Saturday, 29 August 2009

The best thing about bank holidays ...

... (when they coincide with my weekend off from my evening job) is that I get three full days to stitch. Hooooray!!! I'm just taking a quick break to post this then back to work. In my last post about Kusudama, you may remember I spoke about the couched silver circle and that I wasn't happy about the couching. Last night I went back and looked at it again and decided that I wasn't happy with it, so out it came. Below is a picture of what it looked like after it came out, you can see how the fabric has been marked, and this was only couching thread with a very fine needle. This circle is worked in an outward spiral so no outward edge is marked, a little cross in the middle marks the starting point, then we work outwards until the required size is reached. The beginning of this is a bit tricky, the circle is started with only one of the pair and it's difficult to get the first few round in without loosing the start, but once the second thread of the pair has been joined in it does get easier. I'm much happier with the couching on this version, although it's very difficult to get the stitches exactly spaced as we would with the a larger or more regular shape, still I still managed to get them spaced much more evenly than the first time. I have one of those plastic shapes that have different sizes of circles on them, so I put one over the completed shape and it turned out round again, yay. Actually this gives a good idea of the perspective, this circle has an 11mm radius.
As it's been a couple of weeks since I worked on Kusudama I thought I would do another small motif before going onto one of the bigger ones. The maple leaf next to the silver circle is outlined in blister stitch so I decided to that one next. Blister stitches are formed from a knot with a flat stitch over the top giving a nice 3 dimensional look.
To make sure I kept the definition of the shape I put in all the knots at the points first, then filled in the spaces in between. I'm not sure if this is the right way to do this, but it did mean that the knots were evenly spaced and not all squeezed up together.
Next job was to put in the flat stitch over the top of the knots. This was a bit fiddly and it took me a couple of attempts to get it right.
I really like the effect of this stitch but I've hardly ever used it as it just hasn't been in many of the pieces I've done. I'd really like to get better at both the knots and the blister stitch, but for the moment I'm happy with how this has turned out.
Before I go back to working on the large chrysanthemum just a quick word about the colour scheme on this piece. As I stitch more I'm sure you'll notice that it's not being worked in one of my usual over the top colour schemes! As I decided to go with a special fabric for this piece I decided to do something special with the colours as well. I know what colours I like and am learning more about colour all the time, but I'm aware I have a lot to learn in that field. So I asked Margaret, my tutor, to ask Masa san (Master Tamura's wife and Master Saito's daughter) to put together a spring colour scheme for me. In this way I can take advantage of her many, many years of experience and learn more about colours as well. I have to say the scheme she sent is beautiful, enough bright or deeper colours that I like along with some pale ones which I would never normally work with. I think I will enjoy working with these colours a lot.

5 comments:

coral-seas said...

Jane, I am really looking forward to following your progress with Kusudama and all 46 techniques. I thought that you first couched circle looked fine but I agree with you that this one is more pleasing.

I remember on Suehiro, I was torn between keeping the spaces between my couching stitches regular and creating a pleasing pattern with the stitches. Did Kazumi-san give you any indication as to which is preferred?

ps really looking forward to seeing you next week

Jane said...

Hello, Kazumi san didn't say specifically, but she did talk about making sure the couching was even when we went over the couching techniques. Maybe the eveness of the couching makes it more pleasing to look at?

I'm looking forward to next weekend as well. If anyone else is going to near Manchester next weekend, come and visit us at the stitch and creative crafts show at Manchester Central.
Jane

marry said...

Blogs are so informative where we get lots of information on any topic. Nice job keep it up!!
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Plays with Needles said...

I wish I was going to be near Manchester but alas...

I enjoyed seeing your work on kusudama today...you might just pull me back into JE, dear jane

I will love seeing your spring colors develop...very beautiful start and the circle looks perfectly round...which is NOT easy to do either...

Heather said...

I so admire your technique and attention to detail. I think Japanese embroidery is waiting for me in my next life, that is, if I can't get to it in this one!

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