‘Wisdom’ envelope folder : getting started on the embroidery

A tracing of the design I’m going to embroider – it measures about 8 by 4 inches

I’ve spent a good few days thinking about the design for the front flap of the envelope folder that I’m going to embroider. I want it eventually to be quite heavily covered in stitches, so I’ve got to make sure that the fabric’s foundation is strong enough to take dense stitching.

Cotton batiste placed over the tracing on the light box, so I can transfer the design lines

I’m using my favourite method for transferring the design onto the fabric, which, fortunately, will  help to strengthen the Dupion silk fabric at the same time – I made a tracing of the design, then used a light box to re-trace from the paper tracing onto cotton batiste, turning the tracing paper over first to reverse the pattern. Then, I placed the cotton fabric on the back of the blue silk, stretching both into my hoop at the same time.

Sewing cotton matched to my embroidery threads

Now I’ve got a good few hours of work to do, going over the pencilled lines on the cotton fabric with tiny running stitches, to get the design to show on the *front*. It’s time-consuming, but actually quite a nice part of the project – while I’m slowly doing all this transferring of the design, I can really ‘get into’ the design itself, and plan exactly which stitches I’m going to use for each part. I could do all the running stitches in one colour of sewing cotton, but I make it more interesting by choosing sewing cottons which match, as closely as possible, the embroidery thread shades that I’ll later stitch with.

Starting to transfer the traced lines – this will be the reverse side, eventually
The ‘right side’ showing the transferred outlines

Maybe I’ll unpick each length of cotton as I go (usually I do anyway), but if the odd piece gets left in, then it won’t show much if the shades are similar. Anyway, it makes the design tracing stage more fun.


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Starting a new embroidery project : ‘Wisdom’ envelope folder

‘Shlama’ bag with Indo-Persian design and beaded fringe

Now that my ‘Shlama’ bag is finished, I want to start embroidering something new, but related to the bag in some way. I want this new project to still have an Aramaic word stitched on it, linking it to the contents, as I did with the bag (‘shlama’ in Aramaic means ‘peace’, which is the result I get from listening to my music and meditation tracks). So this folder will have the word for ‘wisdom’ in Aramaic embroidered on it, as the notes it will hold are to do with the Aramaic-themed audiobooks and guided meditations of Neil Douglas-Klotz which I listen to a lot.

I had originally intended the bag to be large enough to be able to keep A6 sized notes in, as well as my MP3 player, but as that wasn’t to be,  now I want to make some kind of an envelope folder to keep the notes in, separately. I’m still very much at the planning stage, but I’m getting ideas for the colour scheme – that’s usually the bit that sparks ideas the easiest, with me.

I found some gorgeous royal blue Dupion silk on a goldwork website, so that is going to be the background colour. I want the front flap of the folder to have heavy embroidery covering most of it, with more on the front pocket when the flap is lifted up.

Embroidery materials ready for my next project

So far, this is what I’ve collected together to use, either from my stash, or from ‘preliminary’ online shopping. I want the shades to be deep, on the whole, and most areas of embroidery to be outlined with gold thread and braid. I’ve bought some milliary wire to try, for some of the outlining – never used that before – and I’ve also got some shisha mirrors, and red and blue cabochons which I might incorporate somehow.

Most of the time, I use Anchor stranded cotton to embroider with, as that is the range that I use in the miniature embroidery kits that I sell on my website –  I keep a full set of the skeins, in shallow trays so it’s easy to choose the shades I want.

My trays of Anchor threads

I like the look of Rayon, but it drives me mad, the way it twists up all the time! Similarly, I get attracted by variegated thread – I’ve bought loads of the stuff, but it’s never *quite right* for any one project, so it just sits in a drawer…..

I’ve just bought some lovely pearl purl from Rajmahal, which is very tempting stuff, and I fell for a tiny piece of red kid leather, although I’ve no idea how to incorporate that, yet. And then there’s the gold beads – both size 11’s, and teeny tiny size 15’s.

I think this folder is going to take a while 🙂


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