The September workshop for the Embroiderers' Guild Certificate Course, was on Deerfield Embroidery and taken by Deb Richardson. Deb had researched extensively and provided us with background notes, many laminated photographs and some really helpful examples she had worked.
We came prepared with a piece of white linen about 30 cm square and four skeins of stranded thread in shades of blue. Deb had designed a motif that gave ample scope for using a range of stitches. We each traced it on to our piece and we were up and running.
I soon realised that I should have taken more care to choose a piece of truly white linen. My cream piece did not show the blue of the Deerfield work to the very best advantage, although the quality of the linen was good. Deb had worked the piece herself, so we were at liberty to repeat the stitches she had used, or to choose our own from the range given in her notes.
Mine is a mixture. I used most of the same outlining stitches as she had and very similar filling for the leaves and the bird's body.
Here is the completed piece. Of course, I decided it should be made into a bag.
I felt good about using it - something that I haven't felt in the 3 years and 4 months since his death. He would have liked to be part of the endeavour.
The handkerchief was quite large, so, folded in half, it made a reasonable bag. As you can see, I even got out my cutting board and a tape-measure, measured it properly and cut the linen precisely.
I made the bag to the size of the folded handkerchief, folding the top over to form the channel for a drawstring and a frill at the top. The only cut in the handkerchief was a small slit on one side to allow me to thread in two cords.
I then embroidered the checked top, using stitches from the Deerfield motif.
Two twisted cords, one made from the remains of the four skeins of stranded cotton in various blues, the other from a skein of variegated blues, and two tassels complete the project.
I do so enjoy these monthly workshops for the Certificate Course, even though I am not enrolled in the course. It is a real chance to expand my repertoire, to learn about various kinds of embroidery, try them out. It's interesting and fun, even if I don't ever pursue the genre further.
In the case of Deerfield, I can see myself using it and integrating it into my future work.
Once again, I am grateful to the Guild for allowing members to attend these workshops even when not enrolled in the course, to Christine Bishop and Barbara Mullan who organise the Course, Deb who taught it and my fellow students, who share their learning, knowledge and interest