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.

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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.

Spring Trellis – Motif 2 Completed

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The second motif on the Spring Trellis crewelwork embroidery is done and I am really pleased with my progress to date.  The instructions are from Hazel Blomkamp’s book Crewel Twists which brings fresh ideas to Jacobean embroidery.  Basically, I think, the idea is that you take the basic stitches of Jacobean crewel work and you embellish them seemingly with masses of beads.

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This is how the second motif fits with the first motif – kinda.  I didn’t transfer the pattern very well so some of it is rather free hand but then I think it brings its own individuality to the work. I’ve felt more confident with the second motif and I think I have stopped worrying so much about whether the finish is as good as in the book.  After all I started on this project as a way to learn new stitches and new approaches and to help me feel braver.

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This photo shows the overall design (sorry for the glare) and having discovered it at the end of the instructions it reassures me as I think the finish on this version isn’t that dis-similar to mine.

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So onwards and upwards to the third motif, the flower at the top left.  This has two pages of instructions which initially lead me to believe it wouldn’t be too bad but looking at it carefully I suspect the author has made some assumptions based on the first 6 pages of instructions and it really is as complicated as the first motif.  First up is some more of the multi-colour checker box satin stitch which is incredibly time-consuming and nearly put me off completely in the first motif as it really showed up my inconsistent satin stitch.  However, can you see the bottom petals, they look rather interesting and a new challenge!!