It’s my Embroiderers Guild meeting on Monday so I thought it was time I embroidered something for the travelling sketchbook in my possession at the moment. We’re in a group of five this time and our sketchbooks are circulating round the group each month so we can put a piece of work in each one. I think this is the penultimate swap!
This month the book is on the theme of the Arts and Crafts movement. I have been inspired by William Morris and his contemporaries for years, I found an excellent set of articles on the Victoria & Albert museum website all about the Arts and Crafts movement, here is an excerpt;
The Arts and Crafts Movement began in Britain around 1880 and quickly spread to America, Europe and Japan. Inspired by the ideas of John Ruskin and William Morris, it advocated a revival of traditional handicrafts, a return to a simpler way of life and an improvement in the design of ordinary domestic objects.
When I think of William Morris I tend to think of the complex fabric designs, full of twirling leaves and stems, such as the one above which covers the sketchbook. I was finding it quite hard to think of what to embroider. I looked on google and pinterest and found this photo of a stained glass window he designed which is currently at the V&A. I decided the simple flower design would be perfect.
I sketched the left-hand image onto paper and then used my lightbox to trace it onto some calico.I used calico as I wanted a fairly firm fabric both for tracing on and also for colouring. The stained glass has a touch of yellow on the flower. For Christmas I got a set of Inktense pencils by Derwent, they are made up in the Lakes and we visited their pencil museum when we were last in Keswick. They are watercolour pencils which you can use on fabric too. I coloured round the edge of the flower and in the centre, then went over it with a wet paintbrush, it does make a lovely intense colour. I’m quite pleased with my first try with them.
I overlaid the design with a silvery piece of organza to give the impression of glass. I tacked the organza round to hold it in place and then put it in a hoop to work it.
I used DMC 3011 to embroider the design, it’s a nice soft olive green. I used stem stitch for the stems and the leaves and buttonhole for the flower. The centre of the flower is like a sort of thread weaving to make a criss-cross pattern.
To give the effect of the leaded edge I used DMC 3021 which is actually a brown/grey colour. I just chain stitched around the edge. I usually blanket stitch around the edge of these little embroideries but I felt it would detract from the chain outline, so I decided to just leave it as a raw cut edge, as it is going in a book it hopefully won’t fray too much. I applied some iron on interfacing to the back and then stuck in in place in the book.
I’m pleased with the way this has turned out, although it was interesting how I found this harder to do in that I was effectively copying a design, so there wasn’t much freedom, I much preferred the previous ones when I stitched a bird for example where I could create whatever effect I wanted.
I’m linking up with Kathy’s Quilts for Slow Stitching Sunday tomorrow, why not follow the link and see what everyone else has been hand-stitching.