Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Karahan - First Petal

I took the day off on Good Friday to extend the long weekend and meet with my Japanese embroidery group. We meet once a month, but there is a smaller group that meets on Fridays and I really wanted to work stitching that first petal.

This petal is the largest of the bunch and needs to get stitched first as we always work from foreground to background. Before starting thought, I put in a thin karayori thread to help maintain the empty space. It's the little purple thread that's sticking out.

Spacing isn't the only important thing in this piece, curves and edges are very important as well. The sharp edges, when stitched correctly and maintained throughout, will give a lovely "vein" to the petal.

It takes a while for it to come out, but after about six rounds it starts showing up. The picture below is my progress from Friday. 

One of my objectives for the long weekend was to complete this petal by Monday, so I continued working on it on Saturday. This was supposed to be a few days work, but I got so into the flow of things that I just kept going. Every time I wanted to stop, I'd look at what was left and just keep going.

Until it was all done. Just to give you an idea, that petal took around 14 hours of stitching. I deeply regret doing it in two days, it's too much goldwork for the eyes. At the same time, the big hurdle is over and the rest of the petals should go a little quicker.

Looking at the list of items to do before class on Saturday, I have the important stuff done. I could work on the stems for the trefoils as I picked up the missing threads. On the other hand, I need a break from this piece so maybe I won't. If I do work on it this week, it would be to put in the karayori thread to prep the petals on either side of the one I just completed.

  • Complete padding the turnover - Done
  • Put in the karayori spacing between the turnover and the petal - Done
  • Start and complete the first petal. Once I start, I have to commit and complete it as we need the #4 gold for lesson 3 - Done
  • Stems for the trefoils elements. I need to pick up some twisted gold for this - threads were picked up
  • Extra: if the first petal is completed and I have time, stitch the curled stem that is next to it
I received a question on my last post from an Unknown commenter, asking where I purchase the patterns and pieces. All the Japanese Embroidery I've worked on so far are phase pieces and can be purchased from the Japanese Embroidery Center in Atlanta. Keep in mind tuition is not included when you buy a kit. If there is interest, I can do a separate post to explain how it works for a student starting up.


  1. It is very easy to just keep going, sometimes beyond the point when you should have stopped (I've done that too!), but you've done a really good job, even if you do need to rest your eyes now!

  2. This is looking so beautiful. I think your work is so neat and precise too.

  3. Wow, that looks great but gee, 14 hours?! That thing is HUGE!