I love to collect vintage embroidery kits. In my opinion the best era for these is the 1970’s and early 80’s. My favourite designer from that time is Chris Davenport. I will probably do a future post (or three) about her work, and when I go back to the UK for a visit, I will take some pictures of some of her kits I have previously stitched. Her work was bold, bright and full of texture with her crewel kits each requiring a considerable number of different stitches. Many of her kits were made up of phrases: “Bless this Mess”, “Kiss the Cook” – very much of their time but, for me, only add to their retro charm. The kits use different stitches and colours resulting in a cheerful, bright piece with plenty of stitches for embroidery enthusiasts to admire!
I decided that my next challenge to myself should be Chris Davenport inspired. To keep the work relatively small and manageable I decided to opt for a word or phrase design. Since we have taken a year out to live in Italy, the choice wasn’t too difficult!
Yeah, I know, not very original! My design was drawn freehand and then traced. I transferred the design in the old fashioned way: drawing over the lines on the back of the paper and then placing it on to thefabric and drawing over it again. There are quicker ways of doing this, but having just moved to Italy and not having yet sourced local craft suppliers, I just used what I had to hand. For simple shapes this method works perfectly well.
Once the design was transferred, then I could start on the fun bit! I picked out a bright and bold colour scheme and started work! I used embroidery floss rather than crewel yarn, simply because I wanted to use what I already had and my fabric was silk noil.
I knew I wanted the first letter to be a rainbow, but after that, I just made it up as I went along (this seems to be a common theme with me!). I chuckled when I saw this picture – the oil cloth on the table I am working on came with the apartment we are renting….it fits in well with the 70’s vibe I was trying to achieve in my design! Haha!
So so here it is all finished. I think I managed to get the bright, cheerful 1970’s effect. I used chain stitch, raised spider web, stem stitch, pueblo stitch, basket weave, back stitch, up and down buttonhole stitch and woven wheels.
Every time I look at it I smile!