The Head of Nefertiti – further details

Additions For Nefertiti

Additions For Nefertiti

I suddenly realised that I haven’t got any representations of the Aten in the panels. Considering that Akhenaten’s new, monotheistic devotion to the Aten actually created Amarna (Aketaten in his day), that is more than a little remiss of me. So the extra details I am planning for Nefertiti – shown here, drafted on tracing paper laid over the the print I didn’t use for stitching – begin to right that wrong.

I’ve drawn the rays of the Aten ending in little hands outstretched in blessing, as seen in many wall-carvings and paintings at Amarna. For some reason (research to be done…!) the hands nearest the noses of Nefertiti and Akhenaten often hold an ankh, so that is also included.

I’ve added in Nefertiti’s cartouche, although I think I may have drawn it too large for the design as a whole, and my own, which will include my initials in Morse Code, as this is a standalone companion piece.

Barely There

Barely There

I want the lines to be there, and yet not there, so I found some filament silk that I bought at Texere Yarns before they closed their store, and had a go with it, using reverse herringbone stitch, as I did for the contours of The Map of Amarna.

And it completely disappeared.

Oh dear!

Much Better

Much Better

So this is the next version, reverse chain stitch using a 2-into-1 twist. I’m much happier with that, although twisting the thread before I stitch with it does rather slow down the stitching part of it!

But still, here I am, stitching with hand-twisted thread, twisted by me. Never would fifteen-year-old me have believed I would be doing that!

If my Grandmama could see me now….


  1. Dima says:

    It does look much better with the reverse chain stitch. It’s a lovely color too.

  2. Deborah says:

    I love the blessing hands added to your piece along with the Ankh, the reverse chain works nicely.

  3. … she would be so proud of you! Yes, there are a lot of things we can do now that we, or others, did not think we would be able to when we were young.
    I’m unfamiliar with this artwork and learn a lot.
    Keep ump the good work.

  4. This is going to look so good! And I’ll bet your grandma would be very proud. It is a bit like with my German teacher. We didn’t get along very well back in the days and she would say that I would never learn the language. She should hear me now; I can even do Bavarian 😝

  5. Carolyn Foley says:

    I love your idea for using morse code for your imitials. There are pieces where using letters doesn’t work. This is a great solution.

  6. Lin says:

    Isn’t it odd how that stitch just disappears! The reverse chain looks great. Nice idea to use morse code. xx

  7. Sue Jones says:

    I like preparing and twisting my own threads. It’s a useful little pause in the stitching process, a chance to think about what I’ll be doing with the thread I’m making and the logistics of the next stage.

    The shadow stitch is lovely, but a little too understated to go with the bolder head. The reverse chain looks a better option for the piece as a whole. I do hope your handiwork will encourage the Aten to come out a bit more and stop hiding behind the rain clouds!

  8. Catherine says:

    So much thought is going into this piece. And it is paying off! I’m not sure fifteen year old me would have understood most of this post, but would probably have been impressed by such things!

  9. jenclair says:

    I love the way this is developing!

  10. Karen says:

    this looks most interesting. I like the reverse chain stitch very much.

  11. Isn’t in interesting how some stitches should work in theory but then just don’t once they are stitched on an actual piece.

    After you’ve finish the piece you should do a write up (perhaps a summary of your blog posts) so that in the future others will know the thought and research that went into the making of it.

    Thanks so much for linking up to last week’s Stitchery Link Party. Aloha hugs!

  12. Karen says:

    if Grandma could see you now she would be proud….your work is consistently beautiful.

  13. Susan Nixon says:

    I like the details about your process that you always share. I’ve never tried twisting my own thread, and haven’t used a lot of silk the last couple of years. I may give that a go after my current project, though. The design here is wonderful. I might have thought of the rays, but never the little hands and objects at the ends!