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

The Elegant Geometry of Hardanger

Hi everyone

This post focuses on the beautiful and elegant form of Norwegian Whitework called Hardanger.

The home of this embroidery technique is the Hardanger Fjiord in South West Norway – you can see where it’s located on a Google map here. It looks like a beautiful place:

ulvik

History

Up until recently the historical thinking had been that Hardanger had its origins in Persian designs and came to Norway via Italian techniques such as Reticella and Venetian Lace in the Middle Ages. Earlier silks with Persian patterns were thought to have been part of the loot gathered in Viking raids in England and Europe.

However there’s been recent research done by Associate Professor Marianne Vedeler at the University of Oslo that’s shedding new light on the history of Hardanger. Her research suggests that the silk trade in the Viking era was much more extensive than previously assumed and that they traded regularly with the Persian and Byzantine empires.

One of the most important sources of Viking era silks is the Oseberg ship – a well preserved Viking ship found in a burial mound at Oseberg farm near Tonsberg in Norway. The treasures found on this ship include silk from 15 different textiles, embroideries and tablet woven silk and wool bands. The silk textiles include Persian patterns. You can read more about Professor Vedeler’s research here

Hardanger Technique

Hardanger is Whitework that’s based on a counted thread technique combined with drawn threadwork and needleweaving. The patterns and motifs are geometric but the angular quality of the designs is softened by the cutting and needleweaving which create a lacy effect. It’s stitched on even weave fabric usually 22 count.

It’s thought that the relative isolation of the Hardanger Fjiord is the main reason this very distinctive style evolved. Traditionally it was (and continues to be) stitched as white on white and was used in the folkloric costumes or bunards of the region as well as to decorate homewares.

It became known worldwide when an apron with Hardanger embroidery won an award at the Paris Exposition in 1900. The needlewoman was Brita Skalveit of Aga in the Hardanger district.

Contemporary Hardanger includes colourwork and you can see examples of both the Whitework and Colourwork styles on our Hardanger Gallery.

Now to some Eye Candy……

The Guild has developed a collection of samples of different embroidery techniques stitched by members with expertise in the particular style. Here’s the Hardanger sample stitched by Bonnie Crawford who is a master of this technique:

Guild Hardanger Sample stitched by Bonnie Crawford

Mat with Hardanger Motif by Marjorie Gilby 

Marjorie needs no introduction to regular readers of this blog – this is just another example of her exquisite stitching and generosity in sharing her work. Stewart Bath has taken some wonderful close-ups of the motif.

Pink Hardanger Mat by Marjorie Gilby

Hardanger Motif on Pink Mat stitched by Marjorie Gilby

Close up 2 from Pink Hardanger Mat stitched by Marjorie Gilby

Close up of Hardanger Motif by Marjorie Gilby

Detail of Edging on Pink Hardanger Mat stitched by Marjorie Gilby

Three Pieces by Levona Lea 

Levona is one of the quiet and gentle achievers of our Guild. She’s also one of the first to offer to help – in this case with three examples of Hardanger for display on a Guild stall at a recent craft show.

I really liked the art deco feel of this first piece with the green motifs:

Hardanger Square with Green Diamonds stitched by Levona Lea

Corner of Hardanger Square with Green Diamonds stitched by Levona Lea

The second piece is Whitework with an interesting cross pattern:

White Hardanger Square stitched by Levona Lea

Detail of Central Motif in White Hardanger Square by Levona Lea

While the third is in delicate shades of pink, aqua and mauve:

Pink and Acqua Hardanger Square by Levona Lea

Detail of motif on Pink and Acqua Hardanger Square by Levona Lea

Detail from Pink and Acqua Hardanger Square by Levona Lea

Detail 3 of Acqua and Mauve Hardanger Square stitched by Levona Lea

Detail 4 of Acqua and Pink Hardanger Square stitched by Levona Lea

Jillian Bath’s Needle Roll 

The final piece is Jillian’s small and highly decorated needle roll. Again Stewart Bath has taken some awesome shots of the detail which really allow us to share this special piece with you.

Hardanger Needle Roll stitched by Jillian Bath

Top end of Hardanger Needle Roll stitched by Jillian Bath

hardanger Needle Roll rolled out stitched by Jillian Bath

Detail 1 of Hardanger Needle Roll stitched by Jillian Bath

Detail 2 of Hardanger Needle Roll stitched by Jillian Bath

Detail 3 of Hardanger Needle Roll stitched by Jillian Bath

Detail 4 of Hardanger Needle Roll stitched by Jillian Bath

Detail 6 from Hardanger Needle Roll stitched by Jillian Bath

Enjoy!

Carmen

 

For Downton Abbey Fans

Hello everyone

Hope you’re having a lovely weekend. Those of you who are fans of Downton Abbey will know that the location used for the series is Highclere Castle in Newbury, West Berkshire.

This historic house also has famous gardens with spectacular beds of perennials and walled gardens. You can see some of the garden’s glory in the gallery on the Highclere Castle website here.

Pat Bootland visited Highclere Castle a few years ago and created a walled garden scene from a composite of two photos. Like all her original pieces it uses an amazing array of stitches densely layered on the fabric to create a sense of profusion and texture. There are also her signature ferns created with needleweaving.

We’ll start with the work in its frame

Walled Garden from Highclere Castle by Pat Bootland

now closer up

Unframed Walled Garden from Highclere Castle by Pat Bootland

The view through the arch – the lawn was created by using very small straight stitches. Pat laid down the straight stitches in one colour green and then repeated the process in four other greens until the whole lawn area was covered and blended.

Archway with Cat from Clereview Castle by Pat Bootland

the wonderful espaliered plum tree with its bullion leaves and padded stem stitch branches. The brickwork of the wall has been created using canvaswork stitches in a range of colours.

Espaliered Fruit Tree from Walled Garden at Clereview Castle by Pat Bootland

and here’s the beading which is so totally cool

Close up of espaliered fruit tree from Walled Garden at Highclere House by Pat Bootland

then there’s this adorable puss

Cat from Walled Garden at Highclere Castle by Pat Bootland

He was based on her daughter’s cat. Pat wanted to show its dark striped coat so that it had definition and presence but without being overpowering. The plant next to it was embroidered by first doing very long straight stitches and then wrapping them in blended threads.

Finally these cute hedgehogs and delicately woven ferns

Hedgehog detail from Walled Garden with Cat by Pat Bootland

Watching Pat at work is an amazing experience. She usually has a rough drawing of what she wants to do but no detailed plan. She starts and decides how she’ll do a particular bit. Then when that’s finished she’ll work out the colours and stitches for the next section and so on. It’s a very open and fluid creative process……and fast, very fast. She flies through pieces while chatting away and telling very funny stories.

We’re trying to persuade her that doing some You Tube videos on her needlewoven ferns would be an awesome idea.

Take care

Carmen