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Framing up the 2023 Stumpwork Sampler...

At long last I've begun work on the Stumpwork Sampler - my 3rd (and probably final) year-long technique. I'm sure I'll revisit the other techniques (mixed surface stitches and goldwork ) with new designs, but I think Stumpwork (or Raised Work as it was originally called) is my final 'biggie'. I mean let's face it, once you've got the huge variety of freestyle surface stitches, goldwork and raised work, what more do you need? :) I did think of doing something along the counted line (like Blackwork, and Pulled & Drawn thread embroidery) but the jury is still out on that. Perhaps some smaller projects.

So back to the Raised Sampler - I checked the numbers, and there are 8 different needlelace patterns, 7 different types of 'slips' (things you work separately and then add onto the main fabric afterwards), 16 different raised, or textured stitches, and a complete Figure. Oh, and some fabric painting thrown in for good measure. I can't tell you how much I've been looking forward to doing this!

The first thing to do is frame up the main fabric, which is attached via long & short stitches to some backing calico which has itself first been attached to a 24" slate frame. The whole thing is stretched to a good firm tension, and then the sampler's 'footprint' is tacked out on the ground fabric. I'm using a lovely linen/cotton blend, which has the look and feel (but is more robust than) Silk Noile.

Being a sampler, the layout is quite formal - borders and blocks mostly. Students will get exact measurements to use when tacking out their own piece as I've learned THE HARD WAY that trying to screen-print straight lines onto a fabric with a clear grainline is just asking for trouble! As I'm going to be stitching my main piece prior to the finer details being printed on the fabric, I'll be using one of my favourite methods of design transfer: cotton organdie waste fabric. I'll show you in the next blog how that works - I have my talented colleague Helen McCook for this trick - I must have been snoozing on the day this was taught on the Apprenticeship! :)

Love 'n Stitches


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