Anne Bronte p200

It’s 200 years since Anne Bronte was born, she was the youngest of the Bronte sisters and wrote two novels, Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall before her untimely death aged 29. Until recently her literary work has been overshadowed by that of Charlotte and Emily, however The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is now seen as one of the first major feminist novels.

In the New Year there will be an exhibition in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, which is where Anne died. Each exhibitor was given an actual page from a vintage copy of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and had to produce a piece of work, of any medium, inspired by that page and the same size as the page!

I’ve just finished my piece!

I got page 215, it didn’t start off very inspiring as it was mainly about a disagreement in a drawing room. I was getting a little concerned as to what I could do! I finally read to the last paragraph on the page and found my inspiration…

I saw him pacing down the park, in the comfortless gloom of the damp, cloudy twilight

I sketched a basic picture of parkland with hills behind, my original plan was to frame the picture like a window, but that soon went out the window as too fiddly! I pulled out my batiks, thinking I could use them as a base, but before I made much of a plan I pulled out my box of textiles, looking for organza and the like to layer the design.

In the bottom of the box I saw some tweed and suddenly had a bit of a light bulb moment! The colours were perfect for the twilight scene I wanted to create and as Yorkshire was the centre of the woolen industry for many years it seemed apt to use it for this piece. Anne would have been very familiar with wool and tweed cloths.

Anne Bronte p200

I laid the tweeds in place and blanket-stitched them together, cutting away the excess behind. I trimmed it to size, I was a bit worried it might fray as I was working on it but it didn’t at all.

With the background in place I ‘just’ had to embroider it, it took me ages to pick threads and stitches. I started with the tree using a chenille thread. I found if I couched it it looked a bit like leaves, it gives quite a nice texture.

Anne Bronte p200

I embroidered the hills with overlapping feather stitch and a curving chain stitch. I was particularly pleased with the strip in the middle, I found some quite springy thread, a bit like a very fine ric-rac, in green/purple/grey, I positioned one length, letting it curve as it wanted, tacking it down with fly-stitch in a variegated DMC thread, once I’d secured that strip I folded the thread back over the strip and made a second row overlapping the first, and then a third row, going over one final time with a thicker fly stitch. I think it looks really effective.

Another area I’m please with is the grass of the parkland. I wanted to indicate a path, but I didn’t want a dominating line. I decided to have a mown path through the grass. I used straight stitches in three shades of green and various sizes to show the grass, getting lighter and smaller in the distance. I left the path plain. I used a variegated thread to do some french knots, the ones at the front have three wraps with two threads, they reduce down until the ones in the distance have just one thread and one wrap.

For the cloudy sky I used a circle of organza for the hazy moon and stitched two rows of feather stitch to show clouds.

Anne Bronte p200

One of the most difficult things with this kind of embroidery is knowing when to stop! I was thinking of adding beads and all sorts, but I decided it had enough with the embroidery.

My next job was to decide how to mount it. I found a muted quilting cotton which worked well as a background. My original thought was to embroider the words from the book, but I couldn’t reduce it enough to fit it in with the room available. In the end I embroidered the name of the book and added my page number to the top.

Anne Bronte p200

I blanket-stitched round both pieces and bondawebbed the embroidery to the backing. It was finished!

I’m really pleased with how it’s come out, I’ll put it in the post tomorrow and look forward to seeing the exhibition in the New Year.

The exhibition is going to be at Woodend in Scarborough in January, dates to be confirmed. Lindsey, the organiser, is also trying to publish a book of all the entries, the mock-up looks beautiful! She’s funding it with Kickstart, this is a bit like crowd-funding. She needs people to pledge to buy a book, or a print, or a couple of postcards in order to be able to go ahead. If anyone is interested please follow the link to the Kick-starter page.

About craftycreeky

I live in a busy market town in Yorkshire with my husband, kids, dogs and chickens. I love trying new crafts, rediscovering old ones, gardening, walking...anything creative really I started this blog after my New Year resolution worked so well. My resolution (the first one I've ever kept!) was to post a photograph of my garden on Facebook every day. My hope was that I would then see what was good in the garden and not just weeds and work, which was my tendency. The unexpected side-effect was that I have enjoyed many more hours in the garden. I am hoping that 'The Crafty Creek' will have the same effect. Happy creating!
This entry was posted in embroidery, Serendipity and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

43 Responses to Anne Bronte p200

  1. magpiesue says:

    This is wonderful! As usual, your work is beautiful. Now I’m going to go check out the Kickstarted page… πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. mandycurrie says:

    Hello Margaret, I love how you put things together, I wouldn’t have been able to put this beautiful piece together from that line. You must have a great imagination. You seem to be able to put something together so easily. Thank you for your inspiration. Regards Mandy xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. how exciting and what project to be involved in. Your piece is wonderful. You have such a creative mind…I enjoy seeing all your projects πŸ™‚ Sharon

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Laura says:

    Absolutely love it! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Avril Baxter says:

    Great project and your piece is wonderful. I haven’t read the book

    Liked by 1 person

  6. CurlsnSkirls says:

    Oh, Margaret, this is wooonderful!!! I love the idea of wool & tweeds and everything came together beautifully! Will take a peak at the Kickstarter page. 😘

    Liked by 1 person

  7. suth2 says:

    What a beautiful piece of work and it was lovely to see the process to achieve the end result. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Jane M says:

    Fabulous, the purple reminds me of the gorgeous heather we saw on the North York Moors. I really hope the project reaches its target. I will order my copy of page 215

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Mary Kerlin says:

    Your interpretation of Page 215 of Anne Bronte’s novel is truly beautiful. Wow, I want to read the book.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Ann Creek says:

    Margaret it is imaginative and lovely. I must get a postcard size copy to put my book. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m so glad to see your page – it is a beautiful addition to the book. A great project to be part of.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. endrickwater says:

    Thanks for going through your creative process on this piece with your readers; it’s really beautiful and inspiring. And in a good cause — I’ve been taken to Anne BrontΓ«’s grave in Scarborough, but now I guess I need to read the book! Pledge made. Hope all the support comes through — it’s a very worthwhile project.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. nanacathy2 says:

    I have been following this project on Facebook, and your page is just wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Faby Reilly says:

    Absolutely stunning! I love how the curve in the path is followed through by the shape of the hill on the left, and how the branch of the tree reaches out for the curved shape of the hill on the right. I love the texture and the colours… simply perfect!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. kathyreeves says:

    You do such a magnificent job with these Margaret, this is frameworthy! You are an inspiration for out-of-the-box embroidery projects.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Margaret that is absolutely stunning. I cant stop looking at it.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    What with your incredible imagination and that stash of yours another work of art has been created. This is so well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. endrickwater says:

    Would you mind if I printed out the pictures of this project for my EG branch’s noticeboard? (Including a link to the blog, naturally!)

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Deb A says:

    Wow! That came out amazing.

    Like

  20. Oh my!! this is incredible!!!

    Like

  21. What a fun project to be inspired by and contribute to!
    Your page is beautiful and it was really interesting to read how it developed through your creativity!
    Thanks for linking up!

    Like

  22. Angela says:

    Your piece is absolutely gorgeous!

    Like

  23. What an interesting project, and I love the project you came up with for it! I bet that will be a fascinating display!

    Like

  24. daneesey says:

    WOW! This is an amazing piece, from concept to finish! I’m so glad you outlined your thought process through the design elements of the finish. I love hearing how artists are inspired to create! Beautiful finish. πŸ™‚

    Like

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