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Topic: I have a vision, but I need your help! Plus a bonus photo of Phar Laps Heart <3  (Read 632 times)
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sewhighonlife
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« on: July 14, 2012 04:03:50 AM »

Hi everbody. I have what I feel is quite exciting inspiration for some embroidery, but having mainly stuck to cross stitch and only well planned out freehand, I feel I am at  a loss as to where to start on this project, but I am very excited by it and can't wait to begin!

About two weeks ago I was walking through the National Museum of Australia in Canberra, and other than Phar Laps heart, not a great deal had caught my attention.



 
But I couldn't walk past this display I found about Captain Cook.



I was so excited I took a photo, but sadly the iphone doesn't show the detail too much. Basically they are two embroideries; each is a hemisphere of the world as seen through the eyes of a young girl in the 17th century. Apparently the girls would embroider world maps as geography lessons and mark points of interest they had from their lessons. They would also track early explorers tracks around the seas and these hoops are unique in the fact that they only had Captain Cooks travels marked. Captain Cook discovered Australia in1770, so this particular map was even more exciting to me for that reason, plus I might learn more about him myself when making them! I love the fact that it was made before they even discovered that Tasmania is an island and she had it connected to the mainland.

I instantly wanted them! Smiley but the Museum would probably notice me smashing the cabinet to get them. Next best idea, make some myself, in the same style. Thats where the search began for similar work. But all the maps I could find were ultra modern or just down right ugly. I was sad I only had the dodgy photo I had taken, I remembered the amazing detail of the girls work, stiches so so tiny, words so perfect and just downright awesome. I started looking at old maps thinking I could copy them, and in my search I found the EXACT hoops I had seen in the museum online. The museum has an article on them and thankfully a very detailed picture!!!!! Yay.

Here is the link, lots of close ups and other photos!

http://www.nma.gov.au/collections/collection_interactives/european_voyages/european_voyages_to_the_australian_continent/empire/voyaging_with_a_needle/eastern_hemisphere_map

Soooooo... This is where I need your help. First I have never worked on a hoop, and these ones were obviously made in the 1700s so were probably made differently to todays. Would love some advice on how to stretch and nail etc. The material to use? Reading the article, says that it is a layer of fine silk stretched across cotton. Is this a common thing to do? Do I just get silk and cotton and stretch them together when doing the hoop? What sort of hoops? The article says when you look at the back, you can see the girls used vibrant colours, but I am actually wanting mine to look antique from the start and so I think I will choose lighter colours to begin with. What is the best way to transfer the pattern onto the silk? So many questions, and suggestions would be great! I think it could be an interesting project for anybody living in any country, putting your own explorers and landmarks on them.

So, any suggestions at all would be greatly appreciated!
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kittykill
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« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2012 07:13:33 AM »

I would go with just cotton, maybe invest in a Q-snap frame or a regular round hoop would be fine. After you are done, if you wanted to, find a more decorative hoop and frame it or stretch it like you would canvas with a wood frame. Another idea that would be very cool is to tea dye your fabric to give it an older worn look. Stitch everything up in darker colors and then soak in a tea bath.
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sewhighonlife
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« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2012 01:41:44 AM »

Wow, Kittykill, I'm a fan, Watch all your videos! Never expected for someone so famous  Cool to comment   Shocked ... I'm honoured.  Grin

Thanks for the tips. I love the tea idea. With the cotton, should I use something with a high thread count? I was thinking maybe a rough calico might also be an idea for the antique look but was wondering if the the thread count is important for the super fine work. As for thread, should I use anything special or is DMC pretty standard for all work.

Thank you.
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« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2012 03:32:12 PM »

 Kiss

I would  use something with a higher thread count, just because the looser the weave, the more holes you will have and flimsier the stitch is.  DMC is fine, be careful with any reds or bright colors, sometimes they like to bleed so maybe do a test strip on it. Love the idea of calico and you better post pictures! I am dying to see it!

Also, if you can't get DMC where you are at, try Anchor, I just bought some and I am loving it!
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« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2012 01:53:31 PM »

The silk is backed with cotton to support it, it is most likely silk dupion which is quite heavyweight but does need something behind to support the stitching, cotton would work well though and prob wouldn't need backing ( i rarely bother!) You can transfer the image using a light box or bright window just tracing through using a pencil or disappearing marker - I think an iron on transfer pen will leave too thick a line for this. The other option, and this may be the best as the detail is so fine, is to transfer the image onto tissue paper and stitch through the paper and gently tear it away at the end. Removing the tissue takes forever but it does work well for detailed designs
I agree with kittykill to use whatever hoop/frame works best for you and to frame it in the hoop at the end - and tea stained fabric would be awesome!
Good luck - i can't wait to see it
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