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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Mission Rose: Beginning the Goldwork!


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It’s just the tiniest bit of goldwork, but … it’s goldwork!

Last time we visited the Mission Rose project, all the felt foundations for the goldwork frames were finished. Next step: the goldwork on the rose. Once the goldwork on the rose is finished, then I’ll tackle the frame!

Mission Rose: Goldwork Begins

So here are the first bits of goldwork. They aren’t too fantastic or earth-shattering, it’s true! The center ring of the rose is outlined with pearl purl twisted with red Soie de Paris. This technique is nothing new – I did exactly the same thing on the goldwork and silk Tudor-style rose from the Medallion project. So if you were hanging about here on Needle ‘n Thread last year, you probably recognize it.

If, however, you weren’t here – no worries! You can see how the pearl purl was wrapped and couched here.

Around the inside five petals, I used check thread, which is a crimped goldwork thread that is couched onto the fabric.

Mission Rose: Goldwork Begins

After finishing the center petals, I moved to the outside leaves – the little green ones set in between the rose petals – and starting outlining those with gold tambour thread #7. This is the same thread I used on the outside petals of the Tudor-style rose. I like it – it’s a nice, flexible gold thread, perfect for little details.

Mission Rose: Goldwork Begins

This is as far as I got – I haven’t quite plunged the ends of those threads. But today, I will make more progress. I really can’t wait to outline the outside of the rose petals and work the curly-q’s that stick out from the side of the rose. Once the rose is finished, I’ll tackle the big leaves. I have an idea brewing. It may not work, but it’s brewing, nonetheless!

It’s been a while since I’ve done goldwork, and I felt rusty when I started working on the gold. But goldwork can be Really Addicting and it doesn’t take long to get back into it. Right now, I’m doing nothing more complicated than couching threads, so although “goldwork” always sounds very advanced, the fact is, if you know how to couch threads, then you can do this stuff with no problem!

Mission Rose: Goldwork Begins

Here’s my goldwork thread collection, laid out and ready for rummaging! During this part of the project, I keep the drawers out on a little side table next to me, covered with towel between rummaging sessions.

Finally, on a completely different note, I’m having computer problems, so if I disappear for a brief bit, it’s because I didn’t write articles far enough in advance to cover the trip to the Apple clinic. Just a heads-up, just in case!

If you’d like to follow along with the other articles relating to the Mission Rose Project, feel free to stop by the Mission Rose Project Index, where you’ll find all the articles in chronological order.


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(10) Comments

  1. That’s a lot of gold thread! I feel for your need to go to the Apple Clinic. At this end, a new cell phone is on order; mine is usable when borrowing a battery from my son, who very reluctantly relinquishes it a minute or two a day! Good luck with the idea for the leaves.

  2. The rose looks very nice and those drawers with all those threads wow. I would like to have a room like yours.

  3. Dear Mary

    I really like pearl Purl and check thread gold, it compliments the rose. I do love your stash of gold thread so much to choose from, how will you choose what to use with so many different types of gold. Oh sorry to hear you might disappear for a bit to the apple clinic I hope you recover soon, and return quickly we will miss you soooooooooooo much.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  4. Mary, what lovely thread and what great drawers. What kind of cabinet are they from (is that a “Helmer” from IKEA)? And what are you using inside to organize the threads? The drawer on the right appears to have little clear plastic boxes holding your threads . . .

    Inquiring minds need to know!

    (and the rose is looking wonderful)

    1. Hi, Pamela – The cabinets are Bisley cabinets. They can be found at the Container Store. I did check out the IKEA cabinets that are similar once upon a time, but they were not well made and rather flimsy. These are collector’s cabinets, perfect for storing light-sensitive materials in an archival environment. The plastic boxes are what the metal threads from Hedgehog Handworks come in – they help keep the threads from getting crushed. They work alright for this situation, but they do take up space and when you end up with lots of them left over, it becomes a real puzzle what to do with them. Still, I like the fact that the threads that are easily crushed (purls, for example) are quite safe in them. ~MC

  5. Oh wow, Mary, all those gorgeous golds. I hate to think of the $ in that lot.

    Do you feel bereft when your computer goes to hospital? I do, it’s like losing a friend, which is probably about right. Since I am pretty much housebound it is my link with people with similar interests to me.

    And last but by no means least, the Rose is looking wonderful. I am too scared to try real gold work but I live it through yours.

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