samplers teaching

Raised Circle Cottage Embroidery Sampler

This small project was designed to focus on raised circles. My original inspiration was from this Kay Neilsen piece, but replicating the whole thing would have been way too advanced for a student size project.

Our amazing LNS (Denise’s Needlework in St. Michael’s) focuses on needlepoint, which means that I often find different brands and types of thread there than I might at a shop that focuses on surface embroidery. I had discovered Frosty Rays by Rainbow Gallery there and used it in my tree sampler earlier in the year, but I then realized that I could use the mesh ribbon with a metallic core for a whole new effect in this piece. I wrapped wooden beads in Au Ver a Soie silk and then wrapped them with contrasting Frosty Rays ribbons. Each cabbage was padded with a range of materials from toy stuffing to dryer lint to show the effect of different stuffing options. The background was quickly sponge painted and my leftover straw silk (my other new favorite fiber discovery this year) went into the cottage roof.

I carved the tiny fence out of balsawood sticks and made the windows out of mica, although I couldn’t find the sparkly real mica that I’ve used in luxury stumpwork kits out of the UK before. It felt plastic-like and not nice, but my internet search skills didn’t turn up much. If you know where to get real mica sheets in the US, please leave it in the comments!

I think this would be a great project for a class, but I also might take another stab a the full illustration someday. Her outfit and the showy chicken might be really fun to work on.

2 replies on “Raised Circle Cottage Embroidery Sampler”

Thank you so much! I actually ended up preferring the dryer lint in the end. It had a denser texture than toy stuffing and was easier to work with, but it’s also definitely the more environmentally friendly option. It also seems somehow more in the spirit of the original stumpwork pieces, which were stuffed with human hair and whatever random bits and pieces were around people’s houses. We don’t think that way anymore, but maybe we all should sometimes!

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