At our last Embroiderers Guild meeting in February, when meeting up with friends was still the norm, we started another Travelling Sketchbook project. This is where everyone has an A5 sketchbook, chooses a theme, makes the first entry, and then passes it round a group of say six people. Everyone does a little bit of embroidery based (however loosely) on the theme and sticks it in the book, so when you get your book back several months later it is filled with embroideries from your friends.
Despite the lockdown situation we’re managing to continue, using the post or a socially distanced swop! I was a bit late getting this one stitched, mainly I must admit as I wasn’t really inspired by the theme. In fact when I first got the list of themes my initial reaction, or rather the polite version was ‘Oh gosh, what does that mean!!’
“Rex quondum, rexque futurum” I was reliably informed is all about King Arthur. There was helpfully quite a bit of information include with the sketchbook, including some sketches of designs based on the round table. I decided to stitch a mandala style circle, inspired by, rather than representative of the round table.
I used dark blue felt, I would have used green which is the colour more commonly portrayed, but my green felts weren’t such a nice colour, so blue it is! I divided the circle into twelve segments, drawn lightly with a silver pen.
I started with the buttonhole wheel in the middle and then worked out, making it up as I went a long. I alternated the colours of the segments, using french knots, fly-stitch and lazy daisy stitch. I used a single thread of silver grey to separate the segments and add a sort of tracery.
I think it’s come out OK, not my most inspired piece but it fits the bill! The next two books are on leaves and under the sea, much more down my street!!
At the weekend I also finished another page for my Anthea Calandar book, this is a SAL organised by Faby Reilly, she’s releasing a pattern each month and then I’m stitching an extra page of wordplay.
This month’s flower is the cherry blossom, it’s based on one of her bigger designs which has two birds sitting on cherry blossom. It’s so pretty, and I think it mat be the first one I’ve managed to stitch without making a counting mistake!
I started stitching this on an ivory linen. I hadn’t got very far but I was already regretting using the ivory when I realised it was 36 count and not 32 count linen, so it would come out a touch smaller. If this was a one off, it wouldn’t have mattered so much, but as it was going to be made into a book I decided to bite the bullet and start again…on a beautiful shade of duck-egg blue linen. It doesn’t really show up on the photo, so you’ll just have to believe me…
It’s such a pretty design and I think the soft colour of the linen sets it off beautifully. The tied cross-stitch round the edge and the stars over the sequins are stitched in one of the DMC variegated threads, it has a nice subtle colour change.
I’ll start designing the wordplay soon, I usually stitch it near the end of the month, make sure nothing happens which I want to include in my dates. What a year to choose to stitch a diary!!