Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Japanese Embroidery Phase 1 - Part 6

The weekend right after coming home from seminar we had a our monthly Japanese embroidery meeting.

Added the first three layers on the lattice

We've decided we will hold a Japanese embroidery stitching retreat in October right after Thanksgiving. There was also talk of maybe bringing a teacher in the spring to do phase 2. Now, I haven't been stitching as much as I should have on my phase 1 piece so I feel like I'm falling a little behind. It doesn't help that I had so many projects to finish before seminar. But now that that's over, I can finally spend more time on my bouquet.

I've decided that from now till October, I will be spending 90% of my stitching time on my piece to try and get as much of it done as I can.

My setup at home
With the pressure at work, I've only been able to work on it on the weekends and on Wednesdays. So far, I've stitched the weft of the second valerian. This will be covered with a lattice later.

 The purple and blue chrysanthemum stitched in flat silk. I really love stitching in flat silk.

I've heard that the bush clover leaves get annoying after a while as there are just so many of them.

I actually find them quite enjoyable to stitch, so I don't mind them as much. Still, I wouldn't want to have to stitch all 31 leaves at the end. What I'll start doing is whenever I don't feel like working on a major element, I will work on those.

I had started this orange chrysanthemum in class back in October. Later on I realized that I didn't stitch it properly. The petals are stitched one at a time with self padding underneath. We are not supposed to travel between petals. As you can see, there is a mess on the back of the fabric.

All of it had to come out. I did manage to save some of the twisted thread. I ended up using it for the padding under the petals.

I've been posting images on Instagram and received a lot of questions about the silk used in the piece. On the left you can see a reel of silk. This is how it comes when we buy it from the JEC. A lot of times, we'll use it as it comes from the reel: flat. And other times we'll combine multiple threads together to create a twist or even split a single thread to create multiple twists. The beauty of this is the stitcher can decide how thick or thin and how tight or loose the twist should be.

I have one more chrysanthemum to stitch this time in white (next to the blue one). I'm still trying to figure out HOW it's supposed to be stitched as it's not mentioned in the chart. I asked for advice on Facebook, just waiting to see what the majority says.

Now remember back in April when I lost one of my needles. Well, I was playing with my cut strands (because they're really soft) and my fingers encountered something that was hard. I look in the tin and spot something metallic and thin. It seems I might have thrown out my twisted brown silk with my needle still threaded on it. Good thing I don't throw my ORTs! It's the last place I would have expected to find my needle.

Here is an overall view of the piece.

There is still lots to do even on the elements I have already stitched. The only things really done is the blue iris and the bush clover leaves, if you don't count the stem.
  • The wrapping paper has two more layers on the lattice
  • The Valerian flowers have a lattice, as well as knots along the edges
  • The chrysanthemums have a few stitches in the center, as well as knots


  1. I think you're right to do the most numerous element in spells between the others. There's nothing quite so dispiriting as lots of identical elements to do when you're longing to be finished!

  2. It’s looking really lovely Dima. I admire your patience and skill at working Japanese Embroidery! I’ve never worked it, but I understand it is very regimented and exact. I like the idea of getting a tutor in for phase two. I’m sure you would get a lot out of it.

  3. This is so fabulous! I love the look of this thread and your stitches are beautiful.

  4. This piece is just gorgeous. I love how smooth the threads are and the vibrant colours, especially that orange.

  5. So very pretty and it looks so perfect!

  6. It's so pretty! I can see why you would love stitching with the silks, they are sooo shiny and I bet they feel soft and smooth as well. I'm not exactly sure what you did differently on the orange chrysanthemum, but it does look very pretty now.