For many years I believed my taste in design, furniture, clothes, accessories as well as in all kinds of crafts, to be a very modern, ecclectic and sort of industrial+midcentury meets low-key-cosy-scandinavian/nordiccontemporary style.
No wonder I'm a bit confused.
No 'girly' stuff for me thank-you-very-much, no lacy curtains (yuk!), sofas with pleats (yuk!), no valances, ruches or other frilly stuff (yuk! yuk! and yuk!) was allowed into my home - flowers belonged in gardens, pots and vases - I preferred straight lines, white almost empty walls and a few bold colors.
Going through my fabric stash, that has grown considerably over the past 3-4 years I have to admit that there is a disturbing amount of flowery patterns and an even more disturbing amount of 30'ies feed-sack and Aunt Grace reproduction prints.
Where did that come from????
I have no idea. Really. I'm getting older and letting go *lol*
I just know that these days I like the cute feedsack prints and I have a hard time passing a good offer when I see a new cute print in an onlineshop.
This has obviously evolved (or escalated) into this new interest of mine called Jacobean Crewel embroidery. I really like these semi-stylized flower and animal prints. Not all of them, but a lot of them has a very modern style and a lot of the patterns could easily be altered just a bit and used in new ways. This has been done very successfully by Katherine Shaughnessy, whose book I recently bought. Very clean lines - very crisp and very contemporary. I already have made plans to embroider a lampshade for my very beautiful Bitossi tablelamp with one of her simple but striking patterns - I so need to get rid of the old dark and grey silkshade. Another project added to the list:-).
I like the colors in crewel and of course I like the process of embroidering.
It is not easy. It takes patience and accuracy. And practice. Lots of practice. Lots of ripping out and doing it over again and again. Its challenging and I like that:-)
But don't ask me what I'm going to do with it. How I will 'use' it. My sofa will not be filled with pillows like this, they do so not go with anything in my home - although I find them absolutely beautiful and really want to make one!
Go take a look at Crewelwork.com - It is so beautiful and inspiring. Excellent work. And you can buy very nice kits for different levels of skills. From what I can judge the kits come with lots of help and 'how-to's regarding the different stitches and the linen twill should be the very best and most authentic on the market. Not the most inexpensive kits but the quality seems to be extremely fine.
I'm a beginner and although I'm very often over-ambitious I keep myself on track here. I've bought two small and very affordable kits on sale - no need to go big if you find out you don't like it anyway:-)
Some of these small kits are just adorable:
from Crewelwork.com This design looks so modern but is actually more than 400 years old!!
Shelagh Amor (from book on Amazon.com)
These two small kits below are the ones I bought - and I´ve almost finished the one just below. They are not superquality but are meant to be used for training and practice. The linen in these two kits are not linen twill but an evenweave quality - so I have not yet practised on twill.
The usefullness of such projects bothers me a lot actually.
I want things to be of use and not just lay in a drawer collecting dust. I really don't like crafty stuff hanging on my walls, I've seen horrible quilts and other crafty stuff completely take over a room - really really bad especially if it has weird colors and patterns and the worst: if it is badly crafted - Yikes!
I might frame those two small kits when finished and find a discreet place somewhere for them to hang - or maybe work hard on being creative and try to incorporate them in something like a bag. Something to think about there;-)
But - so far crewelling is fun and very relaxing - you can find yourself in a nice meditative state forgetting all kinds of problems and worry you have and it's a great thing to do when the weather is too cold for any outdoor activity and you just want to do something that is not quilt-related.