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Posts Tagged ‘paisley’

At the end of October, just before it shuts up and snuggles down for the winter, I went with some friends to visit the textiles collection at Gawthorpe Hall. The items on show were all stunning and inspirational but I fell completely in love with this little early 20th century peony slip worked in Pekinese stitch.

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I love the texture and the layering and was completely inspired to do some of my own. Pekinese Stitch was one of the first stitches I learned from my mother’s Mary Thomas’ Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches as a child. It’s a variety of laced back stitch so an ideal one for a beginner to learn. I rediscovered it recently as a beautifully textured edging stitch, but although Mary Thomas does say it can be used as a filling stitch, I’d never considered it.

My first sample is on a piece of Japanese silk kimono fabric with stranded cotton.

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The shape was far too fiddly to work well – getting a very rounded loopy stitch into the points of the leaf was not easy! But I persevered and with a little bit of cheating to fill in those pointy bits, manage to finish it.

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I was unexpectedly given a ticket and a lift to the Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate last Friday and one of my purchases was a spool of vintage metal thread in a lovely soft gold. Perfect for couching around the edge.

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Second shape needed to be interesting but without the tricky infills, so I chose a paisley, again stitched on Japanese kimono silk with stranded cottons.

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Definitely a better choice!

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It has an almost woolly look and texture.

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Finding the different gradations of stranded cotton was the most challenging bit so my next thought is to use a single cotton but in a variegated thread.

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Apologies – March has been mad. Between trying to shake illness and most of my workshops and courses all coming at once, things have been crazy. So, to catch up!

The found objects plastic rings piece I blogged about back in February, came together like a dream. I wanted to use it as a sample piece for a Found Objects Workshop I taught at Hull Embroiderers’ Guild at the end of March. (There is a lovely post about the workshop on their Facebook page.) It was a lot of fun trying out different ways of attaching the rings, including lazy daisy stitch, sheaf stitch and chain stitch.

I finished it as a quiltlet, with a border of strip patchwork, which makes it nice and robust to handle.

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Love the indigo dyed back.

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I also taught a Beaded Oglala Stitch workshop with Brigg Allsorts (a local stitching group) the same week, so after having made a sampler of variants of the stitch…

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…I started another found objects piece I could use with both workshops as it combined Beaded Oglala with found objects. It worked surprisingly well as a method of attaching the vintage key and I’m very pleased with the effect.

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I had a fabulous time teaching the workshop with the ladies in Hull and they produced some lovely work.

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We also had a fantastic workshop ourselves at Scunthorpe Embroiderers’ Guild in February, doing Print to Stitch with Jan Dowson.

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Jan had made us some great kits with paisley shaped printing blocks in them as a main focus…

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…but I had a couple of my own stamps that I wanted to use as well. Medieval tile first.

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Then the paisley. We used acrylic paints and instead of rollering it onto the block, I dabbed random areas of paint to get a mottled effect.

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Jan had also put some pieces of compressed foam into the kits. You can cut them with scissors into any shape and then drop them into water to get a sponge printing block, which is how I got  the over-printed tear drop shapes inside the paisleys.

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Lastly I had a shell stamp from home to play with.

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I love the look of the paint on the stamps…

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…and on the palettes.

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Once we had our printed fabric…

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…time to stitch. The border of the paisleys was a perfect place for Pekinese Stitch. Rayon back stitch for a bit of shine, interlaced with all six strands of a variegated stranded cotton thread.

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I will try harder on here, honestly! It’s all Susan from Stitchery Stories‘ fault – she recommended I got myself onto Instagram and I have been properly sucked in. It is so much quicker when you are busy – or lazy!!

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I love paisley shapes – one of my favourite parts of my North Cornwall Wallhanging is this little paisley design:

North CVornwall wallhanging paisley design

So after the first failed attempt to attach a reticulate brass disc with shisha stitch I decided to embroider a paisley design with the disc at its centre. I used a design I’d found on the internet that I liked and because the sapphire coloured silk I was using was too dark for me to mark the design onto it, I stitched three elements straight through the paper: a yellow silk split stitch inner shape, running stitch (to whip later) in the middle and yellow silk french knots round the outside.

Paisley brooch 1

The stitches were close enough to have perforated the paper really densely so it was very easy to remove and I could begin to fill in the gaps. with more french knots…

Paisley brooch 2

…chain stitch…

Paisley brooch 3

Paisley brooch 4

…and feather stitch.

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I tried the disc in place but with everything else following the paisley shape, it looked wrong, so I cut a piece of reticulated brass to match the central shape.

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Laid in place to get an idea of the finished piece.

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Just some french knots to add, the brass to attach and the finishing to do.

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At last the Bamburgh Beach Wallhanging is finished. I used time waiting on the children’s activities at the weekend to get down to completing the label, which along with the hanging sleeve, as all there was to do.

Front:

Completed Bamburgh Beach Wallhanging 1

Back:

Completed Bamburgh Beach Wallhanging 2

And the label – lettering in stem stitch using fine silk on hand dyed cotton muslin which has been softly frayed out.

Completed Bamburgh Beach Wallhanging 3

So that’s finished. I also finally got the turquoise sea glass canvas to the person who had commissioned it this week and she loved it! In fact she loved it so much she’s comissioned me to do another in golds, oranges and browns for a friend’s birthday and a bigger one for her lounge, which is wonderful. I really enjoy stitching these pieces and getting paid for them is even better!

However, the reticulated brass shisha has been a problem. I wanted to attach it to some blue silk shisha-style.

Blue shisha 1

I laid down a collar of overlapping stitches in blue mercerised cotton thread and decided to go for an oversewn satin stitch as an edging.

Blue shisha 2

It went well enough, at least at first. Nice even coverage.

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But by the time I got to the end the stitches weren’t extending far enough over the brass to hold it in place to my liking. You can see it more clearly on the left in this photo.

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I let it sit while I worked on other things but when I returned to it I still wasn’t happy so out it came – easily enough to vindicate my instinct to rethink it as the centre of a paisley.

I’ve always loved paisley shapes and I came across this one while googling leaf outlines for my friend’s buttons.

Paisley shisha 1

The silk is too dark to mark the outlines I needed so I’ve just stitched straight through the paper, which should come off easily enough when damped.

Paisley shisha 2

Split stitch in the centre, running stitch (to be whipped later) in blue and french knots on the outside edge. I’ll take the paper off when I’ve finished the french knots and should be able to fill in the other layers by eye. The shisha will sit in the very centre and I’ll finish this as a brooch.

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