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Historical Sampler - Adventures with a Borage

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27 August 2008

Historical Sampler - Adventures with a Borage

I wanted to do the Bronze Borage from Elizabethan Needlework Accessories by Sheila Marshall :



replacing the red/brown with blue, coz borages are blue.

The first step was to fishbone the horizontal leaves in fishbone stitch.



I used DMC Fil D'or with fishbone stitch. (I've mis-marked it "Lurex" on the doodle cloth).

The next step was to pad the other three leaves in felt:



And then cover them with satin stitch, prior to buttonholing over the top:


Then I had a thought.......

I hadn't seen any images where the borage had the 'double petals' that the design showed on three of the leaves, and so I thought I'd talk to Eowyn (Melinda Sherbring).

She pointed out that firstly, in order for it to be a borage, it needs a spike (white, with a black base).

She also hadn't seen the "double petal on three leaves" done historically and in fact all 5 leaves should be the same.

Eowyn suggested that I keep the two gold leaves - with a blue line done down the middle and do the other three in the same way.

This doesn't mean the Needlework Accessories book is incorrect, but that the author has interpreted the historical design more than I'm comfortable with, and I'd rather be closer to the historical examples.

I didn't know enough about borages to realise the discrepancy until Eowyn kindly helped me"

This is what a borage actually looks like :



complete with white, black tipped spike.


and these are it's leaves.


So, after some frogging (rippit? get it?) I was back down to just two fishboned Lurex leaves, and had changed the design a bit in pen.

I changed the leaves as well. I didn't HAVE to - some designs have all sorts of leaves mixed up with all sorts of flowers, but I wanted to.



And then, a little more fishboning, and the addition of the blue, in YLI silk in a double strand in stem stitch, down the middle.

Actually it wasn't that simple. I'd run out of Fil D'or and had to use some horrible even more artificial gold thread, and it was just awful to embroider with, but it more or less matched the Fil D'or, and it's done now, with only a few swear words.



I think that it looks lovely!

There is one integral problem remaining - the interpreted design had two horizontal leaves and 3 'other' leaves in a slightly different shape, whereas in a real borage they are all exactly the same and positioned differently. It's not too bad - I'm just conscious of it because I drew the design.

Here's a borage from the Laton Jacket (V&A T.288-1994) to show what I mean :


This also meant that the sepals are different - starting at the edge of the petals, rather than at the centre, as they do in a real flower. Oh well. It was an adventure!

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Blogger Dragonsally said...


Wednesday, August 27, 2008  
Anonymous EowynA said...

The results are lovely! The gold petals shine and sparkle nicely. You could make the stripes of blue a bit wider, but by making all the petals the same way, it reads a lot better as a borage than the first one does. Well done!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008  
Blogger Mary Corbet said...

It looks really nice, Megan!! Are you really liking working with the Lurex?

I like the gold!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008  
Blogger Elmsley Rose said...

sally - excellent response to "frogging"

Eowyn - I can see them having wider strips but (something that doesn't show up in the photo) having done them exactly down the fishbone 'spine' it makes them puff up a bit on either side, and I like it.

I'll do the bug nearby with some Royal blue, to bring it out.

Mary - I'm really enjoying learning what the different threads can do.
Such as Lurex for braid stitch and heavy chain stitch - got to fit them in somewhere!

Thursday, August 28, 2008  

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