Wow! What a contrast there is in the time taken to do goldwork vs blackwork! Blackwork takes forever…and ever…and ever. It’s very meditative and I love it, but it does go s – l – o – w – l – y. Couching gold passing thread, in comparison, flies along at the speed of light. This week I’ve been busy couching all the heart, flower and leaf shapes on the Blackwork Hearts and Flowers project and it didn’t take long. Here’s one of the tulips all finished.
As I finished more of the passing thread outlines, I could see that all of you were correct – as was my husband – about the beading. The gold paillettes are a much better choice for the overall design. They’re now all done and sparkle beautifully in the sunlight streaming through my studio window.
This has been a lovely project to work on. One of the things I’ve liked best is that it could be broken down into manageable parts – text, brown branches, holly leaves in check thread, holly leaves in silk and the border in gold passing thread. Each used a different technique/stitch and each could be done in an evening. I could see progress throughout the week as I stitched after school or after dinner. What a good feeling!
One of the advantages of visiting Benton and Johnson was being able to see so many of their threads in person. As I mentioned earlier it’s difficult for me as a beginner to goldwork to imagine how metal threads look and feel from a photo or a description. Traditional gold threads aren’t so difficult because it’s quite easy to find loads of photos in books and on the internet of gold threads in pieces of embroidery. Here’s some gold purl – I just love the shimmer and sparkle of gold!
But there are other options in metal threads; ones I hadn’t considered using until I saw them “up close and in person”.