Snakeshead textile design by William Morris
I’m one lucky gal! In the past month I’ve be able to visit 2 museums with wonderful textile collections. Here you see an image of Snakeshead a design from the William Morris: Designing an Earthly Paradise exhibit at the Cleveland Museum of Art. This fabric design features one of Morris’s (and my) favorite flowers, the fritillaria, a flower with a checkerboard bloom.
Embroidered bed hanging by May Morris
Items on exhibit range from actual William Morris fabrics to an embroidered bed hanging by May Morris to wood engravings illustrating books for the Kelmscott Press. Contained in one gallery, the exhibit extends until January 13, 2019.
Can you guess what other museum I was lucky enough to visit?
For those of you touring Germany this Fall, please stop in to your local quilt store for a copy of Quilt & Textilkunst Patchwork Professional.
You’ll know which magazine to pick up by the sight of my blue chair, Arm Chair Gardener, featured on the cover.
There is also a gift inside for you.
A free tutorial shows you how to make this free-form Yellow Chair embroidery on wool. Step-by-step directions and images lead you through the process.
Not in Germany? Unable to read the German directions? Ah, then I have a solution for you. Check out the Yellow Chair Tutorial on my website. And here is a Yellow Chair Stitch Kit to get you started.
Do people ask you how long it takes to make something? I get this often, but never keep track of my time. But I have finally come up with an answer.
To do this much hand embroidery on this little house quilt took about 6 hours. How do I know? Because that’s how much time it takes to drive from Chicago to Akron, OH. So from now on, that’s my answer. You may use it as well.
Like many of you I began as a child. My mom taught me the basic hand stitches for that time honored craft of embroidery on dish towels. I took to it like a dancing tomato.
Now it’s time to teach our children (or grandchildren) to stitch. Hand embroidery is an art form that deals with color, texture, pattern, and the joy of making something by hand. Instead of a video game, give them a needle and thread.
So here’s an idea. Trace your child’s hand onto cotton or silk fabric. Put it in a hoop or fuse it to batting for stability (this is how the Hand of Fortune embroidery is done). Basic stitches like the Running Stitch, Stem Stitches, and Cross Stitches are easy to learn. Older children can learn Lazy Daisy Stitches and French Knots.
That’s all you need to have fun. Teach a kid to stitch.
It’s back to school time! And that means dyeing thread for all my fall classes. The threads you see above are destined for my students as part of their class kits. Whether taking a quilting class or hand embroidery class, everybody gets some colorful thread. Ooooooh! Aren’t they pretty!
These threads are dyed using the “random acts of dyeing” method. I don’t following the repeatable color formulas for Artfabrik threads. Instead, I use up all my left over dye stock to dye threads in random colorways. It’s a great way to discover new color combinations and prepare for my classes at the same time. See you in the classroom!
One of the things I most enjoy about teaching is what I learn from my students. Here are a few tips I’ve picked up over the years from teaching intrepid quilt makers from around the world.
- Irons are hot, filthy things. Use a dryer sheet to clean your iron. Here’s how.
- Do NOT use a dryer sheet when standing beneath a smoke detector as they can trigger a smoke alarm. The fire department will come to your classroom and you are never asked back to that venue again.
- Use size 4 embroidery needles with a size 8 embroidery thread.
- The best place to hide your fabric stash from your husband is at a friend’s house.
- Always bring Band-Aids to class.
- When an iron starts an ironing board on fire, throw it out the door onto an asphalt driveway. Or wait for the fire department to arrive and never be asked back to that venue again.
A big thank you to all my students for these helpful tips!