Thursday, February 22, 2018

I really should know better....

... than to put my work aside before finishing the metal thread tails on the back!!!

I know nothing worse than having to start a 'stitching session' by finishing yesterdays tails, and if it wasn't because I had a looming deadline for this project it would most likely be sidelined for quite some time before I would make myself tidy it up so that I can move on.

But as I said... I have a deadline. So, after deep breath (and a bit of silent swearing at myself) I started today by finishing what I should have done yesterday.


Although this is a rather fine Imitation Jap (T70), I use a lasso to sink the tails. You can do threads this fine just by threading the tip of the tail into a very large (no.18) chenille needle, but I find it causes less damage to the metal using the lasso.
Slowly, slowly, one tail at a time.

Then on to the back. I am convinced this type of work is more time consuming on the back than on the front. The tails are stitched down securely - again: slowly, slowly, one at a time...

Then the excess can be trimmed away... and then onto the next.
As you can see on the finished tails in the background there is a lot of cotton thread core showing. That is because, in very tight spots or when I have a lot of tails, I will often strip the metal from the thread core to reduce bulk. It is a little trick I learned when I worked at The Society of Church Art (Selskabet for Kirkelig Kunst) in Copenhagen years ago.
Of course you need to be very, very careful when doing this. If you strip the metal too hard, will unravel onto the front and the cotton core will show at the edges.

To avoid this, I start by working three, tight overcast stitches to hold the tail securely at the base...

.. then I trim the tail and gently unravel the metal back to the point where it is stitched down. I then trim that tiny bit of metal and stitch the rest of the tail securely down.

And so (hours later) a neat and tidy little pomegranate is getting closer to being finished.

I looked over at my work tray.. a jumbled mess of threads, tools and notes...

Inspired by my now neat and tidy tails,

Oh and what am I working on?
I have not entirely been sworn to secrecy but I can't show you the whole piece (yet). It is intended for something quite special later in the year...

... but here is a teeny-weeny sneak peak of the plan before I started.

I am now going to enjoy finishing my little pomegranates before moving onto the many stems.
Happy Stitching,
Anna x


  1. Thanks for sharing Anna. I am about to start my RSN Certificate basic goldwork piece so this was useful.

    1. Hi I am glad you found it helpful. Have fun with your course. Anna x

  2. Mmmmnnnn, thank you for the tips for more effective work, Anna.

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  4. I find it much easier to use a curved needle to secure the tails at the back of the work

    1. Hi Sue. Thanks for sharing that hint. I have tried, but I am absolutely hopeless at using a curved needle. Perhaps it is just a matter of practise. Anna x

  5. That is very tedious. But wow! The result is supremely gorgeous. I love the sneak peek. Even your drawing is gorgeous!

    1. Believe me Caroline - it IS tedious, but also very rewarding when it is all done.

  6. Hi Anna, it took me a while to find your blog, but here I am :). Your embroidery work is absolutely beautiful, it's very special. I assume that it's in 1:1 scale not in "our" miniature 1: 12 scale??
    Kind regards, Ilona
    PS Thank you for comments on my blog. I'll now subscribe for becoming a follower of your blog, but the problem is that since a few years my blog/picture won't show up in the followers list of others, I'm sorry in advance if this again happens. This has all to do with my issues with blogspot, not with me.

    1. Hi Ilone, I am so sorry I didnt' see your comment sooner :-( I always forget to check the 'awaiting moderation' page! Thanks for your lovely comments. Yes 1:1 but who knows what might happen now I have caught the mini bug. LOL


Picking up

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