Thursday, July 30, 2009

Brick stitch pattern #17

With this, my 17th pattern, I am now one third of the way towards my goal of 50 patterns. This pattern is taken from a hanging circa 1290 - mid 1300s showing scenes from the legend of St. Margaret of Antioch. Unfortunately I only have the black and white picture so colors are speculative. The light color is probably white. I had a lot of fun playing with the colors for this pattern, and since so many patterns in embroidery of this period were repeated using different color schemes you could change the colors up a bit and still have a plausibly period color scheme.

One of the disadvantages of making all these patterns is that I do not have time to make examples of all of them, although I hope to someday. This one is definitely in my top five of favorites so far so I'm sure I'll get to it eventually.

Below are some of the ways I played with color for this pattern:

Monday, July 27, 2009

One cuff finished

I promised myself that I would not do any more brick stitch until I finished one of the pair of klosterstich cuffs I am making. Here is the first one, I think it is charming and I hope it looks good when it becomes a cuff. Not sure how to attach to sleeves that button up.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Brick stitch pattern #16

This is one of the bigger patterns, and I've always liked it. When I first started embroidering I liked it but didn't think I could ever do it. I haven't yet, but now that I made the pattern I know I could do it.

Photographs of the original can be found here. It is listed as late 13th century Spanish in origin, with woven straps terminating in turk's head knots (as often as turk's head knots show up in these types of purses I really should learn how to make them). The colors look to be light yellow, a deeper gold color, and dark blue or maybe purple? Taschen did a beautiful reproduction of the embroidery which can be seen here, it is really enviable and drool-worthy. He also published a really nice pattern. I made my own using the photograph both for the sake of completeness with my own patterns and as a technical challenge. My pattern is very slightly different, almost unnoticeably so. I'm not completely happy with it but I am tired of looking at it. Check out his pattern to compare.

In the picture I set the pattern on a tiled backround of the same pattern. The original isn't made quite this way, but imperfect photograph and wear obscure the rest of the pattern. I may attempt it another time.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Someone used my pattern to make a needle roll

How wonderful, someone used one of my patterns! It is so nice to have proof that I didn't post all those patterns just to amuse myself. This is Pattern #6 executed in Splendor silk on linen by Aelia Appolonia of Sinister Stitches. Her embroidery turned out really beautiful, didn't it? I love the colors!!

Aelia likes to embroider but feels her finishing skills are lacking so she asked me to make the embroidery into a needle roll with kumihimo cord. I did as she asked but set her up with a second maru dai and made her learn how to make a simple four bobbin cord. She agreed that it really is easy! Hopefully I have sold her on the idea of doing more kumihimo.

If anyone out there makes something from one of my patterns I would love to see a picture and (with permission) post it on my blog.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Klosterstich cuffs progress

Irregular and slow, progress nonetheless...

I like this better as I get more of it done; I think it will look great when it is finished.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Painting progress

The last time I posted about this painting it looked like this. I'm not done yet, but obviously I made a lot of progress. Successively lighter washes of colors and layers of highlights brought me to this point. Then I was dissatisfied and put the painting aside for a few days. Seeing it on the computer screen helped me identify some of the problems. When I work on it again, hopefully within the next week, I'll try to fix the problems as well as continue forward. We are our own harshest critics, aren't we?

The approximate size of the painting is 7 by 9 inches. If you click on the picture for a larger image you can see the gritty texture of the paint.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Klosterstich cuffs

Here is the beginning of my progress on a pair of embroidered cuffs. I've been wanting to make something embroidered in klosterstich for a while now. I used elements from some German klosterstich tapestries to come up with two designs, shown below:

I then transfered my chosen design to linen and inked the designs:

And here is my current progress. It is going fine so far but I think as I practice more I will get better. I am using Medici wool thread with two strands on the needle. I have a small supply of it I would like to be rid of so I am trying to use it up. The Medici is very nice but I think it is too fine for my purposes and I would rather use naturally dyed colors if possible.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A simple chemise

It's not very exciting, but it is finished. This is a basic linen chemise. I actually did not have a chemise appropriate for my medieval period dress and I've been wearing it without one (!). It is entirely hand sewn using linen thread with French seams.