Several months ago the Embroiderers Guild sent out a request for contributions to a forthcoming exhibition to be based around books. The exhibition would be called Page 17, although the solicited exhibits could be based upon anything to do with a book not just the 17th page. The exhibits would be on display at the Knitting and Stitching shows in Harrogate and London and, it was hoped, would also travel to other venues later in the year.
Existing works that might suit the theme were to be submitted by the end of April for consideration and a deadline of the end of August was set for exhibits created specifically for the exhibition. At the time I think this distinction created some confusion as I saw several comments on how little time there was to submit a piece. Undaunted I sent off an email to say that I was interested in submitting a new piece and then started thinking ... and thinking ... and thinking :)
You will not, I am sure, be surprised to know that I finally finished my piece for the exhibition the day before the submission deadline!
When our boys were little one of their favourite books was Lynley Dodd's Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Dairy, and now it is a favourite of our gorgeous grandson too. So, I decided to have some fun with the characters in the book for my embroidery. I knew that my drawing skills were not up to reproducing the characters exactly so decided to show bits of them as if they were being seen through holes in the fence.
Each of the dogs in the book has an accompanying description, so Muffin McLay is like a bundle of hay.
My Muffin McLay is a bit curly for hay but I think he is still recognisable! I used a New to Me stitch for Muffin, drizzle stitch, which is apparently Brazilian in origin. It was great fun to stitch and is definitely a great addition to my stitching repertoire.
I stitched all of the dogs, apart from Hairy Maclary, on to a cotton backing fabric then joined the sky and fence fabric together to place over the top before adding Hairy Maclary and the fence and tree detail.
I spent a while trying to work out how best to deal with the cut-outs for the embroidery and finally used another New to Me technique.
Spray starch sprayed into the aerosol lid
then painted on to the seam allowance of the circle cut-outs and ironed in place before being placed in front of the embroidered cotton. To my surprise it worked!
I wanted Hairy Maclary to stand proud of the rest of the embroidery so used wool on canvas and another New to Me stitch, Turkey Stitch, to create his fluffy self. (Apologies for the somewhat blurred photo I was running out of time when I took it!)
I was very pleased with how it all turned out and when the piece has finished travelling it will be another addition to the gallery on the gorgeous grandson's wall!
If you haven't read the books the characters are from the left;
- Schnitzel von Krumm with a very low tum
- Muffin McLay like a bundle of hay
- Bitzer Maloney all skinny and bony
- Bottomley Potts covered in spots
- Hercules Morse as big as a horse
and Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Dairy :)
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