Four Seasons: My Japanese Embroidery Phase IV posted on June 30 2015 in embroidery, Japanese Embroidery 11 Comments

Here are some pictures of my Japanese Embroidery Phase IV.  The piece, a Japanese Embroidery Center design, is called Four Seasons and focuses on couching and padding techniques.  The four leaves are supposed to symbolize the four seasons transitioning into each other.  Hope you like the photos!  





My Phase IV next to My Phase VII ( :) )


Queen of the Flowers-My Japanese Embroidery Phase VIII posted on March 31 2015 in Japanese Embroidery

This week I wanted to share with you photos of my new Japanese Embroidery piece.  It's a Japanese Embroidery Center Phase VIII piece called Queen of the Flowers, and depicts a branch with three peonies in various stages of bloom by the techniques of fuzzy effect, which technique, according to my Japanese Embroidery textbook, is considered "the most dignified" of all Japanese Embroidery techniques.

My other Japanese Embroidery text book indicates that the technique of fuzzy effect was selected because it best conveys the stateliness and refinement of peonies, long considered the Queen of Flowers. 

Here's the piece in its entirety.  Prior to stitching this piece, it was recommended that I decide where the source of light is coming from, and this decision would impact the colors and shading of the motifs.  I decided the top right corner.  To highlight this, I photographed this in the evening with a lamp shining from the top right corner as well. 

Peony #1 in Full Bloom

Peony #2 (slightly more faded) in full bloom

Peony #3 in half bloom.  Re-did this peony in its entirety twice and various parts of it multiple times ;_;

A multitude of leaves, one fading after the other

The Peony branch in daylight


My Japanese Embroidery Phase VII- Camellias posted on January 13 2015 in Japanese Embroidery 123 Comments

I am really excited to share with you today pictures of my new Japanese Embroidery project, Camellias, a phase VII piece from the Japanese Embroidery Center.  To risk sounding sentimental, Camellias was my first aspirational Japanese Embroidery piece.  

Put in other words, when I saw this piece on the JEC website in high school, I decided that I wanted to study Japanese Embroidery.  For this reason, it means a lot to me that I finally got to this place in my study of Japanese Embroidery, and along the way I've picked up a few other aspirational pieces :) 

Without further ado, here are the pictures of my Camellias!

Title: Camellias
Design: Japanese Embroidery Center

Camellia #1.  I was quite happy with the final coloring of this Camellia.

Camellia #1 Detail.

Camellia #3.  A white camellia with persimmon red streaks. 

Although the flowers are the focal point of the piece, I found that the most challenging part of this piece is the fifteen or so leaves in flat silk foundation.  It required a deep concentration to lay down the flat silk in an orderly manner and then holding down the flat silk with an even short stitch holding (to avoid fraying and stabilize the flat silk when stitched in long stitches).  Really not the sort of thing that you can do while playing something in the background (at least for me). 

Camellia #3 Detail.

Camellia #2. 

A Bud. 

White Camellia in half bloom shaded with gold metallic thread towards the heart. 
Another notable part of the piece is the negative space at times required on the flower petals.  I think it was easier to stitch out a camellia fully than to decide which negative space to leave out, for example, on this half open white camellia towards the heart of the flower.     




My Japanese Embroidery Phase I: Flower Bouquet posted on November 19 2014 in Japanese Embroidery 5 Comments

As some of you know, I've been studying Japanese Embroidery for several years.  I recently finished this piece, and it just came back from the framer, so I thought I would share the images with you! 

As you can see, the subject of the piece is a bouquet of flowers in a wrapper.  The design is from the Japanese Embroidery Center from Atlanta.  I kept everything the same except I switched out a few stronger colors for more muted versions.

Detail of Iris

Detail of Pinks 

Detail of Valerian

Detail of Chrysanthemums


 For the flax leaf metallic lattice on top of the silk foundation of the bouquet wrapper, I struggled a bit because my originally planned gold or silver didn't have the effect I was imagining.  Luckily, I found this metal thread.  I would describe it as a nutty gold color with some flecks of metallic dark brown.