Saturday, 20 August 2011

Colour Changing Leaves

2 Detached Buttonhole Leaves without cordonnet

This is my fourth post this week, so I have to (try) to keep it short…

As you can see, leaves have been my preoccupation of late.   

Following on from what I said last time, which follows on from what I learnt about 3-d Detached Buttonhole, that I haven’t gone into yet, but its all there in draft… 

Leaf 1

Side view of 1

This very pointed leaf uses 3 different colours of which only 2 are clearly visible.

The human eye, incidentally is better at spotting different shades of green than any other colour in the spectrum.  Red we are poor at.  In fact a lot of people cannot really distinguish between red violet and blue violet and, as you know, a lot of men are in truth colour blind, (not that they would ever admit it).

As you can tell from the rows of DBH, I needed to stop and start a few times in order to complete the pointed sections.  This uses a lot of thread and so I wondered if there was another way to make them, so that you can be more economical with thread, as the Elizabethans obviously were. 

Another thing I’ve noticed is that a lot of historic leaves are started with quite a long horizontal tack stitch, that usually can be found at the base, (for other designs they can sometimes appear at the side). 

The other thing that is worth noting is that many designs are not absolutely symmetrical.  This is another reason why I think a lot of motifs were stitched according to an under-drawing but not within an additional chain stitch foundation, because a foundation row will make your work more symmetrical. 


So here I am ‘stacking’ DBH shelves, as it were.  As you can see, I am not doing the same thing on each row, as I can see they came up in slightly staggered steps on the original.  


Here I am using the third colour and being faithful to the design, I am starting the lighter shade on the last row of the previous point.


I then added some stem stitch to the outline in all the long sections but not for the shorter ones, just as they have on the original - from what I can see. 


Leaf 2

Then I tried to save thread by bi-secting the design and mirroring the sides.  This was a very interesting little experiment, but I don’t think they went to so much trouble in days of old.  It was just worth a try to rule it out and push around further ideas of expanding the DBH landscape outwards, maybe?  As it really is really cute made-to-measure mini fabric, to be sure! 

Again, even though I needed to take the logical path, I interrupted the symmetry to try and work out why they did that on the original?  The conclusion I came to was that they did not strictly count their rows, and in all probability, simply relied on judging things visually.    


First thing I stitched was the long vertical tack row – or cord.  Then, with the same thread, I made the horizontal tack row and pegged it down in the middle, to create a curve.   

Bi-sected design

3 rows later.


It’s quite easy working this way and it shows it can be done. 

It makes you think, perhaps, about the more complex designs involving many layers of DBH? such a pomegranates but I repeat, this idea of working each side separately is not based on any evidence, just an experiment to rule it out in my own mind. 

Serrated edge

Out of interest, I hooked the return row round the central cord,  when I came to do the other side.  As I did not need go into the fabric again, because by then the vertical cord was tensioned:

Going into laid cord

Leaf 3

Then I made another leaf, this time I just made it as simply as possible, the tips are not exaggerated and there is no ‘centre parting’.

Leaf 3 complete

As you can see, I ended up making 3 leaves that were all so similar it made me realise that I needed to think outside the box, go back to the V&A images and play around with some more construction ideas.

My problem is this, although the tips are good and sharp, I am still not happy with them.  So far, tips seem to fall into 3 categories.  Sharp, rounded and skewed-right-angle types.  

Some are like the ones I made here but the ones I am most interested in are quite different.  In fact, I might even venture to say that they look to me as if they were stitched in 3-d, then somehow pegged down, maybe just at the tip?  The reason that type are playing on my mind is that they anticipate the kind of tips they made on Carnations and Cornflowers, which seem comparatively ‘free-flowing’, if you know what I mean?

Since doing all of this, I have applied these ideas to curved shapes, as I have another rose in mind, that I’ll tell you about next time.

Well, after all of that, I am certainly running out of dark green!

Must dash!

P.S.  The post on DBH shaping discoveries might have to be spread over several updates, as it is just so long !


Monday, 15 August 2011

A small Rose made big

This really is, a shorter post!

The pictures I have been working from contain a very striking leaf and rose that I have decided to bring to life.  They are just fantastic designs that I cannot help wanting to try out.

They’re both taken from an exuberant gentleman’s informal cap held in the vaults of the V&A.  Museum number: T258-1926.  


This basic bold design might be thought to look quite modern to our eyes:

Completed Rose

As you can see, its outlined in stem stitch and filled in with Detached Buttonhole that does not rely on this outline for its structure. 

They may have used a backstitch to latch their DBH work round, but in my opinion, it looks as if they did not and simply stitched it into the fabric at the sides. 

However, I should point out that I’m not sure which stitch they used to fill the petals as they are hard to see.  The silk is very flat and untwisted and if I had to say one way or the other, I think they used Trellis Stitch.  If they did, then it is a lot looser than we generally see it. 

There is plenty of evidence to indicate Trellis stitch was stitched without a preliminary foundation.  (Incidentally, I am now looking at Trellis Stitch again, in the light of what Jacqui Carey has published in Sweet Bags and so I didn’t want to tackle it on this motif.)

I find stitching DBH directly into the fabric sides to be a much faster and easier way of working and as a result of this, new and versatile ways of shaping are occurring to me all the time.

The question of how fast they worked in olden days is something I always think about. 

Can you imagine being part of a group of say 6 or 8 people (as there were men doing embroidery then), going from house to house.  Knocking on the door and asking if the ‘Mistress had any workes that needed embrothering?’. 

If you were left-handed you would be paired with a fellow left-hander, as they worked in pairs.  Then set up your mobile workshop, get to work finishing projects that had already been started, or start new projects that the owners would then finish.  They would draw, transfer, show off new designs, get out their sample book of completed motifs and leave a quote for the larger jobs. 

Then they would pack everything up and knock on the next house…  They must have worked at quite a ‘professional pace', don’t you think? 

When you think of all the work that survives, can you imagine how much embroidery was in evidence then?  Entire bedrooms, wall-to-wall just for starters!

Remember what Pepys says in his diary…something along the lines of (loosely paraphrased here) ‘I come home to an exhausted wife who has been stitching all day to finish our new bedroom panels…’

Where things get interesting

I cannot see evidence on the historic rose to say they did what you are about to read, but maybe they did? because as I mentioned earlier, there is something going on with ‘those tips’ of decreasing DBH, that I can see over and over again and I really must try and work out. 

So, this next experiment is ‘just a try out’, but it had very interesting results.  Especially if we think about the term ‘raised embroidery’.  What did the ‘raising’ entail?   Was it shaping in a particular way that made it look raised?  Was it stuffing?– but that was later.  Or in a more general sense, was it a way a way of describing ‘detached’ stitches per se?  Who knows? 

I may have mentioned before that there is a particular Pansy on a commemorative wedding panel at the V&A which has always played on my mind because it is clearly not padded but rests on the fabric as delicately as a real flower would.  You peer down and can see that the stitched petals would cover a larger area than the design can accommodate, the result is, it appears to be ‘tucked in on all sides, yet because you can view it from above, you can see it is slightly overhanging its place in the design, suggesting it is not padded in any way and actually drooping.  ‘What has all this got to do with this rose?’ you might be asking, well in short, the direction the petals took on this next practice flower remind me a lot of the appearance of that Pansy. 

Experiments with Another Way of Decreasing

On the image below, you can see the petal in the lower left corner looks comparatively flat.  Not only flat, but somewhat squashed into its boundary line.    

So after that I decided to try to decrease in a different way…

lower left petal left squashed

For the remaining petals I decided to try something new:

2 into 1 increase in middle of row

In short, I thought I would try increasing 2 into 1 stitch in the middle of each row for a change.  You can see above that whilst working this way, it creates a peak in the middle. 

Then, as I approached the first tip I could see I was going to get into trouble eventually with regard to decreases on either side. 

It occurred to me to try missing out alternate stitches and hopefully it might not look too conspicuous if I did that?

Right side decreasing

The effect, as you can see, was that it added dimension to the surface of the petal.

Raised effect

I thought that missing stitches in this way would mean the shape would have lumps, on the contrary, it created a slight ‘dome’ effect that looks quite inconspicuous, or even desirous. 


The I got to work filling it with 3 into 1 metallic chain stitches in silver.

Rose side viewAs the thread was pretty chunky, so everything else had to be.  The gold chain stitches are different on the real thing as they used Ceylon stitch, but unfortunately I ran out of gold, so had to economise.

The green stem stitch leaves are also a little too far away from the edge of the petals, oh well, that’s what happens when you decide that 4 chunky chain stitches might look too mean, so you end up making a line that is too long!

Rose 2

It goes without saying that the actual rose is better because apart from anything else, they used a really nice carnation-salmon-orangey pink that is so difficult to find these days.  And of course they used lustrous silk instead of cotton.  But apart from those minor discrepancies, basically this is what it looks like.

I’ve decided that this is going to be my new modus operandi, in that, instead of making isolated components to explore their techniques, I shall make whole flowers.

The Bag is on hold for the time being because I really want to make a few more flat motifs from this very jolly gentleman’s informal cap…


Leaves next…. must dash !

Technorati Tags:

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Borage and a Honeysuckle

Long time no posts then 2 in quick succession!

The thoughts I aired last time about my current path of enquiry, might seem a little controversial, and so I stitched the petal of a honeysuckle to help show more clearly what I am trying to explore. 

Borage continued

The Borage petals didn’t need any stem stitching in the end, and I can also see historic examples where that is the case for this particular flower. 

I found this way of working meant I was able to greatly exaggerate the curves of the petals without the ‘restriction’ of a chain stitch foundation:

CIMG5543  CIMG5545  CIMG5547 CIMG5548 CIMG5549 CIMG5550 CIMG5551  CIMG5553 CIMG5554

So as you can see, sewing directly didn’t mean that the shape ended up jagged and uneven, on the contrary, I can see on historic examples that this treatment of petal edges added textural variety to certain motifs on larger pieces. 

Later, I gave the Borage some little green ladder stitch leaflets, with a central detached chain. 


I used the ladder stitch technique in Sweet Bags.  I think it is a lot easier to understand than anything else I have seen on this stitch and the author explains it is exactly how the Elizabethan’s produced theirs. 

The Borage however, is in trouble:


As you can see, I exaggerated one of the petals so much I forgot it would get in the way of the leaflet.  Oh dear, well never mind, time for some quick thinking.  That resulted in a decision to make a leaflet tip above the petal as well.  Can’t say I’ve seen an historic example (as yet) that tried that little trick !!

The middle alas, is coming out! (and maybe the leaflets will too because it was very late when I selected that particular green..). 

You know, if the petals weren’t so neat, then maybe I could rip the whole thing out.  Trouble is, it’s grown on me, so I’ve decided to take out the row of white and maybe do something 3-d??


Anyway, then I made a ‘direct’ honeysuckle, in the same way:


Below you can clearly see how DBH always forms slightly higher on one side, until you get to the end and mysteriously it ‘beds down’ as it should.

This is a pretty loose cording row I’ve taken here and right at the end of, is my first stitch.  As the shape is increasing at this juncture, my first stitch is taken into the ‘little leg’ of that row.  Increasing outwards like this, in an arc, means you always end up taking the first stitch outside the first loop space, especially as its leading up to forming a horizontal line of stitches.  

CIMG5560    CIMG5564

The picture below is interesting and I’ll talk about that more in the future.  But for now, if you can see in there (?), the two horizontal bars at the very end of the row represent a M1 increase in DBH lingo.  The lower bar is actually the end of the return row on the previous row and the other one is the ‘little leg’ (non-loop space) of this side of the work.  Altogether it means I increased one stitch each side on that row. 


Oh, and here are the ‘little legs’ I mentioned last time.  They are much more apparent now as I learnt to keep my work much looser than I used to.  Result was, it was very easy to stem stitch into each pair.

 CIMG5568 CIMG5569 

Below is the first side almost completed. 

I’d like to draw your attention to the first stitch on each row, after the stem stitch.  See how it is quite vertical and there is no evidence of ‘wrapping’ the thread round anything, which could ‘possibly’ add bulk to those inner regions. 

I have compared this characteristic to historic pieces and there are, in my view, clear similarities.  In fact, the main reason I decided to try out this new way of working was because I kept seeing a particular treatment of the surrounding shape that made me very curious as to its basis.   

This means the overall effect might be considered (perhaps), comparatively ‘crisp’ (?)…


Below you can see I have finished both sides.  The tops of the two outer sections are left un-stem stitched and this is what I can see happening on the historic example that this motif is based on.

 honeysuckle 2

Now the picture below is quite interesting.  If you peer at the central spear you can see it tapers down to a single detached chain stitch. 

I haven’t yet worked out exactly the procedure they used on this section in olden days, but I can see on every piece of historic embroidery (virtually) that I look at, that the points are finished in a particular ‘set way’, that ends with a solitary, detached chain stitch.  I’m not quite there yet and as you can see, near the end of my tip is (horror of horrors) a lump! 

Also notice the sides of the spear and how flat the whole thing is.

In my view, a foundation of reversed chain produces an elevation of the inner stitches.  To my eyes, this elevation is apparent in reproduction pieces but is not in historic pieces.   

So, it might be said that this ‘version’ of stitching directly and stem stitching afterwards keeps the work very flat.

Honeysuckle 3 

The other thing that I keep noticing about historic pieces is that the outermost edge is slightly higher than anything else across the DBH landscape.  This means that at certain angles it catches the light.

When there is a foundation of standard chain stitch and particularly reversed chain (which is thicker) in modern pieces, this outer edge is not so apparent and the holes inside chain stitches seem much larger by comparison.

 stem stitched honeysuckle  

Honeysuckle 1

To back-up my personal ‘theory’ as to this being an valid alternative way of working – that might possibly have been more prevalent that we know – I have seen one piece of unfinished DBH work, where there is no foundation chain made and the stitching was being done directly, in this side to side manner.  The piece is of a bird however, and I know that birds were stitched directly in this way. 

The other piece of evidence I have is a picture of the back of a completed coif, where a strawberry has been completed in small running stitches for the DBH. 

The back of this honeysuckle also looks like small running stitches.


Very soon I will tell you more about this little fellow !!!


Really must dash !

Thursday, 11 August 2011

A 3-d Calyx and a 2-d Borage

I haven’t posted for a while, so as a consequence this one is, erm……………… guessed it !!

3-d Calyx

Detached Buttonhole Calyx

This is a 3-d calyx I stitched and attached to a doodle flower that’s similar to one of the motifs on the Bag.  It was made in a strip, like the ruffle row of petals made earlier, and pulled together to form the collar, as they have on the historic Sweetbag.  This post starts off discussing the construction of this flower component but ends up looking at 2-d embroidery issues.


The book is virtually finished – well at least its out of my hands for the time being.

The DIY is going quite well, a new power tool helps, but the rain certainly doesn’t.  Still, we badly need rain, so far be it from me to complain.

And we just returned from the ancient city of Pompeii.  What an amazing place that is!  Can you imagine walking round a genuine archaeological dig that was once the holiday town for rich Romans, with its gymnasium for general citizens, more than 25  fresh water public fountains, hot baths, a steam room, a fish and chicken market, countless shops selling hot and cold wine and incredible mosaics galore.  I might do a post about it??


Detached Buttonhole Shapes continued

I’m not quite ready to post ‘the pattern’ yet, as it’s going to be quite involved (picture heavy, text light) and has given rise to a whole new set of questions I am asking myself which have, um, distracted me…

3-d Triangles and Circles

Meanwhile, I have been practicing more shapes to put the pattern through its paces:


As you can see, these triangles deal with ‘extreme’ increasing and decreasing.  Unlike knitting, the stitches held on this convenient little wooden needle, represent the starting row. 

Then, in an effort to leapfrog to a point of better understanding, I set myself the task of embroidering a circle.  Anyone reading this knows that I always select circles as a way to really work out if things are going as they should.  As with drawing, a circle is a good thing to practice doing to help you improve shaping techniques.


Made from counted increases, then 4 rows of even-shaping, followed by counted decreases.

One thing is for sure, whatever shape you want to make, it’s essential that your straight stitch return row, or cord row, is as loose as you can make it because if it is too tight, the shape will pucker very quickly in your hands.

All these little shapes are quite difficult to photograph incidentally, as they quickly become very curly, like this:


Another Way to Embroider Flowers

I should mention that the flowers made on The Bag are unlike the flowers on this delightful embroidered posy c.1750 – 1850, that I managed to photograph at The Ashmolean recently:


These were made using a curvy-linear technique that is similar to couching with Detached Buttonhole, whereby you are constantly turning the work to change direction.  Later on, this technique was adapted by the nuns in Ireland, who had seen Venetian lace, to produce their famous Irish Crochet. 

In contrast, The Bag I’m looking at is made with a straight stitch return row that means you do not need to turn the work at all and yet all the stitches are facing the same way (slightly left, if you are left handed or visa versa for right) .

In the book Sweet Bags, the author discusses this curvy-linear technique in detail but she does not talk about Detached Buttonhole (DBH) stitched back and forth very much, except to say that the Elizabethans worked the stitch ‘away from themselves’.  (She does however, discuss corded Trellis stitched back and forth.)

One of the main differences between the two techniques is that with DBH as worked on The Bag, you can create sharper points than you can with the curvy-linear style and that means a greater variety of shapes.

From Triangles to Spears

So, the various patches of practice triangles made me impatient to see how effectively I could alter the shaping to produce a more complex 3-d Calyx, of which there are quite a few on The Bag and most of them are very elongated.  I chose a wide one to start with (pictured above) and experimented with its shaping, using a wide crochet cotton.

Understanding how they made the Calyx was quite straightforward.  Basically you stitch it in a strip on a long tack stitch, that is then removed and gathered to form the collar.  This is then folded into place to show off the collar or suggestion of it, but the two outer points are flattened out and stitched into place.  That was the easy bit… 

Defining the narrow central spear correctly proved much more difficult when I switched to finer thread.  Its the last part of the design and has to be made long enough to be placed over the underlying petals and hold them in place, as I have done in the demo.     

The solution in evidence on the bag is to do this:

Counted decreasing for elongated triangle

To form this flower:

Flower with calyx - type A

As you can see, working with a width of 7 tiny 3-d stitches stitches in your hands was very awkward and I could see I would need to come down about 10 rows. 

From 3-dimensional problems to 2-dimensional solutions

Then it struck me that perhaps the central spear was not in fact made 3-d after all, but stitched after the collar was in place, directly over the underlying layers of DBH mini fabric, as a way of securing all the applied shapes and also to enable one to make that section of the flower component completely made-to-measure, in situ?

So I made another central spear in isolation but this time I stitched it directly onto the fabric, it can be seen below on the left hand side of the image.  Its a lot wider than it needs to be but it got me thinking……

Sharp points of caluyx

I then decided to try and see just how narrow I could make the shape by stitching DBH flat and came up with this:

Sharp point made with flat DBH

You might be thinking what is so unusual about this shape? 

In short, it has no preliminary framework e.g. a cordonnet of chain stitches, reversed chain or even back stitches.  Nor does the one above.  So from 3-d I made a transition to 2-d with what I know now about 3-d, if you know what I mean, and it worked.

Personal Research made of 2-d Historical Embroidery

Then I remembered something I had noticed on some digital close-ups of historic needlework that made me wonder back then, that perhaps they did not have to use a framing shape before stitching everything in those days, after all??  Or maybe some shapes were and some weren’t, depending on the required shape??? 

Now this is quite a controversial idea, to say the least, but it links in with my own recent, better understanding of what you can and cannot do with DBH, that I’ll go into further when I discuss ‘the pattern’.

Dilemma of Pointed Tips on Flat Work

To put it another way:  when the shapes we need to make are more slender or pointed that the usual types, a framework can be seen, perhaps, to add unnecessary bulk to inner corners, where the shape would need to decrease to a very fine tip?  Also, we need to think about when the pointed shape ‘bends’ in one particular direction, like this shape:

leaves with curved points

Watching the direction of DBH rows on Historic Examples

If you study historic examples, when the shape turns or bends, the lines of stitches remain straight, whereas if you stitch into the inner loop of say a chain stitch, the horizontals of DBH turn with the shape.  But something else is happening….

Cordonnets Use Up Valuable Space

Its not so much that you cannot make a cordonnet into this type of shape, in my view, its that the number of chain stitches on either side of the pointed section cannot fit comfortably round a sharp angle and simultaneously accommodate many lines of DBH stitching within it, without inadvertently smoothing the point out into a curve.  In short, points can be lost!  If points are lost then, in my view, a whole chunk of aesthetic appreciation of this type of work might be lost too…

The Stem Stitching Convention

So I went back and looked again at the close-ups of extant items and found evidence of stem stitching round completed shapes and examples of other shapes without any stem stitching, that are left ‘unframed’. 

To say that they stem stitched round completed shapes is not unheard of and I have seen it mentioned in authoritative descriptions of historic work.  

Do All Shapes Actually Need to be Smoothed Out?

To our eyes, perhaps, you would need to do something to the outer edge of most shapes to bring the design together and smooth out any uneven lines of stitching? 

However, on one particular Coif I have been looking at, the DBH work is so small they have left the shapes ‘unframed’. 

Evidence of Tiny Legs Could Indicate Shapes that are made without a Preliminary Framework?

There is another reason why I think they used stem stitching in this way, and that is to conceal the tiny legs that can result from stitching directly. 

These ‘little legs’ (they are hard to see but are there) might even be seen as  proof that they worked in this way?  In contrast, in a modern context, when we use a chain stitch framework, there are never any little legs visible.

There are other differences between both methods but I cannot go into more than a few at this stage, save to say,  by its very nature, stem stitching is more ‘linear’ than chain stitching, which is very curved and I see it most often used on leaves and more complex flower motifs.  

An Important Difference Between Elizabethan Detached Stitches and European Classical Needlelace

The point I am making is not so much how and when they completed their stem stitching but dare I say, do we actually need a preliminary framework of stitches at all on which hinge this type of DBH work?? 

The purpose of a classic cordonnet is to define and hold a shape in place while it is being made, so that when you cut it away it will maintain its shape.  In this way, the needlelace rests on the top, to be cut away later. That way it will become a new layer of freestanding and independent fabric.  Elizabethan embroidery is not cut away like this and the two layers remain related.   

Furthermore, if the cordonnet is basically a kind of ‘mini loom’, thereby stretching and holding the stitches in place, the tension the slate frame produces itself is already providing that foundation…

Examples of Working in an Alternative Way

So far I have seen examples of stem stitching around  finished shapes that are:

  • carried out in a different colour. 
  • Other times its used to frame metallic DBH work that was stitched directly into the fabric. 
  • At other times its used when creating shapes with various colour changes.  
  • The stem stitching can be seen most clearly on shapes that have little legs poking out, and I suggest the little legs could well indicate that the DBH was stitched directly, without a framing shape made first.


Now with all this in mind, I go back to the notion of creating pointed shapes and simultaneously  investigate how they might have close stem-stitched round them.

My Own Experiments with Both Methods

Here are some pictures of my first attempts to compare both methods of working:

the very small surface stitches needed

Above are 3 ways to make this kind of pointed shape.  Already you can see that the stitch length on a row of DBH is greater than the length of an individual framework stitch (on the right), yet if you made them the same size, the structure would not tension correctly.   

Yellow Petal

The yellow petal has been framed subsequently with stem stitches.  Notice how this gives the appearance of the outer ‘ridge’ of stitches being the ‘higher’ row, while the rest of the work remains flat.  The shape is also stuffed full of stitches.    This shape too, was made without a cordonnet, having pierced the fabric only at either end of a row.

The Green Petal in the middle

The green petal in the middle, has no stem stitching round it yet.  This shape was also made without a cordonnet.  Fabric pierced only at either end of each row.

Green Petal on the Right (above)

This shape represents the usual way to make DBH shapes and consists of approximately 39 tiny back stitches.  I chose back stitches as they add least bulk. 

Now this is where things take a different turn.  Below you can see the cording row will rest above a line of stitches and be incorporated into the next row of buttonholing, in the usual manner, but the problem is that, at either side it turns and rests on the surface, thereby restricting the available space for more stitches.  This peculiarity means that it adds significantly to the overall size/moulding of the shape.

even narrow framework uses a lot of available space for DBH 

The result is, in my personal view, that in practice, it is quite hard to make finely pointed shapes with a preliminary framework of back stitches, even though back stitches are the smallest foundation stitches you can make, because the turning thread rests on the top of the work.  Here it is completed:

comparison of framed shape to one stitched directly

So my next experiment was to try and work out how they might have stem stitched so closely and consistently round the edge of the finished shape?

First thing to consider is the piercings that DBH makes in the fabric:

Piercing Path of DBH

As you can see above, the rows of DBH ascend in tiny pairs that are not absolutely parallel because the cording row sits higher one side than the other.

So I concluded that the closest edge of stem stitching you can create, is to actually go into the sides of the pairs of DBH rows themselves and this is what it looks like when you do this:

Stem stitching into DBH stitch anchors

I stem stitched into the 2 little feet of DBH rows all the way round.  The points were easy to find if you pull the stitching down and out of the way a bit.  This means that the stem stitches remain as even as the work.  This is another similarity that I can see on historic pieces.

comparison of framed shape to one stitched directly

The other thing that’s significantly different about working this way is that you can work A LOT faster! 

So with these new observations I decided to make a ‘pointy’ Borage:


DBH Borage - no cordonnet

I’ll discuss this some more next time….must dash !