At last I can share with you my completed cushion from my crewel embroidered tulip tree by Phillipa Turnbull of the Crewelwork Company.
Being less than handy with a sewing machine, this was quite a daunting task! Whilst there is definite room for improvement, I am quite pleased with the finished result!
First up was to block the piece, as per Phillipa’s instructions. I also have her Dvd, so I decided to watch that as well! It was really quite straight forward thanks to some brilliant instructions. I used a methodical process of first of all pinning all the sides as best I could by ‘sight’ to get them straight, and then I went around and tugged and pulled until the measurements suggested the piece was nice and square! Then the ‘drenching’ part. This was where I was most apprehensive! I drenched the embroidery, probably a little too much, but it all seemed to work out! Then I left it to dry out of the sun and away from being directly under any of the heaters. It took about three days to dry completely, but it ended up taking about a week before I came back to make it up into the cushion!
The change in the piece once it was all dry was amazing! Such a great way to get all of the creases out of the (rather scrunched) linen fabric! Much more effective than an iron.
Then the real fun began – construction time! Whilst I probably do have instructions on how to do this somewhere, I just dived straight in and worked it out as I went along! I spent a lot of time thinking about the ‘how’, so whilst it might sound a little reckless, I did put quite a bit of thought into it!
I measured up the fabric to my desired size, and using a water-soluable pen, marked this around the fabric. I then pinned, and then tacked, the piping around this marking.
Next up was the backing. I again measured, and worked out where I wanted the buttons on the back to be placed, before tacking all of this together.
Out came the beast! As I said before, the sewing machine and I aren’t on the best of terms. Thankfully we were reasonably good friends this time around. I really struggled to get as close as I would have liked to the edge of the piping, and it took two attempts to get this to an acceptable standard, and I hand stitched the corners. All in all, it was a successful finish! The buttonholes aren’t as neat as I would have liked, however having never done them before my trials, I was pleased with how the turned out (and they’re on the back!). Maybe once I’m a little more on top of using the beast I’ll tidy some things up!
And here’s my new cushion! I’m really pleased with the end result, and am glad I spent the time ‘finishing’ the project. I have a pile of embroidery that is completed, but nothing has happened except taking it out of the hoop!
This was my first attempt at crewel embroidery, and I have to say I really enjoyed it. The wool grows quickly and is a forgiving fibre to work with. I have a few other patterns and kits in ‘the box’, which I will definitely be giving a go!
Have you ever tried crewel embroidery? Do you enjoy working with woollen threads?