Sunday, March 24, 2013

Punto Anico challenge

I love trying different embroidery techniques and usually enjoy a stitching challenge, so I spent today getting a better understanding of Punto Antico.

One of the elements often used in this technique is relatively large squares where the fabric threads are removed before the square is filled with a needlewoven motif. It all started with a stunning tray cloth embroidered by Patricia Girolami. I wish I could show it to you but I don't have it here at home. It will be published later in the year in Inspirations magazine and if you get the magazine, you will see what I mean. Anyway, as I was preparing the instructions for the project, I thought it would be a good idea to work up a small sample just to make sure I had understood everything correctly. Goodness me this stuff is tricky! I do understand the principles of this beautiful technique and the stitches themselves are really not complicated - the trick is in the tension of weaving. I guess that for a first attempt my little sample is not too bad, but it is fare from perfect. 

The main problem is the tension of both the weaving and the long spokes over which the weaving is done - more practise needed there. I know how important preparation is for any work, but I didn't pay enough attention to it when I folded the cut threads to the back. The result is an edge that for one thing is not neat but more importantly, the cut threads are not caught properly under the stitches on the wrong side so if the pieces was to be used for anything they would come undone. 

Once I got to this stage, I also realised that the linen I was using was not as fine as the one used for the original project. That partly explains why my needleweaving doesn't fill the square as well. To make the pattern work on this count linen (I used a 36, should have been a 40-count) I would need to experiment with thicker threads. Am I going to? Possibly . In a way I would like to finish this little challenge and if I do, I promise I will show you but I have run out of time for now.
At least I now understand a bit better how it works and that was the aim of the exercise in the first place.

If you want to read a bit more about Punto Antico, you can start by having a look at Jeanine Robertson's blog Italian Needlework or check out the article she has written for Interweave.

What have you worked on lately that you found really challenging?
Enjoy the rest of weekend, I am going to grab a stitching break and get a bit of fresh air,
Anna x


  1. It's very well done, Anna!
    This is not easy to do :) I know what I'm saying ;)

    1. thank you Meri, no it wasn't easy, but very interesting and I am glad I took the time to give it a go.

    2. Lovely to see the study in progress. You have to be in the right frame of mind and not too many interruptions......putiing this on my bucket list!