Sweetbag and plaited braid

Sometime back in May, I promised I would finish my sweetbag this year.  Of course, I promptly forgot that promise and was off doing a zillion other projects.  The end of the year is awfully close, but there is an arts competition in January that might make a good (but tight) new deadline.  Right now the sweetbag is half-stitched.

Sweetbag 7 dec

I need to finish stitching it, then do all the finishing work, including pulls and cords and tassels.  I don’t know if I can finish all that in less than 2 months, but at least I will have made progress.

I’d like to make the second half a bit more complicated and use plaited braid stitch for the coiled vines.  I took a class back in June with Melinda Sherbring and plaited braid was one of the stitches that was covered.  I thought I had it down at that time, but alas, it kept turning into a hot mess.

So back to basics.  I found a Mary Corbet YouTube video online and studied that for awhile. It’s located here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GesMsKhvXo

Then I tried the stitch on plastic needlepoint canvas with a large needle and pearl cotton until it began to make sense.

braid 1

As soon as I started trying it on  my linen with Benton and Johnson gold thread   I had problems.  I went back to the video several times, and kept practicing.  One of the problems I have is I tend to twist my needle which in turn twists the gold thread.  I need to remember to let it untwist after every couple of stitches.  Also, I have to remember not to cut my thread too long.  I think I’ve got it now (at least in theory) and will try it on the sweetbag next.

Braid 2

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Sweetbag!

In modern life, there is only so much time for creative projects.  I probably ought to be working on a different embroidery project (which has a pending deadline) or on scroll projects (which also have deadlines), but I promised myself this embroidery project would be done this year. I’ve been working on it a little bit each day to further that goal.

So, Ta Da!  The sweetbag is now half-way stitched.

 

sweetbag half done

The photo doesn’t show how shiny the silver and gold are.  Trust me, the stuff just sparkles in the sun.

I figure I’m about a 1/3 of the way done with this.  I have to stitch the front side and then I’ll have to do the construction, including tassels, cords and pulls which mostly are done in techniques I have very little experience in.

I’m pretty happy with my progress thus far.