One of things that people always ask about traditional Japanese embroidery is how long it takes. Well it's all relative of course, and some people work faster than others, but one of the things that it is important to spend time on is preparation. Without good preparation it is impossible to get a good finish, and of course this all adds time.
So I worked on this little section on Sunday evening, all together it took about 3 hours. I put in the foundation of the shells and the top of the shell box, all in flat silk. Then I put in temporary holding threads, these are held down at regular intervals with small stitches. The long threads seen in the photo will come out but the small holding stitches won't so I had to twist up 2-1 couching threads in the same colour as the foundations. These holding threads will stop the foundation moving while I work the layer over the top.The shells are designed to pick up on the chrysanthemum theme. The design of the petals has been traced and tacked over the foundation. I think I'm going to work these little petal shapes with a metallic thread, but I'm still thinking about it. The tracing on the right doesn't match the stitched section, I'll have to trace that one again and do it once I've completed the other two shells. Once I completed the section above I had some more fun with maple leaves.