The Unbroken Thread: slideshow photograph 1
The Unbroken Thread: slideshow photograph 2
The Unbroken Thread: slideshow photograph 3
The Unbroken Thread: slideshow photograph 4
The Unbroken Thread: slideshow photograph 5


Loveday Crewelwork Tudor Rose

I’ve  almost finished the crewelwork piece “Loveday”, by Nicola Jarvis.  However, before we have a show and tell of my progress, here’s a little something different.

This morning I took time to play around a bit in my workspace. School work is still overwhelming and it was important for me to do something that was without purpose or leading to a result. Using pages from a magazine called “Daphne’s Diary” (which is available in Germany I discovered!) I made pretty flowered bunting. Yesterday, Steve and I had hung up picture ledges on the wall between the huge windows next to my desk. These ledges give me space to put some of the things I make on display without them being on my worktable.

After the bunting was finished, I played around with my things, creating a pretty tableau to look at while I embroider or grade papers. It reminds me that my true self is creative, and, even though I need to do the drudgery for a while, that hasn’t made me a drudge!


Now, back to the wonderful progress I’ve made on the beautiful Loveday Crewelwork project!

The Tudor rose was the next motif I finished after the robin. The stitches used in the rose are chain stitch, padded and slanted, seeding, laid, couched trellis and couching.


Each of the petals of the rose are worked in chain stitch, starting with the dark red on the outside and the brighter red on the inside.


When the chain stitch was all finished, I outlined the centre with split stitch and padded it twice. I put the first padding stitches in the centre of the circle going in the same direction the final satin stitches will go. The second layer of padding stitches runs perpendicularly to the final satin stitches.


After the top layer of satin stitch was finished, I then added the dark hello/golden laid trellis over the top. Finally, I put in the small straight holding stitches and the centre of the rose was finished!


The small leaves in between each petal are worked in slanted satin stitch with the colours alternating between bright green and the lovely aqua blue. The large leaves are worked using exactly the same method as all the other leaves in this piece: slanted satin green leaves in the centre, light green seeding stitches in the white area next to the green leaves and edges couched with double thread. I just love the continuity the leaves give to the piece!

Next time, the very last leaf!

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Loveday 51-001

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Crewelwork Robin for Loveday

The crewelwork, red breasted robin is directly in the middle of the Loveday tree. Sitting proudly with his bright red and orange breast all puffed up, he’s a real show stopper!

Of course, the red breast is the part of the robin everyone will glance first so I wanted to stitch it as beautifully as possible.


I decided to place all my stitches ‘pointing’ to the center red dot, accentuating the concentric design. As always, I outlined each part of the motif with split stitch. I really think my satin stitch looks better when the edges are defined with split stitch. As I worked each ring of the breast, I had to tuck the beginning of some stitches behind the one next to it.

This means that, at the beginning of the stitch,  my needle would come up on the inside of the circle, just underneath the previous stitch and, at the end of the stitch, the needle go back down directly next to that previous stitch on the outside. By hiding the beginning of the stitch underneath the previous stitch I could accommodate the greater diameter on the outside without squeezing the stitch on the inside of the circle.



On the outside of the outermost circle the stitches got very small (see in the photo above). The trick here is not to crowd your stitches. Give the thread room to expand to fill the space, smoothing it down if necessary with your laying tool a little. Crowding the stitch will fill the space but it also prevents the thread from laying flat and produces an uneven surface.


The bottom of the robin is worked in the same way as the sparrow. Each of the small, dark brown areas is done with slanted satin stitch and the spaces in between filled with tiny seeding stitches.

The feathers at the top of the robin are worked in long and short shading and, I admit, this was the most fun. To work these small areas using shaded stitches, I filled just about all of the shape first with the lighter color of taupe. Then I had the freedom to put the darker stitches where I wanted them to be without worrying about a gap between the colors. I also used some very, very short stitches to go around the tight curves.


The finishing touches were the eye – complete with a white bead – the beak and the little feet grasping the branch on which he’s sitting.


The finish is getting ever closer and next time I’ll show you the leaf above our robin’s head.



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Loveday 51-001

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Fabulous Embroidery Tours

I received an email a few days ago letting me know about the tours planned by Phillipa Turnbull through The Crewelwork Company. You may remember I was able to join the first part of a Lady Anne’s Needlework Tour a few years ago and had a wonderful time!

The schedule of tours coming up over the next year looks fabulous, and if I weren’t a teacher whose holidays are dictated by the school calendar, I would begin saving my money right now so I could join one of these tours!



Here’s what’s on offer.

The Scottish Highlands Needlework Tour

20 June-1 July 2016 – See the wild North of Scotland and visit an abundance of Highland Castles. Starting and finishing in Edinburgh. Classes with Phillipa Turnbull and Meredith Willett. Fly to Edinburgh. £5,850.

Lady Anne’s Needlework Retreat

17-27 Sept 2016 – Our signature retreat starting and finishing in Appleby, Cumbria. Featuring the fabulous Muncaster Castle. Explore the Lake District and Scottish Lowlands. Classes with Phillipa, Meredith Willett & Jacqui Carey. Fly to Manchester. £5,500

Spring Residential Needlework Retreat

3-11 March 2017 – An intensive, workshop-focused residential retreat, staying near Lake Windermere in the beautiful English Lake District. Classes with Phillipa Turnbull, Jenny Adin-Christie and Nicola Jarvis. Fly to Manchester. £3,950

Four Nations Needlework Tour

15-30 June 2017 – Featuring castle visits and workshops in all four British nations. Starting and finishing in England. Classes with Phillipa Turnbull and Meredith Willett and guest tutors Nicola Jarvis & Jenny Adin-Christie. Fly to Manchester. £8,750


What’s included in the price? All of this!

• Tuition from first rate teachers

• All materials and instructions required for workshops

• Loan of all the necessary frames and equipment required for workshops

• All hotel accommodations for the stated duration of the tour, and all coach travel

• Meals as stated in the timetable

• All entry fees for castles, country houses, museums, and other special excursions

• Refreshments during workshops and lectures

Of course you’ll need to get to the relevant airport (Manchester or Edinburgh) but once you’ve arrived, your hotels, food and entertainment are all organised and paid for! I just LOVED knowing each day will be full of stitching, friends, great food and interesting places to see!

To download the brochure with all the details of the trips click on this link to The Crewelwork Company website.

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