Thursday, February 26, 2015

Crewel embroidery update...

... it is finished.

After having sat over it for hours, looking closely at each stitch, stepping back from the frame and looking at a finished piece - from a distance - is always such a good feeling. 

I gave up on both French knots and running stitches for the markings on the last flower.

Instead, I used detached chains. When stitched in the same direction as stitches below, they sink into the embroidery and become part of it. 

The flower is much more solid looking than any of the others but the wispy leaves around it kind of make up for it. 

And so, there it is. The best part about finishing - I get to start something new! Mind you, we are harvesting the grapes early next week, so there won't be much stitching time.

Have a great weekend,
Anna X

Friday, February 20, 2015

Crewel work WIP

Remember this one?

Last time I shared an update on this project was back in November - I can't believe that it is that long ago!

Back then I was Quietly stitching blanket stitch leaves. Just because I haven't shared anything in such a long time doesn't mean I have not been working on it (if only sporadically).

 The sprig of plump flowers and buds that I was working on is long finished.  It wraps around the centre flower in one corner.

In the opposite corner is a different blossom stem. The stem was too yellow to begin with so I worked a row of back stitch over the top - a stitch into each chain, just to tone it down. I like this stitch combination for stems. It gives them a little more texture than just plain chain stitch. Besides it was much more enjoyable than ripping out the chain stitch.

Still to go is the lily-looking flower in the remaining corner. I am happy with the colour combinations but I do think I need to 'tone it down a notch' or add some highlights. Somehow. I am not quite sure yet.

Also left is the other big petal on the main flower. I keep putting it off which is really silly - I know once I get stuck into it, it won't take that long. And then... then it is finished.

Summer is seriously back in Adelaide this week, so it is too hot for me to work on the goldwork piece. Clammy hands and metal threads, just don't mix but the wool is just fine. So perhaps, just perhaps...
...then again, we are getting the vineyard ready to harvest, so I will be on vineyard duty.

Have a wonderful weekend,
Anna X

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Chip, chip...

... chipping away at it.

I may not have managed a lobe a day, but the piece is coming along. Filling the first centre with chipping was rather fun and relaxing after all the pesky ends.

For those who are not familiar with goldwork, 'chipping' is a technique where you cut purl threads (hollow, springy threads), usually check purl because the rough surface plays so beautifully with the light, into tiny pieces - each roughly as long as the thread is wide. Then you stitch the pieces onto the fabric one by one, each at a different angle until the area is filled. 

I really get a bit of a buzz from stitching this puzzle and fitting them all in tightly. The end result is a textured filling that contrasts beautifully with the smooth areas of laid threads.


Next another lobe covered with laid work. For this one I used a medium weight imitation Jap thread and couched in a traditional brick pattern. 

The shades of thread used for the couching stitches is slightly different in each row but it doesn't really show as well as I had hoped for. Am I about to unpick it? I don't think so!
From this point on, the idea is to repeat the same fillings. I think that if each was different the overall look of the piece could very easily become messy and busy.

After the brick couching came a second padded satin stitch lobe, followed by more chipping. The laid thread with the stripes of couching on the next lobe is done and all left to do on that one is the outline.

I was not going to reveal the whole piece until it was finished, but I can't wait. When you just see it bit by bit the patterns all look so much the same. It is not until you look at it as a whole that the effect of the repetition of patterns make sense. 11 down - only 4 to go...

Best stitches,
Anna x