Handsome and Uncommon Design - Materials and Shades to be Employed - A Variety of Stitches The Use of Aluminium Thread

The idea for this design was taken from an anchusa flower, a kind of garden burrage, with bright blue flowers, grey-green leaves, and reddish hairy stalks. It was worked on black cloth, and the interlaced corners and connecting lines were carried out in aluminium thread, buttonholed on with two different coloured silks.

The silk used was Pearsall's filofloss (the shade numbers of which are given), using one strand only. As all the stitches used were hand stitches a frame was not necessary. The pattern was transferred on to the cloth by pricking a tracing paper and pouncing on it with French chalk, as was described on page 1960, Vol. 3.

Afterwards it was painted with white Chinese oil paint, using a very fine brush. It should be left to dry thoroughly for twenty-four hours before starting to work it. It is as well to cover all but the part immediately to be worked with tissue paper, tacked lightly on to the material. This preserves the pattern from being rubbed off, and should be laid over each portion of the work as it is completed, so as to keep it fresh and clean.

To describe the work in detail, starting from the border, the stems are first worked in open buttonholing in reddish brown, No. 23 C, working the heading inside, and letting the fringe of little stitches project beyond the line to give the hairy appearance characteristic of the plant (see diagram on page 3285, Vol. 5).

Where the leaves spring from the main stem, the buttonhole stitch is changed to a chain stitch (see page 3043, Vol. 5), which is worked double except at the point of the leaf. The side veinings are worked in stem stitch (see page 3044, Vol. 5). Afterwards the main stems are filled in solid with herringbone stitch in green, No. 78 G (see page 3404, Vol. 5).

The leaves are next outlined in chain stitch in another and paler shade of green,

An original suggestion for a tea cosy. The design is a conventionalised pattern worked in natural colours upon black cloth. Aluminium thread is used for the interlaced corners and connecting lines of the design

An original suggestion for a tea cosy. The design is a conventionalised pattern worked in natural colours upon black cloth. Aluminium thread is used for the interlaced corners and connecting lines of the design

No. 20 A. They would be rather clumsy if worked solidly, so a lacy effect is given by filling in every other division between the cross veining with a patch of embroidery in Roumanian stitch (see page 3406, Vol. 5) in green, No. 78 G. The shape of this filling is indicated in the illustration. The spaces between are then worked in open buttonholing all over, starting the first row into one of the cross veins, and working each succeeding row into the first, shade No. 20 A being used (see pages 3284-5, Vol. 5).

The buds, like the leaves, are worked round first in chain stitch, in shade No. 20 A. A small curved piece of the bud nearest the stalk is filled in with the darker green, No. 78 G. The lower part is supposed to be just bursting so as to show the blue through. No. 45 is used for this, worked in chain stitch.

The flower is worked as follows. The centre veins of each petal are first worked in heliotrope, No. 149 D, in lines of chain stitch, three lines wide at the base, tapering to one line at the extreme point. Afterwards the petals are filled in with herringbone stitch in a lighter blue than was used for the buds, No. 43 A, taking care to make each petal taper sharply at the point. The little bit of green calyx showing between each petal is worked in satin stitch in pale green, No. 20 A. The centres are filled in with satin or Roumanian stitch in white; and a French knot in maize colour, No. 40 C, exactly in the middle, finishes each centre.

The main design inside the border is practically worked in the same way, with a few differences which should be noted. The two flowers turned sideways towards the main stem are worked in the darker shade of blue, No. 45, and the turned-over portion of one petal in heliotrope, as well as the centre veins. The stamens are in maize colour, No. 40 C, and are made up of three stitches meeting, the longest middle one ending in a French knot.

The three leaves, being larger than those in the border, are each outlined with a double row of chain stitch in green, No. 20 A. They need also a rather close filling, and the buttonholing should be worked in groups of three leaving a space between each group, and making a chequered effect such as was shown in the fritillary flower (page 3285, Vol. 5).

The aluminium thread should be left till the last. A single line has been used throughout, excepting on the outside line of the border, where a second line is added.

All the straight or rectangular lines are buttonholed on with the heliotrope silk, No. 149 D (see page 3284, Vol. 5). The curved lines twisting round the. rectangular design in each corner, and curving along each side of the border, are buttonholed on with blue silk, No. 43 A.

In working the second line of thread into the first in this part of the border, the needle should take up each stitch into the heading of the first line of buttonholing, instead of piercing the material itself.

Care must be taken while making a straight line to pull the aluminium thread taut occasionally, otherwise it is inclined to become loose and wavy.