Mamafrog - I have a used a variety of techniques. Some beads are stitched down individually or in groups. Where there are 3 or more beads on a stitch, I take a couching stitch every second bead. I have also couched down strings of beads. Any line of seven or more beads is most likely done in this way. Thank you for visiting the blog and leaving a comment.
I am making some time every day to do some beading and, occasionally, some thread embroidery but I am way behind with blogging. Most of the beading I am doing is a variation on the techniques that I have described before so I have little new to say about it. Instead I will let the pictures tell their own story.
I attended two embroidery classes recently and had two totally different experiences.
I do quite a lot of classes and workshops and, on the whole my experiences have been very good. Even when the class has been less than brilliant, I have usually enjoyed it and learnt something new.
At a class I went to a couple of weeks ago, not only did I not learn a single thing, when it was over I felt totally deflated and demoralised. I am not going to name the tutor or say what the class was about because it is my understanding that this person will not be delivering any more classes. I don’t like to write negative things about classes or workshops and would not have written about this particular class except that the experience I had yesterday was so vastly different that I cannot help but compare the two.
I attended a class led by Phillipa Turnbull of the Crewel Work Company and run by Burford Needlecraft. I read about it on The Unbroken Thread. Kathy took this class last year and enthusiastically recommended it. I find Crewel work in general and Jacobean designs in particular, very attractive but I’ve not felt drawn to learning it. Even if I had seen this class advertised I probably would not have signed up for it but for Kathy’s recommendation and her suggestion that it would cover lots of laid work. I am fascinated by laid work designs which are widely used in Japanese embroidery as well as Crewel work. As it turned out we did not do any laid work other than a brief demonstration late in the afternoon but I was not in the least bit disappointed. What we did do was an in depth lesson on Long and Short Stitch!
Phillipa is a commanding and competent tutor. At the outset she asked that we stitch in silence so that she could hear the rhythm of our stitching and so that we could hear everything she said, even when she was tutoring someone else. (I am used to working in a quite class room and find it much more relaxing and enjoyable that a noisy environment.) Phillipa also asked, and kept reminding us, to address our questions to her and not to each other so that she could be sure to teach us everything we wanted to learn that day.
The technique was broken down into steps which Phillipa first described verbally while drawing large diagrams onto a white board as a visual aid. She then went around the class demonstrating that step to small groups. She repeated the demonstration as many times as necessary until everyone to 'got it'. Then she went around the whole class again to give individual guidance and encouragement. If anyone struggled or made a 'mistake', Phillipa would use their work to demonstrate how to bring the stitching back on track but in a positive and supportive manner that did not ridicule or undermine anyone.
We took three short breaks for refreshments when we could stretch, relax and chatter then it was back to work. As well as LSS and we received brilliant tuition on how to make beautiful and consistent French knots. We also received advice on posture and how to avoid muscle fatigue and were told which end of the wool goes into the needle and why it makes a difference. Of course, we also covered some things that I already knew, like keeping the needle perpendicular to the fabric but it never hurts to be reminded of the basics about anything.
In a day that went far too quickly, I learnt heaps and came away brimming with confidence.
I was so absorbed in the class that I did not take a single photograph but if you want to see some related pictures, hop over to Kathy’s blog and take a look at the Marriage Pillowe that she is test stitching for Phillipa.
Despite my hissy fit on Monday about missing out on stitching time, I have stitched most days this month and am still making good progress. I have now put in just under 70 hours on Floral Melody and at the end of last week reached one of my goal posts – I have completed all of the large motifs and started on the myriad small motifs. I’ve been itching to do some of these so it was quite difficult to persist with the larger motifs until they were done.
I have also made some progress with Chinese Flower, well good progress I suppose but I rather hoped to complete this by the end of the month and I fell well short of that target. I am really pleased with what I have done so far. I’ve completed the first two lessons and have already learnt a great deal from this on-line course but I think that the best is still to come.