This and That

Random bits of my life

Posts Tagged ‘embroidery’

Lady with Unicorn Update

Posted by Avital Pinnick on May 3, 2010

Lady with Unicorn update

I haven’t posted updates for a couple months. I put the project away just before Passover and it took quite a while for me to get back to it. I started this project on Nov. 23, 2009. In this photo I’ve completed 5135 stitches. That’s 3.9% of 130,380 stitches.

I enjoy working on the flag because there are large areas of red or blue. The mille fleur areas outside the main figures in this design are torture at times! It’s a good thing that I can use the pin stitch for starting and ending a thread. That means that I don’t have to unclamp the frame from the stand and flip it over to work on the back. All the work is done on the front.

Sometimes the whole enterprise strikes me as rather quixotic. After I worked for three years on Teresa Wentzler’s English Garden Sampler, I framed it and hung it in my living room. I don’t think a single person has ever commented on the intricate stitching or delicate shading!

Lady with Unicorn: Sense of Hearing

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The Girl on the Wall Tapestry

Posted by Avital Pinnick on April 11, 2010

Jean Baggott, born in the UK’s Black Country in 1937, completed an amazing tapestry (actually embroidery) on the events of her life. The tapestry took 16 months to complete and comprises 73 interlocking circles. This video describes how she started the project. She started out describing the people and events around her and then realised that the project was about her. What an amazing journal!

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Lady with Unicorn Update

Posted by Avital Pinnick on March 3, 2010

I just realised that it’s been a while (over a month) since I last posted an updated of the endless embroidery.

Lady with Unicorn Update - Mar. 3, 2010

I started this piece on Nov. 23, 2009, and have worked 4686 stitches out of 130,380. Almost 3.6%!

Purchased from Scarlet Quince
318 x 410 stitches (total: 130,380 stitches)
130 colours
18-count Aida (= 18 stitches/inch)

Here’s a view of the finished piece:

Lady with Unicorn: Sense of Hearing

The set of progress photos is posted on Flickr. I saw the original tapestries when I was backpacking through France while in grad school, years ago.

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Lady with Unicorn Update

Posted by Avital Pinnick on January 22, 2010

Lady with Unicorn: Sense of Hearing - Jan. 18, 2010

Started Nov. 23, 2009. 3529 stitches completed. Hey, that’s 2.7% of the total!

Actually this is almost half of the first page of charts.

Lady with Unicorn: Sense of Hearing

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Lady with Unicorn, End of Year Update

Posted by Avital Pinnick on December 31, 2009

Lady with Unicorn, Dec. 31, 2009

It has been just over five weeks and around 2800 stitches since I started this embroidery (Nov. 23, 2009). The floor stand for the frame helps enormously. I highly recommend one if you tackle a large embroidery project.

Lady with Unicorn: Sense of Hearing

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Lady with Unicorn, Third Week

Posted by Avital Pinnick on December 16, 2009

Lady with Unicorn Update - Dec. 16, 2009

I started this piece on Nov. 23, 2009 and today is Dec. 16. So far I’ve worked 1790 stitches, just over 1%. Only another 128,590 stitches to go!

Lady with Unicorn: Sense of Hearing

A friend and I ordered floor stands together from an eBay seller in the UK. So far the clamps have arrived. Still waiting for two mailing tubes with the other pieces. I will be very happy to have a floor stand for my frame. The frame is not very stable supported on two bookstands sitting on top of thick dictionaries.

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Lady with Unicorn Update, Week 2

Posted by Avital Pinnick on December 8, 2009

Lady with Unicorn update, Dec. 8, 2009

It’s hard to believe that it’s just over two weeks since I started the Lady with Unicorn:Sense of Hearing. I’ve completed around 1250 stitches.

Um, that’s just under 1%….

It’s a good thing that I really like the colours!

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Lady with Unicorn: Week One

Posted by Avital Pinnick on November 29, 2009

Lady with Unicorn

I took this photo a couple days ago to show my progress for the first week. Over 500 stitches so far!

I also ordered a floor stand for my frame. I didn’t think I would ever be able to afford one, but my friend and Oasis Guild buddy, Donna, is dying for a floor stand. Two stands ordered together from the UK means that the postage is only half the cost instead of equal to the cost of the stand. Even so, it’s a lot less than we would pay for a floor stand from the US. We’re both very excited about it.

Because of the scale of the piece it’s nearly impossible to figure out what I’m embroidering unless it’s something obvious like a flag or a bird. I think these are leaves. The dark blues on the right appear to be foliage of a fruit tree.

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The First Stitch

Posted by Avital Pinnick on November 24, 2009

First stitch of the Lady with Unicorn: Sense of Hearing.

I pressed the fabric and stretched it in the scroll frame. Then I worked the first stitch in the upper left corner.

Looks pretty lonely, doesn’t it? (You might not be able to see it in this photo view. It’s just barely visible.)

First stitch

Every one of those squares is 100 stitches.

The first stitches were absolute misery because my frame holder is not large enough or sturdy enough to hold a 23″ wide scroll frame. Now I wonder how I managed the Teresa Wentzler “English Garden Sampler.” The pegs sticking out of the bottom aren’t long enough to support a frame with a lot of fabric wound around the bottom bar and the arms don’t extend wide enough to allow free access to the back, which is essential. (For you non-stitchers, one hand is held behind the fabric at all times and other is held in front.)

Table stand

I improvised a frame holder with two thick dictionaries and a couple book stands. It’s unwieldy but it will do the job until I can figure out a more practical solution. Shipping a frame holder from the US or the UK would be very expensive and I don’t know enough about their design to try drafting a plan and taking it to a professional wood-worker. (If you can offer any suggestions, please help me!)

Improvised frame holder

Here are my efforts for the first day — about 150 stitches. Only 130,230 to go! You can stop laughing now…

I really like the colour combinations (very fall-like), so this project is better suited for me than the White Lilies I just finished. White Lilies’ background had too many brown/purple stitch combos for my taste and I had a tough time distinguishing between the browns in poor light.

Day 1

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Embroidery Preparation

Posted by Avital Pinnick on November 23, 2009

I took a couple shots of the preparations for the Lady and the Unicorn embroidery.

The first photo shows the fabric (21×29 inches) in the process of being marked into a 10×10-stitch grid with thread. The finished size of the piece will be 18×23 inches.

Gridding fabric

Sorting the floss on the table with the leaf extended was my husband’s idea. I didn’t count the total number of skeins but it’s over 150. It took me about two hours to cut 18″ pieces and sort them into 153 little bags according to colour combo and symbol.

I’m missing three skeins. DARN. But I’ll still be able to start the embroidery. I have to remember to pick up the missing colours fairly soon.

Sorting floss

Next: ironing the fabric and stretching it in the scroll frame. My frame is only 21 inches wide, so I am going to fold the overlap underneath. I hope it doesn’t affect the tension too much. If the center is too lose, I’ll either roll a dish towel between the layers or look into buying dowels to extend my frame width.

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