Tag Archives: embroidery

Wednesday: works in progress …

With the children back at school, I’ve tidied and reorganised the workroom, and taken stock of the various works in progress. I’ve been a bit of a butterfly over the holidays, so I’ve got several pieces on the go at once …

There’s the elemental quilt: ‘earth’ is finished, and ‘air’ is started – but I’m having a dither about what stitch to use, so it’s sitting to one side for a moment …

And there’s the Aqua boro quilt, which is calling me to finish it:

It will probably only stay on the hoop until I finish the diamonds in the centre … once I move outside of them, I think I’ll abandon it. I am pleased with the way the convention of stitches is reversed in this, with running stitch for decoration and cross stitch for hemming. The cross stitch is amazingly functional, in this context …

And, of course, there is the white pieces for the Embroider, Embellish, Create course … I’m happy with the stitching, but need to recover from the tailor’s chalk episode.


And then there’s the what-iffing rail … almost projects – ideas, sketches, beginnings, reworks – some of it may never become any more than this, some of it may become something else … I don’t know at this stage:


It is difficult not to feel overwhelmed, as though time is my enemy and that I have to rush through to complete, complete, complete.

But it’s not about volume, or quantity … it’s about working the piece through to its natural conclusion, and that can’t be rushed. Hand-embroidery is what I love most, and that takes time.

A time for each piece, and each piece in its own time.

image courtesy of Brad Vetter Design

Adventures in Embroidery

An exciting new project for the autumn … I’m lucky enough to have snagged a spot on Karen Ruane’s ‘Embroider, Embellish, Create’ class.

Karen is an amazing, talented, embroiderer, working primarily white on white, so the opportunity to learn from her is one I couldn’t resist.

And with all that vintage lace and linen sitting in my stash, waiting for their moment of glory, it was perfect timing.

Here’s the first piece, sitting on top of a raw linen napkin … I think it appropriate that it evokes a compass, since I was feeling for direction with it …

In the centre, a vintage cutwork doily, surrounded by (clockwise from top) broderie pillowcase edging, pleated ivory silk salvaged from an old lampshade, damask cotton pillowcase, printed cotton pillowcase. Overlaid in the bottom left corner is a scrap of waver-thin cotton, embroidered and with lacework insert, and at each of the ‘compass points’ is the remnants of vintage lace trim – fragments I’d kept but were too fragile and torn to be any practical use – until now.

and piece 2 – it looks more conventionally patchworked, apart from that half-circle of old doily in the corner.

left, top to bottom: little scrap of lace edging from an old camisole top; small strip of vintage linen tablecloth edging with lace trim; long oblong of damask linen tablecloth with geometric pattern ;

across the top, a strip of antique broderie trim

two central panels of different antique damask linen tablecloth (apologies that this doesn’t show up in the photo), separated by a strip of eyelet broderie, and bordered on the left by more of the same linen/lace tablecloth edging.

A very special piece of antique broderie along the bottom – ancient and fragile, and half a vintage doily completes the picture.

Interesting beginnings.

And then I got this piece of eco-dyed silk from Arlee Barr today:

It struck me that this oak leaf banner might work perfectly with the work in hand, although I hadn’t ordered it with that in mind …

And so it does. Whether I keep it intact, or cut it into 3 pieces, I haven’t decided yet.

There is stitching to be done ….