I am still writing catch up posts for the items that I finished during the last 12 months. Eternal Grace, my Japanese Embroidery phase 6 piece was finished in August last year and took about 12 months to stitch. I must admit that Grace and I were not the best of friends by the time I finished. Pretty much all her kimono is worked flat ie untwisted, silk and it is hard to keep that amount of flat silk pristine over a long period of time. Especially when it get transported to class on a monthly bases. Being so close to the embroidery over a long period of time, it seemed like she was wearing a fur coat rather than a kimono! Looking back at Grace after a few months separation I could see the overall result and I can happily that we are friends again now.
The obi was worked quite early on. Two colours of orange provide the shading for the folds However I did leave the flowers until later on because I remembered in Bouquet form the Heart of Japan that the stitches over the knots had a tendency to slip off, which I would have found distracting.
After the obi, I carried on down the kimono skirt, adding in the under kimono layers. On reflection I think I could have stitched a longer transition between the purple and pink sections on the kimono but I don't think the effect is too bad.
I found the hands one of the most satisfying area on Grace. I was dreading doing them because I thought it would be difficult to achieve a delicate effect. I expected to need several attempts. In the end they worked pretty much first time.
Once the kimono was finished, it was time for short stitch holding to fasten down those long flat silk stiches. This took several months to do and was challenging because the stitches show up much more on flat silk than they do on twisted silk.
Grace has been finished so long that I have even managed to get her framed and she has been hanging on the wall for over 6 months now. For framing I go to Lynn Hall at Fringe Arts, who is a specialist textile framer. Lynn specialises in intricate mounts and the accents she used picked out the kimono colours beautifully, with a slight touch of art deco style. It was an expensive trip to the framers because I got the Butterfly Panel framed at the same time. Again Lynn did a beautiful job, with a very subtle red under mount. This was 2 years after I finished the Butterfly Panel but on reflection I am glad I waited, because the two are hung on the small wall and the 2 black frames complement each other quite nicely.