Stitching Delights in Melbourne

I had a few days in Melbourne recently, and had to share with you some delightful stitching experiences.

The Embroiderers Guild, Victoria – open day

It happened that the Guild was having an open day at Embroidery House in Malvern, so how could I resist?

Embroidery House 1 VicEmbroidery House 2 VicEmbroidery House 3 VicEmbroidery House 4 Vic

I’m sure that embroiderers anywhere would be thrilled to have such a wonderful creative environment!  Once I had overcome my envy, I was made very welcome by President Anne and other members, and joined the throng of visitors to admire the demonstrations of different machine and hand embroidery techniques.  As seems to be the case with embroiderers everywhere, members were busy generously sharing their enthusiasm and knowledge, and here is just a small sample:

Machine embroidery  Embroidery House 7 Vic

 

Embroidery House 6 Vic

 

 

 

 

 

 

Embroidery House 5 Vic

Sandra Warren Smith introduced me to the delights of Lefkara Embroidery, which is a traditional embroidery technique from Cyprus also known as Lefkara Lace, or Lefkaritika.  Mmm, will have to investigate this one further, starting here.

 

 

 

 

Embroidery House 9 VicSandra told me that books on this technique are few and far between, so here is one by Androula Hadjiyiasemi.  I will be checking our own Guild’s library, plus those talented members who do Hardanger and all kinds of drawn thread, needlelace etc..

 

 

 

 

 

I had to tear myself away, but not before buying a couple of things from the book sale (you can never have too many embroidery books).   On the way out, I noticed that even the doorplates have embroidery, sigh.   If you’d like to find out more about The Embroiderers Guild,Victoria, Australia, click here.

Embroidery House 8 Vic


Then it was on to the National Gallery of Victoria, for the exhibition Exquisite Threads: English Embroidery 1600s – 1900s, showcasing examples of English domestic and professional embroidery from the NGV’s own collection, plus from private collectors, the National Gallery of Australia, the Melbourne Diocesan Historical Commission, and members of The Embroiderers Guild, Victoria.  Non-flash photography allowed, yippee!

Exquisite Threads 3Exquisite Threads 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Used for apprentice embroiderers to learn stitches, as recording of stitches and patterns for domestic embroidery, then an important part of the education of young women, samplers in the exhibition dated from 1692 to 1932.

Exquisite Threads 5

Sorry about the quality of my photo of this Wessex embroidery sampler, completed by Margaret Foster in 1932, but I couldn’t resist the opportunity to digress into mentioning our Guild’s classes on WESSEX STITCHERY with Annette Dziedzic.

Wessex Stitchery

Please note that the dates have been changed for this class, now on 11 and 25 July, with preparation on 6 July, but keep checking our web site here any time you would like to check out our classes schedule.  I hear that Robyn Duncan, our Classes Co-ordinator, already has an exciting list of internal and external tutors coming up for 2016.

But back to the exhibition.

Exquisite Threads 1Exquisite Threads 2

 

 

Here we have a Privy Councillor’s uniform from 1939, and an ecclesiastical cope made in 1853.

 

 

 

 

Exquisite Threads 6 Exquisite Threads 7 Exquisite Threads 8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A waistcoat from the 1770’s, an evening cape circa 1924, and a pelisse and dress circa 1818.

 

Exquisite Threads 9 Writing box, circa 1665

 

 

 

 

 

I’m thrilled to bits with the book from the exhibition, which gives background details of the items, embroidery history from different periods, and close-up photographs showing beautiful detail.  I believe that this exhibition will not be touring, but will be on at the NGV International until 12 July, so if you can get there, it’s well worth a visit – see the details here.


Then I had to go back to the NGV International, to see A Golden Age of China, Quianlong Emperor, 1736-1795.  On loan from the Palace Museum, Beijing, it included a selection of magnificent items from the collections of this emperor, and it was truly wonderful to be able to see both front and back of silk embroidered robes.

Emperor’s ceremonial court robe Qing dynasty, Quianlong period 1736-95 silk satin The Palace Museum, Beijing (Gu42311)

No photos were allowed in this exhibition, but once again the book gives excellent information and photography.  Sadly, this exhibition finished on 21 June, but you can see more information here.


You thought I was finished?  No way, read on…

Then it was off to the Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries Costume Exhibition, at Rippon Lea House and Gardens, the National Trust property that is used as Aunt Prudence’s house in the TV series.  People who are especially interested in the costumes for this series, based on the novels by Kerry Greenwood, will know that Marion Boyce, costume designer, and Every Cloud Productions, use collected vintage items to re-create the fashion fantasies of the late 1920’s.

Miss Fisher 1Miss Fisher 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Miss Fisher 3Miss Fisher 5Miss Fisher 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Miss Fisher 4

Fans of the TV show will recognise these outfits from the latest series.  There was also a behind the scenes workroom exhibit, showing how costumes were constructed, and genuine 1920’s accessories, part of Marion Boyce’s personal collection.

Miss Fisher 7Miss Fisher 8

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, of course there is a book with detailed descriptions and gorgeous photos.  But then it was time for afternoon tea, still in 1920’s character, in the stable building.

Miss Fisher 9

You’re in luck if you need time to get to this one, as it’s on until 30 September 2015, and will tour to other cities.  For more information, click here.


And the WW1 Centenary Exhibition, on at the Melbourne Museum until 16 August, details here.

IWM 1More uniform goldwork.

 

 

 

 

IWM 2Would you believe this is made of paper?

IWM 4IWM 3

Ambulance officer uniform, and detail


Finally, the Shrine of Remembrance, Melbourne, open all year, including the museum beneath, details here.

Shrine 1

There are textiles everywhere, including this copy of the Battle of Britain lace, circa 1942-47.

Shrine 2 Battle of Britain LaceShrine 3 Battle of Britain Lace

I’m sure I could have found more stitching delights, but only had a few days, and needed to come home for a rest!

Gail

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

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

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

 

Stitchy Gardens


Hi again

I hope you’re having a great weekend. Here are two lovely flower embroideries just in case you’re needing some stitchy eye candy.

Thanks to Stewart Bath for the awesome photos of the stitching.

The first is another diary cover by Marjorie Gilby filled with an elegant and traditional flower garden….

Flower Garden Diary Cover stitched by Marjorie Gilby

Detail 1 of Flower Garden Diary Cover by Marjorie Gilby

Detail 2 of Flower Garden Diary Cover by Marjorie Gilby

Detail 3 of Flower Garden Diary Cover by Marjorie Gilby

Detail 4 of Flower Garden Diary Cover by Marjorie Gilby

Detail 5 0f Flower Garden Diary Cover by Marjorie Gilby

Detail 6 of Flower Garden Diary Cover by Marjorie Gilby

Detail 7 of Flower Garden Diary Cover by Marjorie Gilby

Detail 8 of Flower Garden Diary Cover by Marjorie Gilby

The second is a lovely flower garden needle case stitched by Yvonne Kingsley…..

Flower Garden Needlecase stitched by Yvonne Kingsley

Back of Flower Garden Needlecase stitched by Yvonne Kingsley

Opened out Flower Garden Needlecase by Yvonne Kingsley

Detail 1 of Flower Garden Needlecase stitched by Yvonne Kingsley

Detail 2 of Flower Garden Needlecase stitched by Yvonne Kingsley

Detail 3 of Flower Garden Needlecase stitched by Yvonne Kingsley

Detail 4 of Flower Garden Needlecase stitched by Yvonne Kingsley

Detail 5 of Flower Garden Needlecase by Yvonne Kingsley

Detail 6 of Flower Garden Needlecase stitched by Yvonne Kingsley

Detail 7 of Flower Garden Needecase stitched by Yvonne Kingsley

Detail 8 of Flower Garden Needlecase stitched by Yvonne Kingsley

Hope you get to enjoy your  garden this weekend.  Spring is starting to arrive here and the camellias, hellebores and jonquils are out in our garden – Yay!!!!

Take care

Carmen

Sublime Needlework

Hi again

I’ve previously used the adjective sublime to describe the stumpwork of Lorna Loveland here. It’s not a word to be used lightly but it absolutely also applies to this exquisite piece of needlework stitched by Marjorie Gilby.

Waratah Tray Cloth stitched by Marjorie Gilby

History

This piece has a really interesting history. It’s a reproduction (with some variations) of a piece of Mountmellick designed and embroidered by Miss S. Docker around 1912-1913.

Marjorie got this design from the book Australian Heritage Needlework Wildflowers edited by Jennifer Sanders which includes a range of wonderful colonial and early twentieth century designs.

This particular design is The Waratah Tray Cloth and it was contributed by Ann – Marie Bakewell. For those readers who don’t live in Australia a Waratah is a spectacular native flower and the floral emblem of New South Wales.

25773254.Waratah

Mountmellick

Mountmellick is a type of Whitework embroidery with floral motifs that developed in the Irish town of Mountmellick around 1825. It uses predominantly knotted and padded stitches to create a richly textured surface. Traditionally it’s worked in a white matt thread on white cotton satin jean fabric.

Mountmellick was popular in Australia at the turn of the century for those household items that needed frequent washing. Whitework generally was also fashionable and the motifs used were often nationalistic and featured designs based on local wildflowers.

Marjorie’s Waratah Tray Cloth

This design has adapted the original design to surface embroidery using linen fabric and coton a broder.

Let’s have a closer look….

Waratah Tray Cloth 2 stitched by Marjorie Gilby

and closer again…….

Detail 1 of Waratah Tray Cloth stitched by Marjorie Gilby

Detail 2 of Waratah Tray Cloth stitched by Marjorie Gilby

Detail 7 of Waratah Tray Cloth stitched by Marjorie Gilby

Detail 8 of Waratah Tray Cloth stitched by Marjorie Gilby

If you look at the main Waratah flower the central area is embroidered in Padded Satin Stitch. The petals are outlined in Stem Stitch and filled with needlelace in Sixteenth Lace Stitch.

Ann – Marie Bakewell notes that in researching the original embroidery by Miss Docker she found this stitch in the Encyclopedia of Needlework by Therese de Dillmont. This was one of the few embroidery reference books available in Australia when this piece would have been stitched.

What do you think of Sixteenth Lace Stitch? I’m just blown away by it and can’t wait to learn it.

Now to the Waratah bud….

Detail 3 of Waratah Tray Cloth stitched by Marjorie Gilby

Again the central element is Padded Satin Stitch slanted at various angles. The petals are outlined in Stem Stitch and then filled with Laced Herringbone Stitch.

The centre spine of the leaf on the right is worked in Feather Stitch and the outline of the leaf in Crossed Buttonhole Stitch at right angles to the edge.

detail 5 of Waratah Tray Cloth stitched by Marjorie Gilby

In the large leaf above the long centre line is stitched in Slanted Buttonhole Stitch and surrounded with Seed Stitch. The outline is Indented Buttonhole Stitch.

The smaller leaf to the right in the above photo has Feather Stitch down the centre and Crossed Buttonhole Stitch along the outer edges.

detail 6 of Waratah Tray Cloth stitched by Marjorie Gilby

I was intrigued by these two leaves and the use of Oyster Chain Stitch (also called Knotted Cable Chain Stitch) to define the centre line of the top one – just awesome. The Sawtooth Buttonhole Stitch along the outline of this leaf is also incredibly effective.

Both these leaves have very clever placement of closed and open spaces to create shape and directional change.

The French Knots provide a delicate decorative effect.

Marjorie thank you so much for sharing this stunning needlework with us.

As you can tell I just adore this piece – hope you enjoy it too!

Have a great week!

Carmen

News Update

Hi everyone

Just a quick heads up that I’ve updated the following Members Galleries:

Canvaswork 

Crewel & Surface Stitchery 

Cross Stitch 

Fabric Postcards

Fibre & Yarn

Needlelace

Quilts & Wallhangings

Stumpwork & Textured Stitching

Whitework

Here are some tasters of the photos uploaded:

Stumpwork embroidery

Squirrel Needlebook stitched by Marjorie Gilby

Trapunto Tree with birds by Pat Bootland

Crewelwork

Detail 1 of Bag with Crewel Embroidery designed by Marjorie Gilby

Now sharing some quick notes on embroidery that has caught my eye recently:

The Great Tapestry of Scotland

This is a tapestry in the tradition of the Bayeux Tapestry – an epic account of Scottish history, wonderful design by artist Andrew Crummy and just awesome stitching.

Kate Davies has done a series of blog posts on this tapestry with great photos of the stitching here

Contemporary Australian Textile Artist – Meredith Woolnough

Meredith’s work is technically and aesthetically breathtaking – she combines embroidery, resin and other materials to create multi-layered and sculptural textile works. She’s having an exhibition from 5-31 July in the Pop Up Gallery at the Milk Factory, 33 Station St (rear), Bowral.

You can see examples of her work on her blog here

Bye for now

Carmen

 

Elizabethan Sweet Bag

Hi there

I’m sharing another example of Marjorie Gilbey’s wonderful stitching.

This Elizabethan Sweet Bag is just exquisite. It’s quite small – 12.5 x 16 cm or 5 x 6.5 inches.

Elizabethan Sweet Bag stitched by Marjorie Gilby

The technique is counted work and best described as petit point.

Close up of Elizabehan Sweet Bag stitched by Marjorie Gilby

In this closer view you can see that the horizontal green borders are done in Long-armed Cross Stitch. The caps of the acorns are needleace while the acorn themselves are embroidered in Satin Stitch. The blue hearts are also Satin Stitch. They are then finished with an outline in Holbein Stitch (also called Double Running Stitch).

Now for a closer look at that lovely central panel:

Detail 2 of Elizabethan Sweet bag stitched by Marjorie Gilby

The centrepiece rose is again needlelace  and the birds are filled in with Tent Stitch and outlined in Holbein Stitch. The use of Chain Stitch in three colours from dark to light is very effective in creating a geometric twisted vine effect to frame this central design.

But the details that really intrigued me are the tulips and the strawberries which are done in Queen Stitch (also called Renaissance Stitch):

Detail 3 of Elizabethan Sweet Bag stitched by Marjorie Gilby

Marjorie Gilby - drawstring bag with complex patterns  5

I’ve been practising this stitch and thinking of ways I can use it to create a lovely and very delicate surface.

Here’s one of the decorative elements attached to the bag:

Pincushion from Elizabethan Sweetbag stitched by Marjorie Gilby

Enjoy!

Carmen

A Summer Parterre

Hi everyone

Hope you all had a great weekend.

Before we look at some wonderful stitching here are a couple of photos of our big move last Thursday:

Hackett Community Centre

Through that glass door is the Guild’s new home at Hackett Community Centre

Leaders truck arriving

Here’s the first truckload arriving

Christine in cupboard

Look who we found in one of the cupboards!

At the moment our new home at Hackett is just a sea of boxes, furniture etc and it’s going to take a huge effort to get everything sorted. So to help the settling in process go smoothly the morning and evening meetings that would have happened today have been cancelled – they start again next Monday 12 May.

The May meetings for Hardanger, Creative and Paper Arts and Young Stitchers have also been cancelled – we’re really sorry about this and looking forward to things getting back to normal in June.

A Summer Parterre

This is another exquisite piece from Marjorie Gilby. She created the design for a class with Pamela Watts in a technique called ‘scribble canvas’ in 1998. Just click on the photos if you want to look more closely.

Here’s the finished work framed

Canvaswork Summer Parterre by Marjorie Gilby

and some closer views

Unframed Canvaswork Summer Parterre Marjorie Gilby

Central Square of Summer Parterre by  Marjorie Gilby

This is specially for those of you who like to look closely at the stitching

Detail 4 from Summer Parterre by Marjorie Gilby

The green plant in the pot is done in needlelace. The pot is constructed of two metal rings each of which has been sewn over with Buttonhole stitch. These two rings were then laid on top of each other and stitched together.

The grey/beige ‘pebbles’ around the pot are French knots while the terracotta pavement is Cushion Stitch.

Detail of Summer Parterre by Marjorie Gilby

The flat blue and pink flowers are Rice Stitch. To create the waterlillies in the bottom left hand corner Marjorie first made needlelace leaves and then she used Cup Stitch to give dimensionality to the lily flowers.

Now you might remember Velvet Stitch (also called Turkey Stitch or Ghiordes Knot) from the blog post about Audrey’s extraordinary Aran style Canvaswork pillow here. It’s used to create a plush pile and here Marjorie has stitched it in green wool to create a box hedge for the parterre.

Tip

Here’s a tip that Pamela Watts passed on to Marjorie for creating a thick and even pile – use an eyebrow brush to shape and fluff up the pile after you’ve cut off the top of the loops.

Detail 3 of Summer Parterre by Marjorie Gilby

The other feature flower that’s repeated in the geometric design of this piece is made with Bullions and then set off with needlelace leaves. The surrounding triangle in mauves and pinks is done in Algerian eyelets. The small mauve and yellow ground cover flowers within the box hedges are French Knots.

Detail 2 from Summer Parterre by Marjorie Gilby

To create the shaped Cumquat trees Marjorie first made pompoms and then clipped them into a ball shape and added beads for fruit.

The texture, geometry and dimensionality created by all these different stitches is just awesome. My favourite feature is the terracotta pot and plant in the centre of the piece. Do you have a favourite feature?

Marjorie – a heartfelt thanks again for sharing your wonderful pieces with us.

Take care

Carmen

 

Another Lovely Surprise


Hello and Happy Easter!

I’m still recovering from the big Italian festa we had at our place today.

So for a complete change of pace I’ve decided to update the blog.

On the same day that Audrey brought in her wonderful cushions Margaret Thompson, another longstanding member of the Guild, showed me two pieces of Tape Lace she’d made. Like Audrey with her cushions Margaret was very doubtful that anyone would be interested in these pieces………..I assured her they were treasures and lots of people would be interested.

Tape Lace

Tape Lace is also known as Tape Guipere. It’s a type of needlelace where the tape is used to outline a pattern or motif and provides the foundation for the needlelace bars and stitches.

There are 17th century examples from Genoa in Italy where the tape is hand made using bobbins. This allows the tape to sit flat and curve continuously. Most of the Genoese Tape Lace pieces were imitations of Venetian Lace.

There was a revival of this style of lacemaking in the 19th century in the UK  and Ireland – you can read more about it here. The big difference between these and the earlier examples of tape lace is that the tape was machine rather than hand made.

Margaret’s Tape Lace

Margaret’s two pieces are exquisite and we can see this in all its detail thanks to Stewart Bath’s wonderful photographs.

So here’s your chance to look closely at the intricate patterns and needlelace

Tape Lace Doyley made by Margaret Thompson

Detail 1 from Tape Lace Doyley made by Margaret Thompson

Detail 2 from Tape Lace Doyley made by Margaret Thompson

Detail 3 from Tape Lace Doyley made by Margaret Thompson

Detail 4 from Tape Lace Doyley made by Margaret Thompson

Detail 5 from Tape Lace Doyley made by Margaret Thompson

Tape Lace Square

Tape Lace Square stitched by Margaret Thompson

Detail 1 from Lace Square stitched by Margaret Thompson

Detail 2 from Tape Lace Square stitched by Margaret Thompson

Detail 3 from Tape Lace Square stitched by Margaret Thompson

If you’ve ever done any Tape Lace we’d love to hear your comments about this technique.

Margaret – your work is just beautiful and I was blown away by its delicacy – thank you so much for sharing it with us.

Enjoy!

Carmen