Counting Threads

Hi everyone

I hope you’re having a great weekend. In this post I’m going to share two works that use different counted thread techniques.

Blackwork

The first uses Blackwork which is an embroidery technique that dates back to at least the 16th century. It’s also called Spanish Blackwork because it’s thought that it was first brought to England by Catherine of Aragon. It became very popular during the reigns of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I as a decorative element on clothing but gradually lost ground in the 17th century.

If you’ve read The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer you might recall that he describes the clothing of the miller’s wife in this way:

“Of white, too, was the dainty smock she wore, embroidered at the collar all about with coal-black silk, alike within and out.”

The stitches that are characteristic of this geometric technique are Double Running Stitch (also called Holbein Stitch) and Back Stitch. It’s usually stitched on an evenweave fabric.

Flight of a Butterfly

Flight of a Butterfly  is a beautiful Blackwork and Goldwork design stitched by Sharon Burrell. Sharon began this piece as part of a class with Tanja Berlin at the 2013 Koala Conventions. She says that it was the first time she’d done any Blackwork and she absolutely loved the experience because Tanja was such a fantastic teacher. Sharon also found Tanja’s class notes really helpful for finishing the embroidery after the class.

Here’s some awesome eye candy of Sharon’s lovely stitching:

Flight of a Butterfly stitched by Sharon Burrell

Detail 1 of Flight of a Butterfly stitched by Sharon Burrell

Detail 2 of Flight of a Butterfly stitched by Sharon Burrell

Exquisite!

Now to the  second counted thread technique……

Wessex Stitching 

When I first came across this technique I thought it looked a bit medieval and assumed it must be very old. The ‘Wessex’ name also adds to the aura of history because during the Anglo Saxon period it was a centre for embroidery and illuminating.

But no it’s actually a more recent style that was created by Mrs Margaret Foster (1843-1936) who lived in Bath, England. Very little is known about her life but her technique, Wessex Stitching, has endured because after her death her sister donated all her notes and the 300 pieces she developed for an exhibition to Gawthorpe Hall.

Gawthorpe Hall has an awesome collection of lace, embroidery and other textiles. It is absolutely on my bucket list. You can read more here.

Wessex Stitching combines a limited number of stitches in a wide variety of patterns and colours to create a decorative effect. It’s also usually stitched on evenweave fabric.

The Broken Window

We’ve been progressively sharing with you the postcards made for 2014 Creative Challenge  Stitching Love and Hope. The postcard we’re sharing in the post is a wonderful modern re-interpretation of the WW1 Silks.

It was created by Catherine Fetherston and is called  The Broken Window. It was inspired by photos of church ruins in France in WW1. The embroidery technique used is Wessex Stitching.

I find this postcard very moving and profound in its understated elegance. The colours and design Catherine has chosen are very evocative of a stained glass window fragmented and yet still splendid in its beauty.

Here are some photos:

2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Catherine Fetherston

Detail 1 of 2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Catherine Fetherston

Detail 2 of 2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Catherine Fetherston

What do you think?

Enjoy!

Carmen

Lest We Forget

Hi everyone

In honour of Remembrance Day I’m going to share four more awesome postcards from our Stitching Love and Hope Creative Challenge to re-interpret WW1 Silk Postcards. All four postcards feature poppies.

The first is a beautiful Needlelace and Stumpwork postcard by Sharon Burrell:

2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Sharon Burrell

Detail 1 of 2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Sharon Burrell

Detail 2 of 2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Sharon Burrell

This next lovely postcard is by Jenny Clayton:

2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Jenny Clayton

Detail 1 of 2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Jenny Clayton

Margaret Roberts has stitched two delicate and vivid poppies on her beautiful postcard:

2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Margaret Roberts

Detail 1 of 2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Margaret RobertsWhile the message in Luba Tomaska’s evocative field of poppies sums up the solemn purpose of today:

Detail 1 of 2014 Creative Challenge postcard by Luba Tomaska

2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Luba Tomaska

 

If you want to see all the Stitching Love and Hope postcards that we’ve shared to date then go to the Challenges Gallery here.

Bye for now

Carmen

Bluebirds of Happiness

Hello again

The 2014 Creative Challenge Stitching Love & Hope where members were asked to re-interpret WW1 silk postcards has given me a lot of stitchy food for thought over the last week. There were 45 postcards entered in the Challenge and so far we’ve shared 14 of them with you on the blog.

The postcards have been stitched in wide range of designs and techniques. I’m still thinking about how to showcase them so as to show their awesomeness to the max.

The three I’m going to share with you in this post are based on traditional silk postcards or Silks and they feature bluebirds.

Bluebirds as Symbols of Love, Hope, Happiness etc

Bluebirds are an ancient archetype associated with the sun and sky. They are found in Native American mythology and were symbols of fertility, love, hope and happiness.

Bluebirds are a species found in North America and the more ‘modern’ phrase ‘bluebirds of happiness’ comes from the popular American song of the same name that became a hit in 1934.

Three Creative Challenge Postcards

Here are three lovely and delicate postcards with a very vintage feel in their design but with a pop of contemporary colours.

The first postcard I’m going to show you has been stitched by Susan Coates:

2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Susan Coates

Detail 1 from 2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Susan Coates

Detail 2 of 2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Susan Coates

This next one is by Lel Whitbread:

2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Lel Whitbread

Detail 1 of 2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Lel Whitbread

Detail 2 of 2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Lel Whitbread

Detail 4 of 2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Lel Whitbread

and the third one is by Dorothy Rudling:

2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Dorothy Rudling

Detail 1 of 2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Dorothy Rudling

Detail 2 of 2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Dorothy Rudling

Detail 3 of 2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Dorothy Rudling

Detail 4 of 2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Dorothy Rudling

All three of these designs have a poignant message in the context of war but they also have a certain brio and they left me smiling :))))

I hope you enjoy them too.

Carmen

Some Stitchy Insect Goodness

Hi everyone

Hope you’re having a fun weekend with some time for stitching. Here’s some eye candy for you to enjoy with a cuppa or a glass of your favourite drink.

Pat’s Reverse Applique

In August the Creative Group had a session on reverse appliqué and Pat Bootland had fun creating this piece:

Reverse Applique with Ants by Pat Bootland

Here’s a closer look at the insect embellishments……

Detail 1 of Reverse Applique with Ants by Pat Bootland

Detail 2 of Reverse Applique with Ants by Pat Bootland

Detail 5 of Reverse Applique with Ants by Pat Bootland

Detail 4 of Reverse Applique with Ants by Pat Bootland

Detail 3 of Reverse Applique with Ants by Pat Bootland

Cool aren’t they?

Jennifer’s Elizabethan Panel

Now I’m taking a chance in sharing  this next piece with you.

I’m currently in North Queensland visiting family and I’ve been very lucky to enjoy a wonderful Elizabethan Panel designed and stitched by my sister-in-law Jennifer. It’s done in silk threads on silk and  measures 1.55m by 0.6m so it’s an amazing work. The central design revolves around 14 birds in padded needlelace.

This embroidery is a tour de force and is embellished with an awesome selection of antique beads and gemstones.

I hesitated to show it to you because it’s not yet blocked and stretched and because the photos are taken with my point and shoot camera – so there’s a lot of finessing still to do.

But it’s very doubtful that I’ll ever be able to show you this piece framed and photographed by Stewart Bath as it’s a long way from the Atherton Tableland to Canberra. So I’ve decided to jump in and share some small design elements.

Here’s a small section of the whole:

Section of Elizabethan Panel by Jennifer Zanetti

and here are some stitchy critters and flowers:

Detail 1 of Elizabethan Panel by Jennifer Zanetti

Detail 2 of Elizabethan Panel by Jennifer Zanetti

Detail 5 of Elizabethan Panel by Jennifer Zanetti

Detail 3 of Elizabethan Panel by Jennifer Zanetti

Detail 6 of Elizabethan Panel by Jennifer Zanetti

Detail 7 of Elizabethan Panel by Jennifer Zanetti

Detail 8 of Elizabethan Panel by Jennifer Zanetti

Detail 9 of Elizabethan Panel by Jennifer Zanetti

Detail 10 of Elizabethan Panel by Jennifer Zanetti

Detail 11 from Elizabethan Panel by Jennifer Zanetti

Cross fingers, toes and everything else that we might be able to share the whole piece sometime in the future!

Take care

Carmen

Some More Awesome ‘Stitching Love & Hope’ Postcards

Hi everyone

Here’s some more stitchy goodness from our 2014 Creative Challenge where members of the Guild re-interpreted WW1 Silks (postcards).

Meryl Fellows

You’ve already seen Meryl Fellows’ beautiful stump work postcard here but the awesomeness doesn’t stop there. Meryl made four postcards and here are the other three:

The first has a tranquil, welcoming country scene…..

2014 Creative Challenge Postcard 2 by Meryl Fellows

Detail 1 of 2014 Creative Challenge Postcard 2 by Meryl Fellows

and here’s the heartsease close up…..

Detail 2 of 2014 Creative Challenge Postcard 2 by Meryl Fellows

This next lovely postcard also evokes ‘home’ but the colours and style give it an oriental feel …..

2014 Creative Challenge Postcard 3 by Meryl Fellows

Detail 1 of 2014 Creative Challenge Postcard 3 by Meryl Fellows

and Meryl’s fourth postcard is very Australian – an elegant beaded sprig of wattle…..

2014 Creative Challenge Postcard 4 by Meryl Fellows

Detail 1 of 2014 Creative Challenge Postcard 4 by Meryl Fellows

Alice Kerley

Alice has designed a seriously cool and modern postcard in cross stitch

2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Alice Kerley

Detail 1 of 2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Alice KerleyI really like the use of metallic threads and the hearts to give a pop of colour.

Evelyn Foster

Evelyn has stitched a lovely postcard with a very vintage and delicate feel…..

2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Evelyn Foster

Detail 1 of 2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Evelyn Foster

Detail 2 of 2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Evelyn Foster

This postcard evokes the warmth and cosiness of a home full of love – I just want to walk through the garden and go in the front door and sit in front of the fire.

Enjoy!

Carmen

Exquisite Ethereal Mermaid + Two more Postcards

Hi everyone

In this post I’m going to share an exquisite and beautiful Mermaid stitched by Agnes Sciberras.

It’s a lovely Gary Clarke design and the ethereal quality of the work is created by the layers of objects, embroidered organza and embellishment.

The quality of the design, stitching and photography mean that this Mermaid needs no words from me.

Mermaid stitched by Agnes SciberrasDetail 1 of Mermaid stitched by Agnes SciberrasDetail 2 of Mermaid stitched by Agnes Sciberras

Detail 3 of Mermaid stitched by Agnes Sciberras

Detail 4 of Mermaid stitched by Agnes SciberrasThank you so much Agnes for sharing this work and Stewart (Bath) for the great sequence of photos. We’re so lucky to have such talent in the Guild and to be able to showcase the design of an awesome Australian designer.

Two more Postcards from the 2014 Creative Challenge

We’re going to progressively share with you the rest of the 45 fantastic postcards made for the Challenge – Stitching Love and Hope.

Here’s the delicate postcard full of symbols of hope and love stitched by Agnes Sciberras:

2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Agnes Sieberras

and a closer view of the lovely bluebird:

Detail of Bluebird from 2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Agnes Sieberras

Lorna Loveland’s very evocative postcard draws on time-honoured motifs for remembrance:

2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Lorna Loveland

and here’s a closer look at the gorgeous goldwork:

Detail of 2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Lorna Loveland

Enjoy!

Carmen

News Update

Hi everyone

Just a heads up to let you know that I’ve updated the following galleries:

Canvaswork

Contemporary Creative Embroidery

Crazy Quilting

Cross Stitch

Landscapes and Scenes

Needlelace

Silk Ribbon Embroidery

Stumpwork & Textured Stitching

Young Stitchers

The new additions are at the top of each gallery page.

And here’s a preview of a small sample of the photos uploaded:

Octagonal Box Lid with Needlelace & Goldwork

Detail 3 of Octagonal Box Lid with Needlelace and Goldwork stitched by Marjorie Gilby

Stumpwork Butterfly stitched by Jillian Bath

Embroidered landscape

Spring in the Forest stitched by Betty Matthews

Embroidered box

Side 2 of Oriental Box by Marjorie Gilby

Ribbon embroidery flowers

Detail of Ribbon Embroidery Flowers by Mary Bowron

Historical Embroidery Books

In a couple of recent posts Mary Corbett in her Needle ‘N Thread blog listed a number of great historical embroidery books that are available online and are in the public domain. You can find them here and here. The latter post includes a great Hardanger book.

Bye for now

Carmen

 

More Beautiful Pieces from our 2014 Annual Exhibition

Hi again everyone

I’m back with another post to celebrate our Exhibition. Today was another fantastic day – the incredibly positive feedback on the ‘wow’ factor of  the show has been very special and meant a great deal to us.

Here are two more postcards from the Creative Challenge Stitching Love and Hope where members have re-interpreted WW1 silk postcards.

The first is a classically elegant stumpwork with a simple but heartfelt message by Meryl Fellows:

2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Meryl Fellows

The second has a fresh, very Aussie theme but at the same time conveys deep emotion. It is by Christine Bailey:

2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Christine Bailey

and here’s a closer look at that too cool kangaroo with loads of personality…

Detail 1 of 2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Christine Bailey

Exquisite Contemporary Coastal Seascape 

In the general part of the Exhibition this seascape stitched by Agnes Sciberras is just stunning with beautiful stitching and embellishment. The quality of the work and Stewart Bath’s photography make my life easy – the embroidery doesn’t need any extra words from me:

Coastal Seascape stitched by Agnes Sciberras

Detail 1 of Coastal Seascape stitched by Agnes Sciberras

Detail 2 of Coastal Seascape stitched by Agnes Sciberras

Detail 3 of Coastal Seascape stitched by Agnes Sciberras

 

Enjoy!

Carmen

Some Mid Century Modern at our Annual Exhibition

Hi everyone

A quick post to share some of the awesomeness that was the opening of our Annual Exhibition last night plus a couple of pieces of stitchy goodness.

Opening of the Exhibition

The Exhibition was opened by Dr Brendan Nelson AO, Director of the Australian War Memorial and he gave a fantastic speech that gave the evening a real buzz.

Here’s a photo of the special Creative Challenge Stitching Love and Hope where members were asked to re-interpret WW1 Silk Postcards

Cards display 1 (6366)

and one of our President Fran Novitski and Dr Nelson at this display

DSC_9119 - Version 2

Here’s one of the postcards – an exquisite Flanders Poppy stitched by Glenda Hudson in honour of a family member. Very poignant and beautiful.

265 -1 Glenda Hudson - Flanders poppy with photo of relative (6047)

One of the other special displays was Sharon Boggon’s Band Sampler. I love this photo of Sharon and Jerry with the Sampler

DSC_9111 - Version 2

Mid Century Modern Quilt

One of the pieces in the general exhibition is this wonderful quilt stitched by Susan Coates

The Sewing Circle Quilt stitched by Susan Coates

The blocks are from a Block of the Month series called The Sewing Circle by Robyn Allen-Waters.

Susan made the quilt with 1950s reproduction fabrics. These and the blocks give this quilt a real mid century modern feel.

Here’s some wonderful eye candy of a selection of the blocks….

Block1 from The Sewing Circle Quilt stitched by Susan Coates

Those wall ducks are so cool and so ‘in’ at the moment.

Block 2 from The Sewing Circle Quilt stiched by Susan Coates

Block 3 from The Sewing Circle Quilt stitched by Susan Coates

Block 4 from The Sewing Circle Quilt stitched by Susan Coates

Block 5 from The Sewing Circle Quilt stitched by Susan Coates

Block 6 from The Sewing Circle Quilt stitched by Susan Coates

The retro vibe of these stitcheries is really fun and the colours are so 50s.

Enjoy and have a great weekend!

Carmen

News Update

Hi everyone

A very quick post to say that I’ve updated the following galleries:

Contemporary Creative Embroidery

In this gallery it’s wonderful to see how different people have interpreted Glenys Leske’s Path to the Beach so that each work is quite individual even though the basic elements are the same.

Crewel & Surface Stitchery

Quite a bit of new eye candy here

Cross Stitch

Some delightful new work here too

Samplers

Two examples of the notebook covers from last year’s Stitch a Month classes

Here’s a taster of the photos uploaded….

Embroidered Seascape

Close up of Path to the Beach stitched by Christine Bailey

Embroidered Seascape

Detail 3 of Path to the Beach stitched by Agnes Sciberras

Cross Stitch

Cute Mice Biscornu cross stitched by Helen Nastopoulos

embroidered tray cover

Detail 3 of I had a little nut tree stitched by Marjorie Gilby

Embroidered Diary Cover

Detail 2 of Pink Lotus Diary Cover stitched by Marjorie Gilby

Last Minute Inspiration on WW1 Silk Postcards

If anyone’s still looking for some last minute inspiration for your WW1 silk postcard here are some lovely ones that belong to Guild member Helen Hardie

WW1 Silk Postcard 5 belonging to Helen Hardie

WW1 Silk Postcard 4 belonging to Helen Hardie

WW1 Silk Postcard 3 belonging to Helen Hardie

Underneath of WW1 Silk Postcard 3 belonging to Helen Hardie

WW1 Silk Postcard 2 belonging to Helen Hardie

WW1 Silk Postcard 1 belonging to Helen Hardie

Enjoy and hope you’ve having a great weekend!

Carmen