The Purple Peacock received Third Prize for Textiles in September 1995 at the International Craft Fair in Nyireguhaz Hungary, visiting exhibition from St Albans Craft Group. It was exhibited at the St Albans Craft Groups Exhibition, The Maltings, St Albans in June 1995, the Embroidery Extravaganza, Hertfordshire Embroiders Guild, Watford Museum in November 1994 and the Embroiders Guild Exhibition, St Albans in March 1993. The piece was also featured in Creative Machine Embroidery, A practical sourcebook by Gail Harker (2000).
The piece is 126 x 107cm. It took one month to complete. Further information on this piece can be viewed on video here. I was very interested in doing peacocks because of the combination of colours. I went through a phase of doing several peacock pieces where I was trying to replicate the birds beauty. For this piece I started by drawing it out using several reference photos of peacocks along with some peacock feathers. It is a silk background that has been silk painted, the peacock is then machine embroidered on-top. I began with the white stems of the feathers and then built up the feathers in front, While I was experimenting with how I could use the machine to create different stitches I discovered how to create a satin stitch effect that looks like hand stitching, I did this by finding the right timing to pull the thread across the silk, creating a longer stitch.
The border is eight different panels, attached to the central panel, the pattern is inspired by the peacock feathers.