Textiles in Canberra

After my Stitching Delights in Melbourne blog post, I thought “what about all the stitching delights in and around Canberra?”  Some people know that I spend a bit of time at the Australian War Memorial, where there are numerous examples of textiles and embroidery, such as:

Tapestry @ AWM Based on oil painting by Imants Tillers

Tapestry @ AWM
Based on oil painting by Imants Tillers

 

This tapestry, entitled Avenue of Remembrance, was commissioned by the AWM from the Australian Tapestry Workshop, and completed in 2015.

It is based on an oil painting by Imants Tillers, and took master weavers over 2,380 hours to complete. The poetic landscape is reminiscent of wartime roads on the Western Front, and the many Avenues of Remembrance planted around Australia after the end of the First World War.

Tapestry @ AWM Based on oil painting by Imants Tillers

Tapestry @ AWM
Based on oil painting by Imants Tillers

 

 

 

If you would like to find out more about the making of this beautiful work of art, click here, where you can see the full scale and detail of the work.

 

 

 

 

Have you heard of The Digger’s Dress?  It was made by three double amputees while they were in hospital in London during the First World War, and presented to Mrs Minnie Rattigan, one of the founders of the “ANZAC Buffet”, which provided free meals and entertainment to Australian servicemen.

The Digger's Dress  @ AWM

The Digger’s Dress @ AWM

The tabard features hand embroidery, and the skirt has appliqued unit colour patches. More detail can be found here.

That’s just a very small taste, so here’s a challenge – visit the Australian War Memorial, and look for some of my favourites:  patriotic crocheted milk jug cover; Rising Sun flag hand embroidered by veteran in hospital; woollen army blanket covered with embroidery by WW2 prisoner of war;  and much, much more on display.  Warning: might entail more than one visit!

And while I’m talking about the AWM, and it’s school holidays, there are some Drop-in Craft sessions, where children can enjoy making their own colour patch, bookmark, or poppy to take home.

Women employees of the Australian Glass Manufacturing Company inspecting their knitting, part of their donation to the Woollies for Britain Appeal. 1944 (141750)

Women employees of the Australian Glass Manufacturing Company inspecting their knitting, part of their donation to the Woollies for Britain Appeal. 1944 (141750)

And not bragging or anything, but our own Guild has participated in a number of Projects of National Significance.  Which reminds me, we must add Princess Charlotte’s Blanket to the list.

Enjoy!

Gail

Happy New Year!

Hi everyone

Wishing you all a Happy New Year.

As a treat for the start of the New Year here’s an update of the following galleries for you.

Blackwork

Canvaswork

Contemporary Creative Embroidery

Crewel & Surface Stitchery

Cross Stitch

Fibre & Yarn

Hardanger

Samplers

Seasonal

Enjoy!

Carmen

Jillian’s Retro Nativity Scene

Hi everyone

Christmas is soooo close!

Here’s a very special retro Nativity Scene stitched by Jillian Bath. It’s a wallhanging and the colours and design are very evocative of the 1970s…..

Retro Nativity Scene stitched by Jillian Bath  copy

Detail 1 of Retro Nativity Scene stitched by Jillian Bath

Detail 2 of Nativity Scene stitched by Jillian Bath

Detail 3 of Retro Nativity Scene stitched by Jillian Bath

Detail 4 of Retro Nativity Scene stitched by Jillian Bath

Detail 5 of Retro Nativity Scene stitched by Jillian Bath

Detail 6 of Retro Nativity Scene stitched by Jillian Bath Wishing you all a joyous Christmas and a sparkling 2015!

Carmen

‘Tis the Season to be Jolly

Hi everyone

In this post I’m sharing some lovely Christmas stitching.

Santa Stocking

First up here is a too cute felt Santa Stocking stitched by Jillian Bath for one of her grandchildren. It’s from a Bucilla kit.

Santa Stocking stitched by Jillian Bath

Detail 1 of Santa Stocking stitched by Jillian Bath

Detail 2 of Santa Stocking stitched by Jillian Bath

Detail 3 of Santa Stocking stitched by Jillian Bath

Detail 4 of Santa Stocking stitched by Jillian Bath

Detail 5 of Santa Stocking stitched by Jillian Bath

Isn’t the detail just wonderful?

2014 Creative Challenge Postcard

As you know our 2014 Creative Challenge was Stitching Love and Hope and involved re-interpreting WW1 silk postcards. Many of these postcards were of course Christmas cards sent to loved ones back home.

Lesley Jemesen’s elegant and beautiful postcard is called Remembering with Love and has a Christmas theme stitched mostly in metallic thread:

2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Lesley Jemesen

Detail 1 of 2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Lesley Jemesen

Detail 2 of 2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Lesley Jemesen

 

Enjoy!

Carmen

Postcards with a Difference

Hi everyone

For the start of the week I’m sharing four postcards from our 2014 Creative Challenge to re-interpret WW1 postcards.

The first two feature ribbon embroidery.

Robyn Duncan has created an elegant and understated postcard with a lovely message:

2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Robyn Duncan

Detail 1 of 2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Robyn Duncan

Diana Churchill has also used ribbon embroidery to create a delicate and evocative heart with a simple but poignant sentiment:

2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Diana Churchill

Detail1 of 2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Diana Churchill

Detail 2 of 2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Diana Churchill

The next two postcards use Whitework to create a subtle, delicate and beautiful message.

Annette Horvath’s postcard combines Cutwork with a charm to evoke the period:

2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Annette Horvath

Detail 1 of 2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Annette Horvath

Ros Stanford also uses Whitework to create this refined symbol of a heart (love) that incorporates an anchor (symbol of hope). She’s added a sprig of rosemary for Remembrance.

2014 Creative Challenge Postacrd by Ros Stanford

Detail 1 of 2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Ros Stanford

Detail 2 of 2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Ros Stanford

These postcards are all profound in their own way with the common thread of elegant embroidery techniques to create powerful symbols of love and hope that resonate deeply.

Have a good week!

Carmen

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

For Fans of Diana Lampe

Hi everyone

In this post I’m going to share a lovely Diana Lampe floral garden design stitched by Sue Scorgie one of our very talented members.

Diana Lampe is a very special and well known embroidery designer. She also happens to live in Canberra. These days her creativity is channelled into food writing and vegetarian recipes. You can follow her food journal here

This piece is a very longstanding UFO (unfinished object) of Sue’s. She actually began it in a class with Diana Lampe a long, long time ago and just finished it recently. We’ve had glimpses of it in Looking over Shoulders posts but here’s the finished beauty:

Floral Garden stitched by Sue Scorgie

Detail 1 of Floral Garden stitched by Sue Scorgie

Now for some close up eye candy……

look at this cool Wisteria Arch in French Knots….. and the delightful cat….

Detail 2 of Floral Garden stitched by Sue Scorgie

Detail 4 of Floral Garden stitched by Sue Scorgie

and this elegant Magnolia tree…..

Deail 3 of Floral Garden stitched by Sue Scorgie

This is a very effective use of a simple stitch like Lazy Daisy (Detached Chain Stitch). The same again with the daffodils in this next photo….

Detail 5 of Floral Garden stitched by Sue Scorgie

…..a few more peeks at the garden detail……

Detail 6 of Floral Garden stitched by Sue Scorgie

Detail 7 of Floral Garden stitched by Sue Scorgie

Just a fantastic design and achieved with a palette of basic stitches skilfully executed  by Sue.

Thanks heaps Sue for sharing your beautiful piece with us and Stewart (Bath) for the photos.

Diana Lampe Inspiration on an Italian Blog

If you follow us on Facebook you know that we recently featured the exquisite embroidery of Elisabetta ricami a mano ( = Elisabeth hand embroideries). Elisa lives in San Bonifacio in the Italian province of Verona and showcases her stunning work on her blog which you can find here.

She also teaches embroidery locally including children’s classes. One of Elisa’s passions is embroidering alphabets (or cifre in Italian) and she recently got her young students to design some letters using Diana Lampe’s books as inspiration. Here are some examples of their work….

04.Petra

01.Ester

Amazing aren’t they? You can see more of these letters or cifre here.

By the way our Facebook page is a public page so you don’t need to join Facebook to follow it. You do need to be a member of Facebook to ‘like’ our page and/or posts and to comment on a post.

When I was researching this post I came across a 2010 interview with Diana Lampe on the ABC and you can find it here

Ciao Ciao

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

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