Sunday, 20 May 2012

Pulled Work Embroidery - Cushion

Apologies for the not-quite-up-to-it photograph and the fact that I haven't block-pressed this yet, so it's rather wonky.  To my shame, I did this in 2006 (if you zoom, you might be able to see the initials and date in the top left corner) and still haven't constructed it.

It's the work/technique I wanted to feature.  This was the first pulled work project I did (from a very old magazine; it would take me a year to find it amongst all its friends in my craft room) and I must say that I enjoyed it enormously, once I got the hang of it.  I discovered that the secret to a good result is using a very good embroidery frame.  The ones I use now are all from Needle Needs: they certainly aren't the cheapest on the market, but in my opinion are the best.  Because of their quality and the way they are constructed, they allow you to mount the fabric until it's drum-tight and it actually stays that way throughout.  Very important for this technique.


Firstly, the butterflies are drawn onto the fabric and these are worked individually, using satin stitch for the bodies, and stem stitch and eyelet stitch on the wings.  Then, all the background is worked in the 'step stitch' around them, pulling the threads of the fabric together really tightly with each straight stitch.  Borders, of course, last.  I decided not to embellish this because I feel that the work, in itself, is enough.

I've always loved self-coloured embroidery: this one is on linen and I used an ordinary DMC thread in the exact same colour for the design.

I also made an identical cushion - but white on white - which I did get constructed, before giving it as a gift.

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