I am so pleased with how this piece has turned out. I'd avoided doing some of the earlier phases on metallic fabric because after hearing various people talk about how difficult it was to stitch on I was worried that I wouldn't be able to manage it. But after finishing phase 8, about to start 9, and with 10 (the graduation piece) in sight, I thought it was really time to be brave and bite the bullet. Besides, stitching on metallic is part of the JEC curriculum so I needed to have a go.
There were a number of designs on metallic to choose from, and I thought that, since I was a bit hesitant about the metallic to start with, the best idea would be to choose a design I really liked.
That way it would give me an incentive to carry on if I started to struggle with the metallic.
So Bamboo Circle it was, I love the simplicity of this design, and the colours are just wonderful, the photographs here really don't do it justice. The surface of the fabric is a lovely soft mottled gold colour, which is also difficult to show in photos as light just bounces off it.
After worrying about working on metallic, I have to say it turned out not to be as difficult as I thought. I did worry about having to take stitching out because once holes have been made in the gold it may not be possible to disguise them. On the few sections where I did have to take stitching out it was possible to cover the holes left by the first line of stitching as I'd stitched inside the lines of the pattern.
It is also physically harder to stitch on metallic rather than plain silk simply because it takes more pressure to push the needle through the fabric, but it's easy enough to take a break and do something else for a while to give your fingers a rest.
Stitching this piece has helped me get over a big hurdle on my journey along the path of nuido, and I am really going to enjoy living with this piece on my wall. I may even decide to stitch one of the other flower circles on gold to keep it company.
The design is part of a series of 10 flower circles which were designed for students of the late Master Saito. You can see the Pine Circle on our Japanese Embroidery Gallery, go to the advanced pieces gallery, it's the second row of pictures. If you have access to the Kurenai-Kai Japanese Embroidery Series books, you can see the all 10 flower circles in book 4.