Regular readers of my blog know that the lovely Mary Corbet every now and then provides me with an excuse to abandon my carefully planned stitching projects. Last Monday, she did it again. Anticipated for months, her eBook 'Stitch Sampler Alphabet' became available. At about the same time, my father did a bit of wood working and made a splendid new planting table for my mum's upcoming birthday. Now I hear you wonder what that has to do with the new eBook? Well, everything! I decided to stitch my mum a present. And there comes the handy eBook.
I started by printing the tracing for the M. This is so convenient about the eBook format; you only print what you need. Using a blue aqua trick marker, I transferred the M onto a piece of cotton linen blend and put it into a hoop. Then I rummaged through my stash of lovely non-every-day-threads. Please remember: you can NEVER have too many speciality threads. Although Mary uses DMC and Anchor cotton threads, I decided to go with mainly silks. I just love their sheen and feel. In the end, I decided to use three different purples of Pearsall's, one Au ver a Soie deep purple perle and a green variegated thin cotton perle (probably Tentakulum; it had long lost its label...).
As Mary suggests, I started by putting in the dainty flower sprays. First the French knots for the flower heads, then the petals, the leaves and more French knots to create a super flowery composition. At first, I tried to place my stitches at the exact positions Mary's stitches are in. But I soon gained enough confidence to stitch my own version.
Next to go in are the different line stitches to connect the flower sprays. You start with a basic line stitch, say chain stitch, and you embellish this simple stitch in a few steps to something quite spectacular (in this case: wrapping, button hole scallops and French knots). This is so much fun! And it provides you with infinite stitch opportunities.
And here is my finished letter. Since knotted chain stitch and I do not bond at all, I substituted it for a normal whipped chain stitch with French knots. Perfectly possible; after all, I am the boss. The eBook really encourages you to try new things and be your own boss with a particular design. For me, the whole process was a huge eye opener. I had never embellished stitches in such a way before. It truly is a bit addictive and I am thinking up excuses in the form of more presents to try out some more...
And this is what I turned the finished M into: a wrap to go around a glass jar. My mum can put it on her desk to keep her pencils in or put it on the table to hold spoons and forks. At present, it contains a pretty tea light in the form of a purple flower.
Have I whet your appetite? Than go over to Mary Corbet's website and purchase your own copy of this lovely embroidery book!
Hi, Jessica! Thanks so much for mentioning my new e-book! And wow, oh wow! I love what you did with the M - and the finished wrap - it's lovely!
Thank you Mary. My mum loved her gift. She proudly shows it to all her birthday guests. Your alphabet is getting quite famous!
I've just found your blog through Mary's blog and look forward to following. I am a long arm quilter and LOVE quilting vintage linens and especially society silk embroideries. I am an amateur embroiderer, but need to learn the art better so I can finish some of the embroideries I have collected that are not finished! I look forward to following you and wish you were within a distance to take classes.....boo!!! Nice to find you, Jessica!
Thank you Kelly! I had a look at your blog too. Fantastic what you did with the vintage society silk roses. Great up-cycling idea. Love, Jessica
Just found you through Mary's website. GORGEOUS work! I'm still playing around with a few monograms from Mary's ebook. (Isn't it so well done? She did such a good job!)
Thank you Liz! Yes, Mary's new eBook is a real gem. Have fun playing with the monograms and don't forget to share them on the new Flickr Group Mary mentioned in today's post!
Your work is beautiful , I have bought Mary's book but havent tried it yet as I am trying to finish a lot of other "stuff" first. I can get a bit carried away with all the projects.
I know the problem Lois! Just not enough hours in the day to complete all those yummy projects out there. Good luck!
Thank you, Wendy!
Sue Knight in Toronto
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