Tagged ‘back’

We Get Mail

May 3rd, 2008 by Jill Hall

Or comments, really.

Thanks, Jane, for your note. Jane’s from the UK and was curious about our UK stitcher, all of whom were in the US for the Celebrations of Needlework in Nashua, NH, which I believe wraps up tomorrow. I don’t know offhand where Sarah and Susan are from, but I’ll look it up when I get back to the office. Susan has an online needlework shop, Hanging by a Thread, (the shop’s address is London, so there’s a clue) and has been so generous about spreading news of the project. Sarah is Susan’s sister, and they look enough alike that I was having trouble keeping their names straight, though in my defense they were at first introduced to me by the other’s name, so after that I had no chance at all. Anne is Robbin’s mother-in-law (Robbin of the laptop grant, the lacemaking, the thistle calyxes, the gorgeous antique lace wedding veil, and the great photos). I’m pretty sure the information on where the blog hits come from exists, but I would have to go looking for it. (Yah. Who am I kidding? By “looking for” I mean “ask Rich”.) I know coral-seas is in the UK. She returned our first overseas sample, and writes a delicious needlework blog here. Our other international stitcher is Lyn. She comes from Ontario, Canada, and has come down to Plymouth several times now. She’s doing the repro of the Bosworth sampler.

And, in the comments a few days ago (I eventually get there) coral-seas asked if the jacket embroidery pattern has a repeat. The answer is yes, the master repeat is four motifs high and four across. Tricia told the story of discovering the repeat early in the blog – June 2 and June 3, to be exact, (and I can be exact both quickly and easily thanks to Lyn’s awesome index – Thanks, Lyn!).

It’s a great story, like a historical detective yarn. Or floss. Just kidding. Anyway, there’s a panel in the collection of the Embroiderers’ Guild in the UK which is so extremely similar to the 1359-1900 jacket in the V&A (the embroidery design source for our jacket) that they must have come from the same workshop. Examining the photos of the jacket and the panel and fiddling with the motifs for our design, Tricia had a “eureka!” moment and saw the repeat.

The four-by-four repeat is most visible on the back. Tricia worked the original motifs on the back, the ones she stitched in order to illustrate the directions for the instruction manuals. So at that first session the back was the only one with embroidery on it.

I have another great story in my pocket, so to speak, actually, in the laptop. I accidentally left some pictures at the office over the weekend; I will get at them Monday and start the next “bite” then. Tomorrow hopefully I’ll have some different visual treat.

The Gilded Lily

April 21st, 2008 by Jill Hall

Here is a photo of the back of the jacket, taken last Friday, April 18.

The back of the jacket as of April 18.This is the piece Tricia took home with her before our inaugural embroidery session last June. She had to work one of each motif, taking detailed photos of the steps in order to produce that fantastic instruction manual. That’s why she chose this piece, it has the biggest unbroken section of the master pattern. So for a while this piece had the most done on it, but since then the other parts have more or less caught up.

Before that first session she did instructions for several motifs, plenty to get us started, but only the plain silk ones; at the time we didn’t have any GST, it was still only a good idea, remember? CAN you remember before GST? She’s been adding motifs since then, first the ones that used only bisse, redde and carnation as those were the first three colors we got. Since then she’s been keeping ahead of what the embroiderers are doing, adding a new motif pretty much for every new session. Want to join us in May and see what new flower we’ll have?

At some point pretty early on Tricia started to work the bird in the middle of the back and then stopped because she thought there was a lot going on there and wanted some detailed pictures. I just got an email from her the other day, saying she’d been examining some of those detailed pictures and it seems there’s gold AND silver threads in the bird, and did we want to do that? It would mean tarnish eventually, not to mention sourcing the silver and the expense. Of course I said no. Why go to the trouble? The gold will be plenty.

I’M JUST KIDDING. Absolutely we’ll have silver too. We don’t know what “over the top” means.

The Left Upper Sleeve

April 9th, 2008 by Jill Hall

Left Upper Sleeve status April ninth.Here’s a good idea, thanks Carol and Kimberly. This is the left upper sleeve as of today, April 9th. Each sleeve is composed of two parts, the upper and the under. The top of the upper sleeve has a convex curve to go over the top of the shoulder; the under has a concave curve to go under the underarm. Otherwise they’re the same shape. To me it looks about half done; about as many spaces as colored-in bits. But then when you consider all the gold work that has to be done, plus the sequins to be sewn on in every blank space, plus the detached bits to stitch and then sew on (the top layer of the pea pods and the butterfly wings), well, there’s plenty left to do.

Cornflower and friends from jacket back, April ninth status.Here is a cluster of motifs from the back of the jacket. At about seven o’clock is one of the dreaded trefoils; about ten there’s a sweet pea flower and pea pod; at twelve a honeysuckle with the pink & red buds; one o’clock a spiky-winged butterfly; at two most of a thistle; at about four o’clock is part of a foxglove. You can see an unstitched rose on the left, various buds, rose hips and leaves here & there; and the blank (for now) vine twining around all. Notice the little curlicues that spring from the vine; I was mentioning those yesterday. In the extreme lower right corner you can see part of another trefoil, with the vein of the leaf marked. All the trefoils and most of the other leaves have those veins. They’ll later be stitched in gold.

I’ll intersperse these posts with others, but I’ll get pictures up of all the pieces so you can see where we are. And after this coming weekend, when we have a work session, I’ll post another picture of this sleeve so you can see what was done on it. Overall, I think this piece is more done than some (the jacket fronts, for instance, are less densely covered than this) and less done than others (the jacket back, perhaps, the wings, the gussets for sure). So, pretty representative. The reason I picked it, though, is less well-thought-out than it might seem – this frame was at the front of the cupboard.

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