Monday, August 27, 2018

Japanese Embroidery Phase 1 - Pinks

Last week I stitched the second branch of bush clover leaves on the right. At this point, I have five leaves left to do but I'm blocked as they are behind the pinks. Those dreaded pinks! I made it a goal that I would figure them out at our monthly meeting on Saturday.

So far I've been okay with every element I've had to stitch but these flowers we're just not working for me. I made a few attempts for the little time I had on Saturday (I had to leave early to attend a BBQ) but I was just getting frustrated. I had a very hard time imagining where each stitch should go.

I had received a sheet with tips on how the stitches should lay and noticed that the stitches on each petal formed an overall circle on the flower. So Sunday, I did some math and came up with a ratio. I marked out a circle within the petals and that would be my guide line for the first row of stitches. The first line has alternating stitches. My first stitch would touch the line and the second stitch, starting below the first, will end below the line. With this guide, I only had to make sure my stitches were all of equal length.

Once that first row was in, everything just fell into place and I was able to put in the second row.

I think in this situation I was blocking myself. Everything had been going too easily for me on this piece that as soon as I couldn't figure it out on the first go, I got frustrated. Next time, I need to take a step back and find a solution that works for me instead of just getting annoyed and giving up. This is supposed to be fun and relaxing.

There are three pinks in the piece and I got two out of three partially done. Partially done because there is one more row to go at the center of the flowers.

The last row is done using Japanese imitation gold. Before I can use it, I need to unwind the hank. In the meantime, getting those two flowers done means I can finish the leftover bush clover leaves.

A had a bit of time left for stitching Sunday evening and figured I'd get that last chrysanthemum done. This is the flower that wasn't mentioned in our chart. I asked around and decided to go with flat stitching and no padding.

An overall view of my piece that is now less empty on the right. This week if I have time I want to finish the last bush clover leaves and unwind my hank of imitation gold. If I get those two things done, I'll be set for the coming long weekend.


  1. I really love seeing this piece come together Dima! Your stitching is sublime.

  2. Stunning colors. Beautifully stitched.

  3. Even if you blocked yourself for a while, you managed to come un-blocked, and what's more you've given yourself something else to try when a similar problem faces you. You might find the Dreaded Pinks are the most useful part of this piece for your development as an embroiderer!

  4. Looking wonderful! Love your using math in your embroidery!

  5. That was a lot of progress . those pinks were a big chunk of the overall composition and I'm glad you got over your block with them!