William, as far as he’s gone

A picture of the whole of the embroidery of William Marshall. The silk work is nearly finished..

I realised when I came to write about beginning to practice underside couching, that you’ve not seen William for a while, so here is a a quick update on progress.

I got all the broom and dog roses done on the border, and then sat back to look at it. You may recall that I said last time that I thought that I would be filling the crosses, but I wanted to sit back and stare again, just to be sure.

Close up of the border at the bottom of the panel. It shows the red cross filled in, and right at the bottom, a row of green split stitch, which may help when the piece is finally finished and mounted.

That staring didn’t take long. The crosses, as outlines, don’t really have the authority they need, so it soon became clear I needed to fill them all in. I doubled the outline, as a single line, and then filled in each triangle separately in split stitch. I did consider using satin stitch, or some sort of couching stitch, but I felt that with the dog roses bracketing the crosses, a different texture was required, and I am content with the result, I think.

One of the delights of working with floss silk is to see how it responds to the light, so here are some more pictures to enjoy.


  1. Jillayne says:

    It’s been so interesting to watch this piece develop along with reading your why’s and wherefores along the way. The richness grows with each addition and I like the effect of the split stitch very much. I also like your word choice; “authority” conveys so much more than just making it stronger or any other word you could have chosen.

  2. Sue Jones says:

    Yes, the joy of filament silk is its dynamic response to light. Spun silk just doesn’t quite have that range of moods.
    The border is delightful: well balanced, with plenty if interest but not too much to overwhelm the centre. It will be interesting to see how the metal thread of the sky will change the whole piece.

  3. The border is delightful, especially with the light playing with the silk. Split Stitch was a good choice for filling in the crosses. They have a slight ‘hammered’ look, similar to handcrafted copper pans. This concave texture contrasts with the convex dog rose petals.

  4. Carolyn Foley says:

    I thought you might be interested in the images from Medieval Museum Displays. These men mounted and in armour would put the wind up you!

  5. AJ House says:

    The crosses look much better with weight added. Loving the silk glow.

  6. Linda says:

    It is all looking good to me.

  7. Alex Hall says:

    Definitely the right call for the crosses and and interesting choice for your filling stitch; it’s a lovely foil to the smooth petals of the dog roses.

  8. Susan Nixon says:

    I do like stitching with silk. The crosses and roses look wonderful to me, and I think you’re right about the two different stitch patterns being necessary. Such pretty colors you’ve used!

  9. Susan Nixon says:

    P.S. I especially like the swirly whorls on the horse. That seems so realistic from what I know of horses, especially in winter. I’m looking forward to seeing more development in William.

  10. Karen says:

    I’ve only ever used spun silk rather than filament, so it’s really interesting to see how different the texture is. It catches the light beautifully.