These criticisms have come from Lesley Uren.This is what the piece looked like when still on the slate frame :
Then when I cut it from the frame :
Uh oh! There are two reasons why you can get ‘bubbling’ between the motifs that I know of. Either the silk was not attached correctly to the muslin in the slate frame before embroidery commenced, or the silk fabric used is too thin. I later discovered my problem was that my silk was too thin. It’s not the attachment – Lesley checked it. Lesley is a new mentor for me – more about her in a minute.
She told me to lace Mr Leopard onto a foamcore board covered with a layer of pellon (wool felt is an alternative – thanks Fran and Jan G. of the TT Stumpwork Course for that tip) using thick cotton thread. To lace the muslin and silk separately. I learnt how to lace a piece onto a backing from Ruth O’Leary.
I ended up with this :
But it didn’t fix the bubbles as you can see from the photo of the finished piece :
Lesson Learnt. Heavy embroidery with a lot of raised work and dense stitching requires a reasonably heavy silk.
I trimmed the piece in velvet ribbon. Traditionally a dense narrow silver lace trim was used, as shown on this casket from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston
but I was happy using velvet. I visited the National Gallery of Victoria with a group of TT course members (otherwise known as The Casketeers) and saw a casket there that had been trimmed in velvet. That was probably done at a later date as it’s not something I’ve otherwise seen in images of extant 17thC stumpwork caskets. Thankyou Sue Jones of the TortoiseLoft blog for tips in attaching the velvet.
I’d also like to extend my thanks to the following in helping me to create Mr Leopard :
Susan D., a wonderful lady whom I met through the TT Stumpwork course and who resides here in Melbourne. We’ve met twice in real life now at Casketeers Meetings and I frequently bother her on the phone.
Lesley (the link is an extensive article about her – ….wow!) who helped me in learning how to dress the slate frame in particular.
Lesley was awarded an Order of Australia for Services to Education and Embroidery this past January and has taught embroidery for 50 years. As a new member of the Victorian Embroidery Guild, I am able (and honoured) to attend a Guidance Group each month at Lesley’s home. A group of ladies stitch on their latest project in Lesley’s main embroidery room and chat, followed by High Tea.
Fran, as always.
Next time, I’ll talk about what I learnt, and what I’d do differently, with the actual stitching. Following that, the needlecase I made, and onwards to what I’m currently doing! (Design work for my Major Piece and a long and short stitch project)