An Experimental Thistle

Preparatory Felt
Preparatory Felt

After I’d (mostly) finished Loading The Felucca, I found myself temporarily lacking inspiration for the Dreams of Amarna, so I thought I’d have a go at an idea that has been burbling around in the back of my mind for a while. I’m hoping a change of scene, as it were, will “reboot” my imagination.

The background fabric is a silk brocade, and I’ve padded the thistle itself with wool felt, in several layers (three under the topmost green circle, in fact).

I drew the whole thing freehand, and I think I will remove and replace the lefthand leaf with a reversed version of the righthand leaf. It will look more balanced and altogether happier if I do.

Working with Gimp
Working with Gimp

I’m intending to use silk purl and coloured wire purl for the thistle flower, but I wanted something for those to be embedded in. I’ve chosen to use a gold and viscose gimp, and I’m couching it down in a series of fringes zigzagging across the flower.

Each fringe is twisted back on itself – I used a pin as a sort of handle – and held down with small stitches at each end. As each additional layer went on, the “free” ends were held down a little less firmly. It’s a delicate balance between controlling the thread sufficiently (and remember gimps are very stiff and have a mind of their own!) and leaving it looking free and springy!

15 thoughts on “An Experimental Thistle

  1. I really like the brocade background and those coloured purls, where did you find them? I want to have a go at a thistle myself one day! I had thought about some stump work, but this looks a better idea 🙂

  2. It will be an imposing thistle, I can see that. Really like the colours in the gimp – I have a great weakness for sludgy pinky-purply-grey shades.

  3. What a lovely thistle this will be! I love the use of the fringe. It will be so much fun and beauty to watch this come together.

  4. The thistle looks super – I am a great fan of thistles whether in sewing or in the hedgerow …… but I have learned not to admire thistles in the company of farmers, as they can pose great problems for them!

  5. How ingenious! I think I can get an idea of how it will look when finished. That gimp was an inspired choice if my imagination is right!

  6. This is going to be lovely. I’m looking forward to seeing it as you add to it.

    And thank you for linking up your beautiful Lady in the Garden to last Monday’s Stitchery Link Party. I clicked through and read the story of Grandmama’s Lady. Your Grandmothers stitching was amazing!

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