As I wrote before, I am taking Tricia's class 'Cabinet of Curiosities' to learn more about 17th century embroidery techniques. In the end, I am hoping to successfully recreate an embroidered casket. The first supplies have arrived; amongst which is a small trinket box to practise on. You can see all the yummy contents of the first kit in the picture below:
All these lovely colours of silk threads and the fabulous silk fabrics make me want to dive straight into making my casket! However, I've only just finished the second lesson of 18 in total. My current homework consists of coming up with a design for my casket. Easy peasy. What better than to use scenes from my favourite historical novel: De leeuw van Vlaanderen by Hendrik Conscience? A totally over the top romantic, historically inaccurate account of the battle of the golden spurs in AD 1302. It has everything: beautiful lady, mysterious knight, good king, evil queen, brave citizens. Combine this with my fantastically graphically talented husband and the design for my double casket is as good as nailed :)!
At about the same time my cabinet of curiosities kit arrived, the above book arrived as well: The stumpwork masterclass by Alison Cole. It is the first ever embroidery book I've read from cover to cover. Normally, I flick through embroidery books and read parts of it here and there, even out of order and skip those parts not of immediate interest. Not with this one. It sucked me right in. And got me very excited. It sparked so many ideas in my head. So many 'oh-I-need-to-try-thats'.
As you can see from the above sneak peek, the book isn't a step-by-step instruction on how to do stumpwork. It isn't a starting point for the novice embroiderer either. As the cover says, it truly is a Masterclass. With lots of detailed photographs of modern pieces by Alison and historical pieces as well. Each chapter takes on a design element rather than a technique. You'll have people, animals, flowers & leaves, skies, fillings & signatures, grounds, trees, birds, grottoes & fountains, buildings, bugs and borders. Interspersed with chapters on the history of stumpwork, padding techniques and needle lace. Alison both describes the techniques per design element found on historic pieces and how you can give a more modern twist to these elements. As not all historical threads are readily available, she even provides recipes on how to make your own silk wrapped purls, wire wrapped silks, silk gimp and flattened spirals.
Only reading about embroidery, however good the book or course materials are, is a bit dull in the end. So, when Tricia announced a new needlework nibble on her blog, I jumped right in. Apparently, those embroidered caskets held casket toys. Wired animals, poseys and whatnots. The snake was great fun to make and the techniques remind me of those used in traditional Klosterarbeiten. Do follow the link to the snake tutorial and have a go. Browse Tricia's blog for more casket toys and a contest on making your own, which she is hosting.
As I am taking a blogging break in August, I've packed this post full of links to tide you over until September. Time for me to host family visits and to work on new embroidery kits and workshops. Have a lovely summer and please join me again in a couple of weeks' time!
Before I'll tell you about two upcoming course possibilities here in Bad Bayersoien, let's take a look at some 'work in progress'. Remember Ellen and Elisabeth who did a crewelwork embroidery course way back in January? They have graciously allowed me to share their progress with you all.
First up is Ellen her piece. The design was made up of all things 'crewel' Ellen came across and liked. Eclectic, colourful, vibrant and fun. Perfect for trying out many different stitches and colour combinations. The shading on the green leaves of the pink and coral flower has been worked very nicely!
Next up is Elisabeth's piece. She used a designer piece of jungle wall paper as her design source. Her piece takes a modern approach on Jacobean crewel as she incorporates stumpwork elements and beads. Below is a detail of the pomegranates.
I love both pieces and think the ladies have made great progress! Five days are too nearly always short to finish a piece of embroidery. This blog is a great way of keeping track of each other's progress; especially as both ladies live 675 kilometres apart.
Want a bit of embroidery bliss yourself? Then why not join me for one of my upcoming courses? From Monday the 5th of September until Friday the 9th of September I'll run a canvas (needlepoint) course. During the course you will create a colourful masterpiece on canvas. You will have the choice between creating an embroidery with different threads, ribbons and pearls using many different stitches. Or would you rather stitch a classical Berlin Wool piece using tent stitch? One way or the other, the result will be a true eye-catcher. Nice too: this course is well suited for newbies!
From Monday the 31st of October until Friday the 4th of November I'll run a stumpwork course. True to the motto: "anything goes", you will create a three-dimensional embroidery with freestanding elements, needle lace and textured stitches. Use unusual materials and be inspired by the naturalistic pieces created by Jane Nicholas from Australia or 17th century originals.
There are many accommodation options available locally. During lunch break, I'll put bread, spreads and a hearty soup on the table. Wouldn't it be lovely to join me and others for a week-long relaxed embroidery adventure? As bookings are coming in and places are limited, do book your place today!
I am going to have a stand at this year's Allgäuer Nadelstiche needlework fair in Oberstdorf. Apart from selling embroidery supplies, I will also be teaching my four well-loved short workshops. On both days you will have a change to try your hand at crewel embroidery (long and short), stumpwork (needle lace), goldwork with beetle wings and silk ribbon embroidery. Teaching will be at my stand and a maximum of six people can join per workshop. The teaching fee of €20 includes all materials and a detailed instructional booklet so that you will be able to turn your finished embroidery into a handy needlework tool. Further details of the workshops can be found here. Please book early as places are limited!
Thank you all so much for your nice comments on last week's post of the Victorian Mice Etui! It made my day. For those of you wanting to try your hand at box making, you'll now find curved needles ideal for box making in my webshop. I plan to turn the Victorian Mice Etui into a pattern and possibly a kit too. It won't be for a while though as I have some more pressing embroidery business to finish first. But don't worry, thanks to my new and genius mailing list you, dear reader, will be the first to know when the pattern/kit is out! Not on my mailing list yet? No worries. Just fill out the small form to the right of this post and you're in.
The coming weeks I am going to show you some of the new projects for next year. Up today is a stumpwork summer sampler I will be teaching at ArtTextil in July. The new program will be up on their website in the next few weeks.
This piece was inspired by a cross stitch kit I bought at Nadel & Faden in Osnabrück. It is called Patchwork Ete from the series Jardin Prive by Nathalie Cichon. You can find her designs through her own website or through Stickkunst, where I got mine. Below is my stitched version of her cross stitch kit.
Next week I am going to show you some adorable mice on a box. Stay tuned and enjoy the last days of the year!
I finished stitching Millie Marotta's fox yesterday evening late (quite late, that is...). A few months ago this whole project started when Mary Corbet mentioned Millie Marotta's new colouring book 'Animal Kingdom' on Needle 'n Thread. Me and the fox had an instant connection. Waiting for the book to arrive at the bookstore was a tantalluskwelling. Patience is not one of my virtues. Of course, no one buys this as I am an embroideress and embroiderers are patient. Yeah right.
Here you'll see the fox finished bar the stumpwork elements. I've used House of Embroidery perle #12 (which you can find in my webshop together with perle #8 and gorgeous silk ribbons) in shades: Wildlife A, Marigold C, Maple A & C, Strelitza A, Harvest C, Sri Lanka C, Berries B and Brass A & B. Sparkly highlights were stitched using Madeira Metallic embroidery thread #40 Colour 28 and DMC Diamant #301. I love DMC Diamant. It is not your average badly behaving metallic embroidery thread. It is much nicer.
And here are some of the wired stumpwork elements. I used the same threads with a red linen background. Why red? Well after cutting them out, you do tend to see a wee bit of the background fabric. Using a background fabric corresponding with your stitching thread makes thus a lot of sense.
And here is the finished piece! Needless to say: I love it to bits. Can't wait to mount the piece (oh gosh, did I really write that? Wow, I've come a long way since my first mounting instructions at Hampton Court Palace...). It will then be framed in a white IKEA frame until I can scratch together enough money to have it properly framed.
Here's an angled picture so one can appreciate the 'stumpiness' of the stumpwork elements better. For those of you planning to visit Nadel & Faden in Osnabrück in September, the fox will be on display!
So what's next? A wee bit of homework. And then I am going to play with my Elizabeth Ward tiny container bead storage solution tray. You can read all about this genius system on Mary Corbet's Needle 'n Thread. See you next week!
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