Sunday, 26 June 2011

Floral Glove, Calyx

Before I could outline the carnations with Elizabethan Twist, I had a little work to do on the calyx. Well, I thought it was a little work but it turned out to be a whole lot of work. I had already satin stitched each calyx but this was just padding for the gold work.

© Thistle Threads/Carol-Anne Conway

Purl is a metallic thread that has been around for many centuries. It is a tightly coiled spring made from flattened wire. Traditionally it was available in natural metallic colours; gold, silver, copper ... Today it is available in a myriad of colours; the purl used on the calyxes of the carnations is olive coloured.

© Thistle Threads/Carol-Anne Conway

The purl comes in one continuous length that has to be cut into pieces. Each piece is then stitched into place as if it were a bead. The lengths of purl lie next to each other like satin stitches; they should be close enough to cover the back ground but not so close that they buckle.

© Thistle Threads/Carol-Anne Conway

Did I mention that Purl is a spring? It is springy, delicate and very easily damaged. When you try to measure a length for cutting, it springs around. When you try to cut a length, it springs around. When you try to pick a piece up on your needle, it springs around. And every slight slip handling it, cutting it, stitching it can damage it. This is slow, delicate and painstaking work.

© Thistle Threads/Carol-Anne Conway

But very satisfying.

© Thistle Threads/Carol-Anne Conway

Happy Stitching

4 comments:

Rachel said...

I think this was the element I found the hardest of all, but as you say it is very satisfying when it is done!

Renata's arts and crafts said...

this was a very interesting idea ...
following your pictures at first I was amazed...lovely

Plays with Needles said...

You DID it! And it's beautiful!!!

underatopazsky said...

I really liked your beautifully even satin stitch but the addition of the olive green purl over the top give such wonderful dimensionality to the piece.