Sunday, 19 February 2012

Elaborated Embroidery

Since I devised this technique myself, it doesn't have an actual name, as yet.

Technically, it's not only cross stitch, but a combination of that and 'back' or 'straight' stitch, all based on counting the threads of the fabric.

A good number of years ago, I hit on the idea of designing geometrically based patterns, based loosely on traditional 'blackwork', but with crucial differences: while that technique invariably comprises straight stitches and only sometimes 'simple' cross stitches, I give greater definition to a pattern by combining the two in original ways; crucially, however, instead of a solid coloured embroidery thread, I use variegated.; and lastly, of course, comes my favourite bit - embellishment.  Here I've used gold metallic thread, which gives the finished cloth a rich and sumptuous effect: it also adds quite a lot of weight, so the finished product really does feel like 'cloth of gold'.

I often add tiny, tiny beads - coloured and/or metallic, always placed in keeping with the basic geometrical design.

I should, perhaps, mention that I always use evenweave fabric - 28 or 32 count, usually - which, I think, 'hides' the fact that it's all achieved by counting threads.

Very often I 'tea dye' the evenweave, before I start, because I adore the finished 'antique' effect to the whole.  I believe that this equals heirloom embroidery any day!

This work particularly lends itself to cushions and I've made many, of all different colours, sizes and shapes.

It does take time, and patience, but I find this kind of work nothing short of meditative.

Try it and I guarantee you'll come to love it.

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