I started the ‘stitching 4 the soul’ project very late in the day, I think it ran over the first lockdown. It was organised by Anne Brook of Hanne-made, her videos are still on Youtube together with the subsequent Christmas version. Last time I shared my progress with you I hadn’t quite finished a woven double page spread…
I cracked on and finished it later that day.I stitched the dark blue circle on with pistil stitch, I added french knots and fly stitch to the petals. On two squares I just accentuated the petal edges with another row of blanket stitch, I felt it was too strong a design to try and embroider over the top of it. On one square I added more flowers and continue the flowers across to the next strip. I used fly-stitch in different sizes to attach the blue lace on the right. I rather enjoyed just stitching a bit here and a bit there.
I’ve stitched it onto the calico pages, being careful to line up the centre so it will close easily once it’s bound with beads. I’m rather pleased with these pages.
I’m writing this well before Christmas, as hopefully by the time you read this I will be well on the road to recovery following an operation on my neck, I’m not sure how much it’s going to impact on my hand-sewing in particular so I thought I’d get another pair of pages stitched…
For the next two pages Anne suggested a calm look, as the previous pages have been pretty busy. This was achieved by having a single strip of fabric across the double page…for something so simple it took me ages to decide on which fabrics to use! I’m trying to mainly use fabrics from a sample book I bought last year, they’re beautiful but there’s not many plains! In the end I used a piece of silk noille from my stash for the background. I like silk noille for embroidery as it has lots of texture and feels nice too. As it’s not very robust I put some calico underneath. For the strip I used some furnishing weight linen in gorgeous shades of lavender and soft gold, the photos don’t do it justice really, it’s a beautiful shade!
I chose a selection of embroidery threads in soft shades of purple and ecru to a warm light brown.
The first task was to embroider some ‘waves’ in running stitch, I’m not very good with random and I didn’t just want to copy Anne’s, so I hit on the idea of using the outline of Catbells, that little fell in the Lake District which has featured many times in my work! Of course that really only covered one side, so I had to stitch another wave on the other side, with a bit (or a lot) of imagination, this could be Causey Pike which is just the other side of Newlands Valley.
The idea Anne had was to intersect the lines to make different areas to embroider. However, I now had my muse to consider!
I edged the outline of Catbells with a blanket stitch, this ridge walk is the usual route up Catbells, having arrived by launch over Derwentwater to the landing stage of Hause End, hence the blanket stitch dips below the ‘shoreline’. Each year (except 2020 funnily enough!) Keswick holds a Festival of Light, people climb Catbells at dusk and all turn their head torches on, the photos are amazing, that’s the footpath which we follow. One year we hope to do the Festival of Light.
I used fly-stitch and a lovely variegated Weeks thread to represent the trees in Manesty woods around the base of Catbells, extending them in a gentle wave across both pages.
The shaggy french knots are the herdwick sheep which populate the fells. When you’re out walking in the Lakes or the Dales it’s very easy to lose your way by following a sheep track, thinking it’s a path until it peters out!
Neat french knots round the top of Catbells in varying shades of purple is the heather or ling which grows up there.
The lattice tied down with little crosses is the fields of Newlands Valley. From the top of Catbells you look down on the patchwork of green fields with the patterns made by the tractor.
So you see, once I get a theme in my head I can run with it!
The final piece Anne suggested was a cutout ‘window’ made from a circle of wire laid around a cut hole and overstitched, I used blanket stitch as I like the neat edge. The idea is that through the hole you will be able to see through to the next page. Mine looks like the sun, it reminds me of an amazing walk I did many years ago with a friend, we got up very early (like 3.30am!!) and walked up Catbells in time to sit on the top and watch the sun rise. It was stunning, it rose over Blencathra and the morning mist formed below us over the lake, turning beautiful shades of orange and red. As the sunrise was just beginning everything was these lovely muted shades with a softly lightening sky, so this is my Sunrise from Catbells’ piece!
I’m pleased with this one, it is a very calm page, despite having lots of embroidery on. I like the movement across the pages too. I’m waiting until I see what’s happening on the next pages before I stitch it onto the calico pages, I need to work out how it will work with my pages. I’m hoping I’ll be able to have some soft gold fabric behind to look like the sun!
This stitch-a-long is organised by Avis from Stitching by the Sea. We post our progress on our chosen project every three weeks, just long enough to keep us motivated. Please follow the links to see what everyone else is stitching.
Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, Sue, Constanze, Christina, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Heidi, Jackie, Sunny, Hayley, Megan, Deborah, Mary Margaret, Renee, Carmela, Sharon, Daisy, Anne, Connie, AJ, Jenny, Laura, Cathie, Linda, Helen