Posts Tagged ‘back-stitched spiders’ web stitch’

I was finishing the kantha stitching when I had a brainwave for the mottled batik piece of fabric on the left.

Blues 1

It’s something I’d seen somewhere on the internet – back stitched spiders web fans in variegated fine perle thread.

Blues 2

Blues 3

Great fun to stitch, fitting them into the corners and edges of the pale blue shapes.

Blues 4

Blues 5

And then I went back to the commercial embroidered piece on the right, adding tete de boeuf stitch (fly stitches caught down with a french knot, rather than a straight stitch) in the same size as the distance between the couching threads.

Blues 6

They make me think of fern leaves unrolling in the spring.

Blues 7

And then back to the chain stitched ‘portholes’.  Last element to finish before I can start on the third strip.

Blues 8

I’m costuming our pantomime this year, so I’m aiming for a birthday finish (April) rather than Christmas.

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Thank you all very much for your advice and suggestions for how to complete my nine patch of back stitched spider’s web stitches. Lots of laying out and living with different threads ensued but it was the comment about liking the colour of the blank squares that really struck a chord.  I found this lovely Caron thread…

Grey spider's webs 1

…which was perfect – it’s very close in tone value to the grey but with the variegation of the black/purple.

Grey spider's webs 2

In fact, with my glasses off, and the details of the stitching thoroughly blurred, it almost looks like the original colour of the fabric.

Grey spider's webs 3

Now it’s time for the making up. it was originally designed as a coin purse, but I saw someone else in our Guild had made theirs into a needle case, which is quite tempting too. Decisions, decisions…


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Brooch or hair grip, I’m not sure! This one started off as a little dreadlock that should have gone on the starburst dreads brooch…

Starburst dreads brooch

…but somehow managed to get itself lost. I needle felted a scrap of mohair wool around it,

Small spiral brooch 1

then stitched it up into a spiral and beaded it.

Small spiral brooch 2

Rather like raspberry ripple.

Small spiral brooch 3

The Traditional English Canal Embroidery that I blogged about here has gone from this:

Canal embroidery 1

to this:

Canal Embroidery 1a

I’m not sure now that I want to use the same variegated perle in all the squares.

But what colour to use?

Any ideas?

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Our last Embroiderers’ Guild meeting was a workshop looking at Traditional Canal Embroidery, led by one of our members. The English canal boatmen and their families led a nomadic existence and as a result, the children’s schooling was patchy. But one thing that teachers found they could do, with the girls at least, was set them to embroidering with odds and ends of threads on large squared tea towels. This lent itself to simple bold and very brightly coloured patterns often edged in chain stitch and with big back stitched spiders webs in the centre. These were often used as wide belts for the men.

We started working our own Canal Embroidery designs on big checked black white and grey gingham. First I outlined a set of nine squares in a slightly variegated red perle.

Canal embroidery 1

I forgot to put a hoop into my sewing kit, so keeping the tension through two layers of fabric was quite a challenge. Then I added a back stitched spiders web to the middle square. I’m not into bright random colours and I had a variegated black grey and purple perle that toned in with the gingham which I couldn’t resist.

Canal embroidery 2

Canal embroidery 3

What I really like is that Penny designed the piece to be made up into a coin purse, so once I’ve done the embroidery, it will become something, very much in that tradition of usefulness. No room on a narrow boat for anything that didn’t earn its keep!

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Around finishing my hammered linked pendant last week, I also reticulated a couple of pieces of brass into holes. One had been rolled out quite thinly so as well as reticulating it holed rather too well and I ended up with two fragments. This is the end section.

Fire pendant 1

When I was choosing a piece of fabric to go with this piece, I accidentally turned it diagonally so the left top corner was in the centre and then the design of the piece just fell into place.

These pieces of brass just love vivid colours and I found an oddment of what I think is silk matka, hand dyed in the most wonderful range of reds, oranges and golds. Even better, I found some hand dyed variegated thread in reds, oranges and golds and green which matched the fabric shades so perfectly that I didn’t quite believe it!

The embroidery will start in the space at the bottom of the brass piece and then ‘drip’ down.

Fire pendant 2

Fire pendant 3

I’m so pleased with the way the thread tones so closely with the fabric and the green is a perfect complement.

Fire pendant 3

I’m using eyelets, tiny back-stitched spiders’ webs and clusters of french knots to create the texture.

Fire pendant 5

Fire pendant 6

Fire pendant 7

I’ve got a little more to do on the embroidery for this one before I make it up and I also plan to use something decorative to stitch across the brass to hold it to the fabric. I’m thinking long bullions or possibly something like buttonhole bars. Lots of exciting possibilities!!

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I was wondering what to work on next and it was after having seen the second project at the bottom of this post from Helen Cowans that I remembered I had an unfinished piece based on the Northumberland coast between Seahouses and Bamburgh.

I started it in August 2004, on holiday in Seahouses. A sort of forerunner to my Cornish Holiday Journal. But summer 2004 came with a bit of a bombshell as three days into the holiday I discovered that I was unexpectedly pregnant with my youngest daughter.

All the vivid emotions of that time are caught up in the stitching as I struggled to get my head round being pregnant again with two older, independent children, wondering if we could do, it, if we should do it, what effect it was going to have on my health etc.

I stitched it on and off through another rough pregnancy, through two months of potential miscarriage scares and finally put it away shortly after the birth. I’ve worked on it sporadically since, but even though the result of that upheaval is a fabulously bright, sparky, loving bundle of dynamite that I wouldn’t be without for the world…

…the cloth still holds some difficult memories.

But it’s not far off being finished. In fact the only thing I realised I really I needed to do when I got it out was to embroider a line of footprints just below the high tide line and then add the surf. Stitch some good memories into it.

This is how it stands now, with the addition of some footprints which I started during the New Year.

From the bottom: back stitch on a scrap of satin from the dress my bridesmaid had for my wedding, feather stitch on coarse cotton, massed french knot clusters on denim and whipped running stitch on some permanently crinkled dress fabric (you might recognise it from the Cornish Journal!).

Seeding, woven spiders’ webs and back-stitched spiders’ webs in hand-dyed coton a broder on calico dyed with the same dye. Coral stitch in various vintage threads on coarse cotton.

Three weights and colours of silk with back stitch linking two.

More later – I’m feeling more positive about it already.

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I managed to get the embroidery for the top of the pebble finished this week.

Couching and french knots round the backstitched spiders’ webs.

With chain stitch in variegated silk thread.

Chain stitch converging on a patch of couched boucle thread and more french knots.

In shade.

And in a rare patch of November sunlight.

I’ll put it away for a few days before I start making it up.

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