Tudor Rose Progress

Rose Outlined

Rose Outlined

At this point, the challenges abruptly increased… The petals are to be filled with Up and Down Buttonhole Stitch With Return (which is one of the stitches from the Tudor and Stuart Goldwork Masterclass), but in a combination of metal and silk threads. The outer petals will be red and gold and the inner petals white and silver, and we are explicitly instructed to finish the back stitching (both white and red) before tackling the filling.

Detail Of Red Petal

Detail Of Red Petal

The red silk is used for the return – the straight bar stitch – and the gold for the up and down buttonhole stitch. This means, of course, that there are long stitches on the back of the fabric, but it also creates a rather lovely chequerboard effect of gold and red. Up and down buttonhole stitch is one of my favourites, but as a detached stitch it offers a few challenges, especially in the gold thread. I was very glad to be working this in a frame resting on a stand, as there were times when both hands, and one of my bone stilettos, were needed to bring the gold thread under control.

I’ve noticed that in the metal thread, the stitch is squarer than in the silk, which compressed itself into a much denser fabric. I suppose this adds to the contrast in textures, but it will be interesting to see whether it becomes more even as I become more experienced with it!

Red Petals Complete

Red Petals Complete

I’m rather pleased with it so far. In a couple of the petals, the rows somehow are not as straight as they should be – I’m not quite sure how that happened – but, if you click on the image you will see the larger version, and I think it shows evidence of improvement in technique. Which, after all, is the whole point of my following these courses…!


  1. Lady Fi says:

    Those red petals look amazing.

  2. Sue Jones says:

    It’s looking very good so far. It will look even better when whatever stitch is done to tidy the outer edge is in place, and the centre is finished.

    Detached u/d b/h stitch does work up much more ‘squarely’ in a stout thread than in soft thread. I did some with crochet cotton while I was figuring out the stitch shown on a museum photo for Megan Hughes once. That particular filling, I decided, was all in metal thread – for the stitch and for the cording row, but there was thick silk whipped over the two threads lying between each pair of u/d stitches afterwards. That gave it a chequered effect that was a little bolder than the small dashes of red on your petal tips – almost a diagonal diaper pattern. There must be many more slight variations on this theme to experiment with – had we enough time!

  3. Lovely piece! Looking forward to more. How many other WIPs will it have to compete with??? Dare you count…?!!!=)

  4. wendy says:

    it’s looking beautiful. It must be a real challenge doing complicated stitches with gold thread. I need to get a floor stand, my seat stand is great for small projects and an 8″ frame, but I struggle with my 10″ frame, I just need to find one that works with Qsnaps

  5. Penny says:

    Oh my, I’ve only worked with metallic thread a little bit, and that was enough. Very tricky stuff. Yours is beautiful.

  6. Janice says:

    It looks beautiful already. Very impressive. I don’t see any perceivable lack of straight lines. Obviously you do, but you’ve spent such a long time at close quarters. Coming along very nicely. Well done!

  7. It looks amazing ……. the red and gold together look very rich.

  8. Carolyn says:

    It is looking good and I also love up and down button hole but I have never tried it with a metal thread. Now there is a challenge.

  9. Terrie says:

    The metallic thread embroidery looks so beautiful, so solid and rich.