Saturday, December 8, 2012

Crewel progress

I have been embroidering madly on the crewel piece for the SA guild class in June. As I mentioned to you the other day, I have been struggling a bit with this piece but with a bit of perseverance I am finally beginning to feel good about it and thought I would show you how it is coming along.

When I design a piece of crewelwork I try to consider texture and the density of stitching as much as I do the colours. I like to incorporate lots of open stitches so that the fabric background becomes part of the design instead of simply creating a canvas to hold it. For it to work well you almost need to keep the fabric in mind as part of your colour and stitch pallet. 

The open spaces here are created with ladder chain, butonhole stitch, seeding and wheatear stitch. 
Someone asked me once if I ever unpick. Do I unpick? Absolutely! Especially when I work on a new piece of crewel. It is a shame that piles of messy threads doesn't photograph very well otherwise I could show you just how much unpicking this piece has been subject too. The reason for all the unpicking is that I don't leave anything unless I am happy with it. 

Although I know which colours and effects I wish to achieve for an area, the overall look changes with the combinations of thread colour and stitch and often the only way to determine what works best is trail and error. It can be a slow process, but it is such a good feeling when it all comes together and works. So fare I am particularly pleased with the top flower - and I only unpicked most parts once...... 

I would really like to try and have the embroidery finished by Monday, so it is just as well we are having a hot weekend here in Adelaide - no chance of me getting tempted to spend time in the garden for other than a bit of watering.

Hope you are having a lovely weekend.
Anna x


  1. Too many beginners think that all designers go straight from idea to finished piece without any rethinking in between - thank you for talking about unpicking!

  2. Beautiful design! Crewel work appeals to me because of the curves. Every detail is curved, no straight lines.