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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Beginner Goldwork & Silk Rose Finish


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Good morning, from a stormy, rainy Kansas!

Today, (very quickly, because things are flickering a bit with the storms passing through), I’d like to share with you the finish on the beginner goldwork and silk rose that I showed you a couple weeks ago and explain what it’s all about!

Beginner goldwork & silk embroidery rose

This is a project that I’ve been wanting to put together for quite a while.

So many times, I hear from beginners – or even from folks who have been stitching for years – that they really want to try working with silk, or they really want to try working with goldwork threads, but that they are too afraid to start.

And to address this difficulty, I’ve had this project floating in my head for a while.

Beginner goldwork & silk embroidery rose

I wanted a project that would cover the basics of working with goldwork threads and that would serve as an introduction to embroidering with silk.

Neither should be intimidating. Goldwork, I think, seems like a lofty pursuit because the supplies are harder to come by, they tend to be a little expensive (but you don’t need huge quantities!), and folks seem to associate it with really advanced techniques.

But that’s just not the case. Goldwork involves very simple techniques – it’s just a matter of getting used to working with the threads and seeing how they can perform for you.

Beginner goldwork & silk embroidery rose

Silk is a beautiful thread. It’s slightly more expensive than cotton, true, but with a project like this, a little goes a long way. There are different types of silk on the market, and some are easier to stitch with than others. A project like this is a great way to overcome Silk Anxiety and dip your fingers into the glorious world of embroidering with silk threads!

So that’s why Anna and I have been dabbling with this project lately. I used my niece, Anna, as a guinea pig, because she has never done this kind of goldwork and she’s never stitched a project like this with silk.

I’m working up a slightly different version of the project, now that I’ve seen where Anna had some difficulties, or where the design could benefit from a little alteration in technique, color, or thread type.

So if you’ve wanted to take the plunge and try silk and goldwork, keep an eye out! I’m sourcing the supplies right now, and I’ll have this available in a couple different formats as soon as I can. The supply lines are still a bit shaky, but hopefully, it’ll be sooner than later.

Time to power down before things frizzle. I do love a good storm!

Have a wonderful Monday!


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(12) Comments

  1. This is something i’d like to try, but international postage these days makes it uneconomical to buy a kit from you. Would you consider selling the pattern with a resource list and we can attempt to source local goodies? I have bought one of you wonderful kits in the past, but the postage (and the exchange rate) more than doubled the price.

    thanks! and I love the blog.

    1. Hi, Lynley – Thanks for your comment. Yes, international postage is a real bear. I’ve stopped shipping internationally for the moment, until I can (if possible) find a reasonable and secure solution. So I definitely appreciate the input. 🙂

  2. Hello! I know you didn’t ask for ideas for a project name this time, but I couldn’t help but think of it as Beauty’s Maestro, as my first glance suggested a wee gold and silken conductor. 🙂

  3. Dear Mary

    What a lovely design and a good idea to teach beginners how to use gold and silk thread, Great. As you say goldwork isn’t difficult I found it quite easy when I started using gold supplies especially incorporated with your instructions. A goldwork project is no harder then say the Long and Short stitch when you first use it. Are you going to make a e-book out of the project that would be a good idea. Your niece Anna has done a beautiful job on the silk and rose beginner project. I look forward to your version of the project Mary. Thank you for sharing with us the goldwork and silk rose project, I look forward to future updates and your tips and techniques.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  4. Last year I did a small (2″x3.5″) crewel version of this flower. (It was a test piece for using my laser cutter to mark fabric; while that didn’t work well on lighter weight cotton the laser marks cotton duck extremely well without burning through it.) It was nothing fancy and I’ll likely never frame it or otherwise finish it.

    But after seeing this one in gold and silk I may just have to make a more ambitious attempt at this design! 🙂
    (You can see my wool version at https://www.instagram.com/p/B12lY9inDuS/ if you’re curious. The third picture shows how well the laser marked the fabric. When you consider that it takes the laser only about 30 seconds to draw that onto the fabric you’ll understand why I’m working on developing it as a way to transfer embroidery designs!)

  5. I think I recognize this rose from the Artistic Embroidery book by Ella Rodman Church, right? It looks spectacular in your silk and gold! I think Ella Church is a distant of relative mine, and I’m searching my genealogy sources to be sure. I will want to work up this project when it’s ready for us!

  6. This is beautiful! So glad to see Anna’s finished piece. A silk and goldwork project is just what I’ve been wanting to try. I can’t wait for your kit!

  7. Good morning Mary, I love your blog, I have three girls and I have taught them to embroider since they were little and they desired to learn. Now that they are in high school and college it really does help them to be creative and zone out. Anyway, I am writing to ask if about the Au Ver A Soie metallic threads, I cannot seem to get a selection of the colors that I am looking for to restock my supply I can only find sets of colors but I only need specific colors. Do you know why this might be, last year my orders became delayed and I am trying to get a jump on things but all the recommended suppliers on your site do not have a great selection. Thank you for all your help, Colleen

    1. Hi Colleen – The threads aren’t widely available in the US, and with the exception of Needle in a Haystack (to my knowledge), any other place that carries them (The French Needle, for example) carries only collections, not individual spools. Haystack has some individual spools of the more common golds, silvers, reds, etc.

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