Posts Tagged ‘Jacobean laid work’

Our last Embroiderers’ Guild meeting was an all day affair, with a stitching workshop in the morning and a fascinating talk in the afternoon given by Hull Branch’s Alison Larkin on miniature embroidery.

In the morning she gave out kits she had made up for us to practise stitching a floral Jacobean-style motif  in a single thread of stranded cotton and tiny stitches. There were three colour choices and I went for green and yellow. By lunchtime I’d got as far as this:

Miniature embroidery 1

The half seed stitch and half Jacobean laid work/trellis stitch leaf is edged in whipped back stitch, as are the petals in the central flower with the french knot middle – you can see the back stitched foundation in the bottom petal. The stems are split stitch and the top flower has one petal edged in split stitch over which is worked satin stitch with the other petal being whipped back stitch again.

Miniature embroidery 2

The other leaf is half satin stitch over a split stitch edging and half outlined in whipped back stitch with split stitch veins.

Miniature embroidery 3

Unfortunately I had to leave promptly and it wasn’t until I got home that I realised I’d left with my embroidery still in one of Alison’s hoops! This meant I really had to get on and finish the stitching to post it back to her! Not that it was any hardship at all to work on such a lovely design.

Miniature embroidery 4

The simple straight stitches in the petals of the central flower and bud really bring them to life. The darker yellow daisy was only supposed to be a bud, but I’d stitched most of the petals before I checked the design and I liked it so decided to keep it as a full flower.

Miniature embroidery 5

Finished and with a penny to show the scale!

Miniature embroidery 6

Miniature embroidery 6

Miniature embroidery 7

I really enjoyed this little project. It was right up my street anyway as I love working small. :o)

Miniature embroidery 9

A great day – many thanks to Alison and her fellow members of the Hull branch.

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The first of the three crazy patchwork panels destined for the cushion my son has asked me to make is slowly progressing. The Jacobean laid work panel has gone from this:

Jacobean laid work blue 1

to this:

Jacobean laid work blue 2

to this:

Jacobean laid work blue 3

The laid threads are thick soft twilight coloured silk and the crossing stitches in a single strand of Gloriana stranded silk ‘Velvet Night Sky’ (which has to be my favourite name for a colour).

Jacobean laid work blue 4

Then I went on to a new patch and centered it with a slightly battered ‘street-combed’ mother of pearl button. Around the button I put a row of french knots in white stranded silk.

Button rose 1

Then concentric rings of lazy daisy stitches in hand dyed blue cotton and white stranded silk, with the last ring of french knots in pale blue silk.

Button rose 2

Under the battered exterior, there is still a wonderful iridescence about that poor button.

Button rose 3

Button rose 4

I hope James is in no hurry for this!

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The first ever dyeing I did with avocado skins and pits I pretty much made up as I went along, so the wonderful shades of coppery pink I got were doubly pleasing.

I decided to put all the bits I’d dyed – antique and modern lace, ribbon, scraps of silk and cotton, aida, grosgrain ribbon, ricrac braid, hand made crochet lace etc. all together into one long cloth, embroidered with the threads I’d dyed at the same time and some wonderful toning stranded silk threads I’d bought.

That was eighteen months ago.

Jacobean laid work in silk on silk matka, which takes on the dye so intensely.

 Perle thread dyed at the same time on ricrac braid.

Another offcut of the spotted voile I used for Miss Murdstone’s house cap. The spots turned into a diapering pattern with french knots and lazy daisy stitches in stranded silk.

Heavier avocado dyed perle-type thread couched down onto silk matka with silk stranded thread.

In the centre, a scrap of vintage broderie anglaise trim with eyelets for a contrasting ribbon – in this case a synthetic modern one which didn’t really pick up much of the dye.

I love the way the perle continues to dance across the fraying edges.

I keep working on it a bit at a time, on and off, between other projects. It’s about three times the size of the pieces I normally work in my hand without a hoop which can make it a bit awkward but it’s good to keep coming back to.


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The last two blocks, although the backing isn’t going to be pieced any time soon.

The Victorian melodrama I’m directing for the Scunthorpe Little-Theatre-Go-Round is taking up most of my free time as we’ve only had 3 very intense weeks to rehearse from casting to first show and I’ve also been asked to do a ribbon embroidery activity for our Embroiderers’ Guild Members’ Day in July.

No peace for the wicked…


This was one of the earliest blocks to be finished. Mostly silk fabrics, including  silk satin, silk dupion, commercial embroidered dress silk (at the top, outlined with whipped running stitch in blue and variegated orangey-gold thread) and some more of the Japanese silk crepe.


Winding and unwinding chain stitch spirals. I’d forgotten there was also a hidden word in this block until I looked at the close-up pictures. In this case, part of the word ‘ripples’ in the bottom left corner.

Random coils of thick soft pure silk thread stitched down with the centre with split stitch.

Beaded feather stitch. Surprisingly simple to work (just like normal with beads threaded onto the working thread) and very effective. The golden bead clusters on the end of the arms were added later.

The last block to be finished.

The blue fabric came from Lamorna Cove, last year’s holiday. It’s part of a larger piece of heavy weight polyester or poly cotton which I found washing around in the shallows. My husband said that only I could go to the beach and beachcomb something in the fabric line. (And that was before I found the length of pink and red sari ribbon on the beach at Coverack…)

The holes (there is a pale blue satin behind) were already there, worn by the stitching and the action of the sea. I just used straight stitches in hand dyed perle to emphasise them.

The kantha stitched spiral is in Gloriana silks on silk dupion. Very pleased with it as it’s completely stitched by eye.

Back stitch whipped with thick soft sillk thread and the spaces sprinkled with fly stitches anchored with a french knot. (Tete de Boeuf?)

This was where I first tried out Jacobean laid work before I used it in one of the alliums for my Allium piece.

A stuffed puff, again, precursor to the puffs I used here from a scrap of fabric with fly stitched leaves and french knot buds.

All finished, all edged with ribbon and all put aside while I get on with the more urgent priorities!


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Allium 6

With an impending deadline I finished the 6th allium piece this week. It’s based on Jacobean laid work. I bought a fantastic Anchor crewel embroidery stitches book from a charity shop recently and immediately thought that circles of Jacobean laid work tied down with cross stitches would be an interesting idea.

The laid work is in a wonderful thick softly twisted pure silk thread which is then tied down with cross stitches in a pink/green hand-dyed cotton perle.

Over the  top of the perle cross stitches I worked another cross stitch at right-angles to the first in the same very fine weight hand-dyed pink silk that I’ve used in several of the pieces. This pierced the thick silk threads top and bottom, changing the texture further and creating star stitches.

The allium head behind has been worked with the threads closer together to give a change of scale.

Stems added in hand-dyed cotton perle satin stitch.

Since finishing this I’ve tidied up the base fabric for all six pieces and cut out the organza, net and chiffon circles that will go between the embroidered pieces. My next job is to pin and then tack them onto the soluble fabric background.

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