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Posts Tagged ‘Crewel work’

A silver Victorian brooch arrived as part of a job lot of jewellery I bought online last week. It was perfect – apart from the central dome, which was badly dented and damaged. I gently tried to smooth it out with a doming tool but the metal was too far gone and I ended up resorting to carefully removing it with a jeweller’s saw.

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After some filing and finishing this left me with a tempting little space to fill and I was soon stitching a minute silk ribbon rose onto some ironed out silk carrier rod.

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The completed rose (with a french knot cluster in the centre and lazy daisy leaves round the outside)  is about 6mm in diameter.

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The brooch is only an inch in diameter but the rose makes it look huge!

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The completed ‘Blush Rose’ brooch is in my Etsy shop here.

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I’ve also started work on another embroidered locket piece – this time a little larger but not much!! My idea for this one was a climbing rose on a trellis. Trellis first. This locket was a bit distressed inside so I lined it with some more of the silk carrier rod which you can see through the hole in the front.

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Next I started on the stems of the rose and because I couldn’t resist, have already put in some vivid scarlet roses (french knots of course) in a shade of hand dyed silk called ‘Tart’s Knickers’!!!

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The colours have turned out a bit dodgy on this photo in spite of going outside to make use of a rare bit of February sun!

If you follow me on Instagram you will also have seen the cushion cover which I made this week…

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… a good antidote to working in miniature! The crewel work embroidery is not mine but came from a ubiquitous suitcase of embroidered household linens which friends recently cleared from the house of an elderly relative.

The embroidery on this piece was finished but it hadn’t been made up into anything so there had been no wear or light damage to the linen and I was asked to make it up into a cushion cover, which having had a well-earned rest from the sewing machine and panto costumes, I was finally ready to do.

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I found some fantastic toning batiks to edge the front and create the back. That pop of turquoise makes the soft green of my beloved suite look completely washed out!

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It’s good to think that all the hard work put in by whoever stitched the original embroidery will finally be on show and admired after probably at least half a century.

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We’ve just had a typically wet, but in spite of that, very enjoyable week sharing a cottage with friends in the Lake District. I’m on with my holiday journal which is a mix between an altered book and the found object journalling I did a couple of years ago in Cornwall. No pictures of that yet, but here are some of the lovely things that I came across in our exploration of the Lakes which have inspired me.

Stencilled Hessian wall covering, Blackwell House, Bowness:

Stencilled Hessian wall covering, Blackwell House, Bowness

 

Just one example of the stunning stained glass at Blackwell House.

Stained glass, Blackwell House, Bowness

 

Inlaid detail on a bureau:

Detail of a bureau, Blackwell House, Bowness

 

A period Arts and Crafts sofa:

Arts and Crafts sofa, Blackwell House, Bowness

…and the plasterwork between picture rail and ceiling:

Decorative plasterwork, Blackwell House, Bowness

Beautiful whitework on a pillow:

Whitework, Blackwell House, Bowness

…and the pieced patchwork hexagon fans of the 1911 quilt on the same bed:

Patchwork bedspread, Blackwell House, Bowness

Wet slate roofs in Chapel Stile:

Slate roofs, Chapel Stile

 

Crewelwork bedspread at Brantwood House near Coniston, the home of John Ruskin.

Crewelwork bedspread, Brantwood House, Coniston

An example of Ruskin lace, a type of drawn threadwork introduced by Ruskin to the Lake District as a cottage industry.

Ruskin lace, Brantwood House, Coniston

I love these cheeky sheep – one of the sculptures at Grizedale Forest.

Sethera, Grizedale Forest

Sethera, Grizedale Forest 2

 

It feels quite odd to be home – I could have happily stayed another week!

 

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At the weekend we took a family trip up to North Yorkshire to visit stunning Rievaulx Abbey, one of my favourite places…

…and we decided to visit Nunnington Hall as it was on the way. We’d never been before but it was a delight. Such an intimate house – I could really imagine living there – and a lovely garden with formal areas, a fabulous orchard and a working kitchen garden.

I find the patterns of wrought iron work fascinating, especially in conjunction with the landscape behind them or shadows, even if little feet didn’t quite get out of the shot!

Indoors, there were some fabulous textiles in the bedrooms. First this wonderful whole cloth quilted bedcover.

It helped that there was strong sun coming through a low window and it threw the quilting into relief. I love the complexity of the geometric patterns.

In another bedroom there were some huge wall hangings (about a metre wide and a couple of metres high) in crewel work.

Apologies for these interior photos but low light levels, no flash and a phone camera don’t make for top quality pictures!

There were also two similar sized hangings either side of the bed in the same room with crewel type designs but worked in a range of embroidery stitches and embroidery thread rather than wool.

Wonderful range of stitches. I suspect the hangings were stitched by the women of the house but I’ve never seen anything quite so large.

I love the bright scarlet spots of the cherries against the old stone wall.

The girls were delighted to find that it was a Medieval Pastimes day at Rievaulx and when that palled, rolling down steep grassy banks never fails to amuse, even when you’re a lordly 13 years old…

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