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Posts Tagged ‘cutwork’

Well, the lonely courgette now has some friends and as they are almost big enough to be called marrows, I left the flowers off.

I used the same interfacing backed painted cotton for the leaves as I did for the original stumpwork garden and the same method, which has scaled up very satisfactorily.

Next, I added big blowsy cabbages in a 1cm wide bluey-green silk ribbon. I made sure I worked the woven spider’s web stitches nice and loosely and let the ribbon twist and bend to give a more natural look to the leaves.

Lastly, a patch of radishes. As this garden is about three times the size of the original I needed to enlarge the original tiny line of detached chain stitch pairs. This time I gave the radishes at least four leaves each and increased the weight of the leaves by using a thicker thread and nesting one detached chain stitch inside another. I gave each one a little pink base to the leaf stalk to hint at the crunchy pink radish growing just under the surface.

To give an idea of how much bigger I’m working, here is the garden so far side by side with the original version. The hoop is 6 inches in diameter – this is practically enormous for me!

As it’s the end of the month, time for the update on May’s Move It On Project. Unfortunately I didn’t get as far as I had hoped with the Casalguidi work, although for a nice reason this time. Last week was half term, so we’ve had a lovely family holiday in Northumberland and all the stitching I did was to go in my holiday journal. But the overcast trailing is finished and more importantly, I have a book I can use for the flowers when I pick it up again.

June’s Move It On project is well out of my comfort zone. I’ve seen and admired a lot of Ruskin Lace during our holidays in the Lake District and for our holiday in 2015 I created a very ambitious altered book/holiday journal which I still haven’t finished! One of the things I wanted to stitch for it was a Ruskin lace sample.

I bought myself a Ruskin Lace book but after reading the first chapter, I bottled out big time. I hate the thought of cutting, withdrawing and weaving threads back into a piece of stitching and these are core skills for this type of embroidery. But I also hate the thought that it’s getting the better of me and recently managed to get as far as hemming a piece of linen following the instructions in the book before I gave up again. I’m determined to move the 2015 journal on and I’m hoping that once I’ve got my head round the cutting threads bit, the needlelace element should be more enjoyable.

This is where I am at the moment, cutting threads to form an internal border.

I’m using some of the linen I usually use for pulled thread work and am a bit worried that it’s going to be too open, but that’s what the Move It On Project is designed for. If it works, then that’s great – if it doesn’t, I’ll have learned useful lessons. Fingers crossed.

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Early in our holiday we walked the Camel Trail from Wadebridge to Padstow and while in Padstow visited the National Lobster Hatchery as my youngest wanted desperately to adopt a lobster. I bought a gorgeous retro-styled tea-towel in the shop which came with a hand stamped tag depicting the two lobsters of the Hatchery logo that I had to incorporate into my journal.

Lobsters hiding in seaweed was my first thought.

I started with a base of light-weight hand dyed calico with splodges of deep green and then added some strips of dark green hand dyed scrim, which was all bunched up and curled up on itself. I stitched the scrim strips loosely to the background with blanket stitch and then cut round the fronds I’d created with a pair of sharp scissors, also adding some fronds of the base fabric to fill in any spaces.

Lobster Hatchery tag 1

I had some of the pale green silk organza ribbon I’d used to edge the cover left, so I cut it into shapes and used it to back some of the fronds by couching a line of green chenille thread down the middle of the whole frond.

Lobster Hatchery tag 2

I pierced holes in the edge of the tag and stitched through them with a simple running stitch in turquoise which I then whipped twice with a slubby thread.

Lobster Hatchery tag 2a

With the tag in place on top. The stamp hadn’t quite printed the whole image so I completed it in pencil and added black ink later.

Lobster Hatchery tag 3

Next, I cut a lobster claw shape from vilene and coloured it with water-soluble oil pastels. Reaching cautiously out from under the seaweed…

Lobster Hatchery tag 4

Stuck in place in the journal.

Lobster Hatchery tag 5

And the full spread.

Lobster Hatchery tag 6

Just need to add some text, possibly using one of the tags I made when I created the journal.

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Day 12: Pendennis Castle (3 inches by 3.5 inches)

We had actually already visited Pendennis earlier in the holiday but there was a Knights’ Academy event on and my girls were desperate for some knightly training!  Wandering round the keep again I was struck by the shapes of the windows.

They made me think of cutwork. So I dug out a scrap of random dyed batik cotton and some hand dyed Stef Francis silk threads…

…to create an imaginary view through the windows and out onto the Fal Estuary beyond. You might recognise the very useful hand dyed cotton flannel (the last piece left, which is why the sky is wonky) for the sky and the dark blue crinkled dress fabric from Day 2 for the sea.

Day 13: The Minack Theatre (4.5 inches by 3 inches)

I fell completely in love with this place. It’s location; the story of Rowena Cade who almost singlehandedly built it; everything. And I loved the patterns impressed into the concrete.

 I knew I wanted to do something quilted with them.

Trapunto possibly, but looking at my dwindling stock of fabric I didn’t have anything that was remotely suitable for the stone-like background. So I made notes in my sketchbook and deferred this one until I got home.

By the time I got home I changed my mind and went for a straightforward machined design (using the Frister and Rossmann of course!) in a variegated Madeira thread with hand embroidered lettering. I’m very pleased at how evenly I managed to draw the knot. 😮

Day 14: Coverack, on the Lizard.

We love beachcombing on this beach, looking for pieces of Serpentine. I actually prefer holed limpet shells to intact ones and was very pleased to find a piece of pinky red sari ribbon too! So it had to be a rock pool, incorporating the holed limpet shells and some brown net ribbon I bought at a little craft shop in Mullion earlier that day.

The starfish in the centre was another experimental printed and embossed motif like the moon I used for the compass rose. I filled it with long and short stitch in yellow silk and edged it with gold beads.

It was sewn down onto a scrap of turquoise and gold patterned print and chain stitch seaweed added.

Then I cut all my remaining brown and gold pieces into rock shapes and pinned them round the edge of the rock pool before covering the whole lot in scrunched up net ribbon and using running stitch in a variety of toning threads to stitch them to the calico backing.

Holed limpet shells were stitched down with Maderia variegated metallic thread. Over the pool I laid a piece of shot blue and gold organza and stitched it down at the edges so I could cut away the excess. Finally I used fine gold thread to seed the surface with little ermine stitches to look like glints of sunlight.

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