In the last few months I have been making all sort of things, some of them nothing to do with embroidery. I have tried two kinds of whitework embroidery which were new to me.

Mary Corbet posted a design for a cutwork angel on her needlenthread.com website.  I printed it off and decided that it would make a nice angel for the top of a Christmas tree.  Here she is, a slightly simplified version of the one on needlenthread.


She is stitched on Cotton Jean fabric which is used for Mountmellick work.  I chose this because it is tightly woven, so would take stitches that were close together, and be stiff enough to go on the Christmas tree.  I did try some Paverpol at different dilutions on the corners of fabric I cut off, but when I had washed the finished piece I thought it was firm enough.  The Paverpol seemed to make the fabric a little less white, which was another consideration. The stitching is done with Coton a Broder.


I also came across an ancient kit for Carrickmacross lace.  I didn’t like the design, so I did my own using the materials in the kit.

I did exactly as described, layering fabrics and designs, and found tutorials on Youtube, and off I went.  The result was Absolutely Awful.  So I unpicked it, not having gone too far, and had a rethink for a week or two.  The problem seemed to be that the thread supplied was not nearly thick enough to look good.  I also found it very difficult to stitch through the organza and net, but not the pattern.

The second time I drew the design on a piece of Solusheet, laid net on top, topped with organza, and tacked the layers together.  This worked much better for me. Once again I used Coton a Broder for the stitching.



I decided to finish at this point, but now that I have photographed it I can see that design is not central.  That’s because I grew tired of doing this and missed out some parts of my design, which just were not working as they should.  If I have a better idea about what to put on either side of the stem, more work can be done later.

At present I have a few ideas floating round my head for new projects, some large, some small.  My current piece is very small, so that I can get it finished before Christmas, and maybe start a Very Large one in the new year.


December 18, 2016. Tags: . Embroidery, Whitework. Leave a comment.

Chicken scratch embroidery

I bought this gingham fabric when I was on holiday earlier in the year, intending to do something craft-y with it.  Then I remembered Chicken Scratch embroidery which I saw on Mary Corbet’s website.  I found this free design on Nordic Needle’s website.  It was fun to do, with just three different stitches.  I also have another piece of fabric of the same colour which I bought to go with it, so it will be a cushion cover.

chicken scratch kitten

This kind of embroidery has other, more pleasant, names. It is also known as Amish embroidery  or Snowflake Lace.

It wasn’t until I had decided to use the fabric that I realised that the check design is not woven, but printed. It made things a little more challenging.  That’s another mistake I can learn from!

 I finished this in just a couple of evenings, but hoped to have made the cushion cover before this post, but a holiday, and Christmas shopping have intervened. I have also acquired two new (to me) books, on Whitework and Drawn Fabric.
Since then I have been planning more projects, in particular the Goldwork.  It’s amazing how long the preparation takes.  It has taken an afternoon and two evenings just to prepare and mount the fabric on a frame, and transfer the design using small tacking stitches.
I was about to take this photo, and I have just noticed that I have basted the backing fabric to the wrong side of the top fabric.  I have a BIG decision to make here – do I dismantle it, and start again, or do I leave it and carry on?  I like things to be right, and the ‘right’ side of the fabric does have a lovely sheen.  I have this nice pair of scissors with a notch in the blade for just such an occasion.  The scissors are about to be used.  It may be some time before the next post!

November 24, 2013. Tags: , . Drawn Fabric, Embroidery, Goldwork, Whitework. Leave a comment.

Mountmellick finished at last

This Mountmellick piece is finished at last.  I had problems deciding which filling stitches to use, and which parts should be left unfilled.  The flower on the left has net stitch, and the one on the right has cloud stitch, which were both new to me, but interesting to do.  I decided to leave the centre flower as it is, because it looks dramatic.  If it had more stitching it would not stand out.


I have been working on several future projects.  All at once I have lots of ideas.  I eventually made up my mind what to do with the butterfly, and decided that keeping things simple was the answer.

The goldwork piece in the same design as this is making progress, but the butterfly will be next, followed by something else which should be very quick to do.

October 31, 2013. Tags: . Embroidery, Goldwork, Mountmellick, Whitework. Leave a comment.

White on white update

I’ve finally got back to this whitework.  I was having problems making two pieces look somewhere near symmetrical, and having take stitches out twice, the fabric was getting a bit messy.  The only thing i could think of was to try to wash out the pencil lines which were not quite right, and the second attempt too, thus getting the fabric looking much better.  I pressed it before putting it back in the hoop, which gave the opportunity for a photo.


I reckon another week or so might see this finished.  Next will probably be a goldwork version of the same design.

I have got out all my copies of ‘Stitch’ magazine, and I am going to read all the articles properly.  I am hoping for ideas and inspiration.  In the past I have tended to skim through articles on the same way as I skimmed material when I was a student, then put the magazine on the shelf.  Now that I have more time, I must must make myself read things properly

In the mean time I have been tempted by some beautiful wool.   It is a lace weight made of baby alpaca, cashmere and silk.   I will take it to the craft group, and some lucky people will have a lovely lacy scarf for Christmas.

August 8, 2013. Tags: , , , . Embroidery, knitting, Whitework. Leave a comment.