For centuries women have used cloth as a tool of comfort and as an expression of beauty within their homes. Creating cloth for warmth, cloth for shelter, our female predecessors embellished these linens with hand stitch using laborious and time consuming techniques thereby enhancing the functional beauty of objects which enveloped and protected their families. Inspired by these women I hope my creations pay tribute to and recognise the devotion expressed in cloth by our female ancestors .

''the use of traditional often time consuming process alludes to the devotion of a mother''. c K. A. Ruane 2007

Saturday, September 19, 2009


My new piece for Sparkle is slowly taking shape. I have started to embroider a quote from my research onto silk. This tends to get done in small stages. Embroidering the text can take a long time plus there is the added problem of damp stretching. I do have a very large stretching board but it's quite cumbersome and takes up the whole floor in my dining room. When I am making a wrapping cloth or any other large piece of work I have to use it but as I intend to cut this text up for patchwork it's much easier to do small amounts that can be stretched on a smaller board.

Below you can see that I am making progress with my second canvas. The french knot piece here is going to be stitched to the tiny hexagons and it should all come together, (should!!). This piece has only just finished stretching so I haven't got round to taking it further but I really, really want to get it finished then I can complete my commission, finish the Sparkle cloth and move on with the text piece. If you can't already tell....I am so excited about this one. Remember my swaddling band? and remember how I wanted to take it further? Well we are at that point where hopefully I will achieve that. This one will be the same size as a traditional swaddling band which was 3 inches wide and 120 inches long, a lot of text, a lot of hexagons but amazingly exciting possibilities for edges. I wish I was there now, completing it, finishing it off.
The first piece is alredy cut up into patchwork pieces, not as small as the last ones these are just slightly bigger than one inch wide.

Talking of edges, how much inspiration can a girl get? I was so happy yesterday when these popped through my letter box, absolutely beautiful vintage cloths that I had bought here. Just look at the edges. I will definitely not be cutting these up they are way too special and as if you can't guess they will be carefully wrapped and put away, taken out to look at from time to time, oh o.k. then, taken out to look at A LOT! I am so in love.....

Now I'm off to put the kettle on and embroider more text, have a fantastic sunday!


Lyn Armstrong said...

Oh those vintage embroideries are to drool over, they are lovely, I am so green with envy...What superb work but they could not be kept in better hands.

Kayla coo said...

Hello Karen,
I so admire your detailed work.
The vintage cloths are very beautiful and I am inspired by them too!
Have a good week.
M x

Postcards from Wildwood said...

I always love your beautiful, perfect text embroidery! This is great.

Aida Costa said...

Beautiful vintage embroidery! I've eyed quite a few of Jo's items, I'd love to purchase some tatting soon.

méri said...

Your texr embroidery is so perfect!
Have a nice week, Karen!
And here is the Autumn!!

(I never know which word to choose: Automn or Fall???)

Elizabeth said...

Oh Karen all these lovely this that are cooking in your embroidery kitchen. They are simply to good to be true. Hope you will stop by my place because there is a little surprise for you. Pretty sure a little smile will appear around your lips. Anyway, thanks again for the inspiration.

See you.

Lajoni said...

Again such beautiful work...I've run out of suitably brilliant adjectives so WOW will have to suffice
oh there is a giveaway on my blog if your interested :)

Kelly Fletcher said...

Haven't been round for a while, but really enjoyed seeing all the things you've been stitching lately - and love that vintage edging.

Cerejeira said...

Hi Karen!!! The vintage is lovely and your work is coming very lovely cant not wait to see the piece complete. All the best on the comission piece.