Adding Goldwork to Eve in the Garden of Eden

Spine Embellishment

Spine Embellishment

Once the foliage and the snake were done, I could start on the goldwork.

First, the spine. Each gap between the polychrome panels was filled with three rows of metal threads. The middle one was silver wrapped around a gilt strip, and the two outer ones in each case were of a very fine check purl. This last was very fragile, and if I had realised in advance just how fragile, and how inclined to catch on cuffs, sleeves, and threads, I think I might have worked the spine last.

Gilt Crinkle Strip

Gilt Crinkle Strip

The goldwork around the cartouches began with four rows of Gilt Crinkle Strip, two couched around the outside of the frame, and two around the inside.

The instructions said to place a couching stitch in every valley of the crinkle, which was certainly necessary – it doesn’t willingly follow curves when it is couched flat – but I might not have thought to do without instruction. It makes for a wonderful effect, if rather visually confusing when you’re working it, because the hills and valleys of the crinkle strip bounce light every which way, in a rather delightfully dazzling fashion…

You might think, by the way, that this is fairly straightforward and done in no time at all. You’d be wrong! That Gilt Crinkle Strip looks lovely, but my word, it has a mind of its own, and being very springy and having lots of little corners to catch, it makes a spirited attempt to tie itself in knots. A third – and even fourth – hand might have helped!


  1. Hmm, maybe you should try cable plait stitch with the Crinkle :). No seriously, the piece looks lovely!

  2. Wow! You certainly had your ‘hands full’ there! I enlarged the photos and can see how detailed the work is.
    Admiring your patience.

  3. jenclair says:

    I loved looking at the details when I enlarged the pictures! The golden glimmer is fantastic!

  4. Catherine says:

    It looks lovely! I’ve never really used metallic threads so I’m interested to hear your thoughts on them. Something to keep in mind!

  5. Sue Jones says:

    My goodness, that crinkle strip looks like a nightmare to stitch. But definitely worth the effort. Well done you. And the spine bars are suitably rich without stealing much too attention from the pictures.

  6. Lin says:

    I can see from the picture that that crinkle must be difficult as I am having trouble working out the hills and valleys! xx

  7. Lady Fi says:

    The gold is a lovely touch.

  8. Terrie says:

    Each stitch is clean and clear and gold is icing on the cake.

  9. Karen says:

    Well worth the effort! It looks stunning.

  10. Sheryl says:

    The crinkle strip certainly looks difficult to work with but the effect is lovely.. I have never used it .

  11. Well the extra time it takes to stitch with, that Crinkle Strip certainly makes up for it in the effect it produces!

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

  12. Karen says:

    yikes…springy supplies!! It does look amazing though. You did well without your third hand…

  13. Susan says:

    I meant he in the comment before. I know Akhenaten is male. =) This gold stitching is amazing. You are WAY beyond me with that kind of thing. I don’t think I’ve ever had the patience this displays, and I know I don’t have it now. It is so beautiful and well worth your time and effort.