Friday, December 9, 2011

Japanese Embroidery

I woke up to snow this morning. The dusting on the evergreen bushes and lawn was pretty.  The sheet of glaze ice on the sidewalks and streets was not. I had an amazing amount of trouble trying to get the car door open with my arms full of packages going to the post office. I'm glad no one had a camera filming my flailing and struggles!  I finally managed and went off to physical therapy and then took everything to the post office.  another task done!
We held our monthly Japanese embroidery meeting a week late this month--it was yesterday. I got a lot done--all of the second layer of the fan blade laid and tied down.  The photo really highlight spots where the bottom layer was moved out of place--I can tweak it back into place easily. (Finding things like this is one reason I like to photograph my work as I go along.)

I also learned a lot this week. A few weeks ago I lamented that I'd laid some of my basting lines right on top of the design lines and I'd had to go over them to cover the design lines. Hmmm, well. I didn't.  Ruth reminded me that a gold border that goes around each fan blade and that covers the design lines.  I'm not taking it all out--it's just going to be a slightly fatter fan blade. But I'll know better when I do the other blades. 

I was very careful as I laid this second layer. It should form equilateral triangles and the third layer of the hemp-leaf pattern goes on top of this. If this second layer isn't even, then the third layer is more difficult to do.  I used both my triangle and a sheet from a set of 7mm guidelines on a transparency. Between the two and measuring each stitch carefully, the triangles came out pretty accurate. (These transparency sheets also come in handy for crewel fillings.)

I want to begin on some of the flower and leaf motifs, but I need to get some of the other solid fan blades completed first. (In Japanese embroidery you stitch the foreground before the background, the opposite of most European-style embroidery.)  The other fan blades are all flat silk (this first one has a twisted silk foundation). Flat silk can be a challenge in winter, between static and rough hands. I'm working on keeping my hands in good shape.

I'm tracking the time spent on this piece. So far--15 hours (that includes mounting it on the frame and couching the design lines for accuracy). 

I've also worked a bit on my crewel piece. I plan to have a photo of that next week.


coral-seas said...

I am glad that you did not fall on the ice!

That is a beautiful green and you have done the first two layers beautifully - your triangles are very regular.

I am looking forward to watching you stitch this design - it is very similar to Suehiro which I enjoyed so much.

Anonymous said...

We've not had ice yet, but I'm sure it's coming.

I'm looking forward to seeing this develop. And yes, sometimes photos make it much easier to see things that you miss when looking at the real thing!