I wish you all a happy new year!
And hope that you had a good and enjoyable “slide” from the old year into the new one, as we tend to say in Austria! 😀
Looking retrospectively at the last year, it amazes me how fast 2016 actually went by. The last year was very busy, as it was filled with many different projects, research, learning, a lot of laughter and love but also some tears as some of us had to say good bye to some dear friends and family members…
However, I tend to hang on to my usual wishful thinking and simply hope the new year can only get better – therefore I wish you all a wonderful new year! May it be filled with a tremendous amount of interesting and satisfying projects and as much laughter, love and joy as you can possibly endure.
And what better way to celebrate the beginning of a new year for someone who loves to do embroidery and to blog about it than to start it with a posting featuring ones favorite pastime? Well, you know me, I just can’t stay away from embroidery themed postings for long. *giggle* Yeah, I took a short break from embroidery to play with some wire jewelry and to learn some new techniques but now I am back, my (embroidery) “batteries” are recharged and i am eager to share some more embroidery with you!
But to cut a long story short: today we are taking a look at the rose leaf embroidery for the roses for my friends 14th century hood project – or to be more precise: my very first use of the so-called “silk shading” technique. Enjoy! 😀
Before we actually take a look at the following pictures which show you the very first working step concerning the leaf embroidery development – I took so many pictures of the individual steps that I decided to break down the embroidery process into more than one posting – I would like to start with an annotation concerning my slightly different take on the “silk shading” technique for this project:
Contrary to all depictions of the “silk shading” technique in relevant literature, I abstained from the usage of a row of split stitch along the edge of the area. This split stitch edge, which would normally be covered by the “long and short stitch” later, has the purpose to give “a good edge to the work” and to “…raise one design edge over another”. (Reference: Royal School of Needlework – Embroidery Techniques; text by Sally Saunders, designs by Anne Butcher & Debra Barrett; ISBN: 9780713488173; available at Amazon.com and Amazon.de) However, in this specific case I actually wanted to maintain the inclination towards the outside of the section.
Furthermore – whenever possible – I prefer to work from the outside into the already established embroidery surface, which is the second difference to the depictions of the “silk shading” technique in literature. However, this fact is not really important today and will make much more sense when you read my next posting about the second layer of the silk shading for the rose leaves… 🙂
…and after pointing out the two major differences in my work in relation to the “silk shading” technique in literature, let’s proceed with the pictures of the actual embroidery:
As you can see on the picture above, I started with my very first stitch in the upper middle section of the leaf. This stitch was then followed by a quite short stitch (about half as long as the first one) and then again with a longer stitch and so on…
This combination of long and short stitches is quite common for the silk shading technique and is called the “Long and Short Stitch”.
Due to the fan-shaped and slanted arrangement of my long and short stitches along the outer border of the leaf, you can hardly recognize the long and short stitch in the next picture but it is worked in this technique:
…as you can see in the following picture:
…and after finishing the left side, I proceeded with the right side:
And after finishing the first layer in a lighter green silk thread, I had to secure the thread as I wanted to switch to a darker color for the second, inner layer in order to give the leaf a more natural, three-dimensional appearance.
Now you might ask – how can I secure a thread without a knot when I just embroidered such a small section? Well, the solution for the problem is quite easy – you simply use the backside of your embroidery:
Just about 3 or 4 simple back stitches through the backside of your embroidery and the thread will never unravel – especially not after you worked your second layer of silk shading over the first layer!
Which just reminds me that I didn’t tell you yet how I actually started my thread for this section. Well, this was also rather simple. As silk shading and fine embroidery like these anyway calls for a fine cotton backing, I simply started with some backstitches through the cotton layer at the backside.
If you look back at the first picture which shows my very first stitch, you will not even see the green silk shining through the white silk fabric at the front as the padding between the layers masks it. However, if you use the backside to secure your stitches, I highly advise you to stay within the border of the sections you are going to fill in later as this can safe you a lot of trouble in so many cases…
Yeah, been there, done differently, lost a lot of swearwords and learned from it! It’s definitely important to stay in the sections you want to embroider! Especially when you are using red and white but that’s another story! 😉 [emember_protected not_for=3-4 do_not_show_restricted_msg=1]
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Well, I know, this was quite a long posting for just the very first layer of silk shading but nevertheless, I hope you found it interesting. And more about how I added the second layer of color in my next posting which should follow soon! Stay tuned my friends!
More postings about the rose embroidery for this 14th century hood project can be found here:
- More about the rose embroidery for my friends hood .1 – the preparatory work
- -“- .2 – starting the surface couching
- -“- .3 – my surface couching embroidery for the center of the roses
- -“- .4 – a little pelican and the red silk embroidery around the middle
…and even more postings about this 14th century hood project for my friend, Elisenda de Luna can be found here: