Beginning work on the Lotus Fragment

Design Drawn

Design Drawn

When I first wrote about the Lotus motif, in September (The Fragment of Tile That Started It All) it was because I wanted to buy materials for it at the Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate in November, which I duly did. And now that the Crock of Gold is finished, I can move on to the Lotus Tile Fragment! The colours I bought were soft and slightly greyish, rather than bright and clear, partly because that was all I could find, and partly because I was thinking more of the way Mary Chubb would have first seen the fragment, covered in dust.

However, just when I had got the design drawn out, I had a Dreadful Thought.

Split Stitch Edging

Split Stitch Edging

My intention for the final mounting of the two panels is to print a head of Akhenaten on a piece of gauze and stretch it in front of one of the completed panels, and a head of Nefertiti for the other. Just how fine and gauzy can it be and still create the effect I want of the Heretic Pharaoh and his Queen, brooding over the excavation of their city? How fine and gauzy a fabric can I find that will take a print? And how much brighter do the colours have to be to ensure that the jewel-like panels around the central panels shine like jewels, rather than being killed off by the gauze?

I shall finish this version, since I’ve started it, and I might, perhaps, need to begin learning about screenprinting, and experimenting with fabrics much sooner than I thought. If all the pieces I’ve worked so far need to be re-done in brighter colours, my current estimate will need to be revised outwards…


  1. ladyfi says:

    This is going to look lovely! I love the beauty and simplicity of the lotus flower.

  2. Penny says:

    Its going to be beautiful. I’ll be watching to see how you handle it and the Pharoah and his Queen.

  3. karen says:

    I love the meticulous planning you always go through and you are so descriptive in each post….can’t wait to see how this progresses.

  4. Carolyn says:

    There are some sheer polyester fabrics that you can print on a ink jet printer that you could look at. They do dull the embroidery underneath so you would have to use brighter colours and maybe increase your thickness of thread. I used this back in 2010 and you will probably find that you could print onto chiffon or even finer fabrics today.(

    I think your concept is wonderful and look forward to seeing it finished.

  5. Sandy says:

    Silk organza might be sheer enough. Another thing that will affect how things show through the gauze: how much distance between the main panel and the gauze (closer will give clearer view), and will the gauze be stretched in a frame (which I think would also give the clearer view), or gathered and draped?

  6. Penny Berens says:

    It takes patience to work things through and find out all the answers doesn’t it! Great idea though.

  7. I love reading your thoughts on how to achieve the finish you want – I’m looking forward to seeing how this progresses.

  8. Janice says:

    You’ve done SO much work on this already that the thought of having to redo it is unbearable even for me, who won’t have to do it! I think I would be thinking more of revising how the gauze overlay will work. Does it have to go across the entire piece, or could it cover half the piece, as though dreams are giving way to reality? And could the newer fragments you work at go on the areas to be covered, and therefore in brighter fabrics? Even so, to be sure, you would now need to work on the overlay, and view everything you do through that to ensure it’s visible. Be strong!!!!!

  9. Jane says:

    I shall watch this one with interest. The idea of gauze over the to is an idea I’ve been wanting to investigate some more myself.


  10. cathy daniel says:

    Yikes! So many technical questions! I feel you are really experimenting here and pushing a few boundaries, which is always good and one always learns from these things. Your little pin pad is delightful too. Will watch this current project with interest! Cathy

  11. […] as I mentioned when I was beginning on the Lotus Fragment, I had a Dreadful Thought. What if the gauze killed all the colour in the embroidery? Would it be […]