Friday, 31 May 2013


Here's what I did with the strawberry stumpwork.........................

Mounted stumpwork - check out the caterpillar!
I made it into a needlebook - just for a change! -

Outlined in handmade cord.

Lined cover
....and gave it to my sister. Maybe it will inspire her (or better still my niece).

Off to Durham tomorrow to check out the N E Embroiderers Guild exhibition for the Lindisfarne Gospels. Then I have a lovely butterfly that would look great in a bit of goldwork. Oh I'm buzzing with ideas........

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

More progress.

So, moving on from where we were in my last post. I worked the scrolls in a DMC Diamante thread doubled in the needle. I decided on  Hungarian braided chain stitch, courtesy of Mary Corbet's You Tube posts, as it gave the texture but was not as complicated as trying to work out Elizabethan plaited braid. One day I'll get to grips with historic stitches!

Hungarian braided chain stitch
After the scrolls, it was time to do the needlelace petals for the strawberry flower....

Fiddly or what?

One down and five to go

Completed flower with French knots in centre.
Now it's onto the leaves which are embroidered wire slips.....

Embroidered slip

 I must say it's all proving a valuable testing ground for the stumpwork module in July.

Monday, 27 May 2013

It's strawberry time.

Keeping my hand in and practising some needle lace and stumpwork ready for my next RSN module. This is done on natural linen (can't remember count). 

Layering felt for padding

Top layer done ready for needle lace

Trellis stitch

Detached picot for sepals
There is a strawberry and a strawberry flower with detached petals that will sit in a gold roundel with maybe a caterpillar and a bee somewhere. Also need some beads or something for the seeds. Anyway having fun messing about!

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Quick break

Having a 'day off' after finishing the appliqué.

Doing a flower arrangement tomorrow for the flower festival at Austwick church over the Bank Holiday based on the story of the Hare & Tortoise. 
I've got my embroidery of the hare,

so today I made a tortoise......

Now just to do the flower arrangement!

Monday, 20 May 2013

In sight of the finishing line.

Here's an update as I hurtle towards the completion of this piece based on the 11th century Baldishol tapestry.

Ribbon embroidered mane and free standing ear

Lance and reins in place

Not sure about that right hand with the lance!

Shield - free standing, outlined with silver passing and french knots
So, it's finally coming together - there's still some d..'d spots to do!

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Last furlong?

Just a quickie to show the reworked border and feet.

Border and free standing foot
The border had been puckered so I took it off and mounted it on card and then laced it to pull out the puckers. Only problem was that then meant unpicking the feet!. When it was all re-attached, the foot which lies over the border couldn't be sewn down through card so I made it freestanding. Try satin stitch on a small piece you're holding with tweezers! It's all done for the love of art!!!!!!!!!!!! Ha, believe that if you wish.

How the border sits now.

I can now move on and have started outlining the saddle with silver plated pearl purl.

Hopefully this time I am on the last furlong...........

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Ground Hog Day?

You know those jobs you work round rather than just getting on and tackling? Well one of mine had to be done today. Plinths.

'What?' you might ask?


Each pillar on the applique has a base and a capital and three plinths at the joins. So that is six to do altogether. These things are fiddly, but being for my module, still need to look good.

First you take your silk...

then you attach some Bondaweb on the rear.

Trace off and cut out your shape in pelmet Vilene to give it some stiffness, and then draw round the Vilene shape onto the Bondaweb adding a 5mm border to fold over later.

Cut it out and peel off the Bondaweb and press with an iron preferably under some tissue paper.....and hey presto you have your own little Elastoplast!

Now if you're not familiar with Bondaweb you may well ask how to I stop the plaster from sticking to the tissue paper/iron/board whatever. Mine did the first time I used it like this. 

Tip: Use silicone baking paper, yeh. It peels off and leaves some glue ready to fold over the Vilene.

Just glue the long edge - quick press of the iron - and then lace the round ends to make it smooth.

Magic, one down, five to go. The problem, as you can see, is the size of each of these things. Fingers just seem to get in the way! Once I had them all - I had to do them in one go or I'd never do them! - it was time to pad with felt.......

and then attach them with tiny stab stitches.Fortunately, through the whole process I had Kate Sinton's Stumpwork book (part of the RSN Essential Stitch Guides series) which explained covering Vilene

And here's what the pillar looks like now with them on..........

Now all I have to do is embroider more spots on each plinth. Ground hog day?

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Come back silk shading...............

Just a quick little post for those of you who like to follow progress. My crewel bird continues to grow - in a way he's a bit of R & R away from the RSN module and college work.
After the tail feathers I moved up the body to his wing. I laid down a pale green horizontally and the did a trellis pattern in a slightly darker green ..........

Trellis work over laid threads

... and stem stitched as an outline in one more shade darker green.

Stem stitch outline
Sadly, I had to leave him for today to do some work on the applique. I have edged the last of the pillars with a cord I made at Tracy's on her cordwinder from DMC cotton (brilliant, I'll have to save up for one of them!)
I made this!
 Then it's doing all those little bits that I 'just left till later', like ANOTHER motif.

Satin stitching an applique motif
This one is satin stitched in two colours. Keep thinking I'm nearly there, then see something else I put off 'till later'. Come back silk shading.....

Oh and a question for you. Should I do my birdy's head in yellow or green? Can't quite seem to make my mind up

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Feathers and more feathers...........

Having done the long tail feathers I moved on to the next set above the tail. I decided to do closed fly ( it always seems to end up closed fly!),but shaded the wools - not too happy with the dark yellow, so it will have to come out yet!

Closed fly
 The main wing caused a bit of a headache too. I did do a row or two of blanket stitch but it just looked too clunky. So I changed to a laid stitch and I will anchor this with some threads on top of it.
Laid wool for the wing
Birdy is nearly finished, onto the acorns and leaves next.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Heavy chain......and then a bit heavier.

See the sun really does motivate me! I decided to do the tail feathers in heavy chain stitch and started with a single row.

Heavy chain stitch
 However, after I had done a few rows I decided it just wasn't working as single rows. So I went back and did another row alongside the original ones.

Heavy chain in double rows
I think it gives it a bit more depth. Next it's the back feathers above these, now what should I do there...............?

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Sun's out and all's well................

The sun is here, we're looking forward to summer and itchy for a new project. The garden is starting to look pretty and heh, after five years even my erythroniums decided to put on a good show!

Erythronium-White Beauty

The applique module for the RSN is very nearly finished - just a few bits of trim to add. And I had my micro teach session this week (hardly got past the threading of a needle!) so as a bit of r&r I started something new. Yes I know I should finish one thing first, but this is a quicky and I find crewel so soothing.

Jacobean bird on linen twill

This is a little bird I drew up after I'd helped out the village craft group. Just a few stitches and not too complicated! And here are the colours.........

Lovely, lovely Appleton's crewel wools.

I'm just doing it on a hoop, so I've covered the linen with a little cling film to help keep it clean. I started with a little laid work and some french knots - two wraps. But didn't like those - too heavy and clunky, so took it out and did one wrap instead and it looks much better

French knots-two wraps

French knots-one wrap
I'm pondering the wing now, but while I think I'll do a little long and short on the oak leaves. Any ideas just let me know.....................