Constance Howard samplers online

Constance Howard, was a inspiring teacher and author who pioneered embroidery in textile design and made a colossal impact on contemporary embroidery. Her books were published in the 60′s and 70′s and you spot them I am sure a contemporary embroiderer would still learn from them.

Make a cuppa and browse the Constance Howard Resource and Research Centre in Textiles which is hosted by Goldsmiths College, University of London. This is one of those online resources which become more enjoyable the more you poke about. You need to use the search box however. I typed “samplers” into the image search box and discovered lots of interesting textiles to browse and learn from.

Constance Howard samplerConstance Howard worked this stitch sampler in black and white in the late 1970′s or early 1980s. It consists of rows of black and white stitching on a grey linen. Constance Howard is demonstrating working one stitch in 2 colours. Follow the link for close ups and details.

Constance Howard samplerIn this sample we can see Constance Howard experimenting with raised chain band.

Constance Howard samplerThis small sampler of multi-coloured, raised chain band is worked on red wool fabric by Constance Howard for one of her books

Constance Howard samplerThis sample worked by Constance Howard to illustrate the design process explained in her book ‘Inspiration for Embroidery’. The design is based on the two halves of a circle and realised in stiffened appliqué fabric.

Constance Howard samplerThis experimental sampler of free surface stitches is described as ‘Nets made with stitches, spots made with stitches‘ written on the mount by Constance Howard.

As I said all of these samples were worked between the 60′s to the 80′s and contemporary embroiderers owe her much as her creativity and emphasis on design pushed embroidery into a direction that many today do not venture! She was the first to say “it’s Ok to explore a stitch” and saw stitches as making graphic  marks.

The Constance Howard sampler Resource and Research Centre in Textiles collection held by the  University of London at Goldsmiths, pay the site a visit and learn a bit about contemporary embroidery too!

A very unusual sampler Has anyone seen anything like this?

I found a very Curious sampler and I wonder if anyone has encountered anything like it.

In the Salisbury Museum which has some great lace samples, some stumpwork, costume and accessories one of the items that caught my attention was a Sampler that recorded the results of the Wiltshire election of 1819. Has anyone ever seen anything like this? Click on the image to see a larger view.

samplerIt was behind glass in a room that was not well lit and this is best photo I could do. As you can see each candidates name is recorded and the number of votes. The piece was works in cross stitch on what looks like linen.

There was no accompanying information and it has really sparked my curiosity as I cant remember seeing a sampler that recorded political results quite like this. If any of my readers know more about his or samplers like it please let me know.
My holiday is progressing well. If you are interested in our travels make a cuppa and  visit Tones and tints

Take a Stitch Tuesday Stitch 66 Coral stitch

This week I have an easy quick stitch which I hope people will enjoy. Coral stitch is also known as coral knot, German knot stitch, knotted stitch, beaded stitch, and snail trail. It is also incorrectly known as scroll stitch which we looked at in TAST week 63. If you compare the two stitches you will see the needle is wrapped in a different manner producing a different look to the line.

Coral stitch is an old embroidery stitch which creates a line that looks like a row of knots and is used for outlines as it follows a curved detail well.

It is also a very useful stitch for twiggy bits in a floral design. If you work it in a very precise manner with knot spaced at exact intervals coral stitch can also be used to create a knotted filling with the knots forming a secondary pattern across the filling.

How to work Coral Stitch 

Coral stitch is worked from right to left. To work bring the thread up from the back of the fabric and hold it loosely on the surface of the fabric with your thumb.

Insert the needle at a slight right angle, above the line to be worked and bring it out just below the line to be worked and under the fabric that is laid flat to the fabric. Wrap the thread under the needle as illustrated.

Coral stitch step 1

Pull the needle through the fabric  to form a knot.

Coral stitch step 2Continue in this manner along the line.

Coral stitch step 3

Coral stitch can be varied by altering the angle of the needle as it passes through the fabric. Some people work this stitch with the needle entering the fabric in a vertical position as it passes through the fabric. This will produce a tighter knot.  By altering the spacing of the knots along the row the stitch can appear to be different.

The effect created is also altered by the weight and twist of the thread used. This sample was worked using perle # 5 cotton however experiment with threads as this stitch looks good worked in thicker threads or even a fine ribbon.

How to join in

It is not complicated. All you need to do is stitch a sample of this stitch or ANY of the stitches listed on the TAST FAQ page.

Once you have worked a sample,  photograph it and put it online at your blog, flickr etc then swing back to the Last TAST post (you will find it under the category each week)   and leave a comment that includes  your web address. When you leave a comment include the http:// part of the address as then your address becomes a link and readers will be able easily visit and see your sample. Remember you can leave a comment about any stitch you have worked as long as it is listed on the TAST FAQ page.

Any special rules?

There are no rules but I do have a request, please link back here.

Further information

If you need further information on the challenge a list of stitches covered so far or directions on how to participate please visit the TAST FAQ page.

You can read back through TAST articles by browsing Challenges -  Take a Stitch Tuesday category

Other groups and networks

You can also share your explorations with other members on the social network site of your choice. There is a Facebook TAST 2012 page,   stitchin fingers group and the flickr TAST site. All these sub groups are set up at request of members


For the Love of Stitching Sample 611

If you are enjoying this series of articles I regularly offer online classes. These are currently on offer.

Follow the links for further details, requirements list and to book a place. If you are not sure how an online class runs visit this page for a description of how classes are run online.

hand embroidery detail on needlework stitching samplerThis area is found on section 44 of The for Love of Stitching Band Sampler.

Stitch:

Sorbello stitch

Thread:

Perle #5  cotton hand dyed by me with Procion dyes

Fabric:

Hand dyed linen

Date:

This section of the sampler was worked second half of 2009.

Size:

The For Love of Stitching Band Sampler is 15 cm (6 inches) wide and consists of different strips of fabric which are stitched together to form one long strip. It currently measures 96 feet 5 inches (2,938.78 centimetres), or  32.138 yards which is 29.3878 meters. It is still growing…

Sampler FAQ
For the full back story on this piece visit the Sampler FAQ page.

All posts in the series are in the category  the Love of Stitching Band Sampler.