parlstickare: yellow griffin on a red field, embroidered in couched work (Griffin (Thamesreach bunting))
2015-08-10 07:47 pm
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One done, several to go

The heraldic bunting is finally finished! Both sides of my personal arms are stitched together and the group arms are also done. Those are not embroidered, as it was way easier to appliqué the wavy fess (= horisontal band) and just embroider the laurel wreath. I like the Thamesreach arms. Simple, yet effective in evoking the association to London, i.e. the Thames bisecting the city.

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My personal arms and Thamesreach's arms

The question now is what I'll do next. I have several items on the to-do list. I could start work on a brickstitched pouch for a friend (she's naalbinding me a pair of mittens, and I think she's almost done by now) or I could start on my friends' wedding cushion. The plan is to have something to do during idle moments on a conference next month, so nothing too minute that requires really good light (thus, the shot glass griffins are not suitable). Neither project can be started straight away: I have to decide on pattern and colours for the pouch, and do the final pattern drawing and transfer the pattern of the wedding cushion. At least I have a few weeks to decide.
parlstickare: yellow griffin on a red field, embroidered in couched work (Griffin (Thamesreach bunting))
2015-06-14 11:26 am
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More progress

Thanks to a kind person who has uploaded the entire Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries on youtube, I'm not only updated with season 3, but have finished all the vair parts of the heraldic embroidery, and have started on the red bend! Whee!!!

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parlstickare: yellow griffin on a red field, embroidered in couched work (Griffin (Thamesreach bunting))
2015-04-26 08:00 pm
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I've finished the upper half of the vair pattern on the bunting, and started on the lower half. Can this be finished for the July revel???? I certainly hope so, but I'm also fully aware of my hope for having it done for the March revel...

In other good news, we started the big silk painting project at the last revel. All the labours of the months, upscaled and painted on silk to be hung in front of the windows in our meeting hall. We drew the outlines of ten pictures. Next step is painting gutta on the outlines, then start the actual silk painting. I've never done silk painting before, so it will be a challenge but also very fun.
parlstickare: yellow griffin on a red field, embroidered in couched work (Griffin (Thamesreach bunting))
2015-02-01 04:10 pm

The saga of my Thamesreach bunting contribution

The SCA shire I'm playing in, Thamesreach (i.e. London) has a long set of bunting with the members' arms on interspersed with the Thamesreach arms. It looks really neat and is also a way to remember people who moved elsewhere. Most are either painted or sewn/appliqued.

I wasn't quite sure how to do mine, since my arms are complicated, with a background in vair (small pieces of white and blue). First I thought I could paint them, but seeing another member's painting going a bit pearshaped when the paint ran outside the borders made me re-think that idea. My second option was appliqué but when I had done the first quarter I looked at it and wasn't satisfied. The colours looked flat and the appliqué had scruffy edges despite careful stitching.

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The appliqué follows the post-medieval way to depict vair, with a pattern made of rectangles and triangles. The medieval version is a rounded shape, but the tiny edges at the bases are impossible to do with appliqué.

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Even using the later version, it was a very fiddly process, with small stitches. You had to be careful so it wouldn't unravel, particularly at the points. I had first tried putting anti-ravel liquid on the edges, but that would make it impossible for the holes from the needle to close up afterwards.

So I went back to my trusted needlework. Klosterstitch or split stitch would be more accurate time-wise, but since couched work ("bayeux-stitch") is immensly more economic with the amount of thread needed, I chose that instead. One panel of vair took me about half an hour to do (keep in mind that the fabric is ordinary cotton so there is a high threadcount compared to normal embroidery linen), but the result looks so much better that I don't mind the extra time. All you need is a couple of evenings with something mindless on the tv or a couple of podcasts and you can get a lot done.

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Heraldic beasts comes in two versions: the ones with a different colour of their claws, teeth, tongue and genitals (where applicable) and the ones that are entirely single-colour. Adding a new colour felt like overkill when I designed my arms - particularly since vair as a background increases the total number of colours to four. Single colour can make the animal very plain, so I added some lines to indicate the three-dimensionality of the animal.

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And what a difference it made!

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Ta dah!

Now all I have to do is another one for the other side of the bunting...

ETA: colour references for DMC cotton: blue: 147, white: 2, red: 321, yellow: 726.
parlstickare: geometric embroidery in bright blue, red and yellow (Default)
2014-11-12 10:43 pm

Current and future projects

Has it really been two months since last post? Time does fly. But I haven't been sitting idle. The bunting is progressing and I hope that both sides will be done by the time we have our next event in late winter/early spring. There were a few setbacks, but more on that when I have something pretty to show you.

However, I urgently need to sort out the embroidery for my shot glass covers, as I have to have something small to bring for next crafting afternoon in London. It was a bit irritating to have to decline offers of homemade liqueurs and mead at events since I only had one cup and it was rarely conveniently empty. So I bought a replica glass (admittedly 18th century and not medieval, but I honestly don't care) and then realised I needed some way to transport it safely. The plan is making a lined and padded pouch. And of course it shall be embroidered! How else will I know it's mine? :-)

I also need to get cracking with the design for my friends' wedding cushion. Luckily there is no deadline for the embroidery, as they are already married and this is an agreed-upon present. But I have to have the design ready before I go home for Christmas since I have to buy the yarn there. It will be Scanian woollen embroidery, my own design but heavily inspired by 18th and 19th century cushions - wedding ones and normal ones. Doing the design will be fun, but I sort of dread having to decide on colour combinations. I would prefer not having to post sample threads back home and ask my mother to buy more for me, so I need to get it right at the first attempt. Six weeks to go...
parlstickare: geometric embroidery in bright blue, red and yellow (Default)
2014-05-05 10:35 am
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Hence the lack of posts

Embarrassingly, I haven't done a single craft thing since Christmas. Not sure why I've had such lack of inspiration. Hopefully this will change as the evenings grow lighter and the temperature rises. However, I have other things on my mind which will have to take precedence.

But I have to start on the bunting soon: it's getting to the point of truly embarrassing. The SCA group I'm playing with have bunting with all the members' arms on. Some painted, some sewn. I'd like to say it's such a small thing it would be done in an instant, but when you decide on vair* as a background, it does mean fiddling around with lots of small pieces (on the other hand, there was no stupid conflicting with other persons' arms). I had my arms registred last year, so really, I should have done something about this a long time ago. Admittedly a lot of the wait was due to having to decide on a method: paint is easy, but textiles are my preferred medium. But I think I've got a working way of doing the vair...

*: the spell checker is not used to medievalists or heraldry and insists that I meant to write "fair".