Monday, September 24, 2018

Japanese Embroidery Phase 1 - Flax Leaf Effect

I set myself a goal this weekend to stitch the flax leaf effect on the wrapping paper. As I mentioned in my previous post, my first attempt wasn't that great. I had a terrible time seeing where my needle should be coming up. Between the dark color of the silk and the shining metallic thread I was going blind.

For my second attempt, I changed things around.

  • I decided to stitch from the top to the bottom. One, to see if my second attempt is better than the first. Second, by going from top to bottom the shiny stitched areas will not be in my direct line of sight.
  • Stitch next to a window with natural light. This will reduce the goldwork glare
  • We were discussing the flax leaf effect and someone from our group mentioned coming up slightly below the center of the triangle. I'd been aiming for the center which explains why my proportions were all wrong.

With those three changes, I got much better results. By the afternoon I had the main body of the wrapping paper stitched.

By the end of my stitching session I was relying on my desk lamp so there was lots of glitter and shadows. Despite that, I decided to keep pushing and finish the edges. It's important to understand the motif in order to do the partial stitches on the edge since you have to recreate the same angles.

I can't stop looking at the wrapping paper, it's so pretty. I find I like the process of the layered techniques. I'm looking forward to starting the phase 2-3 piece which has a few areas that are stitched in a similar manner.

The next session on the piece will be all about Japanese knots. I want to get the bush clover flowers done so I can stitch the iris blade leaves. While I'm doing those I will also get the chrysanthemum centers and valerians done.


  1. The honeycomb look on the wrapping paper is beautiful. Lots of dimension.

  2. It looks gorgeous - very well done indeed!

  3. Oh gosh, that turned out really pretty, well done! I can't believe after you got so much done, there is still that much more left to do.

  4. Amazing! It looks fantastic Dima! The wrapping paper really does seem to steal the show! It’s interesting that you found it easier to work under natural light. I’ve found that with any goldwork I’ve done, but thought it may have just been my eyes not being able to adjust to the glare!

  5. Wow, that looks stunning, well worth persevering and trying in a different way.