The Camberwell Panel – Thirteen

"SS Camberwell" in morse code

"S.S. Camberwell" in Morse code

I spent a lot of time in practising stitched Morse Code, in order to arrive at the best way of producing an ornamental but legible effect.

Eventually I settled on this as the best option. The Morse letters are laid out diagonally, using Colonial Knots and Bullion Knots (respectively the dots and the dashes). I discovered that I could mark up the ribbon with the Morse code one word at a time and then stitch over it, making the work slightly less unnerving than if I had had to work it without markings.

Satin Edges

Satin Edges

My husband wrote a little programme that took the text, converted it to Morse code and then rendered it as a graphic that I could then print out at the appropriate size. That made it possible to mark up the ribbon before I stitched it. I pricked holes – dots and dashes – in the printout, laid it on the ribbon, and marked the ribbon with a quilter’s pencil. A variation of the prick-and-pounce method, I suppose you could say!

However, before applying the stitched Morse code to the piece itself,  I created a padded border using fine wadding and satin ribbon. I wanted to ensure that the edges of the panel did not show through the border, and as it turned out the petersham ribbon was rather fine and showed everything underneath it.

The end is in sight! And even at this point, I have to confess that I was very pleased with the way this was turning out. I hadn’t expected that it would turn out so well with quite so little upset!


  1. Lady Fi says:

    Stitching Morse Code – wow1 Super creative!

  2. I want to learn to read in Braille now!

  3. Thanks for the comment on my blog- I think I may have mended the glitch, fingers crossed…(bit difficult to sew though!)

  4. Elmsley Rose says:

    The piece looks super-duper fantastic with the (beginnings of) the frame around it, Cool idea using the ribbon and the padding!

  5. What a great idea… I’ve really enjoyed following the progress of this wonderful piece.

  6. Action Ma'am says:

    Despite knowing that the finished article is framed and hanging on my wall, as I read Episode 13 I found myself thinking “Gosh, this is nearly mine!” and getting excited all over again. I’m so glad Rachel was pleased with the way it was turning out – it would have been dreadful to have commissioned something the artist had no satisfaction in producing. Nevertheless, after such a long though enjoyable journey I think we are both relieved that home port is insight.

  7. Penny says:

    You are so clever! This is a wonderful piece!

  8. karen says:

    just perfect Rachel

  9. You piece has really come together and looks great. As to the Morse Code, thank goodness for husbands, sometimes.

  10. Janice says:

    There is such attention to detail in this Rachel. It’s a magnificent piece.

  11. Alex says:

    It really does look wonderful. The ship has turned out beautifully but the highlight for me is the quayside. Understated but a perfect foil.