The Medallion Project is dragging out a bit longer than I had hoped! I did not meet my First Personal Deadline (which was Easter), nor my Second Personal Deadline (which was April 15), and now I’m pushing my Last Personal Deadline and Final Deadline of All (mid-May). I must be finished around May 15, because it has to be turned over the vestment-maker, to meet the June deadline. So it’s down to the wire! (No pun intended!) This may turn into a nail-biter!
Today I’d like to show you how I changed the order of work on the roses, and give you my reasoning behind that. You can apply the same principals to any embroidery – sometimes, you just have to change the “normal” order of work, due to some logical reason. I’m also going to show you the back of the goldwork, because this figures into my reasoning for changing the order of work.
Last week, we talked about adding an outline to the Tudor-style roses on the Medallion. Most folks seemed to like the effect of the outline, though some didn’t, and that’s ok, too. I can see it both ways, but I did go with the outlining, for two reasons: 1. I do like it better with the outline – it gives more depth, and helps pick up the rose from farther away; and 2. it was in the plans, anyway (you can see that the original Tudor rose worked as a sample for this has the outline, too) – so it wasn’t just a spontaneous decision to outline, without having planned it or thought it through. The latter reason isn’t necessarily the best reason to do something, but it’s a fairly good secondary reason.
The outline was stitched on the different parts of the rose after the rest of the rose was finished. It was the last step. But as you can see in the photo above, I’m adding the dark outline on the inner petals before the goldwork on the tips of the inner petals is complete.
You can see the first petal outlined here (the lower right inner petal, with the dark line). At this point, I’ve couched the check thread that outlines the petal, but I haven’t worked the other gold that fills in the turn over on the petal (where the white linen is still visible). The outline inside the petal runs against the check thread (that wiggly gold thread outlining the petals), so it was necessary to have the check thread in place, but not essential to have the rest of the gold in place.
Now, the reasoning for doing the outline at this point was not merely whim. I wan’t bored with the goldwork and hankering to do some stitch with silk! You can probably guess why, but this photo below may help illustrate the point a bit better:
Here you can see just one side of the gold threads plunged from the turn-over on the inner petals. That bundle of gold thread will be mirrored by a similar bundle that will take up the rest of that white space in the photo, when the other side is plunged. It’s a lot easier to work the outline in the inner petals without this gold in the way!
I figured it was just smarter to outline once the check thread was in place, to save the frustration of running into the gold threads on the back and also to save the gold threads themselves. As much as possible, it’s good to avoid piercing the gold threads even on the back, because you can displace them, unravel them, and cause all kinds of mayhem by stitching through them.
So, when it comes to stitching, if there’s a good reason for changing the normal order of work, by all means, change it. There are times when you can’t change it – you can only stitch this element once that element is finished – but there are other times when it makes sense to switch things around a bit.
Someone asked me the other day if he could run side bets on whether or not I finish by May 15, or open some kind of “closest finishing date” pool. I’m pretty sure he was kidding, but if he wasn’t, I want it on record that I get part of the winner’s take!
I hope you don’t mind joining me over the next two weeks as this project comes to a close. I’ll keep you regularly updated on progress, but you can also expect plenty of other articles in the mix, as usual. I’ve got a really interesting beginner’s e-book for you (still have to read it myself, but it looks like a gem!), a challenging give-away / call for stitchers coming up (involving a specific kind of whitework – absolutely beautiful stuff!), and some other bits and pieces of stitchy interest. So stick with me!
And keep your fingers crossed for me!
See you tomorrow!
If you’d like access to all the tips and techniques discussed in the Medallion Project, including complete step-by-step coverage of the Tudor-Style Rose, conveniently collected in one document, interlinked, referenced, and indexed, why not add the Marian Medallion Project e-book to your library? It’s packed full of all kinds of embroidery tips for undertaking a project like this, all in a convenient electronic format for easy searching.