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Monday, January 14, 2019

Embroidery Roll

I should have had an embroidery roll a long time ago, but put it off. The work I've been doing in Basics To Beyond, on a counted thread sampler, reached the stage where I really did need one. I popped into the Guild's shop to buy one at the end of the Members' Exhibition in October 2018, but they had sold out.

There was nothing to do but make one.

I found a cheerful piece of cotton fabric which I had bought 7-8 years ago when my eldest granddaughter was interested in snakes. it was about the right size.

I dug out some gauze as a lining/fabric protector and a cardboard roll that had been the support for a roll of wrapping paper.

It was just a matter of hemming the non-selvage edges of the fabric, laying them together and creating a gusset at one end for the cardboard roll.

The finishing touch was stuffing the open end of the roll with fibre-fill and creating a covering.

A ribbon tie completed the construction and it was ready to roll (literally!).

While looking for fabric to make this, I came across a Japanese cotton panel that my late husband had brought me back from Japan in about 1995. It occurred to me it would make a great roll - and get seen more than it does now.

I repeated the process using the Japanese panel. It is long and thin, meaning that for most pieces of embroidery it does not require a lining fabric to protect the embroidery, but can be folded back over the embroidery. The print is on both sides.

It is a very good size for my Basics to Beyond sampler.

The end on this one is made with a piece of silk ( drat that cotton thread in the photo!).

The larger one was perfect for housing the Crewel panels I had finished for my chair.

So now I have two rolls to keep my embroidery clean and unfolded - I'll make a proper embroiderer yet!

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

B2B - Basics to Beyond with Embroiderers' Guild of SA

I attended the Embroiderers' Guild monthly Basics to Beyond classes all last year, working on my counted sampler - the fifth project in the B2B course. It has been slow,  rewarding work. Generally speaking, I have worked one row of the sampler each month, getting help to get started during the meeting, then finishing the row at home.

The first three rows to be done were a variety of counted thread patterns. I chose a bargello, a Sollerosom, a pattern darning from Yvette Stanton's Smoyg and a  variation on a Kogin chart from Phyllis Maurer's Techniques of Japanese Kogin.

In between the bands I worked a single row of a variety of stitches, a series of linked horizontal fly stitches, chain stitch. feather stitch and a couple of variations on cross stitch.

The remaining bands were worked in a series of drawn thread.

This one was simple but, I think, effective.

I had a bit more trouble with the needle-weaving but managed in the end to produce a pattern.

In the last class of the year, I began the pulled-thread border around the piece. I have now finished that. It looks predictably scrappy - but will block up nicely when finished.

I have the hem to do. I've decided to leave that until my first class this year, which will not be until April. On the day of the February class I will be boarding a plane for England, and returning just after the March class.

One of the joys of B2B is taking time - progressing at  your own pace and learning as you need.

It's a mindful exercise.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Chair progress - Jacobean Stag finish

When I last wrote about my project to cover an ikea bucket chair in crewel work, I had just finished the Running Hare and purchased three more kits to work and add. Those kits arrived in good time, and in between Christmas projects I have been working on the Jacobean Stag.

I used Phillipa's sitting-hoop-with-cling-wrap method (plus her cover-with-shower-cap-to-keep-clean trick).

I began with the stag - loved the rhythm and instant effect of the shaded long-and-short stitch.

The flowers were equally satisfying - the red is fantastic.

Left to my own devises, I doubt very much that I'd have got the shading right. The colour combinations were not ones I'd have chosen - but they worked a treat.

I needed to move my hoop twice to fit all the design in. The last move allowed me to work on the left side of the hillock on which the stag is standing.

I loved the comfort of this piece - a good variety of stitches, but within my comfort zone. I really enjoyed the addition of Portuguese knots.

I finished the piece on 30 December and blocked it overnight, tightening it several times in the drying process.

On New Year's Eve I began the process of adding the panel to the chair.

To fit the panel to the curve of the chair I needed to shape one bottom edge of the panel. This gave me a triangular off-cut that I inserted in the gap at  the top of the chair in the curve. I stitched it in by hand using machine thread, then embroidered over it with wool.

I managed to crib another triangle from the Running Hare panel to insert on the other side and repeat the process.

It isn't perfectly balanced - but, hey, I'm not an upholsterer. I'm following my grandmother and mother in making-do, using what I've got in terms of both materials and skills.

I have a bit of a plan for covering the strips at the side of the seat panel, but it will need to wait until I've covered the back. I may also extend the triangle points right down between the panels to the base.

The photo to the left was taken before I had secured the bottom edge of the panels. The panoramic view below was taken after the lower edge was secured.

This is a work in progress, but I'm very pleased to have reached this point at the beginning of a new year - and to be able to write about it as the first post for 2019  (and my 481st since 8 October 2010).