I admit I haven’t gotten very far, but it’s a first attempt at drawing thread. (For the record: I’m using a fairly coarse Ikea linen fabric and a size 12 DMC perle cotton – my research said to use a thread around the same size as the threads in the fabric.) I’ve done only the very basic first steps: I snipped the threads with some teensy scissors and learned how to secure the threads on the sides — which I’m pretty sure I’ve done wrong, actually. (Maybe. It seems to depend on who you ask?)
This is definitely a needlecraft worth consulting the vintage books for. There’s not a lot of information on it in modern books or online. I worked with a few of my books from around the 1930s, but if you’re interested in giving it a try, this post from Mary Corbet’s Needle ‘n Thread seems like a good place to start. There’s some good photos and a bunch of links to further information at the end.
I’ve learned how to secure and do a basic wrap, gathering the remaining strands in the fabric. I’m already unsure how I feel about this craft. Although I generally like a little bit of fussiness in my needlework, and I’m not put off by the tedious aspects, this already feels like it might be a little too rigid for me. Once you cut threads in a fabric, you kind of have to follow the rules, you know?
I guess I don’t see an immediate way to modernize this craft – I mean, I’m sure it’s there if you’re creative! But my gut says it all feels a little too fiddly and old-fashioned for me. Though I did think wrapping those stitches was pretty fun. Let’s see how I’ll feel as I continue!
Ok, so I missed June. Shuddup. I have to tell you, the trickiest part about these samplers is the preparation! Way back when, my brother hosted a local radio show. He used to say that the show, one 3-hour slot every week, was so fun, but all the preparation – making playlists (pre-iTunes), finding funny tidbits to share, checking the charts, etc – was a crazy amount of work! These samplers are similar: doing the initial research, planning out a design, and trying to pick a topic that works well with that month’s schedule – it’s so much more work than I expected it to be, and if the beginning on the month sneaks up on me, it’s kind of a lost cause.
So I missed another month – meh, so what. I’m still working my way through the 12 samplers, even if my ‘year’ turned out to be a little iffy.
For July, I’m going to try a little bit of drawn thread work. I don’t have a photo of materials, because I believe we (if you’re stitching along) will just need some linen fabric, a pair of small, sharp scissors, and white threads of various types. I say ‘various types’ because I think we might try different threads and see how they work out – so maybe a fine perle cotton and some sewing thread, maybe linen thread if you have any. I think it might also depend on your linen fabric – mine is fairly coarse (from Ikea, the same as the fabric I used for my pattern darning sampler) so I might need a heavier thread than you will.
I so enjoyed just winging it on my canvaswork sampler that I’m going to take the same approach this time. I’ve got my antique books to help me along and I’ll just start and go. There’s a lot of fun stuff coming up in July (I’ll tell you more tomorrow!) so I’ll keep this one pretty simple, probably just 4 or 5 stitches to try the basics of the technique out. I’ve created a Drawn Thread Pinterest board for inspiration and I’ll be back with some some stitches and progress next Monday!
As expected, I did finish my canvaswork sampler while I was in Amsterdam (pinned here, ready to be blocked) – I think crewel is definitely the style I want to keep exploring, but this canvaswork is such fantastic fun!
It’s so instant-gratification – I’m sure every other sampler I’ve done so far took at least twice as long as this one. And I enjoyed it so much more, just relaxing, stitchy fun.
I think I want to use this cream-and-gray stitch in something large, just as a total all-over pattern. In these exact colors, it’s so delicious!
Sorry I didn’t offer much guidance on this sampler, if you’ve been stitching along at all. The truth is, you really don’t need any more than I linked to earlier. It’s just too simple to need more!
So. Time for June’s Sampler, #9. The thing is … I got nuthin’. No ideas. No inspiration at all. I mean, I have a list of potential styles to ‘sample’, and I want to try them all, but … none of them are grabbing me right now. And everything on that list needs a little more research than I have time for, given that it’s the 2nd of June already and I haven’t started. Any ideas??
(P.S. – I’m working on a new blog design and it’s eating up up all of my blogging time. Posting will be a little light for a while, but I promise, I’m not gone. And if you miss me, you can always find me at Twitter and Instagram!)
Ok, so how come none of you ever told me how much fun this canvaswork is?!?! You were trying to keep it for yourself, I know it!
Seriously, dudes, this one is crazy fun. Big huge needle, fat squishy yarn – BIG FAT STITCHEZ, YO. You can actually squeeze them. Squeezy embroidery!
As I said before, I’m just winging it for this sampler, and it’s a lot of fun working this way. The threads you see in the photo at the top are the only ones I will use (I think), and I’m just choosing stitches and placement as I go. It’s all very relaxing, since I usually do much more formal embroidery projects. With only crewelwork as an exception, this is absolutely my favorite sampler so far.
I’m heading off to Amsterdam for a week to see my Bestest Gal Pal and whatnot, so I’ll see you all in a week or so when I get back. In the meantime, if you haven’t started one of these canvaswork samplers, I seriously suggest you give it a try! (Read my first post about this sampler here.) I love mine so much, I’m even taking it on vacation with me – if you’re in Amsterdam and see someone making gigantic stitches in the park, stop by and say hey!
Well, d’oh. I didn’t finish. I did finish the peachy heart, as you can see – I’m really pleased that its shading shows up in this photo, I was sure photos would never pick it up. It’s not dramatic, but I think the colors are lovely! Anyway, still the gray to go, so I’ll have to keep working on this one as I start Sampler #8: canvaswork.
I haven’t started stitching anything yet, but I have done a little research and made some decisions about my sampler – most importantly, that I won’t be making any decisions about this sampler. Part of the process each month is planning out a design that will suit the embroidery style. But that’s my least favorite part – I need a break! And I never really do any stitching that kind of just goes along as it goes, with no plan to worry about. How lovely it sounds to just sit back and stitch away, not thinking beyond the wool in my hand. Yum!
So that’s the plan for this one – no planning. I have a bit of a neutrals-and-lights color scheme in my head, but I’m just going to wing the specifics. I have gathered together just a few basic resources for us to get started with:
- Because I’m going all improv with this sampler, I won’t do a whole week-by-week stitch-sharing thing. I hope that if you join in, you will just go with the flow with me! But to share stitch ideas and inspiration, I’ve made a Pinterest board just for Needlepoint. (If you check it out now and it’s very sparse, definitely go back later on – Pinterest seems to be having some technical difficulties today and I couldn’t bear to fight with it any more. I’ll keep adding to the board as I go!)
- For further stitch inspiration, find DMC’s needlepoint / canvaswork stitch guide here …
- … and About.com’s here.
- This might not seem like much of a tip, but be sure to scan your stitch dictionaries for canvas stitches – they aren’t always separated into their own section.
I’m going to assume for the moment that if you’re reading this and interested in stitching along, you’ve probably done at least a little cross-stitch, which will give you plenty of background about starting and finishing threads and those sort of basics. But if you do have any questions, please shout – I love to help!