Crewel work and a dragon

The crewel work course I have been teaching came to an end last week.  It’s a mix of sadness – the last time I’ll be with that particular group – and admiring what each has done and learned. None of the projects was actually finished but all were well on their way and some only needed a few more stitches before blocking and mounting. I’m still, after all these years teaching, impressed and delighted by the wide range of designs and different projects produced when all have had the same input from me!

The Embroiderers’ Guild branch I belong to has been running a ‘Travelling Books’ amongst its members.  The idea is that a group (of six or eight) is set up and each chooses a theme for their own small sketch book. They outline the theme on the first page and do an embroidery to be mounted on the next.  The book then travels to another in the group who interprets the theme in their own way and passes it to the next and so on.  When the book reaches its ‘owner’ again that person has a book of lovely small embroideries done by friends.  A great idea.  I have just done a page for a young member of our group whose theme was classic novels.  Others had represented The Secret Garden, A Christmas Carol, Robinson Crusoe, Little Women, Canterbury Tales and Jane Eyre.  The young embroiderer herself had chosen Pride and Prejudice. I chose The Hobbit (which, I argue, was written long enough ago to count as ‘classic’ now!) and worked a piece based on the illustration of Smaug the dragon curled round his treasure hoard. I had a thoroughly enjoyable time machine embroidering a huge hoard and then set it with sparkly, french knot jewels.

Slow progress with quilt

Well I haven’t finished any more projects since my last post but I have kept busy.

A surprising amount of time spent holding various fabrics up against the bed quilt centre in an effort to decide on borders to get it up to a reasonable size.  At the moment it would perch uncomfortably in the middle of the bed! I think I’m there now and thanks to the great staff at the Bramble Patch the next fabric (see above – isn’t it beautiful?) arrived yesterday, so no excuse not to progress.

I taught the next crewel work session last week as well.  Projects have now been decided on and I can’t wait to see how they turn out.  We looked at using satin stitch in various ways, both for areas of colour and for moving through different colours or shades. I love this encroaching satin stitch, it adds so much texture to the shapes.

Crewel work for autumn

It’s September, it’s definitely autumnal and the teaching term has started!  My Wivenhoe group asked to get involved with crewel embroidery so we started from basics and everyone has their own project in mind to finish (?) by January.

I decided I would work a small piece alongside them and treated myself to someone else’s design so I could jump straight in.  I chose Sue Hawkins‘ Pomegranates.  This one of her kits is just right for me because it uses several of exactly the same colours as a cushion I have already worked, so will sit well with that. That earlier one was started in a Philippa Turnbull class and is part of her Levens Hall Pillowe design (which I can’t now see on her website but there are other wonderful designs). Apparently I worked this five years ago – seems like yesterday! Sue uses a stitch I haven’t come across before.  The one down the sides of the open part of the pomegranate.  It’s worked the same way as whipping over the spokes of a spider web but done on a ladder of straight stitches.  Very effective.

I’ve also made progress with my bed quilt. I showed a picture way back in May of a couple of rows.  Then I didn’t get to working on it much over the summer.  This Saturday I took all my completed rows and started to seam them together – and this time my points mostly meet!

These feel somewhat like autumnal colours as well (grey for the rain?) and I am pleased with the way they are blending together, a bit more so than in the photo.