completed look. I've never done goldwork so can't wait for the shiny stuff! Your website is a treasure chest of pearls of knowledge on the subject(!) and your newsletter starts my Alaska day off right – Thanks!

    AK Sue

  13. I have been following this project for the 'goldwork'.:) Just thought I would drop in to say that the shading is looking wonderful!! — Sukanya

  14. Mary,
    I think the shading gives a wonderful depth to the project. If you add gold to the center, tiny gold flecks in the right places might be lovely. Hope springs eternal, please enter me in the drawing.
    Kim Kemmsies

  15. Hi Mary,
    I can't wait to see the gold! I've never done this kind of needlework and I am so curious to see how you do it and what it will look like. I am fascinated but the process.

  16. Hello Mary.
    Your work is beautiful.
    It is nice to see the work so close, so I can see it very precisely.
    It is an inspiration, and it is something I reayly hope to make (once!!)


  17. It is fascinating to see your work develop, no matter which project you are doing.

    I thank you for the fantastic video tutorial on long/short stitching, which is something I have never accomplished.

    You make it so clear and while talking, answer some questions before I could ask them.

    I will be practising long/short stitches this week.

    Thanks again,

  18. Mary

    I have a stitching project finished except for some long and short stitching. It has waited for YEARS, now thanks to you, I feel ready to complete this! Question though, I can see see what look like french knots of colours in the sections you havent done long and short stitches on, do you just anchor threads there?

    Julie in Australia

  19. Good Morning
    I am enthralled with this project – something I know little about. I am tempted to try now thanks to you.
    Please could I be entered into the competition for the flower book.
    Thank you
    Janey from Bristol

  20. Hi, All –

    Thanks for your comments!

    First, regarding the give-away, I'm afraid that was a pre-announcement, just so you know to look for the give-away post, which is going up today (Tuesday, March 9). If you want to be included, please make sure you leave a comment on the give-away post!

    I should have some goldwork to show you in the next few days – keep your fingers crossed for me!

    Julie – yes, the little knot looking things are where I've anchored the thread. They aren't really knots – it's a group of three tiny straight stitches. These get covered up…

    Thanks again, everyone!


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