I have just realised that I have not shown the finished Whitework sampler – so here it is – it was actually finished back in July. The four sides have been hemmed and then it has been “sewn” to some mount board to give it some protection and to also allow me to carry it around easily. The finished piece is about the size of an A2 sheet of paper.
First the Saxophone, then the Whitework sampler – what am I going to do next?
The answer is that from 12th September I am going to be very busy learning lots of new techniques for the next three years. A couple of months ago I heard that I had been accepted onto the Future Tutor course run by the Royal School of Needlework at Hampton Court. I am very excited about the opportunity I have been given and know I am very lucky to be taught so many techniques by some of the best embroiderers around, and at the end to be able to pass this knowledge onto others. My time table for the first term has me learning seven different embroidery techniques!!
What does this mean for Needlework by Nikki? There are unlikely to be any new designs while I am studying – I think I might be a bit busy with other stitching!! But my existing designs will still be available for sale via my website and wherever possible I will continue to take my “shop” to the local Lace Fairs that I have attended previously.
I will try to keep you all updated on my new adventure and when possible post some pictures of my work.
By the end of April I had all the threads withdrawn for the borders and the hems done on six of the borders. I managed to find 9 different methods of heming the narrow borders that form two sides of the design.
There are over 400 coral knots in the longer border – and this is only a narrow border. I don’t want to think about how many I may have to do on the wider borders!
Having finished my Saxophone it was time to start a new project on my monthly workshops with Shelley Cox. I decided to have a go at a new technique and settled on Pulled and Drawn work. I am working a sampler to include as many stitches as possible from the two techniques. My first attempt at working out a grid meant that there were going to be 99 different pulled thread techniques – a quick trip back to the drawing board cut this down to 63! Despite most of my needlework involving counting threads – it took several attempts to get the first few squares right. I kept “losing” the canvas threads when the were pulled together by my stitches.
I started this piece back in September and by March I had completed just over half of the 63 squares.
Whitework 1 – March 1st
Whitework 2- March 1st
I then picked up speed and managed to finish the rest of the squares in only 2 weeks.
Pulled work completed
This meant that on my next visit to Shelley I was able to start pulling out the threads for the Drawn work borders. This took longer than expected as I needed to keep the withdrawn canvas threads in a good enough state to be able to weave them back in at the end of the borders. By my next visit to Shelley I had managed to pull out most of the necessary threads and had started to group the remaining threads together.
Southwark now has a new colourway available – meaning there are now a total of 5 versions. This new version is at the request of Lesley P. – one of my regular customers. She asked me to arrange a list of threads replacing the Sea Blue with the Jade colour which was used to stitch one of the Zephyr designs. Here is the result of her work.
If you have previously bought the instructions for Southwark and would like the details of the threads used in this version, then get in touch with me via the contact page on my website.
Lesley has also stitched the Magic Carpet design replacing the dark peach thread with a brown thread. The two photos below show the difference that can be achieved by changing just one thread. My version is on the left and Lesley’s on the right.