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

Irene’s Stunning Bouquet from the Heart of Japan

Hello everyone

I’ve got a real treat for you in this post – an absolutely stunning piece of traditional Japanese embroidery stitched by Irene Burton.

Here’s a first look at this awesome work in its frame:

Bouquet from the Heart of Japan stitched by Irene Burton

The design comes from the Japanese Embroidery Centre and is stitched in the traditional way of silk floss on silk. Irene has been learning this technique from an accredited Japanese embroidery teacher.

We’ve missed Irene at the last few meetings but it turns out she was at home working away on this exquisite bouquet so that it’d be ready for the Guild’s Annual Exhibition in September. If you want to see it in real life you’ll have to come to the Exhibition!

The combination of Irene’s stitchy talent and Stewart Bath’s wonderful photos let the work speak for itself.

Detail 1 from Bouquet from the Heart of Japan stitched by Irene Burton

Detail 2 of Bouquet from the Heart of Japan stitched by Irene Burton

Detail 3 from Bouquet from the Heart of Japan stitched by Irene Burton

Detail 4 from Bouquet from the Heart of Japan stitched by Irene Burton

Detail 5 from Bouquet from the Heart of Japan stitched by Irene Burton

Detail 6 from Bouquet from the Heart of Japan stitched by Irene Burton

Detail 7 from Bouquet from the Heart of Japan stitched by Irene Burton

Detail 8 from Bouquet from the Heart of Japan stitched by Irene Burton

Detail 9 from Bouquet from the Heart of Japan stitched by Irene Burton

Detail 10 from Bouquet from the Heart of Japan stitched by Irene Burton

What do you think? Doesn’t it just leave you grabbing for superlatives? Do you have a favourite element?

Irene and Stewart a heartfelt thanks for capturing and sharing such beauty!

Enjoy!

Carmen

News Update

Hi everyone

A quick note to say I’ve updated the following Members Galleries:

Bags & Purses 

Beadwork  

Canvaswork  

Crewel & Surface Stitchery

Cross Stitch

Hardanger

Japanese Techniques

Silk Ribbon

Stumpwork & Textured Stitching

Here’s a tiny taster of the photos I’ve added.

Detail of Dragonfly Needlecase stitched by Marjorie Gilby

Embroidered Bag

Detail 4 of Embroidered Cream Bag stitched by Marjorie Gilb

Hardanger

Hardanger Table Runner stitched by Meryl Fellows

Stumpwork

Guild’s Stumpwork Sample

cushion

Detail from Canvaswork Cushion with Blue Hen stitched by Bill Thorn

Detail of Bargello Cushion  stitched by Bill Thorn

Detail of Bargello Cushion stitched by Bill Thorn

Detail 5 of Camel Rug stitched by Yvonne Kingsley

Crewel embroidery stool

Detail of Crewel Stool stitched by Marjorie Gilby

Hope you enjoy the pics and have a great weekend!

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

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

 

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 Japanese Treasure

Hello again

This post has a lovely story.

Keiko’s Obi

One of our members Irene Burton has a treasured Japanese friend Keiko. Last September Irene received a surprise gift from Keiko – a Japanese obi. This is a long wide sash which is traditionally used to secure a kimono around the waist.

Here’s what Keiko wrote about this particular obi:

” This obi was made about 100 years ago. This is what my grandmother used, then my mother used, after that I used (only once). The 30 years, this was sleeping in the chest……………Please refer to the old Japan embroidery. This obi with floral patterns, an iris, a pink, a bellflower, a paulownia flower, a mallow and a ripple of sea…..”

Then Stewart Bath took on the challenge of photographing it. He had great difficulty getting a photo of the obi as a whole because it’s so long that it requires special equipment to fold and hang – something he hasn’t got. But he had a go and here it is:

Keikos Obi

And here’s a close look at the embroidery that Keiko mentions:

Detail 1 of Keikos Obi

Detail 2 of Keikos Obi

Detail 3 of Keikos Obi

Detail 4 of Keikos Obi

Detail 6 of Keikos ObiDetail 7 of Keikos Obi Detail 8 of Keikos Obi

Detail 9 from Keikos Obi

Detail 10 from Keikos Obi

Detail 11 of Keikos Obi

Detail 12 from Keikos Obi

Did you enjoy looking at the obi?

Well here’s another treat…..

Japanese Embroidery from Italia Invita 2013

At Italia Invita there was a stand displaying some stunning Japanese embroidery. I took a couple of photos and thought you might also like to see them:

Japanese Embroidery from Italia Invita

Japanese Embroidery from Italia Invita 3

Japanese Embroidery from Italia Invita 2

Irene – thank you for sharing with us the story of your friendship with Keiko and her awesome gift of the obi. It’s very special.

Keikosan – arigato (thanks) and a deep bow.

Sayonara!

Carmen

 

Italia Invita 8: Umbrian Embroidery

The first signs of autumn have arrived here in Canberra over the last week. There’s a chill in the morning air, the light’s changing from the brilliance of summer to the softer golden tones of autumn and the Gang Gang Cockatoos with their ‘squeaky door’ calls are everywhere – back from their summer sojourn in the mountains.

120px-Gang-Gang-male444                                                (Gang Gang photo from Wikipedia)

Italia Invita

There’s been so much creativity going on in the Guild that it’s been hard to find the time and opportunity to get back to writing about Italia Invita. This is the first of two new posts and then the series will be complete. This post needs to come with a warning – there’s a lot going on in Umbrian textiles so this post is a bit epic to say the least……..

Recap

As mentioned in earlier posts the region of Umbria in central Italy has a very rich textile history, especially the province of Perugia. We’ve already covered some of the textiles from this region: Orvieto lace, Punto Umbro and Ars Panicalensis. Here are some others:

Perugia & Punto Perugino

Perugia is a beautiful medieval city in Umbria. It has a famous chocolate festival and wonderful textiles – what’s not to love?! As the name suggests Punto Perugino is associated with Perugia and the history of this embroidery technique is interwoven with that of the city’s literature, art and agriculture.

It’s a counted satin stitch technique on even weave fabric. Designs can also use cutwork and eyelets, bullion knots and curl stitch. The patterns are geometric and larger scale designs can also have strong figurative elements such as birds, animals, flowers and mythological creatures. These come from the medieval art and literature of Perugia.

Most of the research on Punto Perugino has been done by the Punti d’Arte Workshop in the town of Pieve near Perugia. They had a stand at Italia Invita with wonderful examples of this embroidery style. As they’re in the process of writing a book they couldn’t allow photos but I did buy a couple of items and I can share these with you. Here’s a tiny needlebook with a simple but very characteristic motif in satin stitch:

Perugino Needlecase from Italia Invita 2013 and a closer look: Red Perugino detail on Needlecase from Italia Invita 2013 Now for a more elaborate square:

Perugino Square from Italia Invita 2013 And a closer look at a corner:

Corner Detail on Perugino Square from Italia Invita 2013

When I showed this piece to Guild members Meryl Fellows immediately spotted that the needlelace inserts are in fact the sunflower motif also used in Hardanger:

Sunflower Motif on Perugino Square from Italia Invita

Meryl is an amazingly talented stitcher across a whole range of embroidery styles and she’s been showing me how to do this motif. We just have to find some time to photograph the process and put it in the Tips and Techniques section.

As you can see from the square above the most characteristic pieces of this style of embroidery are done in a golden yellow coloured thread and materials. This dyeing tradition comes from the saffron growing industry around Perugia and the fibres are dyed using very old local recipes. Other traditional colours used are rust, red, light brown and blue. Here’s some dyed thread I bought from the Punti d’Arte stand at Italia Invita:

Saffron Dyed Thread from Italia Invita 2013

Until recently there wasn’t much detail known about the history of Perugino but then a conversation between researchers from the Punti d’Arte Workshop and a nun at the local convent of the Poor Clares led to the discovery of some historic pieces preserved by the nuns. These take the provenance of the technique back to at least the end of the 18th century.

In the Australian context I’d read some references to Punto Perugino having its origins in Sardinia but when I researched all the Italian material I couldn’t find any reference to Sardinia. This left me puzzled so I asked the representatives from the Punti d’Arte Workshop whether there was any connection between Perugino and Sardinia. They confirmed that there is no connection between this technique and Sardinia.

At the moment there’s only one book available on Perugino and this is Silvana Fontanelli’s Il Piacere del Ricamo:

Perugino book by Silvana Fontanelli It’s in Italian but the diagrams and instructions are excellent and easy to follow.

Punto Deruta

The town of Deruta in Umbria is famous for its ceramics and two lovely styles of embroidery developed there. These have medieval roots in the 13th century but like so many other Italian textiles faded and were then revitalised in the early 20th century as part of a more general arts and crafts movement.

The Deruta embroidery schools were started by nuns and two local sisters Aurelia and Luce Corcioni and their promotional efforts saw the embroideries exported worldwide. The Accademia Punto Deruta had a very popular stand at Italia Invita that showcased both embroidery techniques:

Accademia Punto Deruta Stall at Italia Invita 2013

The first style features the coloured Deruta embroideries stitched on a medium weight Umbrian linen with embroidery floss. These are typically homewares and the designs are based on a particular ceramic and are usually presented together with the ceramic. Here’s a wonderful example from Italia Invita:

Accademia Punto Deruta Ceramic Bowl and Wallhanging from Italia Invita and a closer look:

Accademia Punto Deruta 2 at Italia Invita 2013

Another characteristic of this Deruta style is the use of tassels that include a ceramic bead called a fuserole. You can see some colourful examples of these beads here on the Italian Needlework site.

The other type of Deruta embroidery is very different. It’s called Punto Deruta and is a drawn thread technique usually done on Buratto – a fine open weave netting. Here are some examples from the Accademia Punto Deruta stand:

Accademia Punto Deruta at Italia Invita 2013 Punto Deruta Wallhangings at Italia Invita 2013 This swirly tree of life really caught my eye:

Accademia Punto Deruta 3 at Italia Invita 2013 Accademia Punto Deruta 4 at Italia Invita 2013

This delicate embroidery technique deserves to be better known…..what do you think?

 Punto Assisi

Assisi work is one of the best known Italian embroidery techniques. The Accademia Punto Assisi had a large stand at Italia Invita packed with exquisite work both in the traditional Assisi counted technique and in the Punto Madama or Caterina di Medici technique – more about the latter in the next Italia Invita post.

Here’s some eye candy for you:

Accademia Punto Assisi at Italia Invita 2013 Accademia Punto Assisi 2 at Italia Invita 2013 Accademia Punto Assisi 3 from Italia Invita 2013

You can get more information on the Associazione Punto Assisi here – they have an extensive classes program.

Tuoro di Trasimeno

This is a picturesque town about 25 km NW of Perugia on the northern shore of Lake Trasimeno. It has an embroidery and lace school run by the Associazione Culturale Femminile P.Es.Co who were also at Italia Invita.

Irish Crochet Lace

The lace style that has flourished in this area is Irish Crochet Lace. It was introduced here in the early 20th century by Elena Guglielmi, the daughter of the Marchese Giacinto. She thought it was a particularly appropriate technique for the daughters of the local fishermen who were already highly skilled at weaving fishing nets.

The school she started was very active until the 1930s when it closed. There was then a break until the 1960s and 70s when the embroidery and lace traditions were revived. Here are some photos of the Associazione Culturale Femminile P.Es.Co’s stand at Italia Invita:

Tuoro sul Trasimeno at Italia Invita 2013 Tuoro sul Trasimeno 2 at Italia Invita 2013 The Association has published a book on Irish crochet lace:

libro1 and you can purchase it from their website here

Punto Umbro

The embroidery style they specialise in is Punto Umbro Antico or Punto Umbro. I’ve already written about this style in Italia Invita 5. The Trasimeno Association have also published a book on this technique:

libro2 which you can buy here.

While at Italia Invita I bought a needlebook in the Punto Umbro technique from Giusy Federici and it has now been photographed. Here are some photos:

Punto Umbro Needlecase from Italia Invita 2013 Close up of Punto Umbro Needlecase from Italia Invita 2013 Corner Detail of Punto Umbro Needlecase from Italia Invita 2013

Here’s a fine detail of the Puncetto needlace edging:

Puncetto Detail on Punto Umbro Needlecase from Italia Invita

and a close-up of the punto ricciolino on the left of the photo:

Punto Ricciolino on Punto Umbro Needlecase from Italia Invita

I bought a number of needlebooks in different styles in Italy and what fascinates me is that it’s this one in Punto Umbro that everyone responds to and wants to keep. They love the richness of the surface stitches and the tactile quality they give to the piece.

Giudetta Brozzetti Workshop in Perugia 

There are two other wonderful embroidery and textile experiences in Perugia.

One is the Giudetta Brozzetti Workshop (Museo-Laboratorio di Tessitura a Mano Giudetta Brozzetti) in the city itself. It’s located in the deconsecrated Church of San Francesco delle Donne at Via Tiberio Berardi 5/6, Perugia. This is one of the oldest Franciscan churches in Italy and dates from 1212. This workshop specialises in handwoven textiles and their work is stunning. They also offer courses in weaving, embroidery and lace making.

This Workshop was founded by Giudetta Brozzetti in 1921. She researched and collected local medieval and Renaissance designs and then got local women to weave them into products for homes and churches. There’s important women’s history here too because she allowed women to work from home so that they could earn a living while caring for their families.

The Workshop is currently run by Marta Cucchia – the fourth generation of the family. She was at Italia Invita:

Giudetta Brozzetti Workshop at Italia Invita 2013 Giudetta Brozzetti Workshop 2 at Italia Invita 2013

You can get more information on their website and Facebook page.

Hand Embroidery and Weaving Exhibition in Valtopina 

The other wonderful textile experience is the above exhibition (Mostra del Ricamo e del Tessile di Valtopina) at Valtopina in the province of Perugia. This town is located about 47 km from Perugia and the show usually takes place over 3 days at the end of August – beginning of September. What’s great about this Exhibition is that it includes classes and attracts some of the best teachers from all over Italy.

Here’s some work that the Valtopina group were showing at Italia Invita:

ABC of Valtopina School at Italia Invita 2013

The dates for 2014 aren’t yet on their website or Facebook page but if you’re interested just keep an eye out here. The only information I’ve been able to find out is that the Canadian quilter and textile artist Sandra Redford will be co-curating an exhibit with Joe Lewis at Valtopina 2014.

Punto Antico

Just to let you know I’ve added some photos of a needlebook with an Aemelia Ars needlelace insert to the Italia Invita 4 post.

Bye for now

Carmen

 

Pat’s Stumpwork Box – Flowers, Funghi and Insects

Are you ready for another of Pat B’s amazing ornamental boxes?

Well here’s an octagonal box which has multiple themes – Pat says her inspiration was exploring the stumpwork and embroidery techniques in the Jane Nicholas book Stumpwork Embroidery: A Collection of Fruits, Flowers and Insects 1995

This post is mainly eye candy with some notes on the stitches and techniques used. If you want a closer look at any photo then just click on it to enlarge.

Box Lid

Here’s the box lid where the main picture is an evocative view of trees and sea:

Hexagonal Box with Trees and sea by Pat Bootland

Around the main embroidery there is a theme of flowers, fruit and insects – some embroidered, some beaded and some stumpwork. Here’s a closer look at them:

Blue Flower and Insect

Blue Flower from Hexagonal Box by Pat Bootland

The petals of the flower are done in needleweaving – each one has been stitched and then twisted into a shape. The wings of the insect are made from loops of buttonhole stitch.

Soldier Fly

Gold Beetle from Hexagonal Box by Pat Bootland

This little fellow is mainly satin stitch and straight stitch with beads for the eyes. Pat tells me that each wing was made by vliesofixing two pieces of transparent ribbon together and then stitching around the edges and on the wings to create a pattern.

Foxgloves

Three Pink Bell Flowers on Hexagonal Box by Pat Bootland

These are created with satin stitch with a wired edge and seed beads.

Bee

Bee on Hexagonal Box by Pat BootlandThe body of the bee is turkey stitch (also called Turkey rug knot or Ghiordes knot – see Stitch Dictionary) while each wing is two layers of sheer ribbon vliesofixed together.

Fig

Pomegrate on Hexagonal Box by Pat Bootland

These luscious fruits are in padded satin stitch.

Snail

Snail by Pat Bootland

The shell is twisted and whipped fabric while the body is padded satin stitch.

Flower

Cream Flower on Hexagonal Box by Pat Bootland

Pat has again used button hole loops – this time to create the flower petals.

Ant & Clover

Three Clover Flowers by Pat Bootland

Ant on Hexagonal Box by Pat Bootland

Pink Flower

Dusty Pink Flower on Hexagonal Box by Pat Bootland

I was curious about the stitch used for the petals and Pat explained that it’s Whipped spider web stitch used straight rather than in a wheel. She likes the ridges it creates to give form not only to flowers but also to fish fins, shells etc.

Dragonfly

Blue Dragonfly on Hexagonal Box by Pat Bootland

Berries

Berries and Leaf on Hexagonal Box by Pat Bootland

It turns out that these berries are beads that have been stitched over to create a sense of full ripeness.

Teeny Weeny Spider

Spider and Web on Hexagonal Box by Pat Bootland

Close Up Black Bead Spider by Pat Bootland

The web and spider are really minute – no bigger than a centimeter (just under half an inch) – it’s a great example of using simple materials to great effect. The spider is just 2 tiny seed beads with some wool thread.

Thistle

Purple Flower on Hexagonal Box by Pat Bootland This is another example of how you can use Turkey stitch very effectively – here to create the thick fluffiness of the thistle flower.

I hope you’ve enjoyed looking at Pat’s work in this post. If you have any questions about the stitches or techniques used then just leave a comment and we’ll try to answer them.

Tomorrow I’ll show you the stumpwork on the vertical sides of the box.

Bye!