This is something completely new for me! I’m going to apply gold kid to the first panel of the Fallen Leaves project. Gold kid is thin leather which has a very thin sheet of gold foil adhered to the top. The thickness of the gold kid is about the same as a piece of thin felt. Kid is usually stitched onto the fabric over a piece of felt padding or bumf (which is soft cotton string used for goldwork). The kid is raised off the ground fabric by either the felt or the bumf. As you can tell from the title of this post, I love the word “bumf”!

The bumf will be sewn down on the vein lines of the large maple leaf at the front of the design. The gold kid will then be attached over it so the vein lines are raised.

The first step is to measure the length of bumf that you need for each line.  I cut mine a bit longer to allow for error. Beginning in the middle of the piece of bumf, I stitched in onto the fabric with couching stitches about 2 mm apart in yellow cotton thread.


When I reached one end of the bumf I didn’t want an abrupt end but rather a tapered end to the stem shape. This bumf is made of 4 cotton strands twisted together. In order to make a

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Coming along on Fall colors

I am loving this Fall Colors crewel work piece! The texture of the wool, the gorgeous colors and the new stitches are all invigorating. I look forward to working on it every day. Would I say that crewel work is my favorite kind of embroidery? Today, yes!

This darling leaf is done with battlemented couching. It’s a grid of vertical and horizontal lines shaded from light to dark or dark to light. Inside each square are french knots. I used this stitch once before on a small piece, again worked in Renaissance wool. I think it even looks like battlements!

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Fall Colors Crewel progress

Fall weather has begun in Berlin. Where I grew up, fall weather meant cool, sunny days. Here it means rain; lots and lots of rain.

Rain changes how I look at things and how things look. Can you see how the color of the fabric in the two photos below looks quite different?  The photo on the left was taken on a sunny day – the best light in which to photograph embroidery. The colors are warm and sunny. The one on the right was taken on a rainy day, inside with a flash. It looks dreary.

This rainy weekend I spent inside, stitching. My first task was to fix that mess of sloppy blanket stitch and overly fussy lattice couching that I’d done on the Fall Colors crewel piece.

Remember my first effort at squared lattice work? The result was not what I’d envisioned. After I took it out and reworked it with fewer, more widely spaced stitches it looked cleaner and less fussy. I added a detached chain stitch in the center of each empty square and reworked the dark green blanket stitch sepal. It’s a question of scale. I thought small space = small stitches. In this case, I tried to cram too much into the small space. The wider spacing gives the design room the breathe. Continue reading