I’ve been to three embroidery workshops so far this year, which is great, but then you have to finish the piece you started, and that takes time…
Back in June I went on a workshop with Anne Brooke to make Harold the Hare, I’d seen the original Harold at an Embroiderers Guild meeting and he is gorgeous, this is a smaller, more manageable piece of work, all hand embroidered on a pre-printed fabric. It was a great workshop, she started us off in all the main areas so we could carry on at home. This is what he looked like after the workshop…
The kit just uses four shades of DMC thread to create Harold, after working on him for quite a while at Embroiderers Guild meetings he looked like this…
He was starting to look a bit fierce! I also felt the ears were getting a bit ‘blocky’, he was generally looking a bit flat. I decided to introduce more shades of brown, I just raided my DMC box and added whatever I fancied. It’s looking so much better! I haven’t gone back to his ears yet, and I want to soften the line round his nose, I just haven’t worked out if I need to blend it in or out or both!
I’m planning to make his eyes amber, maybe with two shades, otherwise I just need to keep going with filling in – it’s quite a big area to cover!
Last month I went back over to Fabbadashery in Halifax for another workshop with Deborah Mullins. I did a workshop with her earlier in the year on Palestinian Embroidery, that one was on Tahriri Embroidery, beautiful strips of couchwork. I finished that piece eventually and turned it into a bookmark, Deborah was delighted to see the finished embroidery.
This time she was teaching a piece inspired by Bethlehem embroidery. Bethlehem embroidery is considered the highest quality of the area, original pieces are prized. Rather than working on fabric as would be traditional, this piece is on felt,which adds a different dimension and it’s lovely to stitch.
Deborah makes the felt shapes by hand, our first difficult decision was which colour to choose! I went for teal and tan. We then were given a pack of coordinating threads and wires.
We learnt the chevron stitch first which encloses the centre colour. I used a variegated teal thread alternating with three shades of tan. It took most of the morning! Next we shaped a spiral from copper wire and couched it down, couching variegated thread alongside it to highlight it.
We had a choice of borders and I went for a spiralled wire one, they’re quite fiddly to make and even more fiddly to make the same size! I’m about a third of the way round the border.
Once the spirals are done there’s lots more filling in and I can titivate it as I please. So, another WIP (work in progress!) to add to my on-going projects!