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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Stylized Pomegranate in Pearl & Goldwork Embroidery


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Whether it’s a stitch tutorial that brings clarification or a free embroidery pattern that provides inspiration, nothing warms the cockles of my wee little heart more than seeing Needle ‘n Thread put to good use!

Today, I want to share with you a piece of pearl and goldwork embroidery worked by Larissa Borodich.

Larissa used this stylized pomegranate design as the foundation of her project and interpreted it using pearl embroidery and goldwork.

The outcome is lavish and splendid!

Pearl and goldwork embroidery - stylized pomegranate design

What I especially love about Larissa’s interpretation – and about being able to share it with you – is that it demonstrates so well how an embroidery design comes to life when someone brings their own artistic vision to it.

If I had worked this design or you had worked this design, how would we have interpreted it? I would probably have used silk shading and a little goldwork. You might have used crewel wool. Others might envision it entirely in gold. Maybe others would approach it as whitework with needle lace fillings.

There are so many ways we can work embroidery designs, but it’s the embroiderer’s artistic vision that, in the end, makes the design his or her own.

Pearl and goldwork embroidery - stylized pomegranate design

Larissa used freshwater pearls, gold seed beads, gold chip work using check purl bits, red spinal rondelles, gold spangles, and various goldwork threads to embroider the design.

Pearl and goldwork embroidery - stylized pomegranate design

One of the goldwork threads she used is the striped and twisted wire metal thread I wrote about in this article last December. She found it in Moscow, in a shop that sells supplies for ecclesiastical needlework and vestment making.

I love seeing the thread at work! I’ve played with it a bit myself, but I haven’t actually used it in a finished project. I really like the effect!

Pearl and goldwork embroidery - stylized pomegranate design

Larissa’s finished piece is 7″ high – and what a glorious 7″ of embroidery it is!

Really lovely work!

You can see more of Larissa’s embroidery here on Needle ‘n Thread – it’s quite inspirational, especially if you’d like to add beads or pearls to your own projects. She does some incredible work with pearl embroidery! You’ll find more of her work through the following links:

Beadwork matting – an embroidered frame

Angel in tent stitch

Pearl and goldwork embroidered frame

High relief pearl embroidery icon

Enjoy the weekend!

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(24) Comments

  1. Hello Mary and Larissa.
    What a splendid work ! It is just like some marvellous pieces of old works that you can seee in the Russian museums. I do not have words great enough to say Bravo ! And thank you for sharing this wonder.

  2. Dear Mary

    This is a beautiful piece of embroidery using pearls, beads and goldwork which are nicely displayed and the chosen goldwork and pearls really blend in well to show an elaborate piece of work, well done Larissa it’s really an artistic piece of work. I probably would have embroidered the design in silk shading with some goldwork, but as you say you could embroider the design in so many different ways. Thanks for sharing Larissa’s stylised pomegranite embroidery piece with us it’s certainly is inspirational.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  3. Wow what a pleasure to look at! I love the simple color scheme. The garnet tones are just enough. Beautiful use of real pearls and precious materials.

  4. Stunning! The skill-level here is beyond impressive! The colors and combination of pearls, gold, and different beads bring to mind Chanel…

    So how would someone else interpret the original design? I stitched it in cutwork for a tablecloth for one of my sisters-in-law, with a whitework and drawn thread border! Couldn’t be any more different!

  5. Mary and Larissa, Simply stunning work. Thanks Mary for bringing this to us, and Larissa for sharing it as well. What a treat to feast the eyes upon.

  6. Exquisite! PERFECTLY beautiful. What kind of fabric did she use? Did she use a backing fabric? How did she do such an incredible job! Will it be framed? I love it.

  7. Thank you for sharing this spectacular bead embroidery post! I have recently been considering learning bead embroidery and this is so beautiful; it automatically inspires me to go and buy some beads and begin learning! Thank you again and have a great day!

  8. Just WOW!!! I have never done this type of work and have enjoyed your posts about it. One of the things that strikes me most about Larissa’s piece is how well-balanced it is! I think if I was working with pearls and beads, they would start getting crowded and bumping into each other (I was looking at the overlapping curves!) — but her work is so Perfect!! It all fits so comfortably. A real artist!!! Thanks for sharing.

  9. I have a question. In working a piece like this, do you do the thread embroidery first to, perhaps, outline a section and then work the beading? Or the other way around? Or do you just mix it up as you go?

    Larissa’s work is beyond gorgeous.

  10. A beautiful piece of work with marvelous symmetry; beautiful materials. I like the effect of mostly white with touches of red.

  11. Can you explain the difference between a tent stitch and cross stitch?
    The works are incredible and gorgeous- totally awe inspiring!

    1. Hi, Barb – tent stitch is basically one half of a cross stitch. There are different ways of doing the tent stitch (causing the threads to cross differently on the back of the fabric) but on the front, all you see is one diagonal stitch.

  12. This is just amazing – really so beautiful. Her work is perfect and such a
    Treat to see. Thank you for sharing these pictures with us.

  13. Ever since I first found your angels in the archives, Miss Larissa, I have found them so stunning and breathtaking – I am truly amazed by your work!

  14. What can one say about such work? It is glorious. And reminds me of some of the intricately beaded and worked icon frames. I am in utter awe, Larissa.

    Thank you Mary for showing Larissa’s work to us.

  15. Wow that is gorgeous! I just love the detailing and her interpretation of it. Thanks very much for sharing.

  16. Amazing interpretation!

    I’m never sure how to interpret designs myself so usually follow someone else. I am in awe…

  17. Wow!! Just WOW. Amazing work Larissa. Thank you both for sharing! You’re so right Mary. Every person has a different vision for a pattern/design. I think that is what makes embroidery such a fascinating hobby/craft.

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