Working weekend

I meant to post this yesterday, but got a bit overexcited about the fabric because it felt like I’d been waiting for weeks. In reality it was probably ten days. I think in these days of internet shopping we are so used to things turning up almost instantaneously, waiting for the spoonflower order was like being a kid again, when anything mail ordered meant waiting a month whilst cheques were cashed and pack mules ambled their way across the Pennines – at least I always imagined it was pack mules since it seemed to take forever.

Anyway, the weekend at the ashmolean. We had Friday ambling round town because I’d booked the hotel too early, which was nice because I really really needed a day off- I spent over a week prepping stuff.

The appliqué course on Saturday was jolly good fun. Nobody actually finished but everybody made good progress. I’m hoping people send me finished pics because as usual I was so preoccupied making sure everyone had what they needed I forgot to take any.

Sunday, the first of three opus Anglicanum days, was slower and more serious, but I think everyone got the basics enough to make their own progress for next time. We were concentrating on drapery, and I’m hoping everyone takes the time to work on theirs because it will leave them better prepared to do the faces next time. I will try to take progress pics next time.

For today I have pics if a second appliqué piece I started as a sample. This one is taken from a German hanging in the europaische stickereien book. I’ve done one of the 12 panels as a cushion.

I normally cut all of my pieces and tack them before sewing anything, but in this case I thought it would be best to start with the couched vine that acts as the foundation for the whole design. I was keen to play with the 2 1/2 / 2 fluffy white silk I’d just bought because it’s so soft it feels like it’s made from kittens. I can never see the point in marking organic designs with too much precision, so I simply roughed out a single line with tailors chalk.


It was enough to keep me on the right track, and I added twigs and what have you as I went. The outer line was the hard part and then the inner just sort of followed round. I didn’t bother plunging the silk through the background wool, instead I just ended it so that could eventually be covered by a flower


I kind of liked it at this stage, but of course to replicate the original it needs leaves and flowers. These are mostly so tiny it made no sense to tack them, instead I’ve simply been holding each one in place as I sewed ( this wool is like fuzzy felt and doesn’t slip much) and I’ve been sewing the leather strip on as I go.


I’m hoping I have time to finish it soon because I really like they way it’s looking, but I need to concentrate on a couple of articles and of course the stitch along first.

~ by opusanglicanum on August 19, 2014.

6 Responses to “Working weekend”

  1. It does look good. My only pieces of applique so far have been on very unforgiving fabrics – I love the idea of the wool being like fuzzy felt, just staying in place!
    Do kids get to play with fuzzy felt these days? Just think what they are missing!

    • Hee- you’ll have to come and play next time

      You can still get fuzzy felt, Gareth got some fir all of us a few Christmases ago, but I think most of their sales these days are to overgrown toddlers rather than actual sized ones

  2. I really like the design at the outline stage too, but then I scrolled down and I really like it with the flowers added as well!

    • I think the simple outlining has potential for modern applications, but medival art doesn’t really do less is more( which in itself is odd cos I realised looking round the eye of the needle exhibit that I like the simplicity of medieval embroidery, there were too many stitches in the Jacobean stuff)

  3. I really enjoyed Sunday doing the Opus Anglicanum day with you. I’ve nearly completed my outlines and have just started “filling in” the colours of the robe. Hoping to get most of it done before the next workshop, but it does take a long time – very therapeutic though in a meditative sort of way.

    • yay for progress!

      no argueing with the slowness of it though, even when I work five or six hours a day it still takes me three weeks to do two figure for a purse, and I’m relatively quick, so dont let it get you down

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