Chinese Embroidery: Kingfisher

I don’t know if y’all remember but at one point I started a Xiang Chinese embroidery kit. I really felt like working on that style of project, but that one just seemed so very large and such a long way from finished! So, well, I started a smaller one! This one I am using both strands of silk rather than dividing it up. I will go back to the other one, I swear! But it sure is nice to make a lot of visible progress.

See, I finished the branches and started on the leaves already! I opted for split stitch on the branches – I have no idea if that’s what Chinese embroiderers would use. Here is a closer view. I don’t know if you can tell, but the fabric is developing some lines in places near my stitching. I don’t think I’m pulling my stitches that tight. I’m not sure what’s wrong.

Now, if you want to see something really wrong, check out my first attempt at using stretcher bars! Perhaps I should spend more than $3, read up on how to do it, and also improve my thumbtack methodology before the next project. However, this one is more or less stuck to the frame so it is staying right there until it’s done. I hope. I really need to work on having some patience when setting up projects.

By the way, I went back to the Elite Silk Arts website (where I got it) and they’ve been making some changes! They now have some video lessons for sale. I have no idea how good they are, but perhaps I will check it out at some point. Has anyone tried it? It also says they’ll be starting online classes sometime this year.

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14 Responses to Chinese Embroidery: Kingfisher

  1. Susan says:

    Are your stitches packed in a bit tight? That will cause surrounding fabric to ‘bubble’; it almost looks like that’s what is beginning there. You would maybe have better luck if you could get the piece in a frame that puts even tension on the whole piece. Even a Q-Snap will do the job if you get the right size. If your fabric is thin or slippery and doesn’t want to stay put in the Q-
    Snap, tear some strips of muslin about 3″ wide and clamp them in with the fabric. Then you will have an even tension across the whole piece and that will be much easier to work with.

    • Hannah says:

      Aha. Perhaps that is what is going on there. I don’t have a QSnap small enough at the moment, and I was impatient to get started. Perhaps it would be worthwile to acquire one. 😀 Learn something new every day!

  2. Anita says:

    I think your fabric is not drum tight.This may also be one of the reasons for the bubble.I always fix up one side first,then go to the opposite side and stretch it,then stretch the other two sides.It works out for me.Did you stretch like this?.Put the pins at the side of the bar,so that it’ll not distract us while we stitch.I agree with you,we live to learn,aren’t we?

  3. tanvel says:

    The best thing to get for a good result of ones embroidery is to have the right equipment. I suggest you invest in a good frame for starters. If I were you, I’d practise on a scrap of silk on a hoop until I felt my work was near perfect. The original will wait for you until you are ready. If you/ve invested in a piece, it is worth it to do a good job. My 2 cents

    • Hannah says:

      Well I probably should invest in a good frame. But I’m afraid I would find practicing on a scrap of silk extremely discouraging, and in fact far more discouraging than finishing an imperfect piece 🙂 I only start really trying to do a good job for a new style of embroidery after I’ve finished two or three practice pieces! I consider the first ones learning experiences and give them to people who can’t tell the difference and will adore them anyway. I know some people find my approach more discouraging than practicing first and then working a very well done piece, but I like it 🙂

  4. Rachel says:

    You need to use many more pins, placed much closer together. I have some special three-legged pins like the ones silk painters use.

  5. Patricia Jay says:

    Hi. Really beautiful embroidery!! I looked at the Elite Silk Arts website, don’t understand the video demo being 1’19” long. No one answered phone there today, will call on Thursday. Thank you for the info on this website. Pat/Texas

  6. Linda says:

    Oh my another website to drool over! I agree about the tight frame – you could use stretcher bars if you sewed extra fabric around the edges then pinned, pinned, pinned.

  7. Marta Brysha says:

    I have just bought a millenium frame and it is brilliant. No tacks, no staple gun, (theoretically no lacing, although I had to because I bought the giant size stretcher bars and am doing a work that is smaller than the width). Still, a brilliant purchase and well worth the money. Mary Corbett did a wonderful review of the millenium frame which you can read here:

    I have never done a practice piece in my life. I learn on projects that interest me.

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