I love battlement couching! If you’re not familiar with what it is, you’ll find a tutorial for it right here on Needle ‘n Thread.
While I’d used battlement couching in crewel work with wool threads, it wasn’t until I made use of it in my Lattice Jumble Sampler that I really fell in love with it. It really is a magnificent filling technique for surface embroidery of all types.
Well, needless to say, I was pretty happy that Hazel makes use of battlement couching in Late Harvest. It fills the center of the pomegranate in the middle of the piece, and it shows up on a couple other elements out on the sides of the design.
I’ll show you one of those elements today, and tell you the good (and the bad!) about my work on it.
This is the filled center of this element.
It’s ok, as far as battlement couching goes, but I regret the layout. The whole layout of the filling should be a shifted a bit downwards to the left in that photo, so that the first lower bead line is farther forward on the flower.
It may not look like a big deal at this point, but it makes the finished element look a bit square.
I had a gut feeling I should have re-done it at this point and shifted the layout, but I also had this little internal naggy voice telling me that it would look ok when all was said and done.
And that’s one of the nice things about this project! There’s so much going on in it, that everything does balance out.
So I decided just to hold out and see the element through, as is.
I’ve gotten rather lazy about picking things out and re-doing them lately (and I’m not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing).
The heavy outer edge of this element consists of stem stitch padding, over which is worked alternating lines of beads and bullion knots.
Eventually, a good bit of the tip of the element (by the leaves in the photo above) will be covered with stumpwork leaves. So while the design looks a little bare around the element right now, it’ll all fill in when the stumpwork leaves are added.
So there’s the finished element, and you can see how that straight line at the lower left makes it look a little bit square on the inside. I think if the beaded line in the filling were further forward, the filled center wouldn’t look so squared off there.
Will it matter in the finished piece? Probably not. Like I said, there’s a lot going on in this piece, so this particular glitch (that I notice, but other people probably won’t) will just blend in.
So, I moved on, adding the leaves around the element.
The busier it gets around this part of the design, the less I notice the squared look on the forward edge of filling, unless I’m really looking hard at it.
On the other hand, I still see it. I’ll give it time, keep filling in around it, and see what it looks like down the road. Worst case scenario: I might have to pick out the center filling and re-work it.
I like the way the purple beads on the element we’re talking about here are also part of the leaves around the grape bunch close by. It ties the two elements together across the design.
So that’s where I am on Late Harvest! Just plugging along and enjoying the heck out of it!