I love it all: embroidery, canvaswork, quilting, crochet. So much to do, so little time.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Divine Ms. Scoular

Last week my friend Joyce and I took a road trip to Bloomington, Minnesota, near the Twin Cities to attend the EGA Heartland Regional Seminar hosted by the St. Paul Needleworkers chapter.  We were able to take only one 2-day class, so we chose the blackwork class being taught by Marion Scoular--and we're glad we did.

About a month ago, we received our 28-count Lugana fabric in the mail, with the outline of the design already drawn on (thanks for that, Marion!).  All we were asked to do was damp press the fabric (if we so desired), mount it on our frame of choice, and bring our own threads and colors to stitch with.  She assured us in her accompanying note that we wouldn't be bored in her class (I certainly wasn't), that we would get hooked on blackwork (as most of you know, I already was), and that every student's piece would be quite different from all the others.  I was a little skeptical about that last claim.  I thought that everyone's would be a different color, of course, but that we would just copy what she had stitched.

When the class started, we were given a wide variety of blackwork patterns from which to choose.  Here are some models that Marion brought with her.  As you can see, each is really different from the others--there was a fourth piece that had just every other section stitched, but I didn't get a good photo of it.  She didn't tell us which specific blackwork patterns she used, these are merely for inspiration.

We are doing the Dresden design that you see on top and on the lower right.  The piece on the lower right has half the sections shaded dark to light from the center outward, and the other sections are shaded the opposite.  I'm not going to get quite that fancy with mine.

Here is my start.  I'm planning to stitch only every other section, using a red and blue color scheme, and the Lugana really is white.  Marion gave us some clever blackwork patterns that are actually letters, if you look hard enough.  Starting with the section in the southwest corner, the pattern will spell C H I C A G O.  Can you see the first four letters?  The stitched sections will be shaded and outlined, but only after we get all the base patterns stitched, per Marion's instructions.  I made my task a little bit more challenging because all of her patterns have suggestions for shading, except for the "letter" patterns, so I'm on my own with that.  Chicago's flag is blue, white and red--I may depict it in the middle in some way.  No one in the class is doing anything like this piece, probably for good reason, so she was right about each piece being totally different, too.

Here is the Divine Ms. Scoular her very self.
She is a graduate of the 
Royal School of Needlework,
but is surprisingly relaxed about reversibility,
what types of stitches to use on the outline,
mixing double running, back stitch 
or a combination thereof within each section,
and even knots on the back of your work!
She teaches other techniques,
such as hardanger and hemstitching, too.
If you ever have an opportunity
to take a class from her, go for it!

That's all for now.
Thanks for visiting!


Linda said...

Beautiful designs.


Anonymous said...

beautiful work!

Mouse said...

ooooooooooo looks like you had fun and love how it has a secret in it too :) love mouse xxxx

Julie said...

WOW ... what an amzing time you must have had. This is going to be such fun watching this grow.

Anonymous said...

LOVE the red white and blue of your's going to be amazing. You have a lot of patience to do blackwork. I admire your talent!

Wendy said...

I can see that your piece is going to look great, I like the choice of the letter patterns, they're interesting! Now I've finished my mammoth blackwork project, I'm taking a break from blackwork for a while!

rosey175 said...

Oooh lovely class! I'm fond of that little oak and acorn design myself. The stones in the center of the Dresdens are a nifty idea too. :D

Carol said...

That looks like it must have been quite a class! The Dresden design is looking beautiful and looks very intricate to me... I look forward to seeing Chicago all spelled out!

Beth in IL said...

Blackwork is my least favorite stitching technique, but I love how it looks! Thanks for sharing your work.

Manuela said...

Wonderuful work.
Greetings, Manuela (your new follower).

Faith... said...

Oh I love this! Especially since I too am a Chicagoan :) Can't wait to see it finished!