Brushstrokes, blackwork and a piece of silk

The above title refers to the basic ingredients of my latest embroidery endeavour. It was a bit of a fiddly project as it involved several discrete stages. Here is the outcome.IMG_0511

The base fabric was a simple white calico, supplied by Jane, our tutor. On to this I applied a few brushstrokes with acrylic paint, again supplied by Jane. Very rarely touch paint, at least not intentionally. But this was pretty straightforward as it was just a couple of slanting lines in a lovely cobalt blue. Onto this I then stitched some blackwork, in this case, a zigzag pattern. Though just to be awkward I used a couple of strands of cotton thread in very dark garnet.

The centre part was worked separately using a piece of very fine silk. This was part of a silk hanging which we bought in France way back in 1981! For years it has just been lying around unloved in some box. So to put it out of its misery I decided to use bits of it for embroidery. The fabric is so fine that I had to iron on some backing material in order to make it firm enough for stitching. I then drew some lines on the silk, including a now traditional spiral. I wanted something bright for this part of the design, so I used all six strands of Artsilk threads – a mixture of rayon and silk. The blue is a Royal Blue and this was done in heavy chain stitch – two lines for the spiral.  The central line is in whipped stem stitch in Vermillion. The finished silk section was then just glued onto the calico background. Not quite square, but then little, if any, of my work is perfectly square.

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