Ufffff… well, I guess I should start this post with an apology to both you and my neglected blog. Sadly I have not skipped off into some fibery sunset to develop new innovative chain plying methods, instead the reasons for my absence are rather more lame. Being the eternal optimist about time commitments, I had hoped that the last few weeks would just be standard levels of busy rather than ‘everything is on fire’ status.Read More »
This is a great shot of how my coffee table currently looks. Beads, beads, beads, a marked-up temari, embroidery cases and the V&A’s latest magazine that I thoroughly blame for causing the bead situation in the first place. They have a Fabergé exhibition coming up soon and so had the most wonderful jewel-encrusted piece on the front cover which left my inner magpie hankering for shiny things…Read More »
As an embroiderer, it’s often difficult to find shops that stock more exciting thread than just the standard DMC/Anchor floss ranges. It can even be difficult to find places that stock embroidery-suitable fabrics that are more exciting than 14 count Aida in white. This is why it’s always so exciting to find a place like The London Bead Co., which while formally being a shop for all things small and shiny, has one of the most beautiful thread collections I’ve ever seen. I think only Old World Designs comes close!Read More »
Thank you all so much for your incredibly kind comments on my blog the other day. I honestly was really touched by you all taking the time to be encouraging and sympathetic. I don’t know if it was the sheer loveliness that got me really wanting to stitch again or maybe that post was blowing off the last bit of the cobwebs for me to emerge out of the cave I’ve been hiding in. The best part is, here is all the embroidery for my lovely canvaswork piece finished with another great story of human kindness to go with it.
Apologies for the unexpected blog holiday for the last two weeks… I promise at least some of it has been for nice, crafty things but unfortunately the rest was more the inevitable pile-up of deadlines and work-related fires that even the most serene levels of organisation can’t keep under control.
What a better way to see in the new year than with a new project? One of the very nice surprises I found at the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching show was a rather cheerful canvaswork design by Sue Hawkins I’d first seen on the cover of Issue 98 of the Embroiderer’s Guild Stitch Magazine had been on project wishlist ever since. I am glad to say that finding the kit was definitely a small piece of serendipity!
A while ago, I’d done a beginners tambour beading class, where I’d become hooked on new ways to add all things shiny to my work. As a day was not nearly sufficient time to fully appreciate all the joys and techniques of tambour, I was lucky enough to be able to attend a follow-on workshop to learn some more.
Tambour (seemingly known interchangeable as tambour beading or tambour embroidery) has been a technique that I’ve wanted to try for a long time. Tambour is usually a technique uttered in the same breath as ‘haute couture’ as it is often the technique of choice for adding the glitz and glamour to wedding and evening dresses.
When you think of embroidery, you usually think of a needle and thread, but tambour is worked with a hook, very similar to a crochet hook. It’s also a little bizarre as you have the back of the work facing you as you stitch with the ‘live’ thread or beads underneath. The reason for its popularity though, is because when you’re not fumbling around like a true beginner, it’s an incredibly efficient technique for applying beads and embellishments to fabric.
When I had the chance to try a class with Tambour and Clutch, it seemed like the perfect excuse to learn something new. However, I never thought I’d feel quite as out of my depth doing chain stitch as I did starting tambour!