It is the second time I stitch the centre of the poppy. The first attempt turned out nothing like what I had hoped, but this time I am happy.
First a tiny circle of kid leather raised over two layers of felt padding. To tone the very shiny gold down a bit (I find kid can be a bit 'in-your-face' shiny if you are not careful) and to imitate the seed pod centre of a poppy, I placed detached chains over the top before neatening the edge with a single round of stem stitch.
Another two rounds of stem stitch with brown silk and it is ready for the gold threads. A single gold thread at first, couched in place with the finest of brown silk.
Tiny stitches closely side by side with only the tiniest of gaps here and there to allow the gold to shine through just a little bit.
Halfway around and the second gold thread is joined in - always along the inside of the first. By joining it this way, you get a much smoother start to a circle than if you simply started the two threads together.
First round complete and a few red stitches are sneaking in amongst the brown...
The beauty of using silk threads as fine as these (Pipers Floss Silk) is that I can get the stitches super dense in places without them distorting the smooth curve of the metal threads.
More red and less brown. The dark stitches are placed over the marked lines and red is filling in the gaps.
I add the second shade of red as the brown thread is finished. From now on I will be using just these two colours to fill the petals. At first, I place two or three dark red stitches placed closely side by side at the marked lines along a short section at a time before the lighter shade is used between.
I will need to pay really close attention to the shading in this project - I am still worried it might end up being just a red blob.
As with thread painting, I can create shading by the use of colour, but one of the challenges I love about Or Nue is to also use the density of stitches to create shading. If I stitched all the lines in dark dark and used the lighter shade to fill the shapes, I would still get a poppy, but I think it would look flat and stiff. I want to try and achieve the light movement of a real flower - the look of the light shining through the the papery petals.
Stitch by stitch, around and around... each time taking a little longer but (thankfully) the red blob is slowly taking shape and the shapes of petals are starting to appear.
My goal is to stitch a round a day (at least those days I am not working) but as the rounds grow in size, I may well have to rethink that goal...
Enjoy the rest of your week.