I've been working on some smaller designs over the last few weeks. I really enjoy the larger pieces but when working on them from scratch they take a long time to complete. Autumn Shell Box is up to 150 hours so far! I've made more progress on it since I took this picture.
I want to get some more pieces done so I can add pieces into the Gallery on a regular basis. So started this piece off in July of this year, well I'd done the transfer and spent some time deciding on colours. I took it to our class a few weeks ago framed it up and made a start. The idea was a very simple colour scheme, the petals of the chrysanthemum would just be two colours. The first colours were a bronze metallic and silk. They looked lovely on the black and red.
However ... I put a few stitches in and hated it. So back to the drawing board, various discussions were had with my stitching friends and I decided on black and red to match the fabric. The weft of the fabric is red the warp is black, depending on the angle the fabric looks either red or black.
I decided to do the turnovers of the petals in red and the rest of the petals in black. The petals were padded with either two or one layer of padding, a couple were self padded and the rest had none.
Most petals were stitched with flat silk, 2 strands, have I mentioned how much I love the effect of flat silk!
One or two of the black petals in the centre were stitched with a twisted black metallic thread.
The twisted black metallic was also used for the stamens, knots were formed with a black twist with a touch of gold.
#8 real gold was used for the leaf, 1 pair couched with black silk. It has been impossible to capture the colour and beauty of this piece, the way silk glows against the dark background and the richness and variation in colour, it has turned out so much more beautiful than I had hoped and I am very proud of it. I only wish my photos did it justice.