Traycloth finished at last

Pulled Work Background
Pulled Work Background

I started this traycloth years ago, largely to experiment with the pulled work stitch I used as the background of the decorative panel.

The idea was to have a sandy background against which the shells, seaweed, and seahorse would be set, and although I enjoyed doing it, it isn’t the most successful of my embroidered experiments. It feels a bit lacklustre, but at the same time, I can’t say I’ve been filled with enthusiasm by the idea of doing anything substantial with it.

While I thought about the details, to see whether I could find something that would work, I hemstitched around the edge, so I will have a useable, if not enchanting, traycloth.

Whipped Back Stitch Outline
Whipped Back Stitch Outline

Then I thought hard. Maybe something could be done to differentiate the various elements without actually unpicking them all. The upshot is that the backstitched outlines have been whipped with a different colour of thread in each case, to pull out the differences a little more.

It still isn’t wholly successful, but it is now a usable traycloth and out of my welter of Unfinished Objects which occasionally leap, unanticipated, out of boxes I thought contained something else, to hit me in the face.

And that is most definitely a Good Thing!


  1. Lady Fi says:

    Well done!

  2. Sue Jones says:

    Congratulations on a successful job of work. A very cheerful colour, too. That little boost to the edge lines helps a lot. (If I was being picky, I would say that the weakest part of the design is that the background pattern is a bit too large and bright for the rest of the design, so that the lines still get a little bit lost, even boosted. Which is a pity, as it’s a very attractive group. But I don’t feel like being picky today, so I won’t.) Anyway, a traycloth in use is generally seen close-to and interrupted by crockery and cutlery and cake and so forth, so seeing it as a picture isn’t a fair test of its effectiveness. It is neat and attractive and, above all, *finished*! Well done.

  3. Jenny Mullen says:

    Nice work! Another UFO completed is always a success!

  4. it seems to be a project where a lot of work has been done. I am sorry you don’t seem satisfied with the work – I think it is charming. Also as Sue Jones commented, the design will be blocked by the tea things so you will only see glimpses of the underwear scene.

  5. Meredithe says:

    Well done. It looks very sweet and it’s a finish!

  6. Carolyn Foley says:

    This piece brings back memories of when I was at school. We had to design an embroidery on a tray cloth. I don’t know what became of it, lost somewhere in one of my many moves but it also featured pulled thread work as a back ground. At 15 years old I discovered pulled thread work. I still remember how satisfying stitching that piece was. So maybe your piece might not be all you want but it still holds lots of other associations for you.