Azorean Cutwork Project – starting to stitch

Finally Ready To Start

Finally Ready To Start

At long last, after much drafting, redrafting, pricking, pouncing, and outlining, the cutwork design I have planned to work using one of the patterns I found in the Azores is ready for me to start the embroidery.

After all this effort – the prick and pounce transfer method isn’t good for a healing tennis elbow! – I do hope I enjoy working it. It is only the second cutwork piece I’ve ever attempted – and the first came by accident in a bundle from eBay!

Making Progress

Making Progress

One of the things that attracted me to the design was the chance to get to grips with multi-ended buttonhole bars. I know that somewhere in my shelves of embroidery books, there is one detailing how these Y-shaped buttonhole bars should be worked, but in which?

I’m going to start by working the external edges, while I spend time rummaging among my references. This will ensure that it will not matter how long the rest of the piece takes, because the edges won’t be able to fray – although in fact I think there is little danger of that. It is a very good quality, firm fabric, and I’m rather enjoying myself.

I’ve even done my very first eyelet, using a bone stiletto from the set Elmsley Rose gave me for a birthday present a few years ago.


  1. Janice says:

    Good luck with it! I have only done cut work on evenweave fabric. I found the first time I cut after doing all that work terrifying, and still have to hold my breath and double check that I’m cutting the right bit!

  2. Gosh – that piece is looking really lovely but I am still getting over how fabulous your silk Lotus flower piece turned out! What happens to all these beautiful things you create once they are finished? xCathy

  3. coral-seas says:

    A new project is always so exciting (even someone else’s). I’ve never done cut work so I will be very interested to look over your shoulder while you work.

  4. Carolyn says:

    Oh those button hole bars. I thought they were wonderful at one time, then I tried them and have never gone near them again. Good luck.

  5. Penny says:

    You are probably the most ambitious person I know *smile*. I LOVE this, as I do all of your work. There is no way these shaky fingers/hands could handle cutwork – but I love it. Anything that lets the light shine through is beautiful to me. And knowing how difficult all of this is makes it even very much more special.

  6. Jules says:

    Cutwork’s something I’ve never tried so I’ll be watching your progress avidly!

  7. Cynthia says:

    It’s going to be lovely, and it will be fun to watch your progress. I’ve not done much cutwork, and it is a bit scary doing the cutting. A-Z of Whitework has descriptions of both Y shaped and an H shaped branched bars.

  8. I’ve never done cutwork – hardanger was scary enough for me, pulling out threads! I do have a tool for cutting eyelets – but only because it came with one of my sewing machines! As always your stitching is wonderful!

  9. Lady Fi says:

    It’s looking good. Such a simple yet lovely design.

  10. Penny Berens says:

    I so admire how you are able to find embroideries from all cultures, research them and then bring them to life.

  11. Megan Hodges/Elmsley Rose says:

    Funny seeing you work without colour. Glad you’re doing one of the patterns.

  12. karen says:

    you are providing an example of how to execute cutwork PERFECTLY… have so much more patience than I. I admire that.

  13. I love those flowers, this is going to be lovely 🙂

  14. Jan says:

    I’ve never tried cutwork, but it looks so interesting and beautiful when it’s completed. I’ll enjoy watching you work on this.