Returning to the Stumpwork Violets

Array Of Petals And Leaves

Array Of Petals And Leaves

I finally gave myself the necessary encouragement to get back to the Stumpwork Violets.

Er, that is to say, I spoke to myself very severely, and pointed out that it was looming over me and needed dealing with!

I used my new Inktense blocks to experiment with colouring the base fabric on the last few leaves, painting over the top with the aloe vera gel suggested by Deanna over at Eclectic Meanderings as a substitute for textile medium.

Background Inktense

Background Inktense

I also used the aloe gel on the spare piece of calico I painted as a background for the clump of violets. I don’t intend any of this to be visible. It will just provide some dark green depths underneath the clump, rather than leaving me worrying that the fabric underneath might grin through if the leaves move. As with the clothing on Loading The Felucca, I don’t want to stitch everything down too much, so this will relieve a certain anxiety.

In this context, the effect of painting over the marks with the aloe gel, deadening the marks and blending the colours, is not a problem. I’m not keen on the overly blended effect with ordinary pastels, as it looks a little mannered, but as all I want is that a sense of depth behind the violets, I’m content. Given how much dust those few strokes created, I certainly would not want to have an un-fixed piece of fabric anywhere near the finished Dreams of Amarna panels!

Elements Cut Out

Elements Cut Out

While the aloe-and-inktense blend was drying, I tackled cutting out the elements of the stumpwork.

In spite of all my care – and they do look lovely in the sunlight, don’t they! – I ended up with little white edges on all the pieces.

So, out came the inktense blocks and the aloe gel again, and I spent some time colouring the little white edges and then painting gel on them.

I wonder whether I might be avoiding the assembly process…?


  1. Carolyn says:

    There is nothing much you can do about those white edges except apply some colour to them and that’s what they need to keep them in line. The colour from those intense blocks can get around once you powder them. I tend to use them in another space altogether becuase I am so messy.

  2. Lady Fi says:

    I love those petals and leaves!

  3. Karen says:

    I saw this work on Instagram and thought how beautiful it was…I love the first image here….

  4. coralseas says:

    Very nice. Looking forward to seeing it all assembled. I’ve recently done some raised embroidery (I should blog about it 🙂 )

  5. Lovely so far, although I too have had a preview on IG. 🙂

    The thing with choosing and prepping up fabrics for cut out elements is that the colour needs to have gone all the way through and most surface paints etc are just that – surface. It needs to be fully dyed really to avoid this problem as it seems that applied fabric colouring products don’t penetrate the actual fibres. Pity, ‘cos you did it so nicely!

    I know you sussed it though. 🙂

  6. CathieJ says:

    Those violets are very pretty and their composition sounds quite time consuming. Better you than me. I would not have the patience, but the end result will be worth it I am sure.

  7. Sue Jones says:

    The way the light catches the leaves is beautiful. I haven’t tried this sort of stumpwork, but can imagine how hard it must be to hide those fibres if you have to stitch the edging before doing the cutting-out.

  8. jenclair says:

    The cut out pieces look like sugared violets for a Victorian confection! Lovely.

  9. Penny Baugh says:

    What marvelous results you got!! I agree with Jen, they look good enough to eat.

  10. Cynthia says:

    I had the same thoughts as Elizabeth, painting on the fabric won’t go all the way through the fibers. I have a collection of plain colored fabrics just for this use. I also have a few fabric pens that are great for coloring the white threads after cut out. The violets will be lovely when put together.

  11. Wendy says:

    Wow they look amazing, i’m looking forward to seei.g them put.together