Sandra began the day by describing the delights of lichens which are soon realised once they are made a focus of our attention. Lichens present such a variety of types and, often intense, colour. Historically, lichens have been a source of food and a means of dyeing fabrics. They have also featured in folk medicine and may have resulted in a few women being tried as witches! Lichens can often be found on textured old stone and tree bark. Their very structure simply invites embroiderers to interpret them with stitches, such as French and bullion knots, as well as woven wheels.
A second approach is to apply similar types of stitching to double layered muslin held in a hoop. Texture can be added by fixing a small piece of felt to the centre of the muslin to support heavy stitching. A small ring, covered with buttonhole stitch, also adds texture. Using a skewer to make a hole in the muslin and stitching through the hole into the background, can add further interest.
On completion, the work is cut out, leaving a quarter inch of bare muslin round the shape. The edges are turned under when the shape is embroidered onto a background of choice, e.g. a felted pebble or bark. The chosen support can be embellished with similar stitching to that on the muslin in order to meld muslin and background.
Here are some images of members working hard on their individual pieces.............
Here are the results of the days work..........
At the end of the Day School, warm thanks were given to Sandra for a day which had lived up to, and exceeded, our expectations.
Our thanks to Helen Forshaw who kindly wrote the blog for us this month.