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Posts Tagged ‘folk art’

I finally returned to embroidery after about 5 years! I made some progress on the Swiss Folk Heart crewel kit mentioned here. It’s slow going but I hope it won’t take another 5 years.

Here’s a work-in-progress shot:

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And a detail:

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I think the embroidery is ehhhhhh (and the smartphone pics) but I’m not going to let that stop me.

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This is a kit I’m working on right now.  And this is all I have been able to finish so far. So when I say, “right now,” I mean, “whenever I’m least intimidated.”

It’s all satin and stem stitch with some french knots thrown in. Here are the instructions:

And here’s a detail of my stitching so far:

This is my first time working with crewel wool and I really like how dimensional it is. Unfortunately, the ground fabric feels mealy (kit circa 1977) and has a very loose weave. I’m having a really hard time getting good line definition with the satin stitch. If the wool goes between threads it leaves a huge hole so I need to pass it through the threads of the fabric but that’s not always easy.

I’d like to do backstitching on the lines like Mary Corbet of Needle’ n Thread did in this post but I don’t know if there’ll be enough wool. I can’t find crewel wool locally. Or at least I’m unwilling to drive around on the off chance someone has it. It’s a little frustrating. Here’s how much wool came with the kit:

The wool measures about 2″x7″ and the stamped area is about 13.5″x15″.

Finding this kit on ebay was a dream come true because I’d planned on creating monochromatic folk art embroidery myself. I still think it’ll look beautiful but I obviously need to re-think this project.

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Like most people, I have craft ADD. Here are some pictures of my first but not current love: Ribbon embroidery.

This is my grandmother’s Christmas gift half finished. I got really into folk art and bought a bunch of books (bad me!) and chose this image from Pennsylvania Dutch Designs (International Design Library).

The other books in the picture are: Folk Art Cut & Use Stencils, Scandinavian Folk Designs (Dover Design Library), Russian Folk Arts and Crafts, European Folk Art Designs (Dover Pictorial Archive Series) and 250 Stencil Designs from India (Dover Design Library).

Whenever I get into a craft I think it’s the best possible craft and no other form can compare to the wonderfulness of that particular form. I liked how dimensional ribbon embroidery was, how quickly things stitched up, and the relative accessibility.

On the other hand, silk ribbon isn’t available locally and I’m hesitant to buy loads of silk ribbon over the internet (about the only thing I won’t buy I think).

Here are some shots of my grandma’s present finished:

I put it in a “Collection Cabinet” from Michael’s so that the embroidery wouldn’t get smooshed and the viewer can open the frame and touch it. It’s impossible to resist touching the stitches so I decided to make it easy on whoever ends up looking at it.

She cried when I gave it to her. She said, “It’ll last long after I’m gone.”

To which I replied, “Oh, Grandma! That’s because the ribbons are polyester.”

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