Friday, 5 December 2014

Weaving a story

I'm working the last stages of  my Whitework now but probably the most scary.

First a section of drawn thread work. Random widths of threads were removed and hemmed with traditional hemstitch or herringbone hemstitch then worked with knotted, twisted or woven fillings or surface embroidery - here feather stitch.

Withdrawn threads

Then the cut eyelets were filled with needle woven Ayreshire fillings worked with fine 80/3 lace thread. There are three but one hasn't photographed well as it is so lacy. I did try working the smaller eyelets but they didn't look good so I will leave them just oversewn.

Ayreshire fillings

Now I am working detached leaves and the head feathers then I should be ready to cutaway the linen to reveal the embroidered net. My hand shakes thinking about it! 

Friday, 21 November 2014

A stitchy tail...

I worked the tail feathers for the peacock in pulled thread stitches as one of the first things I did. Now it is time to define them with padded satin stitch and trailing.

Padded satin stitch 

And to work a centre feature with eyelets.

Ready to work the eyelets

Satin stitch complete

Continuous eyelets and working larger eyelets

Some of the larger eyelet holes will be filled in with Ayreshire needlelace fillings.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Watch the birdie!

Still a lot of trailing to go, but I can now also work on the body of the peacock.
The main body is worked in 60/2 cotton lace thread in a darning stitch
Darning stitch body
The feathers are worked freehand in fishbone stitch in DMC Retours d'Alsace which is similar to cotton perle
Fishbone stitch feathers
The eyelet eye is in 60/2 cotton lace thread and the ladder stitch branch is a cotton a broder cordonnet with 50/3 lace thread for the pulled stitches and a single strand of Retours trailed on the outside edge. I have also worked the beak in padded satin stitch with stranded cotton.
Eyelet and ladder stitch 
Now for the tail feathers.........

Sunday, 9 November 2014

A white peacock

I have decided to continue my studies by taking the Royal School of Needlework's Advanced Diploma in Fine Whitework with Tracy A Franklin in Durham. This is worked on 65 count fine linen so it is a challenge to see it let alone work it!

I have actually, rashly maybe, drawn my own design of a stylised peacock inspired by some Indian embroidery. This technique is worked in layers -

Pulled threads

Embroidery patterns on net

The net is then sandwiched between two layers of linen and it is all basted together while you work the rest of your embroidery

Trailing - single thread stranded cotton over 10 core threads

Trailing is worked around the area where your net embroidery is to be exposed to hold it in place without distorting it

Double trailing round the outer edges

Now I can concentrate on the actual peacock.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Hello again!

Well, I have completed some things since I last posted.

The cushion was made up and a gold cord stitched around the edge with knotted corners

Knotted cord corners

The chair seat was mounted on a newly upholstered base

I made a small purse with a gold embroidered front panel for my sister's birthday.

My Applique embroidery is featured in Julia Triston and Rachel Lombard's book Contemporary Applique

....and I started my Advanced Fine Whitework module for the RSN  (I will post more about this as I go along).

All in all it kept me out of mischief and I've lots on the go for 2015. I love this work!

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Chair Seat

The cushion front is completed and waiting to be made up. So, keeping busy with jobs I have to do, I'm now working a chair seat cover for a friend. Sadly, not my own design, but one from Beth Russels's book of Morris inspired designs. This one is taken from Celandine.

It is worked on 14 count canvas with Appletons crewel wools

Starting at the centre.

Seems I can't get away from tent stitch this summer!

Progress after three days

At least I got a new large slate frame out of it!

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Spacing and symmetry

Having done one side of the design last week, it is time to work the other and to try and make sure that they are symmetrical

After that, it's time to work the lettering in the ribbons. I laid out the motto on a drawing of the original design so that I could adjust the spacing and height of the letters. Then traced it onto tissue paper and worked through that in stem stitch.

Once it is complete the tissue paper can be torn away leaving the motto behind on the silk.

The hound above the helmet has some texture on the original, so I decided to long and short stitch it in a gold coloured thread to give the effect of a rough coat, then outline in pearl purl.

I think he's worked out OK and looks reasonably like a dog! Just one more motto in the top ribbon banner and that's it - ready to make up.

What's next on my list? I'm taking Tracy's example and working a waistcoat pattern from a waistcoat at the Met - that is when I've practiced my drawing a bit more!

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Fishy Tales!

Having completed the central elements, apart from the hound that I'm thinking about, I've moved onto the supporting dolphins. The crown is known as a celestial crown and has stars at the top of each point. These I've just done in DMC Diamante thread in straight stitches to keep the look light and in proportion.

The dolphins has black silk satin stitched eyes and nostrils and his scales are laid and couched gilt passing

His gills are pearl purl laid in a zig zag pattern. The thread has a stitch holding it at each turning point and then gently manipulated round the turns. Then the whole shape is outlined with the pearl purl.

Once the tail is done - more tight turns! - it's one down and one more to go.

Lettering next!

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Bit of Goldwork

I've finished Mark's slippers and have now moved on to another commission.

First to tack on the design...

.....there is a pattern here, honest!

A gold coloured silk is appliqued down and the design tacks removed.

After a quick press, I can start applying the gold metal threads and any surface embroidery.

I'm hoping that enough people can follow this. Blogger's reading list links are up the spout at the moment. Here's hoping they get it fixed soon, I'm suffering withdrawal symptoms!

Friday, 20 June 2014

What now?

Having finished the Sweete Bag for Gawthorpe Hall it was time to take some R&R and where better than the Scottish Borders.

We really were this close to the Tweed, England is the opposite bank, and in the midst of Reiver country. Mark took fishing rods, I took embroidery and even the dogs were quiet.

Back home I dragged out the trusty turn to project - a pair of slippers for Mark that I have been embroidering forever. They've even been to the Borders a couple of years ago!

I'd completed one foot and was determined to complete the other

And weh heh, only about 8 rows to go. Now just to decide how to turn them into slippers!

As well as these I am doing a private commission, and will be embroidering a pair of canvas work chair seats for a friend. But then....

I want to return to my sampler book of historic embroidery, remember Mrs Delaney's flower? So I will probably do some goldwork this time, maybe on velvet? And I need to think of the cover for the sampler book. (Get your ideas down in a sketchbook girl!) Oh, and I've to frame up for fine whitework with Tracy and then Christmas is coming up, and the church Fair..............

No chance of getting bored then!

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Finishing off

Those eagle eyed amongst you will notice a slight difference to the front of the bag. Yes, I couldn't resist fiddling, I took off the silver passing petals and replaced them with ones in Gilt Sylke Twist. I know it's not shaded but I just feel happier with it that way. The twist from America hasn't arrived so I have to go with what I can get. Now I can prepare to make up.

Finished front
First I decided to applique the silk brocade onto the canvas. That provides some support both when I make the seams and in the long term. I also slipped a piece of fine linen over the metal threads behind my embroidery to protect the silk lining from rubbing against them. Once stitched I applied diluted pva round the edges to stop the canvas fraying when I cut it.

Green silk brocade back
Then it was off the frame and cut out. The edges were folded in, the bag folded in half and I slip stitched the two side edges with strong thread. I worked on a clean, folded towel to protect the flowers.

Now for the lining. I had already sewn up a rectangle of bright pink silk for the lining. This was a popular colour to use and matched the pink in the chevrons and the rose in tent stitch, (the Gilt Sylke Twist is a slightly lighter shade). I had to use dupion not grosgrain as would have been used originally. This is also slip stitched in place.

Sewing the lining in
Then the metallic bobbin lace  made by Dianne from Gawthorpe was slip stitched in.

Attached lace
I do not know which bobbin lace pattern it is unfortunately but below is a close up for you

Close up of lace
Finally, I attached the handle which is made from a 5 element braid of twisted lengths of the pink silk and gilt passing

Finished bag front
There are no tassels or drawstring on this bag and no evidence of there having been and no narrow wares covering the seams. So that's it.

Finished bag rear

Last night I photographed the bag in candlelight.................... lose some of it but I think you get the idea of how it would twinkle and glitter and how the Gilt Sylke Twist catches the light. Today. the bag goes to its new home at Gawthorpe Hall where it will be used as part of the learning programme. I'm happy but also sad to see it go.

Friday, 23 May 2014

Closing moves

I haven't got the gilt Sylke twist I ordered in time, but a friend has sent me some blue, a pink and a green, so I decided to go ahead with what I had. And yes it makes a difference. The photos don't really show the gilt wire around the silk core but having that there makes the petals a lot more self supporting. I didn't need to use the passing thread for a supporting cord, I used the GST.

And yes it is an interesting thread to use! I read Tricia's advice on the Thistle Threads site, did a sample or two and just ploughed ahead! It is REALLY springy, but I found that if you keep it under a light tension that helps to prevent it snagging and breaking too much. I will definitely come back to it and explore it some more.

The cornflowers were a pig to do, up and down, up and down, now it is just to assemble. The cord handle is made and a lovely volunteer at Gawthorpe Textiles - Dianne Derbyshire - has made some lace for around the opening. There is no drawstring and no sign of any tassels so none of them to make. Here's hoping no more hiccups.