Saturday, 10 September 2016

Starting the Oast Houses of Kent Countryside crewel embroidery .

 I was so lucky to have the right colours for the oast houses in amongst the vintage crewel wool in my basket .  There was no picture , nor instruction leaflet with the transfer . I did find a picture of the front of the original leaflet , so I can use that as a guide , but there is no list of the colours or stitches or the order in which to do it .

So to begin with I went over some of the more important details with a sharp pencil . I think I,ll do this a little  bit at a time , because it could smudge .Then I,ll stitch a bit around the outlines of things and just see how it goes really .
Once again , like the other vintage embroidery I did , the stitches in these Briggs leaflets are mostly the basic ones .... back stitch, stem stitch , crewel stitch , long and short shading , detatched chain stitch for the leaves and what else can I see ?.....ah ...French knots ..lots of French knots on the cherry blossom ....and it is all very freely and painterly done  , or so it seems to me .
 Actually ,  I am not even sure if this one is a Briggs Embroidery transfer ,  There is no makers name on the transfer  . Maybe someone could let me know ?

 The sun has come out , so I,m off to sit out in my garden and stitch a little more .

Friday, 9 September 2016

Happiness is ......

                             Happiness is a basket of vintage Penelope crewel wool !

Vintage Oast Houses Embroidery Transfer

 I found this old embroidery transfer of the Oast houses in Kent and it tugged at my Kentish heart strings and I just had to buy it ...but sadly when I came to iron it on to my linen , it didn't work ! It seems that it had been used too many times and the ink was used up .

So I sat for about two hours going over all the lines with the horrible pink transfer pencil .

                                                  ...and then ironed it on ......

Its not brilliant , and the next problem is that it didn't come with any instruction leaflet  either ...grrrr . I managed to find a picture of it on the internet and decided to match the colours up as best that I can . I,m not even sure if this is meant to be stitched with wool or cotton threads .  Anyway  , I,ve decided to stitch it with the lovely mellow colours , of the vintage  Penelope crewel wool , that I used on the "Down a Country Lane " embroidery earlier in the year .
 Cant wait to get started now .  Here we go stitching into Autumn  . I love Autumn  !

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Shorleyker Moth

                                   A little Sunday embroidery....I find so relaxing.
 I ,m stitching another moth from " A Schole-house for the Needle " published in 1624 by Richard Shorleyker .

                 I,m using buttonhole stitch around the edge of the moth's wings .

I just did  backstiches for the moth's body , I ,m going to whip those green back stitches over and over for a nicer and ever so slightly raised finish .

The sun came out and I took my needlework out into the garden . I have been delighted by the appearance of some wild strawberries , I suppose a bird must have brought in .
I thought I would put these photos on here, useful I thought , to use in another Elizabethan embroidery ..sometimes I think that the patterns in modern embroidery books have become too stylised . I want my strawberries to be more botanically correct  .
 I put them on here that you too can look closer !
  Strawberries were a much loved subject of embroidery all through the medieval  times , especially loved by the Elizabethans  as a symbol of love and righteousness , the three leaves , symbolising the Holy Trinity .

                        ...and the tiny fruits much loved by the Cornish Piskies  !

       I stitched the tiny whipping stitches , over and over , around his green body  .

  Then begin the wings by putting in some directional guide line stitches , which will be worked in to my long and short shading , from the outside edge to the centre .
 This is not a tutorial do not have to do your butterfly wings like can stitch them..upwards , downwards , in french knots , however makes you smile ..for that is the most important thing and also not worry about the mess on the back if you are a beginner.......just relax and enjoy being creative .

Saturday, 25 June 2016


                                               I just love to stitch with wool .

                                                  Have a peaceful Sunday .

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Elsa Williams Small Tree of Life Finished

 Finished .....and I,m reasonably happy with it .. there are a couple of things...such as the pistils on the large blue flower stamens , the bullion knots not covering the printed lines of the pattern ... but its time to move on  .  Which brings me to the very long , tediously boring , instructions for blocking ........ yawn !    I have never had to block any piece of  my hand surface embroidery ever .
          I also didn't use an embroidery hoop and it is perfectly fine and straight  .

I gave it a little press , face down on a double layer of thick towel and a very slightly damp flannel . This way , the iron does not flatten ,but rather plumps up the crewel wool embroidery on the under side .

I think that tapestry , such as the above cushion , can get out of shape whilst working  , even when done in a frame ......and would definitely need blocking .
  Then again  , I have made up slightly wonky tapestries into cushions  for my own use and I think they're fine .
 I think there are way too many  finished tapestries just lying around out there !  They should be made up into cushions or lovely shopping bags  , loved and used !
  The lovely toadstool cushion above was one that I bought from a nice lady on Ebay  ..she told me  , that her husband had said that they had too many cushions and not enough chairs for them all , so some of them just had to go !
                                  Lol ! Glad to have been able to help her out .

I have another Elsa Williams Kit waiting in the wings  , but I might do something else first.
 I need to finish a piece that I designed myself ....a much larger piece ...I had taken a break from it .
      I need to tidy my workroom .   You want to see my work room ?  O.K. Well , maybe next time .

 Remember those little pieces I embroidered  ?
 I ,ve prepared some linen with few more patterns  from " A Scholehouse for the Needle " by Richard Shorleyker published in 1624 .  I love these early English patterns .
 I,ll gather some more pretty crewel wool , my new cute scissors , a fresh needle , put all into my embroidery travel bag along with a good book and I,m ready for our next trip . Fun little pieces of history to pull out and work on , as and when I have a few minutes to spare . I,ll make them up into little things later on .
                       I cant wait to embroider that sweet clove scented Gillyflower .

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Elsa Williams Small Tree of Life Crewel kit , nearly finished

Having saved the best bits till last , I,m now really enjoying this crewel kit . I,m working all the " Bittersweet " flowers and berries now . There are three shades of this colour , which are so subtle that it is very hard to distinguish between them ...but not impossible and the shading does make a difference . At last the picture begins to sparkle .
On the large blue flower ,F on the instruction leaflet , it says to do the stamens in gold  stem stitches and the pistils in gold bullion stitches ....however if you look at the picture of the completed  project on the front of the leaflet , it interestingly shows the stamens worked in medium light citron gold with a little bit of Bittersweet at the base of the stamens , which  I have done and think looks really nice . I just need to perfect the centre of this flower where the two upper petals meet .
 I,m going into some detail about this lovely vintage kit , in case anyone else should be thinking of doing it .
      A few more French knots to the flower centres and we should be done .