Sampler #7 – Crewel Shading

Sorry I’m running a little late with the beginning of Sampler #7, if you’re planning on stitching along. But this one will be simple enough to prepare for, because we’re sticking with crewelwork for another month!

I kind of see crewelwork as essentially three different elements: there’s the outline stitches that are generally the same as any other surface embroidery (though with the wool thread, they still take a little practice!), the filling stitches as we played with last month, and color shading.

Crewelwork - V&A Museum

This is one of my very favorite things at the Victoria & Albert Museum (pretty much my favorite place on earth) – I’m sorry I don’t know the year and I can’t seem to find this item by searching the collection online. I imagine it is most likely from the late-1600s to early 1700s, just based on similar items in their collection. If I recall, this section comes from a pair of embroidered bedcurtains, and would you just look at those colors?! Seriously. Those blues, they kill me.

I won’t be doing anything nearly as grand, but since I have a bunch of crewel projects lined up now, it couldn’t hurt to do some practice with shading in this crewelwork style. I’m dying to get to those other projects, so this one will be pretty small, but I’ll really just be sampling one thing. So if you’d like to join me, keep your crewelwork stuff out: we’ll need a small piece of sturdy linen fabric or canvas and about four sets of three colors that can blend into each other. I’ve ordered some and it’s still on the way, so I can’t provide a photo yet, but I chose four colors and (mostly) bought consecutive shade numbers.*

I have to wait for my order to arrive, so I won’t be able to start until the beginning of next week – plenty of time if you’d like to join me!

(* To be fair, I own the Appleton’s boxed color cards, and with so many colors on offer, it’s really worth it. But it’s certainly not cheap, so for shading purposes, consecutive numbers are a safe way to get a nice gradual shade shift.)

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