With all the flowers in place on the background fabric, it’s time to start the edging.
This serves two purposes: the practical one of neatening the edges and covering the remaining cut linen, and a more decorative one of adding a bit of sparkle.
I’m using imitation Japanese gold passing thread no. 8, the same as for the goldwork on the central crosses, but in this case just singly. To couch it down, I’m using a single strand of whichever stranded cotton I used for the edge of the flower; the idea is to harmonise with the flower itself, but still have the gold showing through to lift the design.
For the pearlwort flowers, this is Madeira 0103. I’m placing the couching stitches quite close together, just a millimetre or so, partly because that just works better for a small curved shape such as this, but also because it then gives more of a feel of the colour, which is the effect I’m after:
Not all of the outline of the flower is in the yellow, however, so for the green area, I’ve switched to a single strand of the green I used for it, Madeira 1410, to couch the gold:
I then pulled the ends of the gold thread through to the back of the fabric and finished them off neatly.
The gold thread has covered most of the linen edging, but there are a few stray fibres sticking out. It’s too much of a risk to try and cut them and I don’t want to try and pull them out, so I used the eye end of my needle to tuck them back under the flower, out of sight:
Here’s the finished flower:
And here’s as far as I’ve got so far:
There are a lot more to go! You can see the difference between the edged flowers and the ones still to do quite clearly – it’s a big improvement.
This is a bit more time-consuming a process than applying them to the fabric in the first place, so there’s quite a bit of work still to do.