Apologies for the awful pun but could not resist! We had a lovely day this Wednesday with the fan workshop and then a meal out with the sewing group. I am so lucky to have met such a wonderful group of very talented people and love meeting up with them every week.
The workshop was led by Vivien who has embroidered 70 fans herself and runs a lace stitching group every week at her home. I don’t think I am going to have time to do this regularly but loved learning the little bit that we did this week. It will probably take a while for the project to be finished as I have to do all of the others first but it is just the sort of quiet and intricate stitching that I love.
The motifs we made are to be glued on to a fan, I chose a white one but there were many others available.
There were various flower motifs to choose from, that Vivien had already drawn onto the orange backing fabric. The tulle is then basted on top.
Since I wear a lot of purple, and fans are an essential item here in the summer I chose purple thread for my contrast colour.
This type of lace is called needle run lace and there are many different regional variations of it.
The stitching involves a running stitch through the holes in the tulle to start with and then going back and oversewing each line to secure it as we will eventually cut around each motif. You then fill in the larger areas of the motif with your choice of filling stitch. The pictures below show Debbie hard at work on her blue flower.
Mary did hers in black, this will be put on a white fan.
There were some other fans that members of Vivien’s lace group have been working on, this one is Linda’s.
This is Claudia’s showing use of more than one colour. Some of the filling stitches are very similar to those used in blackwork.
These will be attached to fan fames, rather than stuck on to ready made fans. They are such amazing work, the result of many, many hours of stitching.
I wasn’t able to find many resources on this type of lace but did find this useful website. There are so many different varieties of lace and I love seeing them on my museum visits. Lace is something that is often found in portraits as well. I have been doing more research recently for the novel that I am writing, based partly at Hardwick Hall. This is one of my favourite portraits, of Queen Elizabeth 1st. Lace was very popular in Tudor times for the wonderful ruffs.
I am also writing about Mary, Queen of Scots, as she spent a lot of time with Bess of Hardwick during her captivity doing needlepoint embroidery.
As well as a course on the history of canals I am also doing a course about Mary, run by a fantastic organisation called Futurelearn. I have done lots of their history courses and they are really good. There are some beautiful pictures in this course. They have lots of interesting free courses and I have also done their creative writing ones which have been very helpful with my novel. I feel like I have got to keep the old brain from turning to mush now I no longer have to think for a living!
Cycling has been going well, another 25km ride on Sunday, I stopped off at the beach for a paddle half way through as it was very hot!
It is actually raining now, we have had some very impressive thunder and lightening this morning but normal weather service will be resumed tomorrow and we will be back to 23 degrees. Next week I am going on a coach trip to a fancy dress fiesta, so will be taking lots of pictures of the costumes there for you to admire. I do love a good fiesta 😉
Hope you have all had a nice week and have a lovely weekend ahead. Have fun, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.