I knew I was proud of this one because when I was trimming it to mount it, and I was scared to mess it up, my heart was beating a little bit faster. Maybe it’s the close psychic bond I have to my work :)
First I traced the image from one of my anatomy books, then scanned it to play with on the computer. I then reduced it and printed it, using it as a guide to stitch the outline in running stitch, as you have seen. I initially thought I would make bullion knots for the arteries, but in fact they were going to be too thick, so it’s just satin stitches, but worked on a split stitch outline to give it more dimension. There’s also three little french knots on the top of the aorta to show the beginnings of the subclavian artery (I think). The blue vein to the left is the superior vena cava, the one to the right is the pulmonary artery. The body of the muscle is worked in long and short stitch.
The over laying stitches show the arterial branches and coronary veins, and these are simple back-stitches. I also outlined the thing afterwards in grey, and to ground it I shaded the background slightly in pencil. It is worked on white salamanca in 2 ply Anchor cotton. The embroidery itself measures 15mm across and 21mm long. It took about 6 hours, including the outlines before and after. Whizz!
I am pretty pleased with this one as a first attempt to do miniaturised freestyle. And because it was so (relatively) quick to do, it was a really satisfying piece. I actually bought the silver pendant mount in this shape specifically with the idea of doing a heart… was only slightly pissed off when I realised it was going to be the ‘wrong’ way round (wanted the point of the heart to match the point of the triangle) but I do like the composition as a whole, and the shape makes it look quite modern. I might try staining the fabric with tea or something next time to give it a more vintage feel.