Feb 22, 2010

Goldwork on Fan (Japanese)

Ah, how it sparkles, how it dazzles!  I DO love Goldwork and thank my lucky stars that I have had the fortune to learn solid techniques in this amazing type of surface embroidery.    Working Karahana was pure and simple bliss for me.  In that phase piece I learned many, many lessons that  could only be achieved through the time to work the repetition of technique.   This is the reason working phases is so instrumental in an embroiderer's journey.  Oh, do I look forward to all that lovely Goldwork in the Glove and Sake Boxes (ahem! I'll get back to Saki soon, I promise!).

I think that it will be a rare design that I create then stitch that will not include some Goldwork to it.  In the case of URU, I've chosen to follow the example of Hiogi fan and work the fan handle in gold.  My notes indicate that I used a #3 gold on Hiogi but to speed up the working of the area I chose #4.  Also, I chose to twist my own 1 into 2 couching thread in one of the darker medium pink tones to match the piece.  Most traditional goldwork is worked in orange, white, or gold.  Here, I break with tradition a bit to match the elements of my design.  I would have chosen gold thread if I had to stitch with traditional JE.

As with most of these pieces there are very good books and instructors out there I will not go too much into "how to".  My purpose is to simply share my stitching journey and some tips that may help you.  The following are several pictures that I thought you would enjoy of the stitched handle (hints at the bottom plus a wee surprise):

Helpful hints to remember: 
  • Keep your Koma as taunt as possible at all times.
  • Make sure your needle goes straight up and down.
  • You pay attention to where every other line in the metallic thread is and match your stitches accordingly.
  • Use a light box with a dimmer switch - well worth money, especially in poor light.
  • Make those corners very sharp, even in the inner rings of the round and round.
  • Take a deep breath and enjoy yourself, take a break if you get frustrated.  
  • Cover your stitched work where possible with paper (I use the really thin plastic so I can see my design) so the Koma doesn't roughen up your work.
  • Sinking the thread can sometimes be done much easier with a large eyed needle rather than a sinking needle.  
So, are you dying for that surprise I mention above?  Let me introduce Uguisu to you --

He's near completion with just the tail feathers left.  I can't believe how long this little guy has taken to stitch.  I've learned a lot from him and thank my dear wonderful Sansei for instruction on birds. He is un-named as of yet so please email me at ce@lilystitch.com if you have a suggestion.

Christa Evans


  1. Hi Christa

    I am so pleased that the comments are now working so I can tell you how much I am enjoying your embroidery :-)

  2. Really, really great little warbler. Congratulations. and your blossoms are fabulous. I'm working on last stages of an icon. Will post on Flickr when it's done. I just found your blog via Mary Alice. It's great, Christa!. Anne Gomes


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