I love embroidery. On clothes, linens, home decor-it can be so beautiful. And while I’ve been embroidering myself for many years now, I’ve only recently become attune to the fact that there are several different types of embroidery. One of the oldest, and the first one I chose to tackle, is Crewel embroidery.
But what is Crewel embroidery? Basically here’s how I understand it: 1. must be done with wool thread (if its not its technically not crewel) and 2. uses a variety of stitches (freehand, not counted) to create texture. One of the distinguishing features of crewel work is not just the design, but the uses of a whole lot of stitches to make the design pop and add dimension.
I knew for my first piece I wanted to follow a design that I could trace onto my linen. I purchased this one on Etsy. Talk about the vintage feels! And that castle motif! I also purchased my wool thread on Etsy.
Following this pattern was fairly easy once I got it transferred to my fabric. I learned a lot of new stitches and enjoyed getting to use a lot of different colors in the same piece. I’d say this piece took me around threeish months of light work 4-5 days a week. I think I’m going to turn this into a pillow front.
Crewel wool is thicker and fluffier than cotton embroidery thread, and (imo) more vibrant.
Satin (filler) stitches for the field, man, horse body, and path. Stem stitches for outlining. French knots for the bridle, and trellis for the criss-cross sections.
Short and long stitches for tree leaves, satin for the oranges.
More satin stitches for the castle and trellis. This was the first time I tried the trellis stitch. It looks complicated, but isn’t, just time consuming!
Also the first time I’ve done buttonhole stitches for embroidery. I love how they give the different sections on this little tree a border.
I’m very satisfied with my first Crewel project. It turned out better than I expected for a first effort! I’m already working on my next design, and I’ll give you a hint, it involves a parrot!
Have you read my last blog post about my Sephora VIB wish-list? You can here!