• Madwomanstitches

Module 11: Cut Work, Pulled Work, Drawn Thread & Needle Weaving -Part 2

I recently spoke to a friend about some of the work I did in this module and realised how satisfying it was to sit and quietly contemplate, whilst slowly stitching. It is power to your soul to spend time with yourself, especially whilst being creative.

If you haven't tried any of these techniques yet, just try one ... just one. Choose a technique; gather your supplies together and make time for yourself. It is really worthwhile: even if it's only 10-15 minutes a day!

Sample 5 - Hardanger:

Hardanger originated in Asia, but is better known for its Nordic roots after it was brought to Hardanger in Norway, in the mid 1600s. It is a type of counted and withdrawn thread embroidery, incorporating needle weaving. Early pieces of work were done in white thread on white linen, but today, many colours are used for both fabric and thread.

I have tried Hardanger work before and thoroughly enjoy it. It was nice to revisit it and try out various stitches. There are links between this work, Drawn fabric work and Ruskin Lace, which I attend classes for. I think of Ruskin as being an amalgamation of the other 2. Hardanger has many decorative uses.

The brief was to book—"try at least a couple of the larger blocks such as Kloster block and woven and overcast bars. Perhaps make a block of four to give variety to your sampling." So here is my sample on 22 count linen.

Sample 6 - Needle Weaving:

This craft has it's place in a number of types of embroidery, as in Hardanger, above, but can also be used on its own to create some lovely designs. For this, I re-purposed an old metal bracelet. I crocheted around the bracelet first to give me something to stitch the warp threads into. It was fun to try different textured yarns and threads to create this mini woven sample:

Sample 7 - Cut Work:

I decided to design a piece that could have a possible use, as I have done Richelieu embroidery quite a few years ago and knew I would enjoy stitching these samples. I began with a simple sketch of some Christmas themed ideas; then found simple images on the internet. These were then traced onto cotton fabric using carbon paper.

Some areas of the design were outlined in double rows of running stitch. For smaller areas, I opted to do one line of running stitch then wove another thread through this. Some bars are covered with buttonhole stitch and others are wrapped.

Here is a close up of work in progress and the completed sample:

I was a little over ambitious with the tree and accidentally cut away some of the bars! However, I saw this as an opportunity to try and mend it. It is quite fiddly to cut away the fabric below; maybe this was partly due to the size of the design. I am relatively happy with the finished piece.

I really must get it back out and finish it properly. When you are so close to the deadline, you only do what has to be done! One tip: make sure that your fabric is a taut as possible in the hoop. Wrap the inner ring with bias tape to give better purchase. I used completely the wrong type of hoop really. A wooden one would have been better.

Sample 8 - Experimental Cut Work:

This was a great opportunity to use some more of my hand painted calico. It was perfect for this piece. Using water soluble stabiliser, I used applique and free-machine embroidery to stitch this.

I am sure that may of you will be able to complete this work to a much higher standard than I have, but I console myself with the fact that I was hurrying towards a disappearing deadline and am more than happy with the results.

The next episode will be the beginning of the end! The final assessed piece. Keep watching ... it won't be long! xx

#Hardanger #needleweaving #cutwork #experiment