Illuminated Floral Stumpwork Panel – 2

The first step in stitching this Illuminated Floral design by Alison Cole is to transfer the pattern to the delustered satin. Alison recommends using dressmaker’s carbon, but I prefer to make a tracing of the main design lines onto dressmakers pattern tissue, and then tack through the paper onto the fabric. It’s much more time-consuming, but then there’s no risk of smudges getting onto the fabric from the carbon, and the tacking stitches can be unpicked as I stitch the embroidery if necessary, leaving ‘clean’ fabric behind.  The only problem I had with this stage was that the gold diamond wasn’t quite as neatly drawn onto the fabric as the pattern outline given in the instructions, so it was difficult to line the two up.

Tacking through the tracing paper to transfer the design
Tacking through the tracing paper to transfer the design

The gold diamond is *painted on*, with fabric paint – I had assumed, when I bought the kit, that it would be a separate piece of fabric, and would need to be appliqued on.


This is the fabric after all the tacking had been done. I used a beige/gold polyester cotton for the tacking, which showed up well on the black, but was almost invisible on the gold part – I didn’t really notice this until I tore off the tisse at the end of the tacking. That may cause me problems later, if I can’t quite see where I’m meant to be stitching! I have noticed already that getting the needle to go through the gold paint is a pain – the paint fills all the fabric holes, and makes the fabric really stiff. And I’ve got to do closely-placed satin stitches on this part! Oh dear….


The first stage of the actual embroidery is to couch gold thread around the border, and the edge of the gold diamond. This couching round the diamond helped to even out the wobbly edges of the paint somewhat, so it’s all looking a bit neater now, and I’m pleased with it. The stems of the flowers are chain stitched in Cascade House silk, whipped with gold thread. My whipped stitches aren’t nearly as neat as the ones on the kitfront photo, but I found the gold painted fabric a nuisance to stitch through at all, and to get the stitches neater I would have had to do much smaller chain stitches – and, therefore, many more ‘pushings’ though the fabric with the needle. I tried various other sizes of needle than the ones supplied with the kit, but nothing really helped. I’ve now got a hole in my finger 😦


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2 thoughts on “Illuminated Floral Stumpwork Panel – 2”

  1. Wow, that looks a bit daunting Janet!
    I can see the benefits of all that tacking before you actually start on the piece proper. Love the bright colours, it’s going to look beautiful when it’s done.
    Happy Stitching
    While I’m here, could I please ask you who it was you got the chart for the leaves from for your Celtic Autumn, as I’d like to do the same on mine. Hopefully she won’t mind sharing the chart and I’m quite happy to pay for it. Thanks

    1. I’ve emailed you privately about the chart, Sue.

      Yes, it does look a bit daunting at this stage, but I’ve used this method loads of times before, so I just have to trust it’ll be all right in the end!

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