Those of you who follow my social media accounts will have already seen the completed Jacobean Crewelwork project I started during a Royal School of Needlework day class. I finished it during a week’s holiday in Cornwall and since the WIFI-signal was not very reliable I thought I would better wait writing a blog post until I got home, just in case my efforts were lost and had to start writing all over again!
If you like to stitch this design yourself, it is called Flora and is designed by Lizzy Pye of Laurelin and is available via her website. She is also a tutor at the Royal School of Needlework and would have taught this day class herself were it not for her maternity leave.
As I mentioned in my last blog post I learned a lot while stitching this project and I found myself being more critical and unpicking more than I was used to just to get it right. Even when it was finished and I could not unpick anymore as I had nearly run out of the pale green wool I was spotting things I would like to change. I was therefore really pleased to receive so many positive reactions on my efforts!
Just as I had done for my previous two day classes I send a picture of the finished project to the day class tutor. My tutor Helen Richman (Bluebird Embroidery Company) send me the loveliest e-mail in return and she was also very complimentary of my work (blush-blush) and she send me some more pointers I can take onboard when starting the Jacobean Crewelwork certficate module in October.
These are just some excerpts of her e-mail:
“I think that your finished crewelwork is excellent, it is very neat and has been worked well. There were a few tricky areas on this design which you have dealt with well but further practise may take it from being excellent to perfect! So, the edge of the long and short shape, with a little more practise these edges could be made slightly smoother (there is a slight wobble on the top left hand edge caused by one or two stitches which needed to be tucked in around the split stitch more) Planing ahead with a design will also help you to create smoother outlines, I am looking at your light green stem stitch outline around the left hand side of the leaf which is pushed off-course slightly by the long and short and stem stitch shapes already worked within it. In the lesson we said about working each element slightly bigger in order to cover the design lines but if these stitches are going to have an outline put around them they will need to stop on the design line. This means that when the outline then is stitched around the edge of these areas it is worked directly ontop of the line and doesn’t need to go around the previous stitching. So on your piece the long and short and the stem stitch areas have slightly extruded outside of the design and so when you worked the stem stitch around the whole leaf shape it appears to wobble around these areas. Again, this is me being really picky!
I agree that a fainter colour and thinner line for the design transfer would have been easier to cover but the dark green was used to anticipate having beginners in the class. Having a practise with painting, like you suggested, will be hugely beneficial to you and will make the start of your certificate course far less scary!”
Helen picked exactly upon the points I was least happy about. The large area of long and short stitch and the resulting wonky stem stitch outline would have taken a lot of unpicking if I had changed it. I think planning ahead is key. Think before you stitch! If I only learned one thing, that should be it.
I am really glad that have taken some day classes before starting the certificate course as it really has given me the confidence that I will be okay and should not be (extremely) nervous about it! I am going to get my fine paintbrushes out at the weekend and start practising painting thin design lines!