Monday, 14 July 2014

Tudor Rose - Part 4

The centre of the flower was covered in lesson two but it is quite textured and uses delicate gold perlees so I decided to leave it until after I had completed the leaves in lesson three.

Knots of any kind have, in the past, been the embroidery stitches that I have found the most difficult to master and, for me, the most difficult of all is the bullion knot. I have read much about them in an effort to master them but even when I worked them en masse for TAST I never really came to terms with them.

I did one or two practise knots on my doodle cloth carefully following the diagrams supplied with lesson two and was amazed to produce some reasonable looking bullion knots with relative ease. I'm not entirely sure why that was so. I don't think that the improvement is down to better technique on my part even though I found the diagrams are very clear and easy to follow. No, I think the credit goes to the thread used. The bullions are stitched in Soie Perlee. The firmness of the twist combined with the smoothness of the silk make this thread a dream to stitch with. For the first time I actually enjoyed making bullions and am reasonably pleased with the resulting knots.

© Thistle Threads/Carol-Anne Conway

The space between the two rows of bullion knots is filled with alternating lengths of Rough Purl #7 and Pearl Purl Super. The lengths of purl are stitched on like beads. At first I forgot to wax the couching thread and it kept catching on the wire. I spoiled a few pieces before I realised my mistake. I am never very satisfied with this kind of gold work. I am not able to cut the lengths of purl accurately enough. If they are too short they do not completely fill the space. If they are too long, the purl my crack and this has happened to some of my lengths.

In a slight change to the instructions, I filled the centre with chips of Bright Check Purl #7.

© Thistle Threads/Carol-Anne Conway

The final step was to outline the inner white flower with two strands of #380 silver wire twisted together and couched in place. The outer red petals were outlined in the same way using two strands of #371 gold wire.

© Thistle Threads/Carol-Anne Conway

This was a really pleasing short course. I enjoyed combining the silk and metallic threads to make the composite stitches. I would like to use all of them again and I have a few ideas for different combinations to try out.

© Thistle Threads/Carol-Anne Conway

Happy Stitching