Saturday, August 1, 2020

Pharaoh's Feathered Fan

Starting the Fan's Feathers

A lot of people have trouble with stitching feathers. I think this has to do with the fact that feathers are often not painted perfectly symmetrically.  Fishbone is my favorite stitch for feathers and leaves, but it didn't seem to work well here.  I think my problem is that each feather is shaped differently.  I found it hard to work fishbone from the base up and keep the sides even.  I ended up using a variation   of fishbone stitch called Raised Fishbone that is worked from the tip down.  You can see it demonstrated on Mary Corbet's website.

I'm using one ply of High Cotton from the strand.  (High Cotton is a five ply cotton thread with a tight twist to each ply and a slightly matte finish that I really like.  It's discontinued, sadly, but I have all the colors I need in my stash, so High Cotton it is.)  Fishbone and its variations are easier to work smoothly in a single stranded thread like perle cotton, crewel wool, threads that aren't used in multiple plies, basically.  It was pretty easy to switch colors as I worked down the feather, too.  I worked the purple feathers first, then the teal, and finished with the red as the purple ones seemed to be in the back, the teal ones in the middle and the red ones on top.  I always work from background forwards if that is possible.

9 of 12 Feathers Done

Raised Fishbone gave me a slightly raised effect without trying to grab attention from Pharaoh.  I did end up tent stitching the dark red area around the base of the jeweled fan before stitching the red feathers so I could tell where to stop stitching feathers.  I'll discuss the jeweled base of the fan next after I work all the red feathers in Raised Fishbone.

Feathers Finished!

Here is the slightly raised effect I got in my feathers.  It isn't too much dimension so it doesn't fight with Pharaoh for attention.  If you wanted more dimension, however, you could work this in Straw Silk or a ribbon and it would be more prominent.

By the way, I have listed all the postings about this design on the Chilly Hollow Stitch Guides blog so you can easily follow along as I blog stitch this.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
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© Copyright July 6, 2020 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.