The Sharp Needler is taking a break for the holidays and will return at the end of January.

24 November 2017

Vegetables or Dessert?

The work on the antique violets is progressing along nicely. I've completed a second motif which is a copy of the first. I like the reverse S curve on the one stem with its little hint of Art Nouveau.


There are only three unique motifs on the doily. Each one is repeated once to create a total of six violet bunches. The duplicate motifs have very slight variations and I'm adding other differences such as not using the exact same colours on the stems. The flowers, of course, can't be duplicated as you can't exactly replicate thread painting--and I never want to!

17 November 2017

Blue Burrd of Happiness

Trish Burr creates amazing thread painted birds and then shares them with us so we can stitch them. How lucky are we?

This is Trish's exquisite little bluebird. By the way, I think all of Trish's avians should be called 'Burrds'! I stitched this several years ago and it was a lot of fun.


10 November 2017

Antique Violets: Handle with Care

I'm working on an unusual project and I realise that stitching with antique silk embroidery thread on an antique piece of stamped linen is probably just a little bit crazy.

OK, perhaps more than a little bit crazy, but it sure has been fun!

Before I could start stitching on the Society Silk violet centrepiece, I had to rummage through my cache of antique threads to find appropriate colours. I have threads in all sorts of varying levels of usability as you can see in the photo below.


These are pretty much the standard conditions that I encounter with antique threads. The top thread is a tangled mess and is the least desirable. The middle thread is in its original wrapper and this particular one is in pristine condition. Often, threads in these wrappers are worn on one end resulting in very short lengths with which to stitch. I generally avoid threads in the old paper wrappers.

The bottom thread is in the best condition when it comes to stitchability. When the silks come as a skein with a knot in the middle, they are generally in a good usable state.

03 November 2017

Visiting the Embroidered Past

I am fascinated by Society Silk embroidery. Society Silk is the modern name for a style of embroidery that was popular at the end of the 19th century and lasted through the beginning of the 20th. It was known as Art Needlework in its day.

Society Silk designs typically consist of florals which can be incredibly realistic or very simplistic. There are other designs, but from what I've seen florals dominate. The finished pieces overall tend to be table linens.

Vintage Society Silk centrepieces

The Sharp Needler is taking a break for the holidays and will return at the end of January.