Mary's Reticule · Stumpwork · Tambour Embroidery

Mary’s Reticule Progress and a Rose

My goal was to have this reticule finished by the time I went to the EAC Seminar “Inspiring Threads”. With less than a month to go I can say that I’ll have the embroidery done for sure but not that I’ll have the reticule seen together.  

I have the vine pattern on all four panels complete, one the of panels completed and a second close behind.  

I also have to finish a retirement gift for my co-worker by the end of May.  I’m stitching a stump work Rose from Inspirations Magazine Issue 85 called: Full Bloom by Susan Porter.  I started on the leaves over the weekend.


Crochet · Knit

Christmas Presents: Play Food

I hope my young cousins (twins 3 1/2 & baby 1 1/2) enjoy playing with them as much as I did making them.  I didn’t have the right yarn colour for eggs to go with the bacon.

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embroidery · Free Project · Mary's Reticule · Tambour Embroidery · Town Clock Stitchers

Tambour Christmas Tree

The actual post that got my subconscious interested in learning Tambour embroidery was from a December 2014 post by Mary Corbet.  She posted a design for a Christmas tree that I love (see post here).  In it were the words…”especially suitable for Tambour embroidery…”  Naturally I had to follow the link about Tambour embroidery and my interest was peaked.  So when I saw an early 19th century reticule that was done in tambour embroidery I had a frame of reference, and when my guild decided to reproduce that reticule I was glad for the excuse to finally learn the technique.  In the lull of waiting for the materials for my reticule project to arrive I printed off the Christmas Tree design that originally interested me and stitched it with my Tambour hook.  The fabric is red cotton and the thread is metallic gold machine embroidery thread.




Mary's Reticule · Tambour Embroidery

Tambour improvement

I’ve been working on tambour embroidery every day for over a month now.  I am satisfied that I can now tackle the reticule reproduction.  Initially I would turn the frame to do a shape…now I don’t.  I was using a needle to plunge thread and help me turn…now I use the tambour needle.  I have better and more consistent tension than before…to begin with I was pulling too tight.  My stitches are more uniform as well.  I’m pleased that the work I’ve put into learning is paying off.

I’ll be starting on the real thing in a month.  The fabric is ordered and I’m picking it up today.  Now to figure out which pattern transfer method to do.  I’m leaning towards prick and pounce because that is historically accurate and because I don’t like using pencil on this type of project.  I find the lead gets on the threads.  I only know how to do prick and pounce in theory…we’ll see what happens.


Mary's Reticule

Figuring things out with more practice

I have to kit 11 reticules.  So it’s a little important to determine the lengths required of either DMC Floss or silk.  I had a scrap of fabric (muslin I think) and tacked it onto a frame.  It isn’t the final shape of the vine border, I’ve made some changes after having seen the actual reticule in person again.  This shape suits my purposes though.  I measured the floss required for stitching the border and then decided to put a flower inside and start on that.  I’m also keeping track of the floss I’m using on the Rose.

Tambour Embroidery

My cat likes Tambour Emobroidery

I noticed something rather funny this morning.  I normally have about 30 minutes to sit down in the morning before leaving for work.  I spend the time stitching, knitting or crocheting.  This morning I was practising tambour.  My cat, Abbie, is 15 years old and as a kitten she was very interested in my embroidery.  She would often lie down on my knees and press her paws against the back of the linen and I would see her nails poking through.  As the years went on she has settled with sleeping/sitting next to me and not shown a big interest in my embroidery.

This morning as I was putting in some stitches with my tambour hook I notice that Abbie is sitting next to me paying very close attention.  I am able to move faster with the stitches now…still a snails pace I’m sure, but fast enough to catch the cat’s eyes.  The thread in my left hand, under the frame moves around a lot and she was sitting up with her head tilted to see under the frame.

Mary's Reticule · NS Natural History Museum: History Collection · Tambour Embroidery · Uncategorized

Tambour Practice

Before, during and after stitching I’ve been comparing what I am attempting with the original.  Since I am a beginner I just want to see if I can shape the tambour lines in a similar way.  So far so good.  I’ve noticed that I snag a lot less frequently than a week ago; I’m moving faster as well.  In my current practice flowers I have been carrying the thread behind the fabric back to the starting point rather than turning the line of stitches.  I was viewing Mary’s Reticule yesterday for nearly 2 hours with Lisa and we determined that Mary had turned her lines.  We were also refining the colour choices for the flowers and their greenery.  Mary’s Reticule has such fine, tiny stitches that by the end of the 2 hours I had a headache.  In some places it was easy to decide on a colour and in others time had faded the colour so badly that it was difficult to know.

I have totally been cheating by turning my frame…that is something I have to work on not doing.  Up to this point I’ve been interested in getting familiar with the hand motions involved with the Tambour hook.  Now I am onto not turning the frame and turning corners.