Archive for Tom of Oswestry

Tom of Oswestry

Posted in Embroidery, Needlework with tags , , , , on April 1, 2020 by suetortoise

In my last post, I talked about the workshop that Tanya Bentham of Opus Anglicanum blog ran at Ewe & Ply in Oswestry. (Yes, once upon a time we could do things like that, children.) I didn’t feel like stitching at the start of the virus lockdown, I was too stressed. So it has taken me a while to get back into it, but then I was eager to pick up a needle again. Tom is finally finished, and here he is:

I struggled to get his head right. About three or four unpickings. Fortunately the linen was sturdy enough to take that much punishment. The original drawing was just the cat, bow and arrow and a plain hillock for him to stand on, but I wanted a little more. I wanted smaller arrowhead. I wanted a bird on the arrow, and that turned into a robin. Then I wanted flowers at the bottom to echo the robin’s orange-red breast, and they sort of took on a life of their own. 

Anyway, I am very pleased with the end result. This is a big piece by my usual standards, the stitched area is 20cm high. I wanted the linen to be less obviously white. I couldn’t dye it now it was mostly stitched, but I eventually solved that by using a bright canary yellow card beneath the fabric. It warms the background just enough, although I can’t get it to look right in a photo. I haven’t taken him off the frame and mounted him yet. I am really pleased with Tom, and I hope to get him properly framed eventually. When we have framing shops again…

Meanwhile, someone wanted a chart for the virus for a “Wash Your Hands!” sign. So here it is for you, in case you also have a use for it. You can work the beads as smyrna stitches or French knots. Feel free to use it, to adapt it and to pass it on to others, if you wish. 

Look after yourselves, people. 

Have you been doing more stitching or other creative things recently, or have you been too stressed?