Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Japanese Embroidery Phase 4 - Finished!

Things progressed very fast on Karahana since my last post. As we got closer to the class date, the pressure was on. Right after my last post, I completed the turnovers.

I don't normally stitch Japanese embroidery during the work week, but plunging I can do. So in the interest of saving time, I got those ends plunged and tied down. Here is a peek at the back of the piece.

The stems took a weekend to stitch and plunge. The trefoil stems are embroidered using staggered diagonal, but the longer stem is stitched using couched gold. I had a hard time at the beginning, but once I got the trick it got easier. The trick that worked for me, is not to fix my gaze straight down at the stem but to set it far. The same way you would while doing a turn driving. Not sure why that worked for me, I think it was more a psychological thing.

Here it is all done! It's a dream come true as I've been wanting to stitch this design since I saw one in person way back in 2011. As we're still not meeting in person, I ended up doing the finishing process (pasting and steaming) with my group over zoom. It was a good experience and I won't be so nervous for the next one.

I do my own stretching at home. Here I am holding Karahana right before I went to drop it off at my framer.

I decided on a gold frame with a black lacquer inner frame and no matting. I really love the simplicity of it.

The next phase covers cord techniques. Right now, I have no plans to start phase 5 until I complete Hiogi which is my combined phase 2-3. My hope is that I will complete it before the end of the year, so I will have to work hard. I really have no excuses as it's very close to a finish.


  1. OMG--this is so beautiful. I thoroughly understand about the need to look at your stitching from a distance. I learned a similar trick when sewing my own garments--not to look at the sewing machine needle, but instead concentrate on managing the direction of the fabric (the needle took care of itself).

  2. Wow, that went very fast now, and already finished and framed too! It's absolutely stunning, well done. And it was interesting to see the back, it looks so different with the gold work!