Finishing Tynemouth Priory

I’m a little behind with posting this, but there were a few details to finish off-video…

I didn’t want to overdo the water, but I wanted to break up the pattern a little, to create the sense of foam on the surface. I’ve used French Knots, in white silk and very very pale blue single strands of cotton. There were more, but having put them in, I took them straight out again!

Finally, I got to add in the two needlelace slips. I hope you can see that I’ve added a few green French knots to help one section to bed in nicely.

The other one, I’ve twisted and pulled a little, and I’ve tried not to stitch it down too firmly or in too many places. I want the shadow of the slip to help create the sense of distance and disintegration, and I think it’s turned out rather well. I did jam it up hard against the rows of raised satin stitch, and again, I had to be a bit careful, to make sure I didn’t pull those stitches through to the back.

Finally, the first attempt at Tynemouth Priory for “Leaving the Tyme 1915”, finished in its own right. I suspect that when I frame it, I will crop at least some of the water out, but for sure, as I said in the video, adding it in if you didn’t do enough the first time becomes really, really trying.

As you know, I don’t feel comfortable planning to the last detail before I stitch. I like to have space to explore and experiment. That in turn means I have to be comfortable tweaking how I work and how I display what I’ve done, and it is often the case that embroidery responds to close mounting in a way that watercolours, for instance, do not. I would far rather do more stitching than I really needed to – even with an exasperating stitch like this! – than have to go back to it when I thought I was finished and my mind has moved on to something else!


  1. Mam says:

    This is lovely, Rachel. There is a harmony between sky and sea that is very appealing and the subtle sunlight on the buildings lightens the atmosphere.

  2. Alex Hall says:

    You’ve achieved a lovely sense of perspective in the ruins, leading the eye away into the sky and I think you’re absolutely right about it being better to cover that try and retro-fit more stitching in if there’s not quite enough. It never looks quite right to me, however carefully you try and blend it in.

  3. Sue Jones says:

    Absolutely agree about the sense of perspective and the sunlight. Another piece to be proud of.
    I did enjoy watching you gradually stitching this and talking about matters arising – those videos were especially valuable in the depth of lockdown. Thank you for being brave enough to do them.
    What’s the next project?

  4. Amo says:

    Love it all but particularly the sky.

  5. Carolyn Foley says:

    I have two favourite sections, the sky and the buildings. Both remind me of a painting that I have seen. I really look forward to seeing it framed. Congratulations

  6. Congratulations. You have pictured the scene nicely, the buildings blend in with the sky and the beach with the waves. Like Carolyn I look forward to seeing this framed.

  7. Jen Mullen says:

    Love the little bubbles on the waves and the ruins. An iconic scene. 🙂