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Posts Tagged ‘pulled thread work’

After completing the ruched brooch I made with supplies from my Dad’s shed, I still had some scraps of the muslin left. Inspired by the Casalguidi workshop, I decided to add some random pulled work to one of the scraps using four sided stitch and eyelets.

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That reminded me that I hadn’t rusted anything for a while and I had some gorgeous bits of rusty iron just begging to be wrapped. I think those big spirals may be part of an old clock mechanism.

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After a week or so outside in the alternate pouring rain and baking sun of a typical British summer:

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Lots of possibilities!

I’ve also done a little more of the blue work piece and the second shaded flower is nearly completed.

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Getting there slowly…

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Our Scunthorpe Embroiderers’ Guild June meeting was an all day workshop on Casalguidi work. It was led by Pauline,  who bravely stepped into the breach as the lady who was supposed to be leading it was been seriously ill this year. We started off with a display of examples not only of Casalguidi but also other types of whitework, including some Ruskin lace, from one of the Guild portfolios.

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The Ruskin lace was stunning and equally as good as any of the pieces at the Ruskin Museum in Coniston.

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But it was the heavier Casalguidi work that we were focusing on.

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Pauline had provided plenty of threads, linen in different weights and worksheets for us to practise some of the basic stitches, such as four-sided stitch, a pulled thread stitch used to create the background texture of the embroidery, and raised stem band.

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So, after we had oversewn round the linen to stop it fraying, it was time to practise. Four-sided stitch at the top and two raised stem bands, one showing the foundation stitches, at the bottom.

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I started off in a neutral coloured thread, but after using an oddment of variegated perle in yellow, leaf green and cream to mark out the little bag we were going on to make…

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I couldn’t resist ditching the beige thread for something a bit more interesting. In the end, after working a couple more samples, I decided to make a start on the main design for the bag. It’s not a quick stitching project as it’s a form of counted stitch work and not only do you have to concentrate on making sure your counting is right, but you also have to make sure the pulling is even and the stitches in the right order. So my results, even after a bit of stitching since, are not very exciting.

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It’s getting there slowly as I need good light and not to be tired when I’m sewing, but I am enjoying it and looking forward to getting the four-sided stitch ground finished so I can play with some of the other elements.

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After the rows of Ripple Stitch I moved on to Cobbler Filling. I love the little windows effect of this and its more geometric look was a good contrast to the more curvy stitch above.

Cobbler Filling

Next Reeded Stitch. This is one of the few pulled thread stitches I’ve used more than once and I am still yet to work it without a mistake!

Reeded Stitch

 

It’s not so much the counting but whether the double back stitch begins in the the same row as the vertical stitches before it, or the next row. I concentrated very carefully but alas, there is still an error. Even I struggle to find it, so I’m afraid, not being able to face taking down three rows of tightly pulled stitching, I left it.

Reeded Stitch close-up

 

Following the long waves of Reeded Stitch I wanted to do one of the Greek Cross Stitch Filling stitches. I really liked the way that you got not only little fat quatrefoil crosses, but also the impression of interlocking circles.

Greek Cross Filling

It was quite challenging in the weight of thread that I’d chosen to use and I think would generally work better in a heavier thread.

Greek Cross Filling close-up

 

And last, just to finish off, a simple row of Double Faggot Stitch. Each stitch is worked over twice, which helps to pull it in more tightly.

Double Faggot Stitch

All finished and very pleased with the result.

Pulled Thread sampler

I deliberated over how to finish the sampler and in the end trimmed off the frayed edges, sealed the newly cut edges with Modge Podge and simply laced it over a board to which I’d glued a piece of light brown velvet before handing it in at our Guild Meeting last Saturday, realising as I did so that I’d forgotten to take a photo of the finished article!

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Having finished the border for the pulled thread sampler…

Pulled thread sampler - border

…I started to fill it in with a selection of pulled thread stitches. First, Waffle Stitch:

Pulled thread sampler - waffle stitch

Using a single thread of stranded cotton pulls the scrim into lacy, open octagons. Next I wanted something a bit denser, so I chose Diagonal Cross Filling:

Pulled thread sampler - Diagonal Cross Filling

Close up you can see how the equal-armed crosses have been distorted by the tension.

Pulled thread sampler - Diagonal cross close-up

I really like the overall denseness of this pattern. Now for something completely different: Ripple Stitch, which is based on double back stitch (gives herringbone stitch on the wrong side).

Pulled thread sampler - Ripple Stitch

About half way finished. Another heavier stitch next, I think…

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Usually once I’ve finished a technique I want to do something else as far away from it as possible, but not so with the pulled thread. I think it’s because for the sea glass piece I was limited to ripply stitches and there were so many that I wanted to work that wouldn’t have fitted. But now I get my chance to showcase the must-haves!

This is the start of my new piece, which is an A5 sized sampler of the pulled thread embroidery technique for our exhibition on the summer.

Pulled thread sampler border 1

The stitch doesn’t have a name but is nine parallel diagonal satin stitch lines within a square, identical to canvas work cushion stitch, just pulled tightly.

Pulled thread sampler border 2

By the end of the day I’d managed to complete the border:

Pulled thread sampler border 3

And now for the fun bit of choosing the first stitch to showcase.

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In the end I secured the sea glass with the same thread that I used for the embroidery, but I tried to echo the geometric shapes of the pulled thread in the way I wrapped the glass nuggets.

Pulled thread beach 1

At first I really wasn’t sure, but the addition of pattern and texture has grown on me and now when I look back at the earlier photos I feel there’s something missing.

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This is the dyed velvet I chose to back it with:

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and the two were attached with tiny diagonal stitches across the criss-cross of the warp and weft all the way around before I sealed the edges with modge podge and cut the finished piece out.

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The modge podge has completely stopped the fraying and has dried pretty much invisible and I also used it to stick the finished piece into my travelling book.

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My inspiration page:

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And the finished piece.

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I’m ready to get stuck into pulled thread again for my technique piece for our summer exhibition.

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Thank you all for your kind words about my pulled thread work. It’s actually a lot easier than it looks. All you need to concentrate on is accurate counting (as in any counted thread work) and even pulling of the thread and the shapes and effects sort of produce themselves. And it builds up nice and quickly too.

Here’s the next phase: more triangular stitch on the top left side.

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And after a couple more rows of the triangular stitch, some random diamond stitch at the top to complete the main part of the pulled thread section.

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All the sea glass etc is stuck on at the moment, so the next job was to stitch the fabric pieces down invisibly to make them sit flatter against the scrim. You can hopefully see the difference between the larger leaf green piece on the left, which I’ve already stitched and the smaller ocean green piece which is still to be done.

Pulled thread phase 3:3

Eyelets next and then I have to bite the bullet and think of some sort of extra (but still in keeping) fastening for the real sea glass as I don’t think just glue is going to keep them secured well enough during their travels.

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