Last week saw the launch of my first five-day embroidery courses new-style. Students can either bring their own design, make one up using my extensive library of embroidery books or simply pick a ready-made design from one of those books. Equally, they can choose to work a small design in an embroidery hoop or opt for a more professional approach and use a slate frame. I've also moved away from the very formal approach of my training at the Royal School of Needlework. Good as it was, it has proven not to be suitable for copying one to one for mainland Europe. So, what did we do?
Ellen from the Netherlands decided to create a design out of pictures she had found on the internet. It works really well to copy bits of designs you like, re-group them and amalgamate them into a new design. And then the fun part comes: choosing colours. Although traditional crewel embroidery involves a woollen thread on linen, you can equally use embroidery floss, perle and the like.
Elizabeth from Augsburg had brought with her a magnificent wall paper she wanted to recreate in stitch. An exotic jungle view with nice vivid colours. As both projects were quite big, and will last them well beyond the five days we had, they both opted to work on a slate frame. For larger projects that are not table cloths or the like, this will always be my preferred option to work with. OK, it takes some time to set up, but it will keep your fabric drum tight for a long time and give you a lovely overall stitching experience. Soon you will find a new breed of slate frames in my webshop. I'll keep you posted on that.
The ladies had so much fun experimenting with different stitches and colour combinations. Pomegranates with silver plated spangles and deep red beads added extra interest. As did a magnificently colourful bird with its many feathers.
And these were the results after five days of hard work, yet relaxed stitching. I think they did marvellously, don't you think? We all agreed that we could have added another week. If you would like to join me for a week of stitching, you will find all the details here. The next course is a goldwork course and runs from the 28st of March until the 1st of April. Hurry as there are only two spaces left!
Jessica M. Grimm
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