June 2015

Considering starting the blog back up ?

Sunday, 30 May 2010


Have decided today that while i have the inspiration and design ideas for my large embroidery, I need to focus on the fine details of my designs more. (ie making them look perfect BEFORE i stitch them, not following the "it will do attitude."

So i have decided to "bypass" the stage i hate the most (putting the design onto cloth stage) by doing a needlework project, rather than making my own. Just to see how i go.

I bought a cheap project off Ebay, it is a really nice design by Elsa Williams "The Lowell Sampler"

So i shall do this for the time being. (hopefully only a couple of weeks) While i sort out my main design.

Thanks again to those who have given me lots of help and encouragement with my stitching :-)

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Yet more threads

YAH... My last lot of Renaissance Dyeing Threads came in the mail today. I am very happy. Unfortunately as i am trying to study i didn't have more than an hour (ok it was two) to play with them.

They work really smoothly. they are really really easy to stitch with if the thread is doubled, but i prefer the effect if they are single. So far they are really consistent in their stitching with no real "stretching" and "thinning" and i havn't actually broken a thread yet, (came close when the phone rang though)

 As you can see they threw in a couple of "bits and bobs" (see the little bits at the top) as well which was really nice of them.

I also unwound some of my silks and rayons from bobins and hung them up to "defrizz" you can see the ones on the left have been treated by the good ole kettle steam and the ones on the right have not. I obviously havn't had enough tea today.

Then as a fellow embroiderer had given me some advice on my stitching i set to trying to turn my satin stitch into something respectable.
This if you remember was my first attempt ever at satin stitch. The thread is wool and it is padded underneath. As you can see it is rather bumpy.

 Here is my next attempt. It is starting to look better. I don't know if i like the varigated on this flower, it was my new thread and i just wanted to try it. However, i think the lines are somewhat neater.
Following that i tried a pattern over the top to see if i could make that stick in the lines.

There is a bumpy bit on the side of the circle on the right (The phone rang and i tried to pull the stitch through and buggered the back) if this was a proper piece and not a trial i guess i would be re-doing that. It looks worse from the other side too...

While it still needs more focus i think it is looking better :-)

In the meanwhile i ordered some beads and pearls today to make up a Paternoster. I love this site has some awesome stuff.

Will see of i can get some more done tonight.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Update on my Trial Jacobean Pattern

IT ARRIVED!!! took 7 working days. which is awesome from France to Australia. Still have two more packages to arrive (as i ordered extra afterward :-)

I love the Renaissance dyeing wool it's so pretty.

There is another row on the back, but i didn't take a picture

Here is my "doodle cloth" sampler with some work on it last night. All still in the Appleton's wool however.

Here is the whole design

Here is the close up.
I know that the little leaves around the flower are in the wrong spot (as i just sketched the design on i made a mistake) However i am fairly happy with my first attempt at the colour graduation in long and short stitch.

Not much to go, then i will have a go at stretching it out before i start my large design with the Renaissance wool. yeeeeeee

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Jacobean Embroidery Research and Links

 NOTE: This is an old post that i shall be updating with extra information. I started the research for Jacobean Embroidery, but never started anything.

I Just got asked what type of embroidery i was currently interested in. Up till now it has been about 1350 split stitch needlepainting type stuff.

that is not what my answer was.

EDIT: In short i guess it is Jacobean wool work?

currenly i am rather interested in some of the embroidery done in 16th-18th century. Particularly the embroidery done on the large curtains that surrounded four poster beds in many of the houses we vistited in England. Im thinking mostly of Cothele and... and.... i can see the house and town but not the name of the house dammn it... i'll remember later.
"An Embroidered XVIIth or XVIIIth century Wool-work Curtain.—This curtain, the property of Miss Killick, is a pretty example of a small crewel-work hanging. The design is of a type that was often used upon hangings of that period. It is embroidered with brightly coloured wools upon a white linen ground, and is in a good state of preservation. Much ingenuity as well as variety of stitching are shown in the execution of the work."

Crewel work on cotton and linen twill ground; stem stitch with
long, short and coral stitches and French knots, 1630s V&A Museum
Artist/designer - Unknown
Place - England
Length 18 in (sleeve, outer seam)
A mythical bird is just one of the fanciful
creatures that populate this embroidered jacket of the 1630s. Worked in red wool
on a thick twill of linen warp and cotton weft, the coarseness of the thread and
heaviness of the ground lack the delicacy of similar garments embroidered in
silk on finer linen, but overall the work has a certain enchanting vitality. The
design shows a development in later Jacobean needlework – the scrolling vines
seen on jackets of the first two decades of the 17th century have disappeared.
Each motif is worked separately, while retaining the curvilinear dynamism
typical of Jacobean embroidery. During the later 17th century, this type of
needlework, known as crewel work, grew in popularity. It became an important
method of decorating household furnishings, particularly bed curtains and

Ok so these may be a little too elaborate....but you get the jist, imagine a scaled down.... slightly sparser less time consuming and perhaps only the top frieze over a carefully chosen fabric down below.

so the past two days (home sick) has been madly spent researching this whilst running back and forward from bed for naps. Any reccomendations.... please comment.
Here is another one from the V&A Click here
This site has some info on stitches used
Great instructions for a Jacobean hanging ie stitching guide.... interesting.
Now i am just dreaming of having a curtain like this

Doodle cloth

Well as i am waiting for my goodies to arrive (only just been a week)
I started another doodle cloth to practice stitches and things. Being brand new to wool embroidery, and new to the styles, i think that is a good idea.

This is a free hand drawing just to try out stitches, the design isn't that brilliant, but it has been good enough to let me know a couple of things a like and don't like.

I am using the Appleton's wool, and (sorry Appleton's fans) i MUCH prefer Renaissance wool. However i DO rather like the texture it gives on padded satin stitch better than Renaissance. 

Here is my sketch i did to practice on (it's about 15 - 20 cm high)

 start of the leaf, padded satin boarder, dark brown in stem, filling in split stitch (because i love this stitch)

More attempts at French knots. I don't like the thin boarder, i would like to add an additional layer here.

Total progress tonight. I have just removed the green stitches at the top however as i don't like them. Once again forget the design as it is just my practice stitching cloth :-)

No time for too much tomorrow as i HAVE to do some study. Else i shall fail exams :-)

Monday, 17 May 2010

Waiting Waiting Waiting

Still waiting for my threads to arrive, (it has only been 4 working days and they are coming from France to Australia). Last time it took them 6 days which is AWESOME service, but i still have itchy fingers waiting.

I First of all played around with some patterns. Have also remembered the need to start long and short or satin stitch in the middle of the design... i didn't here...

I then Filled in some more French knots on my leaf (until the thread broke)

Then i started to trace the design in a clearer pen (rather than pencil) I also added in some more designs. (You can't really see them in here though as the are in the far top corner.

Now i am deliberating on where to start. I think i will start down the bottom there, as it is fairly uncomplicated and i want to get used to the threads. I plan on doing the "bands" in satin stitch (OR stem stitch), top one dark green, next mid then light. Then i might either:

a) leave the bottom part under the "hills" blank
b) Chain stitch it
c) Long and short stitch the underneath.

Any ideas????????

Will hopefully post again with the design finished and inked. I have ordered a sepia coloured marker to do the flowers, so hopefully it won't show through with the lighter colours on them. I wasn't to concerned about the green "grass" and the tree trunk.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

More threads from Renaissance Dyeing

Oh dear,

Have just ordered more wool from my favourite supplier of wool thread. Renaissance Dyeing. Lets hope that i can use all of it :-)


Research for my embroidery project

Well all,
This time, i'm rather keen on making sure that i am well prepared for the project, not just go rushing in to do "something"

I) I downloaded all the "Jacobean" images i could find.
2) I then had a "play" with them deciding on my own style. It won't be an hisotical extant piece of work rather based on the style.
3) I ordered my threads from Renaissance dyeing And tryed to pick colours that were bright, not pastels, had shade variations, lots of nice greens and blues, browns and orange colours.
4) played around on the net some more

Mary Corbet's "Needle and Thread"
Helped me a lot with the stitches i might like to try (see below)

She also linked to Kathy's site "The Unbroken Thread" that had some fantastic images, certainly of where i would like to go.

For example: The following is a picture of her work I'm sure you will agree that it is stunning

Reference to Kathy's Site "the Unbroken Thread"

As you can see i started a similar type of design a few months ago:

As i have a dress project coming up that will use this style of embroidery i was very excited to see such beautiful images. Mary Corbet, also suggested that i look at a book "Flowers for Elizabeth" by Susan O'Connor. I must get this book at some stage!!!

Things i need to know: (links are to the demonstrations on Mary's Site)
Back Stitch
Chain Stitch
Long and Short Stitch
Satin Stitch (padded) I am really need to practice this one :-)
French Knots (heaven help me i can't do these)
Wheat Stitch (looks really interesting)
Stem Stitch
feather Stitch (is nice but will see if i can use it)
Fish bone Stitch
Lattice Work (this one is over a padded ground)
Seed Stitch

Well i'm off to have a play with french knots and satin stitch. Will update when i have done enough procrastination. I have an exam to do today so i'm doing a FANTASTIC job of procrastinating. :-)


Here is the practice padded satin stitch (first time i have tried satin stitch let alone padded) and French knots.
I have always been terrified of trying these. My first efforts are a little shakey, and i was having difficulty placing them just where i wanted, but by the end i wasn't thinking so much about them. Still need more pracitice. I was using one or two strands of the Renaissance dyeing threads.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Honey i'm home.....

Ok, sorry so i haven't posted in ages...
*insert numerous excuses here*

I have decided to have a crack at Jacobean embroidery. (Or at least MY interpretation of Jacobean embroidery) I just love some of the funky filling stitches and unrealistic nature of the work. I have talked about this is some of my earlier posts.

Have ordered lots of thread from my favourite wool supplier *Renaissance dyeing*

And downloaded lots of patterns:

Then i had a play at putting them in a semi Jacobean patterns based around the "tree of life" complete with squirrel... :-)

Excuse the rough lines, i havn't finished this yet.
I haven't tried to totally copy a jacobean design, i can do that later, i just wanted to have fun with the stitches and see how i go.

This will be my first time working with wool thread, and my first time doing anything other than split stitch work.

Hopefully my threads will arrive before i lose enthusiasm.