Friday, 17 April 2020

Getting into Goldwork

This blog has been somewhat neglected of late but today I resolved to finally show you some of the things I have been up to.

Just before the world went into lockdown I was lucky enough to attend a Beginners goldwork class given by the extremely talented embroiderer, Liz Boulton. Liz had visited my EG group in the past so I knew that the class would be inspiring and it was!

This was the sample Liz showed us at the start of the class, amazing isn't it? Needless to say we were not expected to produce a piece quite as stunning as this in the Beginners class :)

We were given these silk fabric squares, which had already been machine stitch outlined by Liz, ready for us to add the individual goldwork motifs.

Liz had provided us with a kit containing all of the materials that we would need, so we were ready to go.

 First up, the Couched Purl and Padded Kid Spade. As you can see we cut out the spade motif from some felt and attached it to the fabric background. The felt shape is actually two felt motifs, one slightly smaller than the other, layered up largest on top. Then we traced half of the spade motif onto a piece of gold kid and attached it with small, stab stitches to cover one half of the felt. The line of kid in the middle of the felt is covered by a piece of pearl purl. The day was full of hitherto unknown stitching terms!

Alternating colours of purl were stitched down over the felt padding to cover the other half of the spade and the entire shape was outlined with stretched pearl purl.

It all sounds pretty straightforward but those little pieces of purl were pretty slippery to deal with :)

Next up we had a go at creating a couched circle. The aim of the stitching was to pack the lines of twist so closely together that you cannot see the background fabric through it but, as you can see, I didn't quite achieve that. I am happy with how it turned out as it was my first attempt at couching twist thread.

The third motif, the triangle, involved more couching, this time with a matching thread so that the couching is less obvious. We started at the top of the motif and worked our way down alternating between the two sides.

These three motifs were all started and some of them finished at the class.

The final motif, the Club, used techniques from the other stitching so, in theory, should have been more straightforward to complete.

I had the most trouble with this though, which is always the way isn't it when you are back home with no expert on hand to explain where you are going wrong!

I ripped out the kid covering the felt once, the pearl purl outlining the shape once and had several goes at the purl chips. So, what you see is far from perfect but as they say finished is better than perfect :)

 The final touch involved some trapunto quilting to fill out the tramlines around each motif.

I did really enjoy the class and my first attempts at goldwork and definitely intend to do more of it when I next get a chance.

Linking up to TGIFF at ChrisKnitsSews


  1. That was fun Fi! Your goldwork is very beautiful!
    I wish I’d been there with you! You bought back memories for me of three years ago when my sewing group had a workshop. Like you say it’s hard to sort any problems afterwards when the teacher is gone! We were lucky because our teacher was actually one of our members so I was able to go back to ask for help.
    You’ve made me want to have another go! I might one day.
    After our workshop I found a very good book at the library on goldwork but of course now the libraries are closed, so not much help at the moment! And it’s quite easy to buy the necessary “gold” bits on line too!
    Stay safe,
    Barbara xx

  2. It sounds like it was a fun class. Your piece looks great. I hope you and your family are doing well.

  3. Thanks so much for linking up! Oh my, what gorgeous work she did and what a fabulous job you did on your first attempt!! I gave up my needlework ages ago when my girls were small. I am not sure I could pick it back up now with my aged eyes. LOL

  4. Those are really cool! I have a small selection of goldwork supplies but haven't yet been brave enough to try them out. Your journey is quite inspiring!

  5. Oh, that's so neat! Such a fun piece and you learned lots of new techniques. Win win :)

  6. Very interesting, Fiona! I had never heard of most of the terms you mentioned. Your piece turned out beautifully :)

  7. Very interesting to hear how these shapes were made. They've turned out really well and your finished piece looks great :)


Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment, I read and appreciate every one! I will reply by email unless you are a no-reply blogger, in which case you will need to check back in the comments list for my reply, sorry!

Anonymous comments have been disabled due to the level of spam comments I have been receiving lately, sorry!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...