This is the third installment of the history of my progress as an embroiderer. You can the earlier posts here and here.
This is my fourth embroidery. The concept for the design was mine, however at the time I did not have the confidence in my drawing skills to draw a unicorn and so the design was drawn by an artist friend. It was intended to be executed in the style of Medieval art and hence the flat perspective and broad areas of solid colour.
The embroidery forms the centre panel of a cotton velvet cushion bordered by commercial braid and embellished with two bought tassels placed on opposing corners. The braid is a little damaged along the top edge where my then pet rabbit, Merlin, having sneaked his way into the room where the cushion was, decided he would sit on it and eat the braid. That was more than 20 years ago. I've never bothered to change the braid and when I look at it it brings back fond memories of Merlin.
Above you see the entire work. It is worked in two strands of DMC cotton floss. The ground fabric was an ordinary fine weave cotton fabric. The entire ground surface is covered, including a simple embroidered frame. At this stage I was still using an ordinary embroidery hoop, holding it in my hand and embroidering with one hand only.
The castle is worked in, the appropriately named, brick stitch. The mane gets its movement from directional stem stitch used as a filling stitch.
In keeping with the style of medieval art, almost all of the structures are defined by a black outline.
Unicorn's head in close up. (Apologies for the poor photo quality, but was the best I could get with my point and click camera).
The stem stitch on the tail again gives the notion of movement and makes it distinct from the body of the unicorn.
Small stylised flower motifs provide interest in the foreground.
This piece took me about two and a half months of stitching in my spare time and represents a big leap forward in my technical competence. I am so fond of this piece and the cushion looks marvellous sitting on the Uzbek embroidery on the bed in our spare room.
This blog was previously at another site. To view older blog posts please click here.
I am a hand embroidery artist living and working in the rugged and wild Central HIghlands of Tasmania.