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Historical Sampler - Strawberries

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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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Blogger The Chilly Hollow Needlepoint Adventure said...

Linda Kay Reinmuller has instructions on making perle threads from floss on her website. It might get you out of a jam sometime, although I have to confess I don't quite understand what I'm doing.

I like your strawberry a lot. This is fun to watch so keep up the good work.

Thursday, October 16, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the strawberries are coming along well. i am always amazed at the amount of research you do...
i recall you not being very impressed with the lame thread - how did it stitch up?

Thursday, October 16, 2008  
Blogger Elmsley Rose said...

Chilly Hollow (it's Jane, isn't it?)

Thankyou so much! And it's got making braid from metallic thread too - I'm sure that'll come in useful.

My brain did melt a bit on skimming it!

Paula - I wasn't impressed with the amount of glitteriness of the lame silk.
To sew with, it's certainly as thick a thread I'd want to use on 32 count. It's got a bit of a woolly feel to it and will stick a bit in the ground (probably coz it's a bit too thick for it). Didn't have unusual problems with knots.

Thursday, October 16, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This site:

will let you change a tinyurl back to a normal one.

It's a bit rough, but it's somewhere to start I guess.

Thursday, October 16, 2008  
Blogger The Chilly Hollow Needlepoint Adventure said...

Yes, it is Jane here. Should have said. Linda Reinmuller is a great lady so if you have questions, email her. I think there might be a video on her website now, too. Let me look....

Ok, click on Classes, then Published, then Techniques. No video, though. Sorry. Email LKR at if you are confused and tell her I suggested you ask for help.

Jane, waving from Chilly Holler

Friday, October 17, 2008  
Blogger Elmsley Rose said...

Anonymous - thankyou!!! That's brilliant!! I'll have a go and see if I can get the original links back.
It's only the V&A ones that I've had trouble with - but I have a lot of images from the V&A!!!

Jane - thanks for offering to provide a reference for me :-). I appreciate it.

Friday, October 17, 2008  

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