On the Saturday after my week at the beach in late January, I attended a Guild workshop for the Certificate Course. These run once a month and are open to all Guild members. They are very popular. Certificate students get priority for teacher time but the rest of us learn heaps and have a terrific time. There is a sense of purpose and shared interest.
Christine Bishop, our tutor and the organiser of the Guild's Certificate Course, has written an authoritive book on Schwalm, Bishop, Christine. . Australia: Sally Milner Publishing Pty Ltd, 2008.
As usual, Christine had prepared kits for the class - a simple design on 30 count Belgian linen providing for several stitches, that could be practised and mastered in the workshop. Each stitch is clearly explained and illustrated in the notes then demonstrated as many times as needed by Christine in class. She is a great teacher - no nonsense, direct, clear as a bell, alert, observant, focused and flexible.
Also as usual, I came away with a project well advanced, knowing what to do next, motivated and relaxed.
At home I finished stitching the design within days and moved to construction, removing threads from the border and marking the outer edges as per the instructions, tacking then stitching.
On a project like this I find myself once again attracted to counted, and particularly to drawn, thread work. The precision is so satisfying and the effects so pleasing. The design is large enough to see with minimum magnification - and the piece small enough to be achievable.
The process of creating the frame in stitch has its own logic that keeps me going to finish. The fabric demands to be folded and secured.
I've always loved hemstitching - although it is many years since I have done much.
It is not only relaxing, but immensely satisfying and somehow appropriate - fitting for the task and tidy.
The project was designed as either a mat or a little pillow. I chose the option of a lavender pillow.
I stuffed the pillow with fibre-fill and added some lavender. It looks and smells lovely.