Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Well I am making progress-slowly. I doubt I’ll finish completely but at least we’re well on the way. I've finished the appliqued cross and kept the flower red in the centre but there is a lot less gold work as it needs to be supple unlike the burse.

                                                                 Finished cross for veil.

I've managed to turn back the hem of the veil and partially catch it down and cut and pin the lining for it which will be slip stitched on. So it really is almost there - I just hate making up whether it's knitting or sewing. It's that last thing and I've already skipped on to the next idea - fatal. I need to be disciplined (I can hear Mum's voice in my head as I speak 'If a job's worth doing......................'..)

Burse and Veil together

The thing is that we are going away this weekend to Northumberland for a whole fortnight’s R& R. I have to pack clothes, embroidery stuff, fishing stuff, dog stuff. We do actually leave the kitchen sink behind – reluctantly. I shall be taking sketch book and another half finished project to complete while we are there - a pair of canvas work slippers for Mark, my patient, lovely husband.

I’ve had these so long that I don’t even know if they can be made up by the firm who made the kit - yep still digging out those kits! However, there is a wonderful cobbler in Settle and when I asked Daniel if he could make them up when completed he said ‘You can make them up yourself here.’ Hey, a whole new career opening up – embroidered shoes! Très 18th century.

So I am getting on with clearing the decks. I shall come back to a pile of making up and then the cupboard will be clear and I can start the Advanced Goldwork for the RSN Diploma with Tracy  Franklin in September free of baggage!

Just as a slight aside, got a new camera this weekend so I can do my own shots for this blog and not have to rely on others (Mark). So here is one I did earlier for my sister……

Goldwork Bumble Bee

Bumble Bee was for her, not the photograph. I don't think photography is the second career!

PS Does anybody know where you can get decent deep frames off the shelf at a reasonable price that will accommodate raised embroidery? Ikea? Do let me know.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Not everything goes to plan!

Okay doky! The burse is finished, so now I just have to do a matching veil.

                                                            Burse finished-neat hinge gal!

I suddenly thought that there will be a number of people out there who don’t have clue what these last couple of blogs have been about. Well, briefly, a veil covers the chalice on the altar at communion and a burse sits on top of it and holds a linen purificator.

I promised my local parish church that I would help them out and repair/replace some of their aging embroideries. There was no time limit but you know………….one of those things that is hanging round at the back of your mind and blocking your creative juices. So that is why I have to get on and finish this particular set.

I decided to replicate the embroidered cross on the burse in DMC in gold for the arms and rose for the central motif, then all outlined in gold passing. Have spent all today doing the rose and starting the arms of the cross in long and short stitch – and I don’t like it! The fabric is a woollen damask type weave and just doesn't take to single strand embroidery and life's just too short..................

                                                                     Crap photo too!

I think it will look better if the arms are appliquéd like the burse then the colour AND texture will match. So it’s a bit of reverse stitching for me tonight.

I go on holiday in 10 days and want this done before I go. I have already been filling my little notebook with ideas for new pieces so can use the peace and quiet of the Borders to take those further.

If you have a spare hour or two why not take a workshop with The Make District in Lancaster this Saturday-such cleverly crafty ladies! Tea and cake as well!

Oh well, must get on……..

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Onwards & Upwards

The sun disappeared this week and the rain came back so that meant that I could get on with no excuses to create a distraction.

The burse embroidery is complete and has now come off the frame ready to be made up. This involves quite a complex construction but with the help of Beryl Dean’s Church Needlework I seem to be getting there.

The first thing was to get 8 x 9” squares of cardboard and glue two together at a time to leave you with 4 squares in total.

The embroidered front and the plain fabric back of the burse are then mounted onto the card and laced to stretch them taut.

                                                                                                 Lacing the embroidery

Fair linen is mounted onto the remaining two squares of card and these are over sewn together to create a hinge effect. The fair linen is the inner part of the burse.

                                                    Inner section of burse with over sewn hinge

You then have to join the inner and outer section by slip stitching them together, remembering to replicate a hinge with the fabric on the outer section. This is where your fingers thumbs, threads and needle all seem to get in the way! But I WILL do it.

                                                       Ready to join inner and outer sections

Overall, the embroidery is OK but I did have problems transferring the design onto the fabric initially as it is textured wool. We decided not to use silk fabric or threads to try and reduce deterioration as the church can be a bit on the damp side. Having said that, the appliquéd sections use a silk dupion. Onto this a piece of kid leather was couched on each arm of the cross and edged with pearl purl and then gold passing was couched down around the edges of each appliqué shape. Imitation jap thread is used for the outer semi circles and jap and rococo edged with pearl purl form the inner circle with a chip work flower in the centre and finally a spangle right in the middle of the flower. Am I happy with it? Should we just say you learn from each piece you do, so there are probably things I would do differently another time but those I will keep to myself!

                                                                                                 Mounted front

The veil will have an embroidered cross using DMC threads and edged with passing threads. This should keep the fabric as supple as possible so that it will drape well. Just the colour of the cross to decide on now!

So you see I can finish things when I put my mind to it there’s just such a long list of things to complete.

As they say on Gardener’s Question Time ‘Onwards and upwards’