For the past couple days, we’ve looked at some silk options to use as a ground fabric for hand embroidery, specifically goldwork and silk embroidery. I tried out some very nice Italian silk satin and a beautiful Japanese silk dupioni.
Today, I’ll tell you my final choice, which is neither of the above, and tell you why.
You see, while I was contemplating exactly what to do fabric-wise, I started flipping through photos I’ve collected of different ecclesiastical works. This particular photo caught my attention:
I love the colors in this piece of embroidery, but it’s not actually the color scheme I’m looking at here. It’s the various backgrounds that you can see in the piece.
The white background is definitely a twill weave of some sort. The gold background off to the side…. well, I think it’s stitched!
Kind of a gobelin stitch, in a bargello-type pattern, wouldn’t you say? But maybe not – it could be a special weave of fabric, but it sure looks stitched. Now, don’t get any ideas – this isn’t my plan at all. (Not right now, anyway!) but I do love the smooth dots on this textured background. And I do have quite a few dots in my design. The difference is, I’m planning on working my dots in different gold purls, which already have texture to them. Something else to think about!
The other part of the piece that caught my interest is the dark blue background here, with the gold worked over it. The dark blue is fabric. I like the gold worked on top of it. I want to do something like this, only not with appliquéd fabric. I’ll show you how, later!
Now, this whole piece gave me all kinds of ideas. But one idea that has stuck is that, for the ground fabric of my class piece here, I’m going to stick with what I know best and love best as a ground fabric, and which is very versatile. Any guesses? Yes, it’s true. I’m going to use linen.
I won’t be appliquéing any colored fabrics onto the piece, though it sounds like an interesting idea – to appliqué the background onto the fabric (kind of backwards, but it would work!). Why not? you may ask. There are two reasons: the first is that the student I’m working with wants to work a piece that is completely embroidered, without appliqué (I could probably change her mind if I had to!); and 2. I read an old embroidery book once, where the author (foremost in the field of this type of embroidery at the time) asserted that applique should never be used in areas that can be covered with embroidery, as it tends to look as if shortcuts were taken. I don’t necessarily agree entirely with that statement in all circumstances, but I’ve been trying to picture an appliquéd background on this piece, and I have to admit, I think it might end up looking a little short-cuttish.
All that being said, I just may give it a try, to see if it could work. That’s another one of those “testing” situations, though, and I’m running out of time!
I’ll show you some pictures of my stitch testing later on – I’ve decided on the stitches I’ll use (and some of the threads) for the goldwork in the center. I can’t wait to get started on that part – it’s So Much Fun! I’ll show you it, step-by-step, I promise!
So, whatdya reckon? Is linen an ok choice? Any thoughts? Leave a comment!
Tomorrow, I’ve got a guest post for you, for those of you who are interested in a quick summer project in gingham embroidery. Look for it!