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Sticklebarn

More from my Lake District 2015 Holiday Journal. A very simple lay out this one, just to remind me of the well-earned drink we had at Sticklebarn on the valley walk we took at the second attempt!

Sticklebarn layout 1

Sticklebarn layout 2

Whipped back stitch around the shadows of the fells in the background.

Sticklebarn layout 3

And moving swiftly on…

I completed the last section of the crazy patchwork with some wheatear stitch and then forgot to take a photo of the completed flat piece before I stitched it into a tube and inserted the bead. But you get the idea.

Wheatear stitch

Once the wooden bead was inside…

Crazy patchwork bead pendant 1

…I stabilised the back of the embroidery that was sticking over the ends with Modge Podge and clipped it like a fringe so I could gradually tuck the ends into the hole of the bead for a neat finish.

Crazy patchwork bead pendant 4

Crazy patchwork bead pendant 2

Crazy patchwork bead pendant 3

To make up into a pendant I used a piece of gold tone wire and threaded on first a handmade glass bead with lovely greeny-brown flowers on a deep dark red base. This sat nicely in the hollow at the end of the embroidered bead. Then I used a hand made clay bead with a slightly metallic gold/green glaze that also nestled nicely into the hollow at the top before turning over the end of the wire to make a bale.

Crazy patchwork bead pendant 5

Crazy patchwork bead pendant 6

I was going to hang it from a beaded chain, but that quickly proved to look far too busy, so a simple hand dyed ribbon was enough to finish it off.

Crazy patchwork bead pendant 7

And it’s in my Etsy shop here.

During our Easter holiday in the Lake Dstrict we visited John Ruskin’s house at Brantwood, on Coniston Water and among the inspirations photos I took were a couple of the lovely whitework embroidery on one of the pillows.

Whitework pillow at Brantwood

Perfect to work as a sample for my journal. I’ve used the corner of an old chair back, which is a nice heavy cotton and a couple of different thicknesses of white perle thread.

Whitework beginning 1

It’s meant to be similar, not identical. The grass-type spray is bullion knots with long tails on a stem stitch stalk. The flowers are padded satin stitch, in this case satin stitch over a chain stitch outline. The centres are just five straight stitches with a french knot in the middle.

Whitework beginning 2

Then I moved onto a flower created from a cluster of French knots. I’ve used the thicker perle in the centre and then started round the edges with the thinner perle to give a domed shape.

Whitework beginning 3

First time I’ve tried traditional white work and it’s coming along nicely.

This month our Embroiderers’ Guild meeting was a full day workshop run by a couple of our members on abstract stumpwork, focussing on getting to grips with some of the stumpwork techniques such as creating slips, needlelace etc. In the morning we practised techniques and in the afternoon we worked a little sampler piece about 6cm square using a variety of the techniques in a colourway of our choosing. Blue of course, on a lovely piece of indigo dyed calico, for me.

Stumpwork sampler 1

I’ve done raised stem stitch band before and loved the effect, so I was keen to use some variegated sashiko thread as a base and start with a line of that. But something went wrong and instead of a lovely closely woven surface, I ended up with something more open. Moral of the story: don’t assume that having done something once (in 2009!) that you can automatically do it again without the instructions!

Stumpwork sampler 2

Anyway, I quite liked the lacy effect, with the variegated thread underneath so ran a couple of lines on chain stitch down each side to tie it in to the fabric and got on with the next element, using a lovely lustrous silk thread to buttonhole stitch over a washer, which I then attached to the fabric with well spaced french knots.

Stumpwork sampler 3

My third element was a lovely piece of soft blue leather over which I’m working detached buttonhole bars in a variety of threads.

Stumpwork sampler 4

Not quite finished but despite the small size, plenty to go at!

Last month, following her talk at our branch of the Embroiderers’ Guild, some of us took a Workshop with Linda Rudkin onĀ Sculpting Silk Paper. In the morning we used natural silk fibres to make a flat piece of silk paper. I decided to make several small pieces with the thought of using them to make cards.
Small silk paper pieces 1

I added some woad dyed skeleton leaves provided by Linda…

Small silk paper pieces 2

…and later in the day had some time to embellish them with embroidery.

Embroidery close-up

Liking the way the soft blues work with the creamy natural silk, I also added some pieces of hand dyed cotton and sashiko stitching.

Cream and soft blue

In the afternoon we used solid objects such as shells and stones and formed the silk fibres around them to make solid shapes. I used two shells:

Silk paper shell 1

Silk paper shell 2

Silk paper shell 3

And experimented with the texture in a piece of driftwood.

Silk texture

Plenty to play with.

As soon as I saw the lovely photograph of silver birches in the autumn at Clumber Park which the owner of the next travelling book had requested to use as a stimulus, I knew exactly what I wanted to stitch. This is usually fatal. I rarely find that my fumbling attempts in reality match up to the clear and beautiful picture in my head. But…this time it actually did!

The black and white graphic quality of the trunks said blackwork and once I’d found a close-up image from the internet to work from, I was away.

Free blackwork silver birches 1

I found some lovely mossy green hand-dyed aida for the background and a variety of weights of silk and cotton thread to stitch with.

Free blackwork silver birches 2

Rather than using blackwork patterns, I simply sketched the trunks from the internet picture in thread rather than ink. One of the key features in my mental picture was that there was no edge to the trunks, leaving the eye to fill in the gaps. This means that the image works rather better from a distance than up close.

Free blackwork silver birches 4

The right-hand page was already pre-coloured and the source photo can be seen top left. I added the image I’d used from the internet as well as a suitable quote on the inspiration page and mounted the blackwork on the right.

Free blackwork silver birches 3

Very proud of this one!

Another committee meeting gave me the time to crack on with my crazy patchwork bead.

Crazy patchwork bead 1

Scattered lazy daisy stitches in variegated green silk with occasional french knots.

Crazy patchwork bead 2

Lines of herringbone stitch which I may or may not lace.

Crazy patchwork bead 3

And the start of some chain stitch stems which will have wheat ear stitch tops.

Crazy patchwork bead 4

Very close to a finish!

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