Necessity and invention…

Remember that saying “Necessity is the mother of invention”? I know it’s true and today I had to put it into practice.

I’m making a book mark as a gift for some one I know who is a voracious reader! In fact, he has a HUGE pile of books next to his chair in the living room.

Transferring the design onto the fabric, I decided to use a long narrow piece of linen since the design is long and narrow – like a bookmark. I knew I would mount it on a frame and I DIDN’T MEASURE the length of the fabric to see if it was long enough for the length of the frame. Of course it wasn’t! Measure twice cut once. I know better but I was in a hurry to get started, I was tired of the tedious job of setting up new projects, I was hungry, I didn’t have time…the excuses are many and all as ridiculous as “The dog ate my homework!” excuse from a student. I was just careless. Period. And…I could use some more frames that are between 11 – 15 inches so I can have more than one project on the go…:-)

So, here I was, faced with a dilemma.

Did I take the fabric off the frame and use a hoop or call on the Mother Of Invention? I didn’t have to call – she appeared! Remembering the pictures I’d seen of fabric bound to frames using thread, I tried it and it worked.  I wouldn’t recommend a combination of tacks and thread when attaching fabric to a frame, but in a pinch it seems to be working fine.

Why didn’t I use a hoop? Because the design is linear and needs to be kept straight as I stitch. My hoop isn’t large enough so I would be moving the fabric in the hoop as I worked and I was worried that it would twist or lie unevenly at some point and cause the stitching to be wonky. (wonky – not straight, out of kilter, off balance)

The design elements for the bookmark come from the fantastic book Ricamo Estense by Elisabeth Holzer Spinelli. Her designs are based on the Graffito ceramics from Ferrara, Italy. The book is full of great ideas. My favorites, though, are the richly textured borders. I’ll be using two of these borders combined for the bookmark.

The thread she suggests using is called Ritorto Fiorentino or Pearl Cotton #8. I’ll be using pearl cotton #8 because they are threads I already have!

Time to get back to stitching!

4 thoughts on “Necessity and invention…

  1. I cannot believe that last night I was looking around the WWW and at that exact stitchery of Estense Embroidery!!!

    What you did is indeed inventive! Thank you for sharing so much with us!!

    You are much appreciated — and admired.

    Gentle as you go,

  2. Thank you so much for your insight, each blog is so helpful and
    interesting. I will need to start collecting books on Embroidery. I have a book on needlepoint that I enjoy. “The Ehrman Needlepoint Book”.

    Gisela – Omaha NE.

  3. I have learned from some teachers to tack my fabric on the two short sides of the embroidery. Fabric should be left short of either side by an inch or so (for example, if stretcher bars are 9 x 11, cut fabric to 7 x 11), and then lace the long sides using a U-shaped stitch (for more even tension without added stress on the fabric threads) and wrapping around the stretchers on each side. Use a pencil or laying tool or whatever is at hand, even a large needle, to go back and tighten up the lacing at the sides, and then with a slip knot, loop the lacing over a tack at top or bottom and wind up the excess thread. The slip knot allows you to adjust the lacing whenever the fabric becomes slack. It really does beat pulling, restretching, and reseating tacks on four sides. Pearl cotton or a heavy duty sewing thread are good lacing threads for this.

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