Embroidery update

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My writing prompt relates back to the poll I put up earlier this week. I am supposed to write something arising out of what readers have asked for.   Someone asks for an update on my embroidery project so here goes.

I have been working on the Spring Trellis project since March 2015, actually not as far back I was expecting.  The plan is from a book by Hazel Blomkamp called Crewel Twists which gives a modern twist to crewel work.  I set out on the project as I wanted to learn how to use beads and also more crewel work techniques.

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It’s a large project, probably a bit over ambitious but that’s me.  I have one large motif to finish and then the last one in the bottom right hand corner.  Then I need to do all the connecting stems and leaves and finally some trellis in the background.  I started on the largest motif and I think looking at the last few I have done (top left and then top right) show that my technique is improving.


This is the motif I am working on at the moment although that is not strictly true as I am taking a break from it.  I have a hankering to do some Christmas cards and other Christmas decorations and I don’t want to leave it until late November as I did last year which is just too late.  So I have got some cross-stitch kits and am having fun undertaking simple embroidery.

Christmas Chick

This is the image of the one I am working on at the moment but familiarity breeds contempt.  I had whizzed along in the evenings and completed most of the bird’s body until I realised that I should have been using double thread and not single.  I suppose it doesn’t seem that important but the single thread gives a very pale appearance.  Anyway, I spent last night unpicking the whole thing – a good week of evenings work destroyed but I know it’s the right decision.  I also have some ideas for Christmas tree decorations which I hope to have time for as well then its back to the Spring Trellis – maybe.


10 Comments Add yours

  1. jabrush1213 says:

    I am sure the bird will come out beautifully. My grandmother and aunt do embroidery and it really is an art.

  2. Sandra says:

    Your embroidery is absolutely beautiful! I feel inspired to start some again myself after a break of about 30 years!

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Sandra
      Thank you and glad I have inspired you, there seems so much out there now

  3. Yvonne Ryan says:

    Hi Helen – A very beautiful art form requiring lots of patience. Did some when young but not now. Amazing display at Estuary Arts from upper North Island Guilds. OMG amazingly beautiful. So popular, lots of bus loads of enthusiastic women viewing and chatting loudly came. Intricate, imaginative, traditional and modern. Your crewel work looks lovely!

  4. germac4 says:

    Hi Helen,
    Your embroidery is wonderful, something to aspire towards….. I remember having to unpick a piece that I had begun with one thread instead of two…one thing about embroidery, it teaches endurance!

  5. You will find that even the cross stitch will help you a little with the crewel work. It’s amazing how much it helps just with being comfortable holding a needle!
    You may even find that not thinking about the crewelwork has helped – I’ve known that to have happened too!

  6. Your work is beautiful. I love the variety of colors, stitches, and beads.

  7. Ogee says:

    Extraordinary work! And the patience of a saint. 🙂

  8. Even the cross stitch will help you with the crewel work – it’s amazing how much difference it makes justto feel comfortable with a needle in your hand. Looking good!

  9. Sarah says:

    You need a lot of patience for this work Helen. I think these embroideries would be fantastic made into Christmas tree decorations. The metallic thread and beads would really catch the light.

Please feel free to leave comments as its always lovely to get feedback. I try to respond to comments as much as possible but sometimes life and work get in the way but I will do my best to respond especially if your comment is a question.

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