Hand-Embroidered 'Receiving' Blanket

 

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I found some lovely fabric featuring these elephants last year, so decided this should be the basis for Lucy’s blanket. At the point I was making it, we didn’t know if she was a girl or boy, so they were the perfect design for both. 

I couldn’t find the exact colour I was after for the main fabric, so hand-dyed natural calico light green and then sketched the design directly on to it using a friction pen.

 

Each elephant was appliquéd on and the rest of the design embroidered freehand.

I then finished the whole piece using the classic blanket stitch.

 

Book of Illustration Competition 2015

Sadly, I wasn’t able to complete these illustrations, or the binding image, in time for entry, but I thought I’d upload my work in progress anyway.

I wanted to maintain a vintage print style, but with a contemporary finish, keeping the colour palette limited and the lines hand drawn. The deep, mossy greens reflecting the sense of death and decay that runs through each ghost story, and the curved, whispy lines adding to the mystery and intrigue evident throughout.

The first illustration is for the story The Treasure of Abbott Thomas by M.R. James.

‘So the whole secret was out;
'Ten thousand pieces of gold are laid up in the well in the court of the Abbot’s house of Steinfeld by me, Thomas, who have set a guardian over them. Garc a qui la touche.’

The second, The Upper Berth by F. Marion Crawford.

'Everybody stopped talking. Brisbane’s voice was not loud, but possessed a peculiar quality of penetrating general conversation, and cutting it like a knife. Everybody listened.’

The third, A Tale of an Empty House by Anon.

'I saw masts against a sheet of water that appeared to stretch unbroken into the rain shrouded gloom of the gathering night’

The last few months have been very busy, for obvious Christmas and work reasons, but also as there have been lots of new little bundles of joy arriving in December!

This quilt project has been one of my proudest moments. I collected together 12 close friends to each make a square using various applique techniques, many of which has never even held a needle before! 

We had little workshops so I could teach sewing techniques and help with general guidance so everyone could realise their ideas. I then patched them together and finished off the quilt.

Each square represents the person that made it, in order to be a reminder of who they are and their close relationship with Mum Sam, Dad Tom and little Josie herself.