I can't believe it's almost two weeks since the last post. Tempus fugit, no? (That's 'time flies' for anyone with even less Latin than me!!) Anyway, although I decided to give myself a bit more time to complete the hardanger cushion cover, it's not got stalled over much and is still coming along well.
First of all, I completed the embroidery by adding in some filling stitches. Here you can see square filet in most of the filled squares and some spider's webs in the others. I used #8 pearl cotton for the square filet and #12 for the webs as planned and it looks fine.
Next, all the materials for the backing and finishing came out. I had most of them in stock already, and had only bought the ribbon trim from an 'end of roll' 50p bargain bucket! The yellow fabric is too thin to make a backing on its own, so I added in some old, cream cotton stuff as an extra layer there.
And then I laid them together to see how they looked
Finally, I got the machine out (yes, really!), and got on with the assembly. Here you can see it as it stands just now, only needing the zip inserting. I would have done this last week as planned, but the 12" (30cm) zip I had in stock was really too long and too awkward to fit in, so I went and bought a 10" (25cm) one yesterday.
Kate asked my how I kept my working fabric straight and taut whilst embroidering. Well, I use R&R craft frames, sometimes also Q Snaps and, of course, old fashioned wooden hoops at times. For this project I used the 14" R&R frame. These are a British made tool and come in 6", 9", 11", 14" and 17", whereas the US made Q-snaps are on sale in 8", 11" and 17" (I think - don't own this last size). All except the 6" R&R frame come to pieces and can be used to make up rectangles as well as squares. The two types of product are incompatible though, so, whereas I could create the 11"x17" frame I'm using for my current sampler work from my R&R frames, and have done 8"x11" with my Q-snaps, I can't do a 8"x14" using one of each. They're usually used for counted thread work, but I've often used them for surface work as well as I find they do hold fabric tight enough for that and sometimes the sizes are just far more convenient than a circle. Hope that helps.
Good news: Subject to a final financial 'review' in about 6 weeks, I should be joining back in with a City & Guilds Embroidery class from mid-September!=) I'll be 'dropping back' to level 2 this time as it's less work and I want to do the Stumpwork syllabus alongside (the teacher has agreed to 'tick the boxes' for me). Also, it gives me a chance to learn a few new things more slowly and, as it's only a one-year course, if I've had enough by the end of that, I can leave with a full certificate. So, I'm looking forward to that very much! I liked the whole style of my old place better, but after a really good chat with the local teacher at her students' exhibition yesterday, I think I can work quite happily in this arrangement. Nothing's ideal anyway and I had trouble seeing how the old classes satisfied some elements of the syllabus too. Whilst most of the pieces looked more contemporary than suits my taste at this new place, the teacher said we have freedom to be ourselves, so I hope to be more 'pictorial' in my samples and pieces than most are. We'll have to see how it develops.
Non-stitching news is that I've also been invited to help out with a new textbook on English-Chinese translation for final year degree students. I'll be proof-reading the English - which means more than just checking grammar, it's also checking 100% correspondence with the Chinese text and also making comments on the actual content. I'm really excited about this one. I'll have my name in a language textbook in the acknowledgements section - yippee!!=) To be honest, I'd rather do this than make kits....
Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2012