For one of the Embroiderers’ Guild Regional competitions this year the theme is a flower beginning with ‘A’.
I chose allium because they are sculptural and deceptively simple – many alliums from a distance look like a pink or magenta ball. Close to, the ball is an inflorescence, a whole cluster of smaller flowers.
I like working small and I was intrigued by the idea of the many parts making a whole. It reminded me of an amazing bolt of cloth called ‘Tsugihagi’ I saw at the Sashiko exhibition in York last year. The cloth was made of hundreds of pieces of cream silk all machine stitched onto a water-soluble fabric which was then dissolved to leave a scattering of fabric fragments joined with a lacy network of threads. http://www.sashiko.org.uk/gallery.php?image=18
So I went home and tried my own version.
I decided to create several small allium pieces using different techniques then tack them onto soluble fabric and use machine stitch to create a Tsugihagi-like fabric. Many pieces coming together to create a whole.
The first allium uses a swirl of vivid pink silk tops as a background. The raw silk is caught down with french knots in random dyed fine silk thread and then each french knot was surrounded by six lazy daisy stitches, letting them overlap.
The stem is a silk embroidery ribbon with added back stitch on a silk noil background fabric. The whole piece is about 2.5″ by 4″ and the head is just over an inch in diameter.
One down, five more to go.