The Satisfactory Results to be Obtained with Homely Materials-the Many Purposes to which Embroidered Glass Cloth can be Put-how to Make a Bedspread-a [Harlequin Effect-work-bags and Sachets of Glass Cloth-the Useful Pincushion
It is not always the most costly fabrics and embroidering materials which produce the most satisfactory results; indeed,
Border for a toilet'cover worked on blue-lined glass cloth. The embroidery is carried out in alternate squares of blue darning and red stars one often sees rich satins and beautiful silks squandered in the making of most banal effects.
On the other hand, the coarsest and most homely materials, if used with discretion, can be made to furnish artistic objects which delight the eye and help to render the home a beautiful and restful place.
In this country we are slow to realise the full value of coarse, unbleached linens as a ground for embroidery, and few British manufacturers produce them; therefore, the handspun and woven linen which a few enterprising Englishwomen manufacture being far too expensive for ordinary everyday uses, we have to fall back, in a great measure, upon Russian or Italian products. Certain Irish linens of an unbleached nature are rather effective and pleasing, but these cannot always be found when wanted. A truly British fabric, the ordinary crossbarred crash (used in every household for polishing glasses) may, however, be turned to account in an infinite variety of ways. This adaptable material is to be procured at any linen-draper's in various widths and qualities, and at a trifling cost. The lines are red or blue, and the texture fine or coarse as desired. With a few yards of the different widths, and a variety of lustrines or coarse cottons of divers tints, much may be accomplished in an incredibly short time, and at small cost.
To mention a few of the Useful and ornamental objects to be evolved from these humble beginnings, cushions figure largely, also workbags, large and small, sachets for nightdresses and pyjamas, strips for covering sideboards or dressing-tables, squares or strips for making bedspreads, tea-cloths, tray-cloths, and innumerable smaller but equally attractive articles. As a matter of fact, the material should form the basis of the work only, its merit being that the intersecting lines divide the whole surface into equal squares, which can be dealt with singly, or in groups of four or sixteen. The lines should be obliterated as much as possible by working over in some suitable stitch such as stem-stitch, or buttonhole or snail-trail stitch.
For a bedspread the number of squares required must be regulated by the size the cover is to be when finished-twenty twelve-inch squares make a good, useful size. A margin must be allowed on each square for making up, and the width of insertion to be used to join the squares together, and the depth of lace for edging, must also be considered. Before working the squares, it is a good plan to turn under an inch or so, and firmly tack it down, snipping away a scrap at each corner to give the necessary flatness. A coarse lustrine is a good material for working bedspread squares which are to be all white, and a heavy make of Torchon lace and insertion for joining and edging the bedcover when completed. Or, what is still more effective is a good crochet insertion and a deep lace of the same design to surround the whole.
For the pattern a four or sixteen check may be used with a cobweb in the centre, four branches of feather-stitch springing from it, and four large French knots where these meet. To form the cobweb, take a long stitch from each corner, and one from each side of the square to be covered, fasten firmly in the centre, and work round and round, back-stitching each thread until the circle is large enough, then fasten off firmly. Other designs suggest themselves for bedspread squares, such as a border of, say, two squares with a diaper filling, or the same design as the border carried from corner to corner, and so on.
Sixteen designs for filling squares and borders. These can be employed separately or in combination
For workers who prefer colours for their bedcovers, these may be chosen to suit the colouring of the room it is intended for; or, if for an indefinite purpose,a combination of red and blue is always pleasing, and the lace and insertion in this case should be run with the same cottons used for the embroidery.
For a toilet-cover or strip to decorate a dresser, a wide border at each end of four to eight squares deep, and a single row carried up each side, makes a pleasing effect, the centre being simply crossbarred in stem-stitch with a small star where the lines cross. Alternate squares of darning and cobwebs form a very effective border for these strips, and may be worked entirely in one colour, such as turkey red, china blue, or even all in white or black.
A harlequin effect can be arrived at by filling every square with different stitches and a variety of colours, the intersecting lines being in black or some dark, neutral tint. This is an excellent plan for using up the odds and ends of silk of which the woman who works almost always has an accumulation, and the blending of the various tints adds interest to the working and beauty to the final result.