Tudor Pincushion Progress

Tudor Pincushion Silkwork Finished!

Tudor Pincushion Silkwork Finished!

Finally, I have finished the silkwork on the Tudor Pincushion, which is part of the Tudor and Stuart Goldwork Masterclass course I am following.

I think I need to find something that is less fine stitching than this, to give me a rest from all these tiny stitches!

Still, you can see that the final pattern is simple enough in concept, and there is just enough subtle variation in the colours to make the design interesting. The final effect is almost one of a woven fabric, as though the goldwork were embellishing a genuine tapestry. Remember that a real tapestry is woven (the Gobelins ateliers in France are the best known, historically, although a lot of tapestries I’ve seen have been from the Netherlands). A real tapestry is not worked in tent stitch on canvas, whatever the kit manufacturer says, and the Bayeux Tapestry is in fact an embroidery!

First Stage of Goldwork

First Stage of Goldwork

I’ve also begun to work on the goldwork stitches. The small gold spots are worked in Eight Legged Spider’s Web Stitch which I first encountered in Month Four, and which is a great trial at the size it needs to be on the pincushion. I’ve not quite persuaded myself that I need to restitch them, as they didn’t markedly improve over the four I’ve done, but I am certainly considering the possibility.

The channels between the back stitches are filled with Reverse Chain Stitch, which I first encountered at the very beginning of the goldwork section of the course. This is an easy stitch to do, and very satisfying to see it build.

The course materials have included two  Japanese hand made needles, which I was hoping to experiment with at this point, but I can’t even thread them! The eyes are much too fine for the thread, which is awkward, since I may be wasting quite a bit of gold thread unnecessarily because my ordinary needles strip the gold from its core.

There has to be a better way…


  1. Christa says:

    Hi Rachel,

    I encourage you to use the JE needles for the gold thread. I’m going to throw a quick tutorial up on my blog (www.lilystitch.blogspot.com) this morning on how to thread the needle using a half hitch with the gold thread. You won’t believe how easy it is AND it makes quite a difference in not stripping out the thread.


  2. karen says:

    hope you can find a way of threading those needles, I would hate to feel as if I was wasting gold thread too.

  3. Lady Fi says:

    The gold looks wonderful! I can just tell this is going to be a masterpiece!

  4. The gold really makes this piece.

  5. Janice says:

    The gold is looking magnificent! I hope Christa’s tutorial was useful – although from my persepective a needle that requires a tutorial to show how to thread it is probably beyond my stitching requirements! I do know what you mean about ordinary needles stripping the gold though…

  6. I love the look of this detailed piece. I can’t wait to watch your progress!