More Progress on Akhenaten

I’ve decided that Akhenaten’s headdress should continue with basketweave couching in crimson twist.  I was in a quandary about the padding for this – it would be dreadful to have white padding leering at me where the twist changes from up to down –  when it occurred to me to colour my own. So this is the ordinary cotton “string” used for padding, which I have coloured with one of my inktense blocks and a little aloe vera gel, and then waxed once it had dried.

Couched Coloured String

Couched Coloured String

Of course, the colour didn’t seep all the way through, as you can see from the whitish-grey ends of the couched pairs here, but at least the colour will ease back rather than drawing attention to itself.

You would think, by the way, that the waxed string would be fairly easy to couch in place, but it wasn’t. It had a will of its own, and far too many ideas about wandering off!

Bastketweave Couching

Bastketweave Couching

But it worked beautifully.

As I understand it, basketweave couching can be worked turning the thread at the end of each row, or sinking it. I would have liked to have turned it, as that is the more economical technique, but I felt that this would create the impression of a compact and complete shape, whereas – however stylised it is – this shape represents a three-dimensional object, the headdress wrapping around Akhenaten’s head.

That means more than 70 ends to sink, through silk, thin padding, and calico.

Oh well, onwards, ever onwards!


  1. Mam says:

    You never cease to surprise, amaze, and delight me!

  2. Ditto as above…

  3. You are paying so much attention to your work, and of course the result is wonderful.
    I admire your patience!

  4. Dima says:

    Very nice idea. I will have to keep it in mind. I love the color by the way.

  5. You have my sympathies about burying all those ends – a frequent occurrence in quilt-making too!

  6. jenclair says:

    Great result! Sorry about all the threads to bury, but worth it!

  7. Catherine says:

    What great ideas you have! The coloured threads look like they worked well, even if they had a mind of their own. I don’t envy you with all that plunging.

  8. Lady Fi says:

    Wow – amazing stitching!

  9. Lin says:

    Beautiful – have fun with those ends! xx

  10. Carolyn Foley says:

    Lots of work but great result.

  11. Susan says:

    Now that I’ve read this, I understand the process more. How clever to think of dying the string – and it seems to have worked nicely, because I don’t see any light bits in the photos. I’m presuming that by sinking the threads, it means that you had to pull them through to the back in some manner. One thing that’s always true about you is that you don’t ever balk at how much work something will be!