Trevelyon’s Pocket – Setting up on my new trestles!

Sometimes my unconscious works quietly in the back ground…Thank goodness! As I was colouring in the thread colours on the first edited design,  I got to thinking about assembling the pocket. After folding and cutting copies of the design, I worked out that the pattern would have to be altered in order to fold it into thirds to make the pocket. Once that was finished, I redrew the pattern again and the colour was finished in no time. Below is a photo of “the plan”. Of course, as I work it is very likely to change!

For this piece I’ve set up on a small slate frame from Jenni-Adin Christie. (18 inches x 18 inches) I’m going to be moving back to the USA on February 2, 2018 and I’m pretty sure I won’t be finished with this piece by then. Maybe…but unlikely! So I needed to use a frame that is small enough to fit in my suitcase. This one is perfect!

I’m also using – for the first time!!!- my new M.R.S. Embroidery trestles. As you know, we visited Magda and her husband on our trip to England in October.

The trestles have been stored against the wall in the study, taking up very little space, since we got home. Today I put them together in under 5 minutes.

I laid one half of the trestle on it’s side and slid the on one foot. Each of the four feet are clearly marked so there is no question as to which foot fits on which trestle. (see below)

Next I inserted the screw into the hole and, using an Allen wrench (which is provided with the trestles) I joined the feet to the trestle.

As few turns was all it took and I could tighten them easily even withy relatively weak hands.

Because my slate frame is quite small, I have used two side bars from a large slate frame I have to make a place for the frame to rest on the trestle. My standard slate frame would fit perfectly and I wouldn’t need these cross pieces. Pieces of wood would work just as well.

So how do I like the trestles? I love them. They are sturdy and beautifully finished. The hand waxed finish means that the trestles are smooth and not sticky from varnish, something I don’t like about other wood products I’ve tried. It’s quick and easy to put the feet on and take them off. I’m going to make a little bag for the screws and the Allen wrench that hang around one of the legs so I don’t misplace the parts when they are dismantled.

These are trestles that I’ll used all the time. I have other stands that I like quite a lot, but now that I finally have a pair of trestles, I remember why I prefer trestles to other stands – they’re stable and sturdy. Nothing moves at all. No wiggles and no bumps. I can rest my arm on the slate frame (as long as I’ve covered the fabric with acid free tissue!) and I’m more relaxed when I embroider.

M.R.S.Embrodiery is a small – really tiny – company in one of the most remote areas of the UK. Everything is lovingly made by hand by two people and their production is very small. Magda and her partner, Nick, have produced something quite special and reasonably priced compared to the other trestles on the market. They certainly are an investment and not within the budget of everyone. They’re something you save for because you know you’ll use them all the time.

I’m looking forward to using mine every, single day!

To contact Magda about a pair of trestles, visit her Facebook page here.

If someone in your family – or a group of someones – is looking for the perfect gift for you for the holidays, you might want to leave them a hint…Ho!Ho!Ho!


Bayeux Tapestry – Opinion please!

I’m contemplating a second Bayeux Tapestry project. The more I read about the tapestry – and the history of that time – the more I want to stitch a new scene from the piece.

Looking through all the different images in one of the many books I have about the Bayeux Tapestry, I’m drawn to two different scenes, each one featuring horses. However, that’s where the similarity ends.

The first is rather formal, showing Guy and Harold mounted on their horses each holding their hawk. They are riding to meet William who will meet them half way and conduct Harold back to the palace at Rouen. The hawks look like they would be fun to embroider.

The other scene shows two horsemen riding (galloping at full speed it seems!) from William back to Guy asking for the release of Harold. The action in this scene appeals, as does their flying hair!

So, dear readers, which one would you like to see come to life? And why? What appeals to you about one scene over the other? Which one would you like to learn to embroider as a future course with a kit on With Threaded Needle?


Trevelyon’s Pocket: Design and Colour

I’ve been working hard on a new design for a miniature pocket, based on a design from Thomas Trevelyon. It’s unbelievable how much time it takes to draw, trace, edit, fix, erase, edit, redraw, copy, white out, redraw from an original to create a pattern that’s usable for us to stitch from. This is especially true when working in miniature, since a pattern that’s too crowded simply won’t work!

Here is what the original pattern from Trevelyon looks like.

And here is how it looks now that I’ve finished reworking it for embroidering in a much smaller area.

Here are all the Au ver a Soie D’Alger threads on the ivory silk fabric, including the gold passing thread I’ll be using. Just seeing them altogether makes me excited to get started!

I’ve decided on which colours I want to use but not where each colour will be used within the design. For that I will pull out my coloured pencils. I test each coloured pencil to see if the colour matches when the pencil is applied to the paper. Once I’ve found the best match, I make a note of which number pencil correlates to which number thread.

Then I lay them out as you see above, ready to experiment.  I always have a “whee of a time” colouring in the design! I usually do three of four different coloured designs before I find one I love and, even then, I often make adjustments as I stitch.

What do you think of the colours? Do you do the same kind of thing when designing a piece? Please leave a comment and share your process with us!