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Elmsley Rose

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Elmsley Rose

31 October 2008

Historical Sampler- Butterfly II

Here’s the butterfly with the wings complete.

I like that I decided to make the back wings pale copper – they seem to ‘reflect’ and shimmer.


I was contemplating whether to make the body green and copper. I tried some green, and decided that it would make it TOO colourful – a more medieval colour scheme than an Elizabethan one.

So I did the body in the same blue as the wings, and the dark copper.

He got a red head in honour of the ‘fancy worms’ from the Plymouth Project.


I taught myself Ceylon stitch and started stitching the body.

Then I realized that I’d made a design mistake.

The gold stripe is supposed to be part of the body – I’d made the silk part of the body too wide. I contemplated making the ‘collar’ part next to the head wider so it would incorporate both the silk part and the gold part, but that would have made the body disproportionately thick.

As it was, it looked like he was sitting on a twig. (the photograph below)

So I decided to take out the Ceylon Stitching. (Hey, I’ve learnt it now, and I’ll certainly be using it later, tho I am disappointed not to end up using that aspect of the design shown in Lemon.)

The chain stitch on the head can be seen here. I initially used Lurex, but it cracked so much, letting a lot of the cotton core show through.

I re-did it in passing thread, which was a lot harder to work with, but looks a million times better.


So here’s the finished butterfly, with black outlining on the sections of his body, as per Lemon’s picture.



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27 October 2008

Historical Sampler – A Butterfly

Before embarking on a trellis stitch frenzy, I wanted to do a motif that would take a little bit of time, as a change from doing lots of little motifs with different stitches (ie the strawberries)


Although this is a good candidate for semi-detached work, I’m working the wings simply in satin stitch, because there are plenty of other semi-detached motifs to come.

Edit : The shape of the butterfly was taken from
(on the left front 'door' of the box)

The colours for the wings are taken from a butterfly in Plate 6 from Muriel Baker’s “The Art of Raised Embroidery”


The body is taken from plate 156 (page 110) of Jane Lemon’s “Metal Thread Embroidery” – a stumpwork piece from the V&A Museum.

The stripe down his nose, and the line under the body are in gold thread.

I think the body ‘compartments’ are in trellis stitch, but I’m going to do them in detached buttonhole stitch. Each one needs to be done separately with it’s own reverse chain stitch outline.

I’ll do the buttonhole stitch with a tight tension, to get good ground coverage.

I don’t know what stitch the gold threads are done in. I’ll have to sit down and compare some stitch diagrams to the picture. (unless someone could tell me?)


Here he is, so far. with a few adjustments in the outline of the body to match Lemon’s outline:


I had a look through pictures of various insects last night, and decided that appropriate colours for the body would be the dark copper I’ve already used (in the stripes for the wings) and an oxide green. I’m thinking about maybe doing the head in red, but we’ll see.

The dark copper I’ve used is more of an old gold. The snail isn’t too far away, with it’s dark copper body in raised stem stitch, and I didn’t want them to match.

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Historical Sampler – Harlequin and Metal on Silk Return Detached Buttonhole Strawberries

I listed the strawberries I planned to do in

but I changed my mind on several of them.

The lovely dusty pink one – well, I decided there was enough pink in the area, and I’ll do it on the other end of the sampler (where there is a similar group of strawberries).

I wasn’t quite comfortable doing the modern bullion knot strawberry, because I haven’t seen one like it in an extant example.

And as for the other bullion knot strawberry – well, by that time I was thinking about other strawberry designs, and I simply forgot about it! I’ll put it at the other end as well.

The Harlequin Strawberry


Not very helpfully, the reference beside this in my notes is a question mark. I’m pretty sure it came from the English Database of Embroidered Bookbindings, however, although I was unable to spot it when I just went and had a look.

This is my version :


I’m thinking of replacing the yellow seed stitches with yellow french knots, because they are rather hard to see at real size (the strawberry is about one cm square)

Having a look at the sepals in the original, (the one of the left) it looked like two threads had been used – a green and a yellow, which blended together rather well.

The green and the yellow I picked didn’t blend together too well, and I was unhappy, until I saw this :

pic_3a Man’s Cap, Early 17th C, Burrell Collection 29/135 (from Liz Arthur’s Embroidery at the Burrell Collection, 1600-1700)

Look at the strongly contrasting threads used in several places on the cap~!

Note that once again, there is only a single line of passing thread outlining the strawberry.

Metal on Silk Return, Detached Buttonhole Stitch Strawberry

I recently did a strawberry in Detached Buttonhole Stitch with Metal (Passing Thread) Return.

Jane Zimmerman says that you can do it the other way around – Metal on Silk Return, so I did.

Here you can see the Reverse Chain stitch outline, and the silk Returns (YLI silk)


The photo below doesn’t show the buttonhole stitching at all well because of the reflection of the gold, but there are better photos of it below.

I didn’t use a chain stitch ground as I did with the other strawberry, and didn’t have problems with knots slipping (since the metal thread was used for the knots here, not the Returns)

The only hard thing was the tension – pulling the knots evenly and tight. I used Lurex. I was thinking that passing thread would be a bit too stiff.


So here’s the strawberries all together :


There is one strawberry left undone. This is because I want to learn Trellis Stitch next, and plan to do it in that, as well as a couple of the other motifs nearby.

And here’s the completed part of the sampler, so far : (slightly out of focus)


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26 October 2008

A Bunch of Poppies - Finished

This piece was finished ages ago, and sent off to it’s recipient.

I forgot to take a photo before I sent it, and poor Kit has been in hospital.

Here it is now :

She’s going to get it framed when she can :-)

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22 October 2008

Historical Sampler – Another Trefoil



For some reason, on the first section – which points downwards to the right - I did my stitching from the outside to *follow the outline*, rather than pointing inwards to the centre. (It should be visible on close-up)

This gave quite a different look to the rest of the split stitching, which I did pointing in towards the centre.

Looking at the original image


the stitching was either horizontal to the leaf (top section), or pointed inwards (right and bottom sections).

I haven’t looked this closely at many leaf images, but from what I have seen, I’d say that following the outline is an incorrect ‘look’.

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20 October 2008

Historical Sampler – Lattice and Multi-Coloured Detached Buttonhole with Metal Return Strawberries

I put some little chain stitch sepals on the rasberry pink Cascade Thread split stitch strawberry.

I really should do the sepals *first*, as that gives me the maximum room to work with them. Not having room has been causing me problems in embroidering them.

Lattice Strawberry

Next I created a latticed strawberry.

I satin stitched the strawberry in YLI red,

laid a diamond lattice in Lurex,

couched down the lattice intersections in No. 1 Jap Gold (which gave invisible couching stitches)

embroidered the sepals in satin stitch, going horizontally across each sepal

outlined in Super Pearl Purl :


When I did the outlining, I left a little gap for that sepal that overlaps the strawberry a bit.

I’ve found that in placing the Purl, it’s easier to hold it in place with my fingers then do the *second* couching stitch which anchors it in place. Then go back to do the first couching stitch, which needs to go somewhere *exactly* (eg the starting point at the top edge of the strawberry)

Detached Buttonhole with Metal Return

I’d experimented with this method before, with the second bud of “A Rose and Two Buds”

I’d thought my problem was the number of return threads used over the area, and had been adjusting that.

This is my attempt on the actual piece (left for further working on) :



Zimmerman says “This variation…can be made dense enough for full fabric coverage”.

Well – I wasn’t getting anything close to full coverage! I found the buttonhole stitches were slipping around all over the place as I worked, making it very difficult.

(I commented in another entry that I’d tried Passing Thread and found that I could lay it as Return Threads successfully. I didn’t change them to Lurex because traditionally they did it on Passing Thread so I should be able to as well and Lurex would not necessarily be any less slippery)

In creating the next strawberry, I was able to successfully do this stitch – given that it had an extra step.

Multicoloured Strawberry with Detached Buttonhole Stitch with Metal Return

The instructions for this strawberry were taken from “Elizabethan Festive Creations” by Shirley Holdaway.

I’m not going to enumerate the instructions step by step, but I will show what made the difference.

Shirley puts down a foundation layer of chain stitch before laying the Return Threads


(I find that the passing threads refuse to be straight. I maneouvre them into place with a needle before embroidering on each one)

I found this foundation layer to make all the difference! It was much much easier to control the detached buttonholing on the Passing Thread.

A feature of this strawberry is that it used two threads pf two different colours at a time. (Is it sad that I found that exciting?


In the future I think I will use just one thread for this type of buttonholing. I think two threads provided a little *too* much coverage and hid too much of the glitttering Passing Thread Returns.

This is a photo of Jane Zimmerman’s Detached Buttonhole with Metal Thread Return (page 20 of “The Art of Elizabethan Embroidery”) (Each petal in done in a different method)


You can see that the Metal Return threads are far more visible. (She doesn’t say how many strands to use)

The outline in Super Pearl Purl on my strawberry helps the Returns stand out a bit.


The sepals were done in Vandyke stitch. I find this gives neater sepals than using satin stitch horizontally, but I feelit doesn’t give as  much historical character.

For the pink parts of the strawberry, I used Splendor Filament silk. The rest was YLI silk. I lost some of the effect of the green combined with the pink Splendor because the Splendor is much thicker, and much nicer. YLI turns out looking like DMC, I think. It’s worth investing in the more expensive silk threads, although I can’t afford much Filament Silk!

The difference will be visible between them, in the layer of red (YLI) and the bottom layer of pink (Splendor) in close up.

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17 October 2008

Historical Sampler – French Knot Strawberry again, and a Trefoil

I mentioned a couple of posts ago that I was laying a base of stitches for my two-coloured french knot strawberry before satin stitching over the top of it.

This is because if the strawberry is simply satin stitched, the French Knots ‘fall through’ the stitches and you can’t see them very well.

I’ve used a couched lattice on *top* of the satin stitching before to prevent this happening, and that works fine.

This time I thought I’d try a padded layer underneath.

And it worked fine as well!


Yesterday I did one of the trefoils, since I had the teal thread out.

I just love it.


The colours are done as per the original.

The original was done in satin stitch, but because there were so many colours I wanted some dense stitches to really get some colour intensity going on this small motif, so I used split stitch.

Plymouth does it’s trefoils in detached buttonhole stitch, but no way was I going to do this (it fills a square of 2cm by 2cm, and has all those colours). I would have gone nutty, changing colours and dropping and adding stitches.

I did the centre vein in Lurex.

I did the leaf veins in one strand of metallic Madeira thread.

And then outlined in Super Pearl Purl.

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16 October 2008

Historical Sampler – Cascade House Lame Silk Thread and the French Knot Shaded Strawberry

Paula asked in a comment in my last post what the stitchability of the Cascade House Lame Silk thread was like.

I commented that it was pushing it to use on 32 count linen (it’s thick), and also that it had a sort of ‘woolly’ character about it.

You can see the ‘wolliness’ in this photo of the back of the work in the cut ends at the back of a blossom :-


(For comparison, there’s the polyester thread in yellow next to it)

I’ve finished the strawberry in two colours, with French Knots over the top. I thought it was interesting because the Knots of the alternate colour encroach on the other colour’s part of the strawberry.

I did the sepals in teal YLI – that will match in with one of the trefoils, and is what is shown in the original image.

I did them in satin stitch – as per the original. I think Vandyke stitch would have been neater.

I tried doing the stitch vertically, but couldn’t get the shapes looking pointy within the space I had – so I went horizontal instead.


Looking at the outline, it looks like it was outlined in a *single* line of passing thread.

So – in spite of the rule that double lines of passing thread were used, I wonder if just single threads were used in the case of small objects? (Ok, the evidence is before my eyes, but I’ve never read of it)

I wasn’t brave enough to outline my sepals – the satin stitches were only over 2 or 3 threads of linen, and the Super Pearl Purl I used would have overpowered them, as well as being enormously fiddly.



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15 October 2008

Historical Sampler - Strawberries

I’m behind in my blogging – here’s a catchup.

I’ve been working on the strawberry section.

Firstly, I did the blossoms :-


I wanted to try out the Cascade House Silk Lame thread I had. This is silk thread with a little gold thread wound through it.

The two large blossoms :

I chose the second thread from the left in the photo. 


I stripped the thread because it was a bit too thick. I used one strand to put down a padding in satin stitch.

I then put down one of those tiny tiny sequins that I have as a centre for each blossom. Normally, I’d do the centre last, but these were so small I wanted to make sure that the centre was correct met up with by the stitches.

I put one of them a bit off centre, resulting in the end with a bit of an unsymmetrical blossom. Oh well, it’s charasmatic!

I then did the petals in satin stitch.

The small blossoms :

I made these from French Knots, with a centre of DMC in yellow (another French Knot)

I’m not hugely impressed with the Cascade House thread. I originally picked it up as a cheap alternative to the Gilt Sylke Twist, but it’s absolutely nothing like it. Hardly a gold sparkle to be seen.

It also didn’t like being stripped very much.

Braid Stitch Strawberry


This strawberry appears in “”Exploring Elizabethan Embroidery”

I don’t want to go step by step through it here, because it’s directly from the book.

I used several strands of DMC, and I shouldn’t have.

Picking up the correct number of threads for each “braid” was just about impossible, so some are uneven. (And this was the second attempt).

It would have been great if I had some Perle cotton to do this in, as the book suggested. I don’t have anything that is non-stranded. The YLI silk is very loosely twisted – I don’t think it would have been any better.

I did the sepals in Vandyke stitch because there was no room for the multiple chain stitching and interlaced chain stitching suggested; and the tiny ‘fur’ of the strawberry in DMC Fil D’or. I must get some more – it’s really handy to have around for little details like this.

I worked on this simultaneously with a Cascade House Split Stitch Strawberry


I used the third thread along in the photo of the Cascade threads. It’s a lot pinker in use than it appears in the hank. You can see some glimmers of gold over the larger area.

I chose Split Stitch because I wanted a really dense stitch to try and get an effect from the Cascade House stitch.

I outlined in in Super Pearl Purl.

I did want to do picots as the sepals for this strawberry. I should have done them first. I found it impossible to insert a pin with the Purl there.

I will have to decide what sepals to add in – some very small ones because I have no room to maneuvre! Maybe just some satin stitch ones.

Currently working :


I  intend to do the two trefoils as shown in the image.

I’ve just started on the strawberry to the right.


To try and stop the French Knots from disappearing down between the Satin Stitches, I’ve laid down a base in the appropriate colours.

I’ll satin stitch over the top in the same colours, and the add the French knots.

If this doesn’t work, I’ll do it again, couching the satin stitches in a lattice and do the French Knots on top of the lattice – something I found that worked when doing my Elizabethan bookcover.

Other strawberries I want to add

I want to do the strawberry at the top of the image above – banded in satin stitch, and then a lattice couched in gold.

strawberry_4 copy

(I’ve lost the reference to this one. It’s from a piece in the V&A. I changed many of the references to TinyUrl’s – and now they don’t work *cry*). I’ll learn to do bullion stitches when I do this one.


I just love Dusty Rose – what can I say? Funny leaves for a strawberry though!


One of the above for the tiny strawberry. I’ll get to do some picots, too.


This one is from Festive Elizabethan Creations, by Shirley Holdaway. It’s done in detached buttonhole stitch, but is interesting because two threads of different colours are used in each stitch.

Strawberry Sepals

On my travels, I’ve gathered quite a few different methods in which Strawberry Sepals can be done :

I think needlewoven picots look the best on large strawberries, and detached chain on small ones. i think drizzle stitch would be to twirly. (the one i do twirl!). You could also do needle woven bars. but they are fairly narrow, so i dont think they would look as good as the picots.

  • Carmen of Stitchin’ Fingers added on 21 August 2008 at 12:18am

In one my books I believe they used a felt base and encrusted red beads. They did it for blackberries too. Dreaming Quilts : )

  •  AnnieB of Stitchin Fingers added on 21 August 2008 at 2:50am

I would use French knots or colonial knots on smaller ones at least.

Thankyou to the above people :-)

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9 October 2008

Historical Sampler - Cordonnetes

A cordonnete is a laid thread support frame that supports a piece of fully detached or semi detached needlelace piece in it’s making, such as the petals I’m doing for my dusty pink rose. (They are fully detached)

It is couched with sewing thread on top of a needlelace pad. A needlelace pad consists of 2 layers of muslim, tracing paper with the design traced upon it, then (usually described) a layer of contact.

Only the cordonnete is sewn *through* the needlelace pad.

The filling stitch thread is wrapped around the cordonette at the beginning and end of each line (and started and finished by running it through the cordonnete thread), rather than piercing the needlelace pad.

The needlelace is cut free from the needlelace pad when finished and the couching stitches that attached the cordonnete to the needlelace pad picked out.

I have 4 different authors describe the process in books that I own. I’ve compared and contrasted their descriptions below.


I found “Stumpwork Figures” by Kay and Michael Dennis to have the simplest instructions for the beginner.

They show each of the steps i.e.:

  • how to make the needlelace pad,
  • how to make a cordonnete,
  • two filling stitches (brussels/buttonhole stitch and brussels/buttonhole stitch with return), and
  • finishing the needlelace piece – which consists of top stitching the piece in buttonhole stitch and releasing it from the needlelace pad.

in step by step photographs.

They also show a rather complicated cordonnete as ones of their projects – a pair of fairy wings.

Notes : They say to place the stitches to secure the cordonette 3mm apart.

They also say to use crochet thread for the cordonette.


The Art of Elizabethan Embroidery by Jane Zimmerman is much wordier and initially more difficult to understand. Looking at diagrams from another of the authors’ books would help explain the process

Notes : Ms Zimmerman says to use a thread of equal weight to that used for the filling stitches for the cordonnete.

: says to use “a sturdy, utilitarian fabric in a seperate hoop” for the needlelace pad. (Contact is used by other authors to help the needle slide)

: to space the couching stitches that lay the cordonette at the width of the filling stitches (not 3mm, like the Dennis’ book). I think this is a good idea, since otherwise you are doing your first (and last) rows of filling stitches onto a plain line of thread. (normally you have some kind of loop in the outline to ‘hook onto’ when using the buttonhole etc stitches)

: uses an extra step (the cordonette is overcast with stitches to stabilise it before the filling stitches are started – something I think is a good idea since I’ve been working on the Dusty Pink Petals and had the cordonnete deform in shape somewhat as tension is placed upon it by the stitches).

: doesn’t say to top stitch the edges of the needlelace (done in buttonhole stitch in the Dennis’ book to produce a ‘neat and tidy edge’. There’s another reason to do it, but I’ll get into that in a minute)

: describes the technique of semi-detached needlelace.

New Designs in Raised Embroidery – Ray and Barbara Hirst

I found these instructions to be very similar to the Dennis instructions, although briefer and far fewer photos.

As a stumpwork book in general I’d choose Hirst, but in beginning needlelace I’d look at Dennis.

The Hirsts do introduce another concept here though – flying needlelace.

This is where wire is either initially couched down with the cordonnete thread, or is buttonholed over the edges before removing the piece from the needlelace pad.

Notes : They don’t say what weight of thread to use as the cordonnete thread, nor how far apart to place the couching stitches.

They recommend pvc/oil cloth products, rather than contact as the top layer of the needlelace pad.

Raised Embroidery – A Practical Guide to Decorative Stumpwork – Ray and Barbara Hirst

This contains the basic instructions again, but then takes the reader onto some more advanced forms.

It describes making semi-detached needlelace pieces but calls it “lace mounted on wire” or “wire stitched to the edge of the lace”. I think the description in Zimmerman is more thorough.

It provides some additional basic hints, not provided in “New Designs” that are helpful.

It shows (substitute “detached buttonhole”, that’s the description I’m used to), corded, single, double and treble brussels stitch (these stitches are also described in Zimmerman in the general stitch descriptions, as well as many other filling stitch variations)

It also describes the addition of pin and loop picots to the edge of the neeedlelace, and using a spiral cordonette


Notes : Again, a thread suitable for use as the cordonnete nor couching stitch distance aren’t mentioned. Weird. Or perhaps I’m blind.

Choosing between the two Hirst books for this purpose, I’d choose the second. It has more information.

Elizabethan Needlework Accessories – Sheila Marshall

describes the making of exactly what I’m making – a multiple layer flower with fully detached petals.

The description of how to go through the process is clear (clearer than the Hirsts’ or Zimmerman)

The cordonnete patterns for a flower with separated and non-separated flowers are provided.

Interestingly, this is the only book that describes how to turn sharp corners when making the cordonnete

Notes : Wiring isn’t mentioned, but oversewing with buttonhole stitch is. The author suggests oversewing the edges with a metallic thread to add stiffness but I think (IMHO) this is a modern innovation.

The suggested cordonnete thread is Coton A Broder.

Jane Nichols also describes making fully detached needlelace pieces in her books – but they are all done simply on a foundation of wire, and the long ends of the wire are inserted through the ground of larger piece – a bit of a different process.

So – in conclusion IMHO

  • Dennis for the rank beginner who is a bit scared (like I was)
  • A Practical Guide by the Hirsts *and* Zimmerman for general use and reference
  • Elizabethan Accessories to see how to make a multi-layered flower.

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Historical Sampler – Dusty Pink Rose

I said that I’d have a go at the first layer of detached rose petals :


The first petal took me about 6 hours.

The second petal will take 2 hours. I’ve done the tension must more loosely and I haven’t had the problems with knots that I’ve had.

I hope that the enlarged photo will show the difference, and the nice row of loops on the bottom of the second petal, still in progress.

A couching stitch gave way at the top left corner of the second petal so I’m temporarily using a pin to keep the curve in place. (You can see the round pin head there)

I’m a bit concerned that the mid and dark colours match too closely.

This photo shows the second petal completed. It’s a bit out of focus :


When I’ve finished all of the petals I’ll do some more work in the centre to make it a bit rounder, or maybe I won’t. There’s lot of stretch at those two light pink bases – I may be able to ‘stretch’ to fit the centre circle. We’ll see.

I think I’ve got the hang of it now, and can move onto that other embroidery I need to do (the strawberries etc) and save the rest of the dusty pink rose for after Christmas.

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4 October 2008

Historical Sampler - Plans

I’ve been talking to the very kind folks on Stitchin’ Fingers, and once more I owe thanks to



Grace Lister, and


They have been talking about the difficulty of continuing with the other embroidery around the dusty rose once it’s raised petals have been put in. My thread will keep catching on the petals, and drive me crazy (and possible degrade the thread as well?)

So I have developed a plan.

This is where I explain why I never talk about my personal life in my blog (ah, revelation of the mysterious Elmsley Rose!).

I have a neurological disease with neuropathic pain (nerve pain) which keeps me 90% housebound and from doing any housework except the lightest things.

It explains why I’ll do heaps of embroidery, and then suddenly there will be nothing for days or weeks – because I’m going through a bad period.

Now, I happen to know that I have a bad period coming up. I’m moving house at Christmas. I won’t be able to do any embroidery for maybe months.

Then I’ll slowly get better, and be able to do ‘easy’ embroidery. Then I’ll be back to my normal self.

So – I thought I’d do one set of petals of the dusty rose on the separate frame now, so I learn how to cope with a cordonette now, and then leave the rest as “easy” work for when I’m recovering some time after Christmas.

For now, I need to do all of the embroidery that the petals could possibly catch my thread.

Here’s that end of the sampler :



  • the leaves outside the rose
  • the strawberries
  • the scrolling vine

I don’t currently know how I’ll do the leaves. I’m thinking of the leaves shown in A-Z of Goldwork (the simply *wonderful* new book I have, recently reviewed by Mary Corbet) or maybe some other method. I have decided embroidery methods for most motifs on my design, but not these.

I have heaps of ways to do leaves – I just have to decide.

The strawberries will be done in a plethora of different methods. There are the strawberry blossoms as well.

The scrolling vine – at the moment I’m thinking to do it in Ceylon Stitch. (And leave a special part of it for the Plaited Braid Stitch). I need to learn the stitch, and experiment with doing it at the width of the scrolling vine I’ve drawn in.

There’s also the second bud of “A Rose and Two Buds”. I’ve been experimenting with “Detached Buttonhole with Metal Thread Return” (you can see it in the photo) both on my doodle cloth and on the sampler. I’m not quite happy with the sampler version. The Return is done in Passing Thread, which has worked well. I’m just not sure whether the buttonholing is tight enough.

I’ll be talking about all of these things in greater detail – let’s see how far I get before Christmas. After Christmas, I’ll change to the ‘easy work’ for awhile and then finish the more difficult work listed just above, and finally, attach the rose petals, completing that corner of the sampler.

The flower vertically down from the rose is intended to be done in split stitch – I also intend that as ‘easy work’.

A large part of why I want to do a layer of petals (‘easy work’) now is because I’ve not been very well lately – a good time to do something I don’t have to think too much about – which is why I decided upon doing the Dusty Pink rose now in the first place.

Thankyou again to those who provided me with advice – they have saved me a lot of frustration later on. :-)

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2 October 2008

Historical Sampler – Dusty Pink Rose

dusty_pink_rose_full appears at

labelled “1670 stumpwork panel”

The entire piece is shown at

I’m doing the dusty pink rose.


I think, from looking at pictures of extant embroideries that sometimes a satin stitch or shaded long and short stitch base was done on the ground under the needlelace layers of petals, and sometimes it wasn’t.

It’s hard to see if there is a stitched base on this piece but I’m doing one, since the outline marked in pen would otherwise be visible.

There are 5 pointed picots as sepals between each petal.

It has 4 layers of fully detached needlelace (which I’ll do in detached buttonhole stitch with return) and a purl centre.

The petals stand up from each other. They’ve been wired.

I would like to thank the following people for advice on this :

Baroness Eowyn Amberdrake (SCA)

Mary Corbet of


Grace Lister,

Celeste and


thefour last being from the Stitchin’ Fingers group.

Romilly referred me to the article

Elizabethan Raised Embroidery by

Branyen Madyn Wallis

regarding wire work being done as early as the 1400’s!

For the moment, I’m working on the base

Here’s the outline split stitched in.


There are two circles in the middle. The space between them is the space I’ll use to attach the edges of 4 layers of petals.

The following photograph shown one petal 2/3 done. It shows the lines I’ve drawn in on each petal, indicated about where I should change shades, (I’m using 3 shades of YLI dusty pink), and the directional lines of thread I’ve put in for the final layer of long and short stitches for the first petal.


Two base petals completed :


I’ll do the picots (sepals) before starting on the detached petals. I don’t want the petals getting in the way if I put the picots in last.

I’ll be writing next not only about the joys of pointed picots (which I have to learn how to do) but all about fully detached needlelace and cordonnets.

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