As you saw in the picture from yesterday, the panel in the EG collection is quite small. It appeared to me to be the same scale as the jacket, but some further measurements will be made from photographs I took with a ruler at the edge of the mounting. If you remember, our hypothesis is that the same master vine pattern was used for both.
The first thing that struck me was that the petals of the flowers were stuffed, giving them a trapunto-like effect. This isn’t visible in the published photos of the piece. Of course panic set over me – was the jacket also stuffed? My gut said no, as the extra work would have greatly increased the time to finish the piece and we had already seen that some details on the panel had been dropped for the jacket by comparing photographs. When I saw the jacket the next day, it wasn’t stuffed. Phew. I don’t know the material it was stuffed with, but it appeared ecru to white when I saw it peeking out under one damaged petal. Possibly wool? I did really like the effect. I may have to try it.
The stuffing, I think, would have been put under the growing petal as work was being completed. I say this because the fiber wasn’t sticking through the top (as it might if it had been laid down first). Also the reverse chain outline was there and so the petals were embroidered in place. What we don’t know is if a traditional trapunto technique was used – slitting or making a pushed hole in the back and then fiber stuffed in and the hole sewn shut. The panel is mounted, making the back unavailable to view. Considering how difficult it might be to stuff from the back without damaging the buttonhole, I think I will try stuffing as the petal is worked.