Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Summer Hydrangea scroll

Just got out of a four day class with Mary Alice Sinton. I worked mostly on the Hydrangea scroll as Camellia was well described in the French book. Mary Alice figured out what the ichimatsu (checkboard) pattern is that constitutes the chi (earth) section of the scroll (ichimonji-ge?). I made three rows of 7 mm grid squares with couching thread, to be filled with flat gold. Even though the ten (heaven) section of the scroll is not shown in the color chart, I think I'll do it with two rows of flat gold checkerboard - even though the ten is supposed to be half the height of the chi. I hope my interpretation is not too far from the true Japanese tradition. I looked at the JEC's Hydrangea piece again, and it is truly a scroll - it is listed as being 36 inches long. Fortunately I only got the 15 inch, so I don't have to (can't) finish it as a scroll.
As the fabric is translucent, I have to be careful not to let the threads show through from the underside.

I used about 2.5 strands of flat gold so far - and only wasted less than a quarter strand. It turns out really really nice!

I also did a few hydrangea petals and the flower centers.

Going on vacation in the next 2 weeks, so taking a break from stitching!


  1. It looks lovely! I'm trying to explore ways that flat gold can be used (not necessarily the JEC way). Please can you tell me how you attached the flat gold to the fabric? Did you somehow pass it through the fabric? Or maybe it is couched?

    1. The flat gold was stitched, and for this piece it was not couched, giving it the slightly rounded look where they go into the fabric; and afterwards I crimped it to sharpen the edges. You need a loose fabric and a needle with a big eye, otherwise the gold would not survive. I wasted a lot of gold before I got it right. These are Japanese flat gold, and may be different than other flat gold. Because the stitches were short, they were not couched, as opposed to this piece, where I couched: http://hgotts.blogspot.com/2013/05/flat-gold-solved.html. Hope this helps!