Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Manorial stitching

While my back has been, and is still being, painful, I have been trying to keep up with the embroidery - though sitting is not a good thing for bad backs, so it's been a bit intermittent.

This piece is sort of finished - I keep wondering whether to work a border, but will try framing with card to start with. I particularly like the way raised chain band can be used as a filling - it looks so different worked in differing threads, here with a shiny purple rayon contrasting with a matt bluey green cotton 

Then there's the Blackwork project, based on an interior view of an old old house, Avebury Manor in Wiltshire. You can read about it here and here, I discover that it's been the subject of a TV series, To the Manor Bornwith Penelope Keith how delightful!

Sadly I can't find out who the photographer of this picture is, but it comes from the National Trust Magazine Autumn Issue

This design the result of another glue and stick day at Barbara's. This time I'd come  ill prepared, so had to make do with images culled from her store of magazines. This image caught my eye as it was very simple, but resonant. I love interior views, from Vermeer to Hammershoi the interiors have an intimacy; in this one you can almost feel the presence of someone, just out of view, their breath moving invisibly across the threshold. The room was the dressing room of a Mr Kieller, or Keiller's jam! 

First there's stitching the basic outlines of the design

Then there's stitching the design itself. Sometimes I use the frame, sometimes I hold it in my hand. There are two basic techniques; one that is worked as two complementary rows of running stitch, the return path filling in the stitches the first run missed, the other is to work the design in backstitch. I've used both as appropriate.

I'm quite pleased with the outcome so far, still a bit more stitching down the right hand wall.  Here I'm starting to use a double and single thread in different parts of the design, hoping to give the effect of light and shade. I'll gradually miss odd stitches as I get towards the bottom to increase the amount of ground fabric, ad therefore light, in the image. 


  1. I really like your Blackwork piece. It's not a technique that has appealed to me - I'm probably a tad colour obsessed - but this is gorgeous. Something of the woodcut look? Fascinating, please post a picture when it's finished.
    Aren't open doorways compulsive? They're endlessly intriguing- you feel that there's something happening through the doorway, but you can never quite glimpse what it is.

  2. Thank you, I'm really surprised by how much I'm enjoying it too, it's very contemplative stitching as there's a rhythm to the work - makes me feel demure!

  3. I like the textured look of the embroidery and lovely colours. The blackwork has such a crisp look to it, I think you need a lot of patience! Hope the back improves.

  4. Thank you Anna, yes the back is improving and the blackwork now complete - will post a pic soon, then back to more stitching, I'm terribly behind!
    I love your "Love" prints.