With the design transferred to the back of the fabric and it stretched onto an embroidery frame, it’s time to start sewing.
Firstly, I need the design on the front of the fabric, where I can see it. The background fabric is silk dupion in ivory; I don’t want to mark that directly as it’s not going to be washed, so I need a way to transfer the design as non-invasively as possible.
To do this, I stitched over the design on the back in small running stitches in a sewing thread that will tone with the embroidery thread I’ll be using later, in this case gold:
This way, I have a clear design to work with, but if I change my mind or any of the stitches are still visible when I’m finished, I can just unpick them without leaving a trace. It takes a little longer than other methods, but it means no marks on the fabric to worry about, which makes it well worth while, so I can sew over the running stitches without worrying that they’ll show through.
So, with the design transferred, I stitched over it in chain stitch, using Gutermann metallic thread no. 24:
By the way, if you’re wondering ‘where are the wings?’, that was deliberate – I’ll come to them later.
Next, I’ll fill in the bees with colour.