Friday, 28 March 2008
Pink isn't really my colour, but this bolt has a lovely design of fans and flower circles and has turned into a lovely jacket.
Only three jackets listed at the moment check them out at http://www.nejiribana.etsy.com/, more to come.
Wednesday, 26 March 2008
On the instructions for this section it doesn't give any details on what colour couching thread to use. Standard couching thread for gold is red but there are other options, gold for example. On the colour picture I have it looks like gold couching has been used as it's very difficult to make out the twists and turns of the gold thread. I decided I wanted to make these curves more obvious so used red couching.
I really like how this has come out and am very pleased I decided to use the red couching. The second section of gold will go in the gap between the pine and the waves, but I'll give myself a break from couching now.
Monday, 24 March 2008
First some pines. I've not worked pines this way before, so this is all new to me. This technique contradicts two of the rules we usually follow in Japanese embroidery, one is to stitch the foreground first, the second is to leave a 'one point open space' between each motif.
Starting with rear pine motif padding cotton is couched round it's edge, then it is stitched with flat silk, then the padding cotton is put round the edge of the next motif so that it overlaps the silk just stitched.
One side of the pine is worked, then the other, and lastly the centre motif. After all the motifs are worked the veins are put in using a karayori thread, I still have to work these on the pines below. The veins can be worked using a different colour to the main pine, but I decided to use a slightly lighter colour so that they don't stand out too much. Working the pines this way seemed a very odd way of working to start with, but once I got into the flow it went quite well. You can see here how the motifs overlap one another.
Once I'd got my head around the pines I decided to have a go a different section, the fan. I'd put in the black and gold foundation before I went to Bournemouth, so the next step was to put in the waves. I chose the brightest colours I had in the colour scheme for the waves knowing that working on black fabric bleaches out colour. The top of the waves are worked using flat silk.
Once all the tops have been worked the lines underneath are worked using a tightly twisted karayori. I've still got to complete the fine lines on the other colours, but had to twist up some more karayori so have to wait now until they've dried. The black gap at the bottom and right of the fan is another cloud like the black and gold one at the top. I'll be working those in #4 gold for a nice contrast.
And for a bit of contrast before I go tonight, introducing my lovely assistant Bonnington, as you can see she's ready to spring into action at the drop of a needle!!
Saturday, 22 March 2008
In the last post I said I'd try and get a better picture of the plum blossoms and here it is, think they look quite pretty now they are all done.
Sunday, 16 March 2008
Monday, 10 March 2008
This time I resisted buying more designs because I want to get Bamboo Circle or Iris Stream finished so I can concentrate on Treasure Ship.
The sail on the ship is decorated with stitched shippo, a series of interlocking circles, each circle is about an inch or so across and has a tiny little golden flower in the middle.
In the picture above, you can see the difference in thicknesses of the red and white threads.
Once I decided I had got the spacing set in my mind I took out the red and white thread, completed the blue shippo and then re-stitched the red and white. This may sound simple but there is a twist, the stitching needs to be worked in a clockwise direction in order to get the correct curve and each piece of shippo is treated as a separate item so the direction can change. So to explain, starting with the bottom right shippo the red and white threads were worked from bottom to top and the same for the next one. On the top shippo the red and white threads were stitched working from right to left. Then on the top left shippo the direction of working goes from top to bottom but it's still going clockwise round that particular bit of blue shippo, next one the same and the very bottom shippo was worked left to right as we look as it.
Confusing??, again not really, well ok, it is and you really have to concentrate to remember which direction to stitch. It's sometimes difficult to separate each individual item out from the whole, in this case it felt a bit odd because although the red and white sections were each worked clockwise round their own bit of shippo if I looked at the whole I was actually working anti-clockwise! And having re-read this post in the cold light of day I realised that I'd actually explained it wrong so have done some editing and I think it's right now :-). It's just occurred to me what I could compare it to - one of those line drawings of a cube - if you alter your focus the cube faces a different direction. For the especially curious out there who might want to know more and who also follow Threads Across the Web (by Carol-Anne one of my Japanese embroidery stitching colleagues) ask her about clockwise working!
Anyway, now I've confused you all. Next step, the little golden flower. First I padded the petals and centre with two layers of one strand of yellow silk, you can see the two layers in the photo below, then each petal is finished with #1 real gold thread. Real gold is much easier to work with than imitation gold, so I always try to use it.
The centre of the flower only needs one stitch in gold to complete and each petal has only five stitches, so they don't take very long, it's just a bit fiddly because it's so small.
So here we are one completed shippo which took the best part of five hours to stitch - only 24 more shippo to go!!
Now I'm going to take a step back on the journey and complete Bamboo Circle before I do anymore on Treasure Ship. Having three pieces on the go is too much so I have to get one completed before I do any more on this one.