Saturday, 24 March 2018

Magnolia Crewel Pillow

I started ordered this project a year ago while I was vacationing in the US. It is the Magnolia pillow from Tapis Tree.
Of the crewel work kits I saw online, it looked like one I could manage. There are 23 different embroidery stitches and 30 colours of wool tapestry yarn. I had a heck of a time distinguishing among all the gold, green, and blue colours and had to contact the designer for a colour chart. Once I had that, I was able to separate things nicely and get started.

I started stitching it last fall at a stitching retreat with my guild. These leaves were the 'open cretan' stitch and were fun to do. I remember Barb suggesting I try out new stitches on a scrap piece. That was very good advice.
That weekend I also did the lower gradient leaves. Two nights ago I did the rest of the flowers and leaves in this photo.
Last night I did these.
I'm hopping all over the place, trying to find several elements with the same stitch before moving on to another one. Some of the stems are using a stitch (coral stitch) that doesn't look good when I do it so I am using the 'stem stitch' instead.

I really like the filled in look of the chain stitch (used in the blue flower above) and have been searching Pinterest for Huichol designs on which I could use this stitch. So far I really like this one:
The technique they use is to spread soft wax on a thin board, then outline with wool yarn and fill in the spaces with continuous lengths of yarn. I can see how this can easily be done using the chain stitch.

You may also be familiar with the Huichol beading technique using similar designs and seed beads both in 2D pieces:
and 3D pieces:

The Day of the Dead skulls are a big part of the lore in Mexico. We saw many of these designs at the Tejano Music Fan Fest in San Antonio last weekend. I love the use of colours and think an embroidery piece would be fun to do with wildly coloured floss. Perhaps something like these:




 I would want my 'calavera' to look like it is grinning somewhat - going for a 'cute' look rather than a 'scary' one. Cultural appropriation aside, all the bright colours in textiles down here really makes ones mind whirl with creative ideas.

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