Tag Archives: gold

TAST 2012 – Buttonhole and Cretan Stitch

I’m on a little bit of a catchup with my ‘Take a Stitch Tuesday‘ 2012 challenge …. between commissions, visiting my new nephew and decorating the kitchen, weekend sewing has taken a little bit of a backseat for the last couple of weeks.

So … here we have the week 2 stitch – buttonhole. I’ve used it before, in it’s ‘purest’ form, in the ‘Til death us do part’ white cloth …

and in the ‘Eve’s Garden’ quilt I’m using buttonhole wheels for some of the floral detail ….

So for the challenge I wanted to try something a bit different … using the stitch to build up a picture, again … I’m not going to show you the entire piece, because I don’t like it! Still, I was pretty pleased with my spider web ….

And I like buttonhole stitch as a way of building up drifts of grasses …

So it wasn’t a complete write-off 😉

I missed the week of feather stitch … I might try and combine it with this week’s challenge – herringbone stitch – when I come to it this weekend.

Moving onto this week, then, and Cretan stitch … it’s not a stitch I’ve used widely before, other than as a decorative hemming stitch. But I liked the idea of experimenting with it a little, so thought I’d do a more straightforward sampler, using the stitch for hemming, couching, and decoratively … but playing with the idea of layering fabrics and combining pieces of broken costume jewellery into the piece.

So, from the top … worked in perle 12, a fairly straightforward up-and-down to couch the cord onto the lace and the linen backing, and then using nr 3 linen floss to couch down the string of faux-pearls. Then back to the perle 12, to pick up the detail in the vintage lace and quilt it down onto the linen backing …. I thought this was really pretty.

And over at the far side, using cretan stitch to couch down a piece of gold chain … I “love” this.

And just visible on the strip of broderie, some layered cretan stitch in different threads – perle 12, nr 3 linen floss and perle 5.

Below that, I’ve used a very tight, closed, small, diagonal cretan stitch to create a ‘wreath’ effect along the bottom of the broderie, and then a knotted cretan stitch for the beading. Below that, closed cretan stitch to hem the organza ribbon over the strip of silk. And then couching again, to hem the strip of beaded ribbon over the edges of the silk and the lace trim.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with the finished piece … I’ve fringed the edges of the backing linen and I think it’s a pretty little valentine … I’m going to back it, and put a sleeve on it, and hang it on a wall (permanently, without the nasty pins!).

Tree of Life – a bespoke modern patchwork cushion

I had a lovely commission before I went away on holiday … a (belated) wedding gift. It was a fairly straightforward brief – a simple, contemporary cushion cover in white/cream tones, patchworked and quilted. The only unusual part of this bespoke cushion was that the quilting was to be in the form of a line drawing, touching on the artist Rob Pepper’s work, and that (more conventionally) the piece should incorporate their initials and the date of the wedding.

And so evolved the ‘Tree of Life’ … I didn’t want to do a straight copy of a Rob Pepper drawing, but I did want to draw on the spirit of it, but with my own twist – so my design is perhaps less free than his drawings, more stylised, but I felt it appropriate for my medium ;). I’m pretty pleased with the outcome:

Tree of Life - bespoke contemporary cushion, patchworked and hand-embroidered

The patchwork was pretty straightforward – a log cabin variation called ‘Courthouse Steps’, worked in shades of white and cream and a variety of different textures – the geometric lines of a ribbed knit, the denser structure of cotton drill, cotton voile, muslin, silks, linen and cartridge paper (which I interfaced before I started working).

 I loved it as it stood, but I decided on that patchwork structure (rather than a more romantically named block) because it supported the design best, with its strong geometric layout and the way it pulls perspective. I worked the quilting in single strand cotton embroidery yarn – a combination of cream and a dark chocolate brown (using black would have been *way* too heavy) – with gold embroidery silk (again single strand) to work the detail of their initials, wedding date and the lazy daisy stitching to set the leaves on the tree.

I’m pretty pleased with the result … and this project has inspired me to experiment more with different materials in. I already have half in my mind an idea with quilting bark onto silk, with beading …. but that’s for another day 🙂