My latest embroidery project was another adventure in crewel work. This was partly to start using my small stock of Fine d’aubusson wool threads. The design is a bit unusual for an embroidery piece, as the original is to be found on the streets of Freiburg in Germany. Many of the old streets of that beautiful city remain filled with cobbles, and on the cobbles someone has painted some lovely patterns. I took quite a few photos of them and have been itching to turn some of them into embroidery pieces. For my first attempt I used a pattern made up of overlapping circles. Below are photos of the original and then my embroidery effort.
The fabric is a very light and very fine linen, made in Dundee. The threads are of course all Fine d’aubusson wool, in one strand. I decided to stick to a very restricted range of stitches for this, to highlight the unity of the design. Chain stitch was used for the outlines of the circles – broad chain for the inner circles and heavy chain stitch for the large outer circle. The centre of each circle is trellis stitch with a Danish knot in about half the squares. The ellipses are filled with closed fly stitch, while the very centre has a very small whipped wheel. The large circle is about 18 cm in diameter.
I also decided to limit the colours for the design to blues and pinks, three shades of each. Though for some reason the pinks are called azalea. Two of the blues are royal blues, while one is azure. The Fine d’aubusson threads were great to work with. Very smooth and very fine. I am very happy to have come across this new discovery. The fabric is also very fine and my first attempt ended in disaster due to this fineness. I had originally intended to do a larger piece, but made no attempt at adding a backing fabric nor to securing the fabric on all four sides. The all too predictable result was that the fabric started to buckle up and I had to give the whole thing up. A bit of a blessing in a way, as I then decided to do smaller pieces, featuring just one of the Freiburg patterns. I also ironed on a backing and somehow managed to secure all four sides. The first time I have ever done this. Hopefully not the last. However I do have a long history of not learning my lessons! Below is my rather hame made attempt at securing the fabric. It did work though! Happy stitching.