Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Plain and Fancy

Aside from being requirements for young women's needle skills at an earlier stage in US history, it's also the title of an excellent book on the history of American needlework by Susan Swan, of Wintherthur, well worth reading.

I thought of it yesterday, as I did a bit of "plain" sewing -- reducing an unused bath towel to four hand towels, much more useful.  I buttonhole stitched around the raw edges I created by cutting.

And noticed that my latest adventure in teaching myself new stuff, hardanger,  "fancy" to be exact, had employed buttonhole, at least my version of it did. 
I couldn't get hardanger cloth, so tried out an even weave linen, which was very tricky, because linen's alive and moving as you work, making counting a challenge.  But I managed to get around the diamond pretty well considering, and figured out how to do the cutting, then decided I would do what I wanted from then,with the resulting network in the middle.  I just whipped some of the lines, buttonholed others, and for a first try, it's not too bad.  Stands to improve, and when my hardanger comes, I plan on taking another run at it.

The little piece of scrap fabric was my initial test of how to do the squares, and how to cut, before I ventured in cutting the linen.  Since my usual approach to art is very loose and spontaneous, it's good now and then to go to the other end, and do a geometric piece of work which needs care and slowness and counting and all the things that I normally whip by.  It also helped me cope with the events of the last couple of weeks.


Minimiss said...

I love hardanger. Unlike you it's the counting and geometric designs which I love to do. Yours is very pretty.

Isabelle said...

sometimes I tell myself I'll try out the hardanger, but first, I have so many things on the way that I prefer to avoid adding to, and secondly, the idea of ​​cutting into my embroidery makes my terrified.
But your attempts are very nice. i love the orange thread on the linen fabric.