22 May 2012

who doesn't love puppies?

scotties towel

I found this sweet peach-colored linen towel recently at an antique mall. The bottom edge features two dogs (Scotties, maybe) embroidered in brown and white using very small cross stitches—almost, but not quite, petit point.

You can probably figure out the design yourself—it's pretty simple—but I made it into a charted pattern for you. Click through to the Flickr page for a larger version.


20 May 2012

embroidery exhibit

If you live in Pennsylvania you might want to check out a new exhibit at the Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley. Opening today and running through the end of August, the exhibit is titled "Flora and Fauna: Needlework Landscapes," and features the Embroiderer's Guild of America (EGA) America the Beautiful tapestry, a five-panel tapestry with plants, birds, and animals.
Also shown will be the original Redwork Coverlet (circa 1895) as well as a reproduction sewn by the Lehigh Valley chapter of the EGA, that will be raffled off on the last day of the exhibit. Both versions feature 64 redwork blocks embellished with red feather stitching.

Accompanying these main items will be needlework featuring landscape and nature themes from the museum's permanent collection, including 18th and 19th century textiles, embroidered kimonos, and Victorian era silks and towels.

This is just a few hours drive for me so I'm going to try to make it there some time in the next couple of months. I'll report back!

Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley, 31 North 5th Street, Allentown, PA 18101 (610) 432-4333. Hours are Tuesday-Saturday 11-5, Sunday 12-5. Admission $12

19 May 2012

alternate (or double) stem stitch

One of my readers emailed me to ask about a stitch called double stem stitch. And I checked all my embroidery books and didn't come up with anything. But many stitches are called by different names depending on where they originated and are used, so I think I may have found it but named alternate stem stitch. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

So, as a quick refresher, stem and outline stitches are done the same way except that stem stitch holds the thread below the needle (diagrams 1 and 2) and outline above (3). Alternate stem stitch is going to use both of these methods combined.

Work along a line as for stem stitch but, instead of holding the thread below the needle for every stitch, hold it alternately below for the first stitch (ABC), above for the second (CDB), below for the third (EGF) and so on. See the first diagram (4).

The second diagram (5) shows what happens when you work two rows closely together. Start the second row at "a", holding the thread above for the first stitch, below for the second, etc.

Diagrams from Stitches with Variations: A Handbook of Basic Stitches by Jacqueline Enthoven. ©1976 Sunset Designs. Many thanks to Patricia in NJ (my 'personal shopper') for sending me the book!