Tag: General Embroidery

Quietly Persevering

Adding The Fringe

Adding The Fringe

I’m in the very last stages of a very long running commission here. It’s one of the reasons my reading of blogs has been sporadic of late – I’ve been working very hard on this!

Anyway, the last stage is to add fringing all around the edge – some six metres of fringing, which is why it isn’t happening all in one go – although we will need the dining room table again soon (I don’t have a studio – I only wish I did!). And I am using the pins I won in a giveaway on Karen’s blog recently – thank you, Karen, they are working very well for this!

I’ve learnt a lot from this project about managing, planning and specifying a commission. In particular, unless you can be guaranteed no disturbances, life has a tendancy to throw in the odd curve ball and suddenly progress slows to a crawl. It took over a year to find a suitable fabric that my client and I both liked, and over six months to find the fringing. Fortunately I haven’t had a hard deadline – my client wants it finished suitably and not rushed. That makes life much easier!

I also discovered that I have a tendancy not to work on what I want to work on, unless I can put forward an over-riding reason why I should. “I’m being paid” works, but so does “I want to write it up for my blog” (now I have a blog, that is!) or “I’m learning something here”. What hasn’t worked – until recently – is “I’m enjoying it”.

Still, it’s within eyeshot of being finished, now. Another day on the fringing, and then I shall take some photos from the right side before presenting it to my client. I’ll post those after she has seen it!

Godmothers and Goddaughters

The embroidered teacloth that took three generations to complete!

The embroidered teacloth that took three generations to complete!

This heavily embroidered teacloth was begun by my Great Aunt. She either became weary of it or simply felt it she didn’t have time to do it, and she passed it on to her god-daughter.

Who in turn, finished all but a small bit, when she ran out of suitable stranded cotton to do some of the curlicues. And then she passed it on to her god-daughter – me!

I worked something out for the curlicues, and finished the embroidery. And then – Surprise!

I’m reading a book at the moment called Stitching for Victory. It is a fascinating account of the contribution of fabric and stitch to the war effort. It covers tents and uniforms, the Utility mark, Maskelyne‘s misleading camps in the desert, Make Do And Mend. It describes ideas for refashioning and remodelling garments, and repurposing blankets, parachutes and darning wool.

Imagine my surprise when I turned a page among the colour plates and found myself face to face with a teacloth embroidered in a familiar pattern. … It turns out that it was a Penelope kit, and was among those used in rehabilitation of  injured soldiers during and after the War!

Look What I’ve Found!

First Stitches

First Stitches

A little while ago, Yvette at White Threads blog interviewed me for her blog. In the interview, we talked about how I started to embroider, and I described – and provided a picture of – a piece that I worked on with Grandmama when I was about eight or nine.

I went to visit my parents a few days ago and they fished this mat out of the archives. I made it at school, when I was about six – you can tell my family has a bit of a thing about making things, from the fact it was still in existence.

I remember almost nothing about making it, except that I got bored of running stitch very quickly, and I must have mentioned that to Grandmama; maybe she suggested the arrowhead stitches and the whipped running stitch. I am fairly sure  that I was the only one in the class who did anything but running stitch in a square.  Embroidery wasn’t fashionable at the time, so I suspect most of the other children’s parents and grandparents wouldn’t have taken much interest in what we were doing.

The back looks hair-raising – Miss Hunter would have had a fit! –  but how many of us have our very first piece of stitching to bring us back to earth?


Squeaks with Excitement!

Floral Glove Course Kit

Floral Glove Course Kit

There was a gentle thud of a parcel through the letter box yesterday.

And Oh Frabjous Day, the Floral Glove Needlecase Course Kit has arrived!

What with hair-raising weather (in the UK and the US) and a much more popular course than the organisers anticipated (a great problem to have!) it has taken a little longer than anticipated for my kit to arrive. We’ve been kept very well informed, but of course once a parcel is in the system there is nothing anyone can do to speed it up…

It was worth the wait! There’s an intriguing variety of speciality metal threads, and some rather gorgeous looking silk. I’m planning to read all the instructions at least twice before even looking for a hoop – I’d like to do a good job on this, and I rarely use silks or metal threads at present.

First Steps in Blogging…

I’m not – yet – a virtuoso embroiderer in the sense of one who is trained and extremely skilled. I learnt almost entirely from books, and a couple of courses that I may talk about in another post, and I started more or less by accident when looking for a hobby to take my mind off exams.

There’s another sense in which I hope I am a virtuoso. I embroider for fun, with enthusiasm and as much skill as I have managed to acquire over the years. I hope at least some of what I talk about will have a sense of fun in it.

I only started following blogs a few months ago, and I’ve found many which are encouraging, inspirational, and mind-blowing by turns. I’ll be talking about those, too, once I get to grips with WordPress!

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