The Persian Peony Tile is finally finished! I got up early this morning to work the final parts of the buds and before I knew it I was done. I did want to take it out in the sunlight and photograph the goldwork, but the weather isn't cooperating. In fact, it's supposed to rain, but so far not a drop has fallen.
I love the big peony with the huge bead in the center. It really gives a focal point to the piece. The rich colors are just stunning, especially next to the gold. I also love all the beads. I'm one of those people who think that adding beads to embroidery can only improve it.
Of course, when we look at our own work, we are always so critical. Now that I look at it, I should have reworked the detached petal on the left bud as it is shaped a little differently. But I don't think I will. One of my favorite parts of this is wrapping the pearl purl in the purple thread (or any color, for that matter). The purple and gold combination gives added interest to the border. This piece is a combination of gold work, silk embroidery, bead work and stump work. The beads and stump work are very understated, but added in just the right amounts, in my opinion.
As I've mentioned in an earlier post, I had problems with the technique our teacher, Jane Nicholas, used for the peony flower and buds. She recommends stitching the padding, whether straight stitch padding or felt pieces, then outlining the pieces in gold before finishing the embroidery. I followed this method for the peony flower, but decided to add the gold last for the buds. At least for me, this seemed to damage the gold much less that trying to embroider around it. I seemed to be always sticking the needle into the gold thread.
I also had a problem right in the beginning with putting the work into a hoop. First of all, the fabric was just a bit small for my hoop so I stitched strips of muslin to the sides. This gave some more room to pull on the fabric and get it good and tight in the hoop. But when I got home from the class, I took it out of the hoop and placed it in an Evertite frame. This worked wonderfully and I heartily recommend a frame for all of this type of embroidery in the future.
This piece is taken from Jane's latest book, Stumpwork & Goldwork Embroidery, inspired by Turkish, Syrian & Persian Tiles. It's an absolutely beautiful book and I recommend it for the projects and the inspiration it gives. If you like to see more of this book, please read Mary Corbet's review. What is really nice is that there is enough leftover materials from the kit to make one of the small rosettes in the book. I even have an extra of the big red bead in the peony flower.
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So what is next on the embroidery horizon? Goodness, I have so many things going. First of all, I'll frame up the Golden Pomegranate and try to get that finished, then see what to do next. Maybe some crewel work.