Monday, July 11, 2011

WIP: Twilight Angel - Couching!

Happy news! Pleased with the result of my test-piece, Couched Rose, I decided to go ahead and try out the couching on my Angel, and am pleased to report that it's finished! I've got lots of pictures to share! When we last left her, she looked like this:

And here she is in all her gilded glory:

I also added in the backstitched overlay to the skirt band before I started couching, but it's very subtle, and didn't show up well in the photographs.

Some close-ups - The top of her bodice (I may add some beads or something):

Her skirt sash (I really like the ribbony effect, though the tips were hard to curve!):

And her skirt band (which also has the lovely ribbony look):

Overall, I am very pleased with the outcome! There are a few spots where I should've curved the couching more, perhaps, and in the band above you can see a bit of blue there in the second underfold, but I was able to keep my stitches relatively small, and this is essential. Honestly, I don't think I would have been able to do such a neat job of it if I hadn't done my test piece, using the same gold thread, first; following the curves of the rose taught me how to follow the curves of the sash and band. And it was a bit awkward going in places, even with the practice piece experience, because the little curves and twists were quite small.

This is also the first time I've couched on Aida. I debated using Aida for my test piece, but went with cotton to get the feel of the technique first, and I am glad I did. Having done my Couched Rose as a true embrodiery, I was able to adapt the technique to Aida by doing the unthinkable - I went through threads randomly with my sharp "tacking" needle instead of just following the holes in the Aida! This is something I would never have done before, and the smooth look that I was able to attain would not have been possible if I had stuck to following the squares of the Aida (and my tacking stitches would've been a great deal larger and more visible!).

Once I had the outline couching finished, I considered couching the curliques on her skirt as well, and actually started out with that technique. However, I quickly realized that the colour called for (the 1 strand of yellow with 2 strands of gold, tacked with 1 strand of gold), which was used for all the couching work, just sort of vanished into the yellows of the skirt. Also, the extra three-dimensional work looked odd, and distracted from the outline couching I'd already done.

So, after some, er, "reverse stitching", I settled on using three strands of gold and using backstitch to follow the curliques on the pattern. A close-up of the area:

Where each loop-de-loop occurs (which are made with lazy daisy stitch, which I first worked in another test piece that I'll be writing about soon) there will be beads!

Here is my Angel, as she is now, all ready for embellishment:

So I'm very excited about the embellishment process! This will be the most heavily embellished design I've ever stitched, since there's seed beads (in various colours), sequins, and charms! And I have some interesting ideas that are a bit different than the kit suggestions. The instructions are only guidelines, after all! *wicked grin*


EveningEmma said...

Wow, she looks fantastic! The couching really does make the skirt look likes it's flowing.

Aurelia Eglantine said...

Thanks very much for your lovely comment Emma :) That's totally the effect I was going for, but I wasn't sure if it translated, LOL, so I'm really happy you think so to!

CrazyStitcher said...

She really does look incredibly beautiful, and the couching (which I think is excellent) just seems to make her come alive. Gorgeous! x

Karyn said...

The gold stitching is so beautiful!

Karen said...

The couching definitely adds a whole new dimension to the design! She's gorgeous! Can't wait to see her all embellished. :)

Flossy said...

The couching looks amazing! I can't wait to give it a go :)

Rainy Day Crafter said...

Oh, she looks beautiful and the couching looks amazing! I'm so glad you decided to do it :) I can't wait to see it finished with all the embellishments on!

Aurelia Eglantine said...

Wow! Thanks very much for the lovely comments everyone :) I'm happy to report that my Angel is very flattered that you all think she looks so nice! I'm hoping to get the embellishments added soon; right now, I'm debating where and what I want to add, LOL :)

Jeanne Dansby said...

You really brought the picture alive with the couching and beads. You have inspired me. I have this pattern and have been debating whether I really wanted to stitch it. Now I do. Thank you, Aurelia.

Aurelia Eglantine said...

Jeanne! What a wonderful compliment!! I'm so very happy that seeing my Angel has inspired you to stitch your own!!!

It is a time consuming design, for all that it is small, but I think she's worth it :) And I love how you can make her your own by changing up the embellishments!

Thank you very much for letting me know, and I can't wait to see yours when you get a chance to start on her! I know she'll be lovely worked by your hands :)