How not to do drapery!

Before finishing the right wing, the background pattern had to be filled in.  Putting the basting lines on the ground at the points of the diamonds helped a bit (thanks for the suggestion, Mike) but the short rows were still a counting nightmare!  It was definitely a little easier on the longer runs on the side.  If I was to do this again, I would try the pattern first in a small area to ensure I could follow it and finish in a timely manner!  Finishing up the lovely little feathers on the right wing was a joy in comparison.  Just look at how the colours glow in the light of my magnifier!

The drapery has taken ages too.  I couldn’t get comfortable with the many horizontal folds of the seated angeI.  I had done a little sample of the technique I wanted to use and knew it would be difficult to cover the padding with rows of passing because it takes more threads to up, along and down than just over the vertical padding.  So I tried painting, pencil crayon and colouring a black and white image, I even tried putting my husband to work as a model and simplifying the drape! I lost track of the fact it was to be a 16th century project and found myself adrift on a sea of green pseudo or nué… not just the colours, but I was counting again and filling in areas like a paint by number!  One of the issues was that the third colour I chose was much finer than the others and didn’t show up as it should so I had to go back and add a second stitch.  I kept on stitching, hoping it would eventually come together, I tried adding the lines to define the folds in one strand of green, two strands of green, black… nothing was working.  Finally, I was wasting so much time that I had to give it up and start over.  It all came out in a fraction of the time it took to put it in but what a mess I made of the linen with the lines marking the areas.  Also, having sunk the gold threads weakened the cloth and I ended up with a hole that needed to be darned!   What a week!

Back to the original plan… and the passing went in quite smoothly in a morning!  The horizontal areas are a little loose but I’m hoping they will adjust when the shading goes in.  Stay tuned…

Taking a break from the drapery, I decided to work on the harp.  I was never quite sure about the silver so I’m trying a wooden harp instead.  Early stitches but I’m liking it better so far.  I will put a nice little floral or knot design on the brown and highlight with gold…

My lovely little angel project seems to have taken on a bit of a life of its own and is taking much longer than planned. However, I have a goal and plenty of determination so I hope to have it finished this week!

4 thoughts on “How not to do drapery!

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  1. Your or nue does not look that bad, Cindy! The angel just has too many intricate details. Or nue in such small figures was rather crude most of the time. Stark contrasts and a few very bold lines (and those often accentuated with black/dark brown and/or some more gold). That works best for a dimly lit church and for viewers from afar. I think not using or nue is more in line with historical Tudor embroidery. Although I can’t claim having seen all surviving English embroidery from the period, those that I have seen mainly do not have or nue. The Brewer’s pall and the 2nd pall of the Worshipful Company of Merchant Taylors are notable exceptions. Can’t wait to see how the new version of the drapery is going to turn out. Good luck!

  2. Darning! This is serious! I love your Determination. Drapery is challenging in the usual mediums, to create drapery in embroidery must be a pinnacle level of skill. I’m very curious to see how you create the wooden harp!

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