Over the past few months I have successfully completed three more small embroidery pieces. The first was another Free-form Bargello project. It was started to use up some of my French wool threads from the Fine d’Aubusson collection. As luck would have it I ran out of one of the colours and had to order some more! Pretty inept at calculating how much threads I need for a project. Anyway here it is.The centre is two overlapping hearts which where stitched with Caron waterlilies cotton threads. The rest is wool. Not really one of my favourite pieces, but it did use up some old threads.
The next project was an experiment in using some traditional crewel outline stitches. The fabric is a dark blue linen and the design is a series of concentric circles.I kept to the blue theme with my choice of colours for the threads – three shades of blue and two shades of turquoise. Five different threads and five different stitches. The inside circle is a split stitch using four strands of a Soie d’Alger silk thread. The next one is a Palestrina stitch in all six strands of Rajmahal ArtSilk thread. The third circle is stem stitch using two strands of Fine d’Aubusson wool. Six strands of DMC satin thread were used for the fifth circle which is a knotted pearl stitch. Finally the outer circle is in broad chain using one strand of a Caron Watercolour in Blueberry.
Enjoyed this little experiment and may well repeat something similar. As you can see most of the circles are very imperfectly circular. I used a compass with a lead tip to draw the circles directly onto the fabric. But the lead did not show up very well on the blue, so I had to go over the lines with a red pen. Not the steadiest of hands, which explains the odd shapes that resulted. All adds to the mystery of embroidery! That’s my story!
The final of my recent small projects is another piece for the Guild’s exhibition in St Andrews in the autumn. To decorate the stairs up to the exhibition room we have been asked to make a pennant. This was a follow-up to a Guild project for International Women’s Day. We asked people to embroider to pennant with the name of a woman who had inspired them. Many chose their mother, but others were more political, as is mine. I chose to celebrate Clara Ponsatí, who is a professor at St Andrews University. She was also for a time last year the education minister in the Catalan government. She was involved in the preparations for the independence referendum held on 1st October last year. For their temerity in holding a peaceful and democratic referendum many Catalan politicians and non politicians have been arrested and put in prison. Clara was one of those facing arrest and decided to return to Scotland and her job at the university. She still faces the possibility of extradition as her case is now before a Scots court. Wearing a yellow ribbon has become a popular way of expressing support for and solidarity with those Catalans unjustly imprisoned or under threat of imprisonment.
The fabric is a light blue and was supplied by the branch. The lettering of Clara’s name is stitched in split stitch with two strands of DMC cotton in medium red. For the other lettering one strand of the same colour was used. lliure in catalan means free. The ribbon is stitched with padded satin stitch using a mercerised cotton thread from Portugal – Rosarios 4 Lisboa. Red and yellow are of course the colours of the Catalan flag.