Working on the center of the Millefiori brooch was the most fun and the most challenging. The brooch is so small – about 2 inches from top to bottom – everything must be attached in a very small space. Additionally, as more and more little pieces of metal thread are attached, it becomes more difficult not to bring the needle up in the middle of a previously attached piece of metal thread. If this happens – which it did! – the piece can be slightly damaged.
Below you can see that all of the colored purl has been attached along with the tiny beads. The instructions are clear, so doing the work wasn’t that difficult but it was fiddly. Often my needle would appear between the strands of passing thread on the side! Fortunately those passing threads are quite durable and didn’t show any damage as a result of my lousy aim!
The center rose and leaves were another thing altogether! I love using purl thread. In the piece I did a long time ago Colors of India, I worked s-ing with purl thread and really liked how it looked. In that case the little pieces of purl were laid on the fabric more or less in a row and not all grouped together to create a rose bud or leaves as they are on the brooch.
The first few pieces of purl thread for the rose went on just fine but then my inability to see through the fabric meant that eventually my needle did come up right in the middle of a previously attached piece of purl. You can see the results in the photo – see where the purl is slightly split? That’s the result of not having x-ray eyes. (Now, wouldn’t those be great?!)
Smoothing the purl with the end of a melor helps to take those splits out but not always completely. In the end, they don’t bother me in the least as the look of the brooch isn’t ruined in the slightest.
The last bit of bling to be added was the chip work. If you remember, I did loads of this on my RSN piece, The Bishops Crosier. I love this technique! It’s a comibination of metal thread work and mosaic. The trick is to fit the miniscule pieces of gold check into the space, angling them in different directions so the final result is a sparkly surface without any particular grain or pattern. It’s time consuming but I just love it!
Again, the needle did pop up too often where I didn’t want it to be but I just carried on. Later I went back and did my best at smoothing out the small bruises in the purl. Fortunately Jenny gives her readers some great tips about how to minimise those misplaced needle jabs in her instructions.
All the major stiching is done now. It looks beautiful don’t you think? All that’s left are some spangles and beads to attach, plunging the threads and contructing the brooch. Should be done soon!