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

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27 October 2008

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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Blogger Plays with Needles said...

Megan, this post made me super happy -- I loved seeing the progress pic of the entire sampler!! It's very striking!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008  
Blogger nina said...

totally loving this! beautiful...I've been reading my way through your blog for the last two days, I am completely riveted.

Monday, February 21, 2011  

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