The Hittite Amulet – Beginning to stitch

First Silver Row

First Silver Row

So, with the Hittite Amulet painted on my fabric, stretched, and ready to go, I have now settled down to stitch. I have decided to aim for a more strongly corded effect in the background of this piece than I used for Christus Natus Est, so each row of stitches will be worked over two rows of silver.

This in turn means that I will spend a lot of time wrangling the springy silver thread to make it lie close and straight. Even the first row was a challenge, and as I reach the core of the spool and find the thread that has been wound closely around it, I am expecting the challenge to become even more challenging!

Still, nothing easy was ever worth doing – so they say…

Covered In Silk

Covered In Silk

This second photo shows the stitching halfway along the third row of background at the base of the piece. You can see the ribbed effect is already building up, and it will create a good strong background. If I get the rest of it right, the Amulet should almost pop out of the surface at me!

I am still trying to decide how to organise my stitching of the Amulet himself, but I plan to allow the silver to show through across the entire design, spacing my silk stitches accordingly. The stitches for the design may cover two silver threads or only one, and I am going to try to space them using the original black and white photo for guidance, to create some sense of the shadows breaking up across the surface.


  1. Lady Fi says:

    This is lovely.

  2. Carolyn says:

    Starting a new project like this gives me butterflys in the stomach. But even when I hit a snag I still like the challenge and I’m sure you will too with this piece.

  3. coral-seas says:

    The silver should really pop out of the dark back ground. What size is this piece?

  4. Susan says:

    This is going to be lovely. I wonder if it would be helpful for you to re-wind your silver onto a separate spool. In Japanese embroidery, we wind our gold under tension around a spool or “koma”…we then keep the metal thread under tension with our left hand as we stitch with our right. If you’re interested in my giving you the details as to how to wind the metal thread on the koma, I’d be happy to send it to you. This is going to be great.

  5. penny says:

    You’ve begun quite a challenge — but I know it will be wonderful and well worth it.

  6. Terrie says:

    Stitching is amazing with varieties. The way you do on a painting is really inspiring.

  7. karen says:

    I love this background Rachel….

  8. I’m looking forward to seeing more!!

  9. This is lovely and I am sure it will indeed have the effect of popping out at you once the stitching is finished. It is quite a contrast to the mysterious Indian Head, which doesn’t look quite so ‘intricate’! xCathy

  10. That does look like a slightly fiddly technique. I bet it’s going to look great, though 🙂