Work-in-Progress Girl

Work-in-Progress Wednesday: Crewel Embroidery flower


Crewel Embroidery flower by clumsy chord
Crewel Embroidery flower, a photo by clumsy chord on Flickr.

I joined a swap on Flickr called Modern Scrappy Bits Swap, in which I am sending away a FQs worth of fabric scraps, plus a small handmade item, and will be getting the same back from someone else.

My partner requested something fairly different from what I’m working on here, but there are two things I need that I don’t have yet to make the thing she asked for. (The fabric part I’m good on, it’s a certain bit of… hardware I need.) The things I need are in the mail, but in the meantime, I’m paranoid that I won’t be able to finish it in time, so I’ve started work on this as a back-up, just-in-case project.

We’re meant to be making our small item out of scraps, and, well,… some of the crewel yarn is scrap! (It’s leftover from crewel embroidery kits that I’ve finished.) The rest of it comes from my smallish stash of Appleton crewel wool. I didn’t have the colours I needed to match my partners preferred colour scheme (and that wouldn’t have been scrappy at all anyway), so I did a bit of Flickr stalking and discovered that she’s got a fondness for round things and for rainbows. So… here’s a round rainbow. The pattern is by Katherine Shaughnessy and can be found here for free. I’ve just substituted my own colours. (I’ve also used quilting cotton for the background, with interfacing to add some stability. I don’t know how crewel embroidery would stand up on something as flimsy as quilting cotton, so I thought I’d better add an extra layer for it to sit on.)

Once I’m finished stitching it (lots of French knots to go, and a bit more orange split stitch, though I might add more to fill in a bit of the openness of those orange petals), I’ll be converting this into a needle book, with scrap fabrics finishing the book and some very lovely bamboo felt to hold needles. If I wind up sending away the project I really want to make for my partner, then I’ll probably keep this for myself. Possibly as wall art, but maybe even as a needle book. I don’t have one, but I do have needles floating all over the place attached to various different needle cards (the packets they came in) and magnetic holders and spare bits of card stock, and even woven into the fabric of my ironing board. (The ones in my ironing board are the ones I like best for stitching down quilt binding. It’s a convenient place to keep them because I always know where they are.) In any case, I do hope my partner will like this, if I wind up unable to do the other project.


Author: clumsykristel

I'm a 30-ish quilter, and occasional sewist and embroiderer. I mostly talk about crafty things I'm working on, or wish I were working on.

8 thoughts on “Work-in-Progress Wednesday: Crewel Embroidery flower

  1. Oh, this is gorgeous. Your stitches are really perfect and even. I really love the stitches you chose to substitute.

    • Thanks Aalia! I’ve really been enjoying working on this. It’s simple, but makes me feel like I’m improving on the skills I’ve got. Which I need, because I really want to get back to my bird stitch, which I’ve come to a stand-still on because I keep messing up the colour blending on the second bird, and the linen isn’t going to stand up to too many more stitch and rips. (Of course, all the things I’ve been practising with don’t involve long and short stitching, so I guess I should add something like that to my practise pile!)

  2. Hey, popping over from MyFabricObsession to let you know you are a no- reply blogger! I was glad to hear you are having the same dilemma with the scrap swap that I am too. Sounds like you are a lot like me. I like a little bit of everything and I’m afraid I didn’t give my partner a lot of direction either. But I’ve been sure to comment a lot on photos too.
    love this embroidered flower you are working on! So beautiful!

    • Yeah, it’s one of the unfortunate divides between WordPress and Blogger – if only blogger would add a line in the OpenID form for our email addresses (as wordpress does – so useful!). The only real solution would be to have a blog with blogger, but I like wordpress! Well, maybe one day they’ll work that issue out.

      Thanks for the nice comments about the embroidery! It’s a quick-going little project that makes a nice impact, so I thought it’d be a fun thing to add to my needlebook. I’ve actually been planning to use the same tutorial that you used for your needlebook! (Though I’m going to have to adjust the size a little, since the embroidery is just a smidge too big.)

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