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This week I’ve been stitching the ‘orange tree side’ of the Home Sweet Home workbox, by Carolyn Pearce.
First, I stitched the tree trunk and branches in Stem stitch, using five close shades of Appleton’s crewel wool.
The oranges are outlined in Split stitch, using one strand of Anchor stranded cotton.
Then, to pad the shape, I worked Satin stitch within the outline.
Then I added the top layer of Satin stitch, in the crosswise direction to the first layer. You can see, on the left hand orange, the two layers, as the top layer is being completed.
Finally, I worked the leaves in Fly stitch, using a variegated thread with lots of colour changes in it, which gave a lovely look to the leaves. The tiny end of each each orange was worked by adding a very small Cross stitch in dark brown Anchor stranded cotton. This picture looks very ‘William Morris-y’ to me!
I was pleased with how the bee in this panel came out. The one that I stitched on the emery block came out looking more vine weevil-like than bee-like. I like this one a lot better!
The basket of oranges on the ground is made by first padding the shape with a small piece of felt.
Then Appleton’s crewel wool is woven across the shape in the same way that I did for the beehive on the thread cutter cover.
The oranges in the basket are little orange seed beads. The organised part of me has trouble reconciling the fact that perspective has gone out of the window here – the oranges on the tree are huge compared with the oranges in the basket!
Lastly, I stitched the meadow flowers at the base of the tree, in a similar way to the other panels and smalls.
Pretty, isn’t it? But those two sizes of orange still bug me……
Now that the Gingerbread Stitching House is finished, I’m back to working on the spoolholder again.
Here is the side wall of the spoolholder from Carolyn Pearce’s Home Sweet Home Workbox book, with my embroidery completed. I found some tiny brass bee charms on Ebay (12 for £1.99), which were smaller than the ones suggested in the book, but more in scale for such a small item, I think, so I am very pleased with those.
Having finished the side wall, and having previously stitched the top and base, I now needed to assemble the whole thing. The instructions Carolyn Pearce gives in her book call for a decorative edging stitch around the top and bottom of the cylindrical spoolholder, called Knotted Pearl Stitch. I hadn’t come across this stitch before, so I practiced it first.
I worked the stitch much larger than I would use it on the spoolholder itself, to get the rhythm correct, and the spacing – then it would be easy to just ‘close up’ the distances between the stitches when I did it ‘for real’.
Coming up in the middle between two pencilled lines, I took a stitch from the top line to the bottom one, vertically.
Then, without piercing the fabric, I slipped the needle under the first small stitch, from right to left, making sure the end of the thread was under the needle.
Then I made that movement again, still making sure that the thread was under the needle.
When the thread was pulled snugly taut, it made a knot in the centre between the two pencilled lines. I then moved an eighth of an inch to the left, and took a stitch from the top pencilled line to the bottom one.
The small stitch just made became the starting point for the two wrapped loops to be made around it, constructing the second knot. Here is the first loop stitch:
And here is the second one:
Once you get a rhythm going, it is quite simple to do, and makes a nice raised band of knotted stitches.
On the spoolholder itself, I won’t need to draw two pencilled lines – I will just make sure that the top end of the vertical stitch is on one panel (e.g. the top round part) and the bottom end of the stitch is on the side wall each time, covering the seam. The ‘legs’ of the stitches will be made much shorter, so that really it will just look like a row of knots, more like Palestrina stitch.