Illuminated Floral Stumpwork Panel – 6

This photo has come out a little bit more realistically than previous ones (my camera doesn’t like taking photos of black silk). The thread colours are really jewel-like, and this image gives a hint of that.

This week, I’ve been working on filling in the scroll on the left of the panel by Alison Cole. The outline is couched in gold Elizabethan Twist, using Gutermann thread. The ‘points’ work out more successfully if they are done as two separate lengths, as, even with tweezers to pinch the tip, it is hard to get a sharp point simply by turning the gold thread back on itself. It is better to take the thread to the back, and re-emerge a short distance away before continuing. To colour in the scroll with the silk thread, Alison suggests working a couple of rows of stem stitch filling in from each of the sides, then filling in the centre gap last (rather than working from one side to the other), which I found to work very well.

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Before stitching the scroll, I worked the stems for the currants and blackberries – both of these have gold kid leather leaves, like the forget-me-nots did.  I really enjoyed making the redcurrants – they are made using a largish red bead, which is then wrapped carefully with one strand of red thread, and just before finishing off the thread, a tuft of black and gold threads together are secured in the top end of the berry. Leaving a tail of red thread enables you to attach the currants to the fabric. The blackberries were also great fun to make. I was very pleased with these! They need a tiny layer of black felt for padding, then little iridescent purple and blue-black beads are sewn all over the black felt, creating the berry. The sepals were a pain, though! They are really tiny needlelace picots, and they are each only about a quarter of an inch long, made after the berries (so there’s hardly any room to manoevre the needle). They look great now they’re finished….but I’m so pleased they’re finished! They are a bit ‘loose’, and not very tidily-woven, but they are lucky to be there at all, and not in the ort heap! This image below shows how ‘raised’ the berries are, and how much they catch the light:

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