Crewel Work Retrospective: Part 2

As my joy in doing crewelwork increased, I naturally started to do pieces that used more difficult techniques – especially long and short shading. The piece below is designed by Shelagh Amor and comes from her  book entitled Crewel Embroidery. It’s a good book for beginners to crewel embroidery and has 11 different designs to embroider.

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When you look at the piece above, you can see that the laid and couched work isn’t as clean and measured as it could be. The long and short shading is coming along, but still has a long way to go.

The crewel work piece below is from a book by Virginia Churchill Bath, Embroidery Masterworks. In this book she gives the historic background of each design, photos of the original and suggestions for how to embroider the piece today. I chose the colours and the stitches for my Phoenix and, for the most part, was happy.

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This piece has small areas of long and short shading in the wing feathers and the the long, narrow tail feathers. The laid and couched work on the hillock is a bit better than in the Shelagh Amor piece.

Then, in the summer of 2011,  I was accepted into the RSN Certificate in Technical and Hand Embroidery and went to the UK to study.

Studying with Nicola Jarvis was both inspiring and challenging. I learned so much! My crewel work improved enormously and the skills I learned made me a far better embroiderer.

Laid and couched trellis work became more exacting. I learned how to pay attention to and create evenly spaced trellises.

My long and short shading got much better. I now thought of it as longer and shorter shading – or even, long and longer shading.

Spending the time taking this course was like adding “super, intense” hours towards my 10,000 hours. Having a tutor at my side, pointing out what to do and how to do it, really improved my stitching. At the end of the course, I realised…

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