At this stage I am beginning to see that the end is in sight. The applique leaves are ready to be stitched in place. I do this by hand, wearing my very fetching magnifiers, so that I can keep my stitches as small as possible.
The finishing touch to this stole are the two tiny goldwork acorns lying at the bottom of the trunk.
I first learnt how to do this kind of detailed embroidery on a course many years ago at the Ruthin craft centre. I begin by cutting out three layers of felt, in the desired shape, that decrease in size, they are each stitched down with tiny little stitches, finishing with the smallest piece on the top. This creates a dome that the gold kid leather is stitched over the top of.
Each acorn is finished with a couched gold jap thread to outline it.
The stole is now ready to be trimmed with a rotary cutter to its exact dimensions ready to be lined. I found a lovely vibrant green cotton for the reverse, which although isn’t really seen, still sets it off beautifully. The top of each side is cut to an angle of 60 degrees, then stitched together to create a point. The gold cross is then applied. The stole is now ready for lining.
I stitch the long outer edge, across the bottom and about 5cm up the inner edge first. Then turn the stole right side out and hand stitch the inner edge carefully in place with tiny hand stitches.
The final result I hope you will agree is beautiful. ”A bit abstract with perhaps an oak tree and landscape” as requested.