Sunday, 21 January 2018

Sunday Stitch School - Lesson 50: Bayeux Stitch

Welcome to a new History lesson at Sunday Stitch School.

Japan is famous for its 'manga', comics and cartoons.

The idea of telling a story mainly with pictures is not new. It has always been a way to let everyone, regardless of age or literacy skills, take part. For example, murial paintings on church walls were used to tell stories from the Bible.
Today, at international airports and other places where people of different languages and alphabets gather, we are shown where to go and what to do with illustrations or signs.

This is a stitch school so let's look at embroidered 'manga'. There are some very famous embroidered panels, e.g. the Quaker Tapestry at Kendal - it's a feast of stitches.

Today, though, our history lesson is about the Bayeux Tapestry. You can read about it here, and further reading can be found here.

In the French town of Bayeux, Chantal James runs a shop where you can buy kits of parts of the tapestry, or join workshops.

Here is a video where she shows you how to do the stitch.
This link shows drawings of how the stitch is made.

The other day I was given an embroidered phone cover made by my friend Jacquie Harvey, BEM.
Although originally an expert quilter she has recently done a lot of embroidery work in the Bayeux style. However, she works the laid stitches in a slightly different way, using Bemmy Stitch, so we will look at this technique, too, and where and how to mix the stitches.

So, finally, here are my stitch instructions for the traditional Bayeux Stitch:
 Stitch the outline in Stem, Outline or Du Vos Stitch using wool

Fill in the design with surface  Satin Stitch.

 Take a Straight stitch across the design, (it should be the same green, I've used a contrasting colour for clarity)

Couch it down with small stitches

Bemmy Stitch:
When you have a curved design, the Bemmy Stitch is better.
First do the outline as before

Fill in the design with shortish straight stitches, making sure you take just a tiny nibble of the fabric and follow the curve.

 Cover the lines of naked fabric with the same wool yarn and couch it down.

With a thicker yarn and neater, tighter stitches, you get better coverage, but there you are!

1) Fill in the remaining leaf, and if you wish, add a flower.
2) Embroider a more 'Bayeux-ish' design.
3) Add the stitch to your Sunday Stitch Reference Chart

If you feel like reading a lot more about Bayeux Tapestry, live in or will visit the UK, may I share a link with you that I found on Mary Corbet's Needle 'n Thread? Apparently the Bayeux Tapestries are going to cross the Channel! Check it out here.

There is a copy of the Bayeux Tapestry in Reading (that is a town in the UK).
Check it out here.
Thanks, Elizabeth, for the information.

Friday, 19 January 2018

Friday Homework for Lesson 49: Colonial Knot

My homework was to add some Colonial Knots to this piece:

which I did. Can you see the white dots?

As Colonial Knot is not a new stitch to me, I have some old items to show.
They are both miniature whole cloth quilts, entered into the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham 2012

and 2013

 The Colonial Knot is absolutely one of my favorites, the movement of the hand soon becomes automatic and is so relaxing. It would take a long time to make a full bedsize quilt of candle wicking, but it would be a labour of love! Maybe one day?!

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

WIPW - Mola Embroidery

Work In Progress Wednesday this week features, as promised last week, embroidery on the

The original and traditional Molas made by the Cuna Indians of Panama are sometimes, but not always, adorned with some embroidery, usually the most basic stitches.
My friend Julie of My Quilt Diary has an original Mola panel and says the Chain Stitches on it are so tiny there are eight stitches on a cm.

I have also used some of the basic stitches - Running, Chain, Fly and Herringbone.
Instead of a single strand of cotton floss, though,  I used perle #8 and made bolder stitches.

Next, and final, job - turn this Mola panel into a bag.

Mola - Snippets of Interest
The word Mola originally means bird plumage.
(Source: Sandals Islands official website)

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Sunday Stitch School - Lesson 49: Colonial Knot

It is time for another History lesson.

Today we are looking at a stitch used by many of the women settlers who travelled West into unknown areas of North America.

The pioneers had with them very limited supplies. Worn clothing was cut apart to make patchwork quilts. It was harder to find thread. Sometimes fabric was painstakingly taken apart and separated into threads. Naturally this 'thread' was not very strong.

However, 'thread' could be found amongst the supplies needed for the annual chore of candle making. The 'wax' used was either tallow, fat from animals collected at slaughter, or sheets of beeswax. The core of the candle, the wick,  is a four stranded thread.

The colonial women found that wick made excellent thread for embroidery and quilting. The four strands could be separated and thereby supply the women with enough thread for various quilting or needlework projects.

Sheets, pillow cases and bedspreads in white cotton were decorated with embroidery in Stem and Outline Stitch, Padded Satin Stitch and French Knots.
A new form of knot was created, as it supposedly requires less thread, the Colonial Knot.
Together these stitches form the embroidery style Candlewicking.

Here are some links to interesting reading about candle making and candlewicking.

Today's stitch is the Colonial Knot, also known as Figure 8 Knot.

Work it like this:

Get out a Milliners needle and a thread with a firm twist, here I used perle #8.

Place the fabric in a hoop.
Tighten the tension.

Place the working thread over the needle like in the picture.

Cross the thread over

and under the needle.

Insert the needle close to where it came out.

Tighten the knot and pull the needle through the fabric

Make dotted patterns with the knots.

Here is a line on my Aida sampler

1) Add a sprinkling of Colonial Knots

2) Dig out previous work and show on Friday.