On the plane home at the beginning of the month, I was reading Inspirations 84 when a little project caught my eye--a pin cushion done in Deerfield Embroidery. Deerfield is in Massachusetts, but I had never heard of this type of embroidery, a Jacobean inspired blue work done with linen threads. What appealed to me about the project was the variety of stitches--14 different stitches done with one, two or three threads. I wanted to play with it, but I didn't really like the pattern. I did, however, like the motif on the saucer in the photo to the right of the actual embroidered piece. The more I looked at it, the more I thought that I could follow the pattern instructions using the different motift. That's what I determined to do.
|The pattern from Inspirations is the bird on the left. My inspiration is the saucer on the right.|
First I copied the magazine page and blew up the dish until the motif was approximately the same size as the pattern. Then I traced the pattern, substituting two of the pattern flowers for the plate motifs. I bought the same threads as indicated in the pattern and some cotton cloth and went at it, using the magazine instructions to do each section of the fish. I even embroidered the outline using the same stitches. The only thing I substituted was the woven spiderweb shells for the trellis work flower from the original pattern.
|My initial tracing.|
After doing the stitching, I resolved to try Mary Corbet's scalloped beading on the edge. That was a little disappointing. I don't know if my tension was too tight or too loose, but the beautiful scallops she achieved in her tutorial weren't really appearing on my work. The beads were easily knocked out of kilter when buttonholing them onto the bars. Even so, it was good practice and I generally like the results. Maybe somewhat bigger beads would help.
|The finished piece was a good experiment, although a little lopsided.|
I regret, however, that I did the project on cotton. It just wasn't strong enough. I have resolved to make a few improvements to the pattern and to work it again on linen--this time in color. But for now, my new little ornament is hanging from my secretary in the dining room and looks splendid. I like my resolution to play with stitches. It takes the tedium away from having to produce to a deadline.
I have already found my next little project--a tiny sampler with a pulled work hem. I've never done any pulled work, so it meets my criterion of trying new techniques. I can't wait to start!