Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Starting something new...

It is always exciting to start a new project, don't you think?
The little piece I am about to start is one I have been wanting to embroider for a very, very long time. It is a newpiece of Or Nue.
A poppy this time...

I find wild poppies so immensely beautiful with their delicate, papery petals and strong, vibrant colour. I am not entirely sure how I will go about creating it in metal thread, which is so very fare from 'delicate and papery'. It will be a bit of a challenge, one I am looking forward to....

I don't always prepare a colour sketch for new designs - often just making it up as I go. Or Nue is close to impossible to unpick and it would be a shame to get halfway through it and realise the placement of colour is not right. The tricky part with this design is that the individual shapes (petals) overlap and I will need to find a way to define them or it will end up just looking like a red blob...

So I decided I needed to think it through.. just a bit, to a bit more of a clear idea how to distribute the colours - even if I will only be working with three colours over the gold. It is only a very rough sketch, but I think it enough as a reference for when the 'real' work begins.

I use a light box to get the line drawing onto the silk. It is marked with a 0.1 acid free permanent pen. It is rare I use anything else than these fabulous pens. You can get the most delicate lines it doesn't bleed and unlike pencil, it will not rub off or fade. The only thing to keep in mind, is to only mark lines that are certain to get covered with stitches.

If you want to try them, just look for Sakura Micron, they are available from most good art suppliers. I find black a little too harsh, so use brown / sepia for most things. The colour works well on most fabrics, even darker colours such as the deep sea green I am using for this project.

I always use a backing fabric when working with metal threads. The backing serves to stabilise and support the upper layer. Metal threads are heavy and in the case of Or Nue there are so many tiny and dense stitches, that stitching without backing is impossible. I don't use a heavy backing for small projects like this one, just calico. I wash it in really hot water is to remove any chemicals. To further stabilise it and make sure it doesn't stretch at all while I stitch, I fuse a woven interfacing onto it. I find that by doing that I get a perfectly stable backing, that will not stretch without it being too heavy. When I layer the fabrics, I place them so the interfacing is trapped between the layers. It seems to work.

Ready to pop into the hoop. I use one with both rings bound when I use backed silk. The silk is so slippery that no matter how careful you are and how tight the hoop is, it slowly slides out if the top ring is not bound.
I am ready...

I hope you too is having a lovely Tuesday
Anna x


  1. Hi Anna ,Looking forward to seeing your poppy project coming along. have you fused the woven interfacing on to the calico or the silk ? I,m just thinking about doing a piece with silk threads on silk myself .Do you fuse the woven interfacing on to the silk fabric or the calico ? The lady in our local haberdashery shop didn't have a clue ? : ) Debs

  2. Looking forward to watching thw progress on this one, Anna. I am sure that it will look gorgeous ☺


Picking up

Dear Friends, First of all; a Big, No HUGE  Thank You  from the bottom of my heart for all the sweet and heartfelt messages you sent me foll...