My challenge for February was to finish my oldest UFO. This goes back to when I was 8 years old! I started this embroidery to go with a cockerel I’d stitched the year before, both patterns were from the Needlewoman magazine. My mum was always very encouraging if we saw something we wanted to make, suggesting little adaptations where necessary to make it feasible for a child to stitch. I found the lyrebird in my old workbox and decided I either finished it or disposed of it! After 5 minutes on Google I also found a photo of the original magazine with the Lyrebird on the front cover!
I realised there wasn’t actually that much stitching left to do, it’s quite sad really that it has taken all of two evenings (…and 40 years!) to finish! I couched some gold thread round the body and wings, it’s a little too shiny really but it was what I had in and I didn’t want to buy too much thread. The transfer markings for the legs were all still visible, albeit feint so I used the same thread to couch the legs and feet. I bought some DMC gold stranded thread to satin stitch the claws and also to replace one of the plumes that had gone astray. There were a few ‘starbursts’ on the plumes to finish too.
The tops of the legs were meant to have gold French knots on, in fact there were about three already stitched so I suspect it was the effort of trying to do French knots in gold thread that put me off all those years ago! I decided to use gold beads instead, to add a bit of continuity I’ve added a little row of beads around the curve of the wing. I decided to add some gold thread around the eye, it helped neaten up the satin stitch and adds a bit of sparkle, I stitched one bead next to the pupil to give it a bit of light.
…and that was it, finished!! I’m going to take both pictures down to Otley market to get them framed and then they are ready to hang in my new sewing room (when it’s ready!)
It was a fine line to tread between stitching enough to complete it but ensuring it didn’t stand out too much from the childish stitching of the rest of the embroidery, but I’m pleased with the finished picture. It also reminded me that I really don’t enjoy goldwork!! Don’t get me wrong, I think goldwork embroidery is stunning, I just don’t like doing it! The threads don’t feel nice and I don’t find them easy to sew with. I went on a WI workshop once which was an introduction to goldwork, I remember I was pleased with what I stitched, enough to get it framed, I just had no desire to do any more!
Linking up with Kathy’s Quilts for Slow-Stitching Sunday and Super Mom No Cape for Vintage Embroidery Monday, why not have a look what everyone else has been stitching?