Tagged ‘honeysuckle’


July 9th, 2008 by Jill Hall

Wendy stitched this borage as the model. She sent me a photo, labeling it “borage – done”. Which of course it is not. I’m trying to be careful about that now. Borage needs some black and white in the middle, and then the little spiky leaves done too.

But this is the big part, and for the next session (officially 8-11 August, but any time the week of the 4th can work as Tricia will be here working on GOLD) we’ll have borage directions. This is good, because in the master pattern borage is the only motif that repeats.

Borage by Wendy.It’s a three-across, four-down repeat, and borage appears in the middle of the top row and at the left end of the bottom row (as Tricia drew it – it’s a repeat so theoretically you could start anywhere and repeat outward). So twice as many borages, sort of. Lots of opportunity to use the spectacular dark blue gilt sylke twist. See you soon?

To address the questions in the comments about comparing the lace gold thread to the embroidery gold thread, and how the embroidery gold thread is made, and the needles, and that, we’ll have to wait till Tricia comes back from vacation and can let us know. I’d say maybe towards the end of next week? I know she’ll get us the information as soon as she can.

I think there will be plenty of goldwork to do aside from the coiling vines, too. I was thinking, the tops of the foxgloves and pea pods are gold. The vine has many curliques (which it may be should be worked as you come to them, but maybe they’re separate, I don’t know) which will be gold. Most of the leaves have gold veins. The rose, strawberry flower, pansy and honeysuckle all have gold centers. The straight lines that stick out of the columbine and honeysuckle blossoms might be gold. (No, I don’t mentally catalog the work left to do, over and over. Why do you ask?) So we may well have goldwork available to those who either don’t want to or can’t match the established stitch density of the plaited braid. All of which to say, don’t worry, there’s plenty work to go around.

The other day I heard from some embroiderers who hadn’t sent in a sample or signed up to stitch because they were nervous about having their work “judged”. We’re really not using the samples to judge, or to keep anyone away. No one’s been refused. The samples let us take advantage of everyone’s strongest skill, and give Wendy and Tricia a starting point for helping to improve everyone’s stitching. Even those very experienced with this kind of embroidery have reported that after a few pointers and two days of practice, their work has improved and they go faster. Several have called the embroidery weekends a kind of ‘master class’, with individual attention (Wendy & Tricia usually have 20-25 students in a class and here we never have more than 8) and lots of time to practice.

So don’t let that keep you away. Come stitch. This chance won’t be here much longer. I swear.

Tallying the Progress

April 14th, 2008 by Jill Hall

Today Wendy counted up the motifs that were done this weekend. I had high hopes for this session and I was not disappointed. There were many hands working and a great deal was accomplished:

blue worm16.5 worms. The plain worms, not the fancy worms. We don’t have directions for those yet. But the plain worms gave us plenty of head-scratching moments, as we tried to figure out what color each should be, comparing the photos of the original and the different pieces of the jacket. The half worm disappears into a seam, and it was the back half that was stitched, which led to some merriment. Oh, and Debbie thinks they’re actually slugs, since they have little feelers on they little heads. Are slugs ickier than worms?

completed pansy3.5 pansies. Pansies take a LONG time to work, and they’re not as spectacularly colored as the pansies I’m familiar with. Still very pretty, and after these 3.5 were done, there are not that many left.

pink and leaf2 whole pinks. Pinks, or carnations, and in the 1627 village gillyflowers (hence very popular with me). Also take a long time to do, and we’re almost done with them, too.

6 leaves, 1/2 a pea pod, 1/2 a rose hip, 1/2 a thistle calyx, 1/2 a honeysuckle, 1 set honeysuckle buds, and one little edge of a pea pod that vanished into a seam. It was just a tiny line, but it was fiddly to work since the way it was oriented meant a long column of one buttonhole stitch per row rather than one long row of stitches. Abigail did that one. Some of those half motifs were partially done at other sessions by other stitcher, some were the kind that disappear into seams or off the edges of the pieces.

thistle calyx and trefoilAND TWO of the dreaded trefoils. That’s a thistle in the bottom of that photo, with the calyx of course the green part below the blossom. Debbie did one of the trefoils and Linda did the other. Linda was with us only on Saturday.

Not to mention 9 lace motifs in only two days (that was Bryce, speed lacer.)

rose progress 2Here’s a picture of Wendy working that very first rose motif. She stayed late tonight to finish it, “so her boss won’t yell at her.” We’ll see what Tricia thinks of the result, maybe next time we can add another motif to our repertoire.

Thanks, everyone. I so enjoyed this weekend.

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.

Guests for Lunch

February 9th, 2008 by Jill Hall


Today we had special guests join us for lunch. Jonny and Shelley spend much of their time caring for the rare breed animals in the 1627 English Village. That brief sentence doesn’t begin to capture all they do (I realize I say that often about the staff here, but it’s always true). They build and mend fences, feed and water, clean pens, train the cattle to walk and stand and greet visitors, and lots of other things. This session’s embroiderers enjoyed talking with them about their work but even better was petting Winter, a baby boy goat. That’s Shelley and Winter.

pansynumberthreeThere were frames enough for Wendy to stitch today. She’s working on the first pansy. Several motifs, pansies included, are not worked identically over the whole jacket. Some of the honeysuckle, for instance, are cream on the inner part of the petals and yellow on the outer parts; on some of them the colors are reversed. Tricia has identified at least four different ways pansies were worked on the jacket, and where on each piece the variations occur. Wendy was working a #3 pansy on the lower jacket back today.

Karin has been embroidering with us, too. Karin is the Curator of Originals for Plimoth Plantation, and has generously made time in her busy schedule to show each session’s embroiderers the samplers in the collection. Here she’s working trellis stitch butterfly bodies (striped!) on the coif. Thanks to Wendy again for all the photos. I left my camera on the computer desk at home. Karin

Believe it or not, we left tonight in the snow. I made sure everyone had the information to find out if Plimoth is closed tomorrow due to weather, but the meteorologists are promising these are just isolated snow showers with no appreciable accumulation. Is it any wonder I’m getting a little paranoid, though?

Odds & Ends

January 23rd, 2008 by Jill Hall

At a session earlier this month, Abigail from MA brought a masterpiece of needle tatting for us to admire. Here’s a picture. I don’t know how to tat, so if I dare try to explain I’ll get myself in trouble, like the time with the bobbin lace. I do know that “regular” tatting uses a shuttle with a bobbin for the thread, and needle tatting uses a needle to make the knots. That’s the extent of my knowledge.baby cap

But isn’t this beautiful? We were at a loss as to how to photograph it, but fortunately we found a willing (mostly) baby.

Embroidery is progressing this week. Catherine and Deb left today, on to more adventures in the storage rooms of the Museum of Fine Arts. Melanie Anne also left today, back to Maine for a while. Kris and Heather arrived this morning so work continued uninterrupted. With all the colors at our disposal (even more of the green silk #325, yay Tricia for bringing it) it seems like the embroidery is just growing on its own. Tricia and I figure we’re about half way done with the embroidery. Not bad, considering we began last June. Still, I’d like to keep up the pace.

honeysuckleWould you like to join us this winter? We have room in two Friday to Monday sessions – February 8 – 11 and February 29 – March 3. Email me at jhall@plimoth.org and let me know.

Oooh. I just noticed Rich has built my categories. That popping noise is my excuse not to go back and recategorize, evaporating. Back to the salt mines.

Penny discovered that if you try to view archived entries in Internet Explorer, it will only show you one page per month (not all the entries). This doesn’t seem to be a problem in Firefox. I bet that’s another thing that can and eventually will be fixed.

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