More progress on the Faience Necklace

There is another episode of SlowTV Stitchery up – Episode Three. I’ve also done two shorts, one introducing the Dreams of Amarna project as a whole, and one, for the Amarna Family Group in particular. Please ask me any questions you like, either here in the comments, or by email, and I will try to answer them in one of the later episodes. It might take a while, though, because people have been stacking up questions like cordwood!

Now, back to the Faience Necklace, which I’ve neglected… The first elements I decided to do were among the simplest – the three palm leaves.

Palm Leaf Stage One
Palm Leaf Stage One

First layer, as I said, is plain satin stitch in flat silk. Satin stitch makes me nervous, but flat silk spreads and blends together, which makes it about as easy as it can be for me.

Palm Leaf Stage Two
Palm Leaf Stage Two

The next stage was to hand-twist a two ply perlé -type thread to stitch the veins, using straight stitches. In this case, I used two of the strands of filaments for each ply, and I tried not to over-twist the final assembly.

That made for a lovely thread, with a bit of body and “lift”. A pleasure to use!

Cornflowers – first stage

If I have correctly interpreted the description that Mary Chubb typed out on that first afternoon, when she came back from her epiphany in the cellar, this shape was described as a cornflower, so I went with my brightest blue, and the middle greyish-green shade for the calyx.

You will notice that the stitching on the two sections is at right angles one to the other. I realise that the stitching on the “petals” is not going in the obvious correct direction, but wait – there’s more…!

Cornflowers - Second Stage
Cornflowers – Second Stage

Quite a lot more, in fact.

First, trellis couching on the calyx, using a fine 2-ply thread twisted using a half-strand of flat silk for each ply, and twisted as tightly as I could manage without snarls or tangles.

Then, using the bright blue, I twisted another 2-ply thread, this time using three strands for each ply, and again, trying not to over-twist. Then I could use it to work some long bullion knots, creating the slightly fluffy effect of an opening flower.

I think this is going well so far!


  1. Sue Jones says:

    I think it is going brilliantly! The cornflowers catch the light splendidly, with the blue leaves as a quieter counterpoint. I am not brave with bullion knots, mine rarely work well, so I am in awe and admiration.

  2. Jen Mullen says:

    Beautiful work! Can’t wait to see the necklace in its entirety!

  3. That sheen on the silks!!!

  4. Dima says:

    That leaf looks beautiful. I love stitching with flat silk 🙂

  5. Carolyn Foley says:

    It is going very well indeed. lovely threads selected.

  6. karen says:

    so very beautiful Rachel…

  7. Catherine says:

    The flat silks look brilliant! I find them difficult to ‘get right’, hence my current ‘play’ project. Beautiful work as always.

  8. Jillayne says:

    Wow – those colours are beautiful! I love the cornflower (they are a favourite of mine). The bullion knots are especially effective.