I recently bought the book ‘Goldwork: techniques, projects and pure inspiration’ by Hazel Everett, as I kept seeing glowing reviews about it everywhere. I don’t usually do ‘pure’ goldwork embroidery myself, but I do enjoy adding gold threads to surface embroidery (such as outlining), so I thought that maybe I’d pick up some tips about how to incorporate more gold threads into my embroidery.
I was really imppressed with this book – the other reviews that I’d seen hadn’t been exaggerating! The book has 144 pages, and is a large format paperback, published by Search Press, who have a good reputation for craft books. There are lovely full colour photos throughout, and clear diagrams where techniques are being explained.
But it’s the detail in this book that make it so special. The double page spread explaining about the different kinds of needles that can be used for goldwork is really informative, for instance.
Types of gold thread are covered in detail, as are what equipment you’ll need, what order of work is best, how to add beads, and so on. Page after page of inspirational images make you want to get started NOW!! Several times throughout the book a simple outline, such as a leaf, is depicted using many different goldwork techniques – both for outlining stitches and filling stitches.
Towards the end of the book are the projects. These vary a lot in style and difficulty, so there should be something for everyone. I loved the Elizabethan needlebook project on page 126, stitched on a gorgeous maroon silk dupion with trellis goldwork, pearl beads and several types of gold thread.
This book would be a very worthwhile addition to your bookshelf.
The book is widely available (e.g. Amazon), Published by Search Press, and costs £17.99 ISBN 978 1 84448 626 7
This is another of the Sufi-inspired designs I have been stitching during the past winter. I made this one as a gift for a friend, as he was going to take his Sufi Initiation, and I wanted to make him a present.
The design is the emblem of the Sufi Ruhaniat International spiritual movement that I belong to. The emblem signifies the idea that when the heart is responsive to the Divine Spark, it becomes enlightened.
The box is black satin, and I bought it from Viking Loom of York. It measures about 3 1/2 inches by 2 by 2 high. The fabric I stitched on is black silk Dupion (from my stash – can’t remember where I got that from!). The red kid leather heart ‘fabric’ I bought from Golden Hinde, a really good online goldwork supplier, who sell lots of colours of fine kid leather, in small pieces. I padded the heart shape first with a smaller heart cut from felt, then stab stitched the kid leather in place over the top.
To start with, I traced the design onto tissue paper and transferred it to the fabric using sewing thread in a gold colour, then ripped off the tissue, leaving the design in running stitches clearly showing. I unpicked the sewing thread as I did the goldwork – any tufts of thread that I omitted to get out didn’t show, as the yellow almost matched the gold thread colour 🙂
The wings are stitched in chain stitches, with the outer row having the addition of a straight stitch added to the centre space after the whole row has been completed. It took a while to get both left and right sides to have equal numbers of ‘feathers’, but I’ve made lots of these boxes now, and it does get easier with practice!
The finished stitching was laced onto the padded card former that comes with the box, and then the stitching was glued into the lid with PVA glue.
I’ll post more examples of this design later, as using different colourways makes a lot of difference to the impact of this design – but this is one of the boldest!