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Posts Tagged ‘Traditional Canal Embroidery’

Thank you all very much for your advice and suggestions for how to complete my nine patch of back stitched spider’s web stitches. Lots of laying out and living with different threads ensued but it was the comment about liking the colour of the blank squares that really struck a chord.  I found this lovely Caron thread…

Grey spider's webs 1

…which was perfect – it’s very close in tone value to the grey but with the variegation of the black/purple.

Grey spider's webs 2

In fact, with my glasses off, and the details of the stitching thoroughly blurred, it almost looks like the original colour of the fabric.

Grey spider's webs 3

Now it’s time for the making up. it was originally designed as a coin purse, but I saw someone else in our Guild had made theirs into a needle case, which is quite tempting too. Decisions, decisions…

 

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Our last Embroiderers’ Guild meeting was a workshop looking at Traditional Canal Embroidery, led by one of our members. The English canal boatmen and their families led a nomadic existence and as a result, the children’s schooling was patchy. But one thing that teachers found they could do, with the girls at least, was set them to embroidering with odds and ends of threads on large squared tea towels. This lent itself to simple bold and very brightly coloured patterns often edged in chain stitch and with big back stitched spiders webs in the centre. These were often used as wide belts for the men.

We started working our own Canal Embroidery designs on big checked black white and grey gingham. First I outlined a set of nine squares in a slightly variegated red perle.

Canal embroidery 1

I forgot to put a hoop into my sewing kit, so keeping the tension through two layers of fabric was quite a challenge. Then I added a back stitched spiders web to the middle square. I’m not into bright random colours and I had a variegated black grey and purple perle that toned in with the gingham which I couldn’t resist.

Canal embroidery 2

Canal embroidery 3

What I really like is that Penny designed the piece to be made up into a coin purse, so once I’ve done the embroidery, it will become something, very much in that tradition of usefulness. No room on a narrow boat for anything that didn’t earn its keep!

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