Monday, 28 October 2013

Night knight!

Here is is the medieval knight appliqué finished and ready to go. Quite pleased as he has a bit of movement in him. The picture was based around a medieval seal of William de Forz whose family owned Skipton Castle prior to the Cliffords and were founders of Bolton Priory. Background is cotton velvet, chain mail made with DMC Diamanté, sur coat calico and the rest cut from silk dupion and leather for the helmet. The sword is balsa wood covered with aluminium foil. 

Now, back to whitework......

Friday, 25 October 2013

Seeing shapes at last.

Tudor rose nearly finished.
At long last with this wretched piece of work I can see actual progress. Here is the rose design with single padded satin stitch outer petals and triple padded inner petals. All it needs is the definition between the petals and a woven centre - I hope. England's nearly done!

Drawn threads held with a twisted stitch
Here you can see where I have drawn bundle of threads together and twisted them one over another. I used a single strand of DMC thread held very taut - and yes it did snap once or twice!

Friday, 18 October 2013


Thought I had better post some update on my progress with my work!

As you can see the picture below does not look a lot like whitework. This is the knight I'm doing and at least he moves on visibly. Just the final bits to add on and the writing to embroider around the figure and he's ready for the village hall.

Knight coming on

No, the ? relates to these two photos. I padded out the outer petals with split stitch ready to satin stitch over them and do long and short for the leaves. I cannot tell you how long the satin stitch took me in single strand DMC trying to keep a neat edge...........

Satin stitch over split stitch padding

.........and then making sure those angles were OK.

Satin Stitch and long and short stitch

So now onto the inner petals - double padding and more satin stitch. Then just some knotted stitches for the border drawn threads. Methinks this could be a marathon!

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Using metal threads


Another way of using metal threads. This is DMC Diamante which makes bullion knots quite nicely. You can also do them with passing threads. The letter is stem stitch. This thread is lovely to embroider with and doesn't fray quite as much as the stranded metallics. 

Nice way to play-and your fingers don't go blue!

Monday, 7 October 2013


You will remember that I said last post that I am doing City & Guilds mainly for the design elements. Well this weekend I was doing a spot of mark making. Only problem was, like a toddler, I ended up covered in paint - and blue is a strong pigment! Wouldn't come off my hands. so no more whitework for a day or two! But at least I have a nice leaf print.

Fig Leaf print

Today, I did 'other things'. I've been asked to exhibit at a small village art show but I have to produce a piece based around Skipton Castle and Bolton Abbey. So here it is or part of it. This is taken from a medieval seal of one of the owners of the castle, and there will be the castle and the Priory church on it as well. Only thing is it is another knight on horseback (at least I know what I'm doing there).

Seal of William de Fortibus

I've also got to finish my creative metal thread sampler from Tracy Franklin's workshop.

Metal Thread Sampler

In the meantime I thought one or two of the samples would make some nice accessories for the Christmas fair at church.

Burden stitch in DMC Diamante

Plenty to work the blue paint off anyway-ha!

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Slow progress.

It is ages since I posted a blog but I have been doing things honest!

I began the last of my RSN modules for the Diploma up in Durham. At the same time, as that finishes, I decided to start the City and Guilds Level 3 certificate with Stitchbusiness. Glutton for punishment!

Having trawled the internet and all my books for inspiration, I decided I'd do my own design. So, belatedly, I will celebrate the Jubilee and my completing the Diploma (hopefully) with a sampler of flowers of the UK countries-rose, thistle, shamrock and daffodil, with a crown in the middle for good measure. Turning those into stylised drawings was trauma enough sizing etc, then I had to lay it all out on the linen, 36 count by the way.

The first thing was to set the position of the drawn border. Again lots more counting. The design is stitched onto the linen in a coloured thread similar to the way I did with the blackwork.

Design tacked on

Once everything was laid out I could start thinking about stitching -phew.

Pulling threads for drawn thread work

Drawn thread work means just that, removing thread from the fabric. Thankfully, I'd counted it alright, so when it came to the corners, it met correctly. The cut threads are woven in and the border hemmed. It was amazing how delicate and fluffy the individual threads are when you think of how fine and strong linen fabric is.

Thank goodness they match!

Then, at long last I started making the design 'appear' on the fabric.

Diagonal cross filling 

The brief specifies a number of pulled thread stitches, on top of these I will work some surface embroidery.

Single faggot stitch

At least I am underway!