June 10, 2012

Barbara's Catching Up


I'm catching up with the CQJP, stitching my May block with the TAST stitches from last month.  There on the bottom you can see that I did a half chevron stitch seam embellished with buttons.  The little yellow bird is being auditioned for that spot.  It's the bird or a red poppy, I haven't decided yet.



I used bullion stitch to add fanciful flowers to a branch that frames the white crane.  I like bullion stitch, it has a nice rhythm to it once you get going.  I added glass leaf-shaped beads instead of embroidering them.



The basic design for the branch comes from this 1970s-era crewel embroidery book.  I've added this to my collection in the past few years, but I know we also had one of these at home when I was growing up.


I stitched this vine motif when I was a teenager.  This piece of crewel embroidery was turned into a pillow and then had an unfortunate run through the laundry, but I still have it.




 It was an important learning piece.  Instead of the original poem I substituted a stanza (it continues on the back) of W.B. Yeats' "The Lake Isle of Innisfree."  Here's the whole poem:


I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee;
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.
 
You can hear a recording of Yeats reading the poem here on poets.org.  His lovely
recitation sounds like singing.

16 comments:

Debra Spincic said...

Totally loving that vine!

Connie Eyberg Originals said...

The bullion flowers are really striking. I have accepted the bullion stitch but not sure I will ever be able to say I love it. Your block is off to a great start! It is nice to have you back.

Barbara C said...

Thanks Connie! It's taken me about a week to get back in the groove, but I'm happy to be back.

Mary-Frances Main said...

The bullions are lovely and very tidy and even - what thread did you use? It's just gorgeous - can't wait to see your next step!

Judy S. said...

Nice bullions! I also love the way you incorporated the little white buttons into the half chevron seam. Very pretty as is the vine. Great start on your block! I am anxious to see what wins out, the bird or the poppy.....

ladyhawthorne said...

Wow those bullions are just absolutely perfect! I really like the pillow and the poem too!

Barbara C said...

Thanks! Mostly I used 4 strands of embroidery thread. On some of the white I used 2 strands.

Mary-Frances Main said...

Just cotton? I had a heck of a time getting cotton to look good at all! :)

Suztats said...

Your bullions really show well against the fabric, and I like everything you've done. The glass leaves are subtle against the fabric, but do add a nice shine. Looking forward to seeing more.

Debra Spincic said...

What kind of trouble were you having? Maybe we can brainstorm some solutions here.

Barbara C said...

Confession: I don't do practice stitches. So far with this stitch, I can't follow the motions in my head so that they make sense. For example, it's unclear to me if you work this horizontally or vertically. I'm sure I can figure this out, but I will have to practice on a piece of scrap first.

Debra Spincic said...

Barbara, are you talking about the knotted cretan stitch?

I was suggesting to Mary-Frances that maybe we could help her with the bullion.

Barbara C said...

Ah, sorry I misunderstood. Conquering the bullion does come with practice, and I've used this stitch before. Some things that I think help: I almost always take apart the strands of embroidery thread and then put them back together so they lie flat. A sharp skinny needle also helps, and when I turn the needle after wrapping the thread for the bullion, I grab the stitches and kind of push them down, so they stay lined up while I pull the needle out. I think practice is the key even though I don't take my own advice. Perhaps my many years of stitching are my biggest advantage.

Carol Neale-Broughton said...

Great vine with its Bullions and leaf beads all so beautifully framing the crane. Enjoyed seeing your pillow and thanks for sharing the poem.

Cy said...

Oh that poem, and his voice. Thanks for sharing that link. I will now have to spend even more time on the computer browsing that website, lol.

Love your fancy flower bullions. They are strikingly beautiful, as is your stem stitch.

Barbara C said...

Thanks Cy, and thanks to everyone who commented.