Cascade – Embroidery Hommage to Evelyn Redgrave

During our holiday in Copenhagen in August we fitted in a visit to the Design Museum Denmark. This is a lovely museum in a beautiful old building. While we were there they were exhibiting a special show on Post-War British Textiles – 1952-72. Quite by chance we had stumbled upon a fascinating collection of fabric designs from a period I know nothing about. The work of many designers was on display, but what most caught my eye were some designs by Evelyn Redgrave. Two in particular impressed me with their colour and movement. According to the notes accompanying the exhibition, Redgrave’s work shows decorative, historicist style elements from the Arts & Craft and Art Nouveau period. As is my wont, I decided to try and transform one of them – Cascade – into a stitched piece. Easier said than done. Here is a photo of the work hanging in the museum.
Not at all easy to get the lovely, flowing curves into the rigidities of canvas. However I was determined to give it a go. To make it a bit more manageable, I decided to use just three lines of colour instead of the four in the original. I should have worked it all out on paper before stitching, but I am not that patient. A rough outline was worked out and then it was out with the needles and threads! I am using Appleton 4ply wool threads. In most cases I have to double up two 2ply threads to make the right bulk. But it seems to be working out OK. The colour scheme is greens and black and greys. The rest should be left as the fabric, but that doesn’t work with canvas, so I am filling in the gaps with white thread. The stitches are all simple verticals in whatever sequence came into my head at the time. Once the first couple of sections were completed it becomes easier, as I have a pattern to follow, or adjust as I see fit. Still quite a long way to go, but the photo below gives a good idea of what it looks like.


One thought on “Cascade – Embroidery Hommage to Evelyn Redgrave

  1. Go for it Alister! What an excellent idea. And yes, I think it’s really funny that so many of us doing what is really quite a slow art form, are actually impatient by nature!

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