Strawberries and Raspberries

I have been embroidering strawberries and raspberries over the past few weeks, sketched in a hurry in my embroidery class in order to learn stitches (as a substitute for a more formal sampler).  The small embroidery is almost finished and via it I have learnt three types of chain stitch (straight, twisted and detached), blanket stitch and a stitch related to blanket stitch where the looped together line goes down the centre (possibly Cretan stich?), running stitch –  straight and whipped, backstitch, bullion knots and french knots. 

I think my favourite is the raspberry edged with bullion knots and filled in with French knots – suggested by my teacher Isobel – I will certainly be using that idea again! (Its the raspberry near the centre)  The bullion knots may sometimes be a bit too spikey rather than rounded, but it’s a lovely effect. 

I also had fun trying to work out how to make my baby strawberries look as if they were still green at the tip…my first attempt was in blocks of colour and it was only when I overstitched so that some of the red showed through the green that it really worked.

For my next project I am going to embroider on felt.  I bought some silk and alpaca yarn in beautiful colours from our favourite little teashop in Keswick, Temporary Measure.  It is soft as soft and really meant for knitting, but I am hoping that it will work well on the felt…I thought a thicker thread might look better.  However, having seen some amazing embroidery by Jane and May Morris in the Pre Raphaelites Exhibition at the Tate recently, which uses both wool and silk threads, I am reserving judgement until I’ve tried….

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4 thoughts on “Strawberries and Raspberries

  1. thats a lot of different stistches – I’m used to working with early medieval techniques where the most you use on one thing is three different ones.

    are you planning to make i t into something ocne it’s finsihed?

    • My teacher asked me that too!! To be honest I was just doing it to learn stitches but it is quite pretty… I’ll have to think about it. I’m not a big one for pictures just for their own sake. I hope in future I will be using the embroidery to decorate slippers or bags or hats…

      What stiches were particularly used in the medieval world??

      • depends on the period. stem is probably the oldest embroidery stitch – used a a fill as well as outlining, then split and laid and couched go pretty much all the way through as well. surface and underside couching for goldwork are fairly standard, although underside seems to be the more recent of the two. most of the counted stitches seem to be far more popular on the continent until you get into the c16th, when you start getting a lot of needlepoint and balckwork in this country. generally speaking if you look at english embroidery its rare to get more than two or three stitches used in a single piece of embroidery prior to the tudor period.

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