Thursday, 3 February 2011

Bedfordshire flower

It's done!!! Yesterday I finally sewed in the last thread on the Bedfordshire lace flower I was making. Quite a few people commented on my last post about this lace piece about the huge mound of bobbins, and how I keep them in order. So I thought I'd try and explain... and show how the final furlong of this finish panned out!!

First I should say that the photo in my last post (and here again) is a little misleading...

Most of those bobbins had been 'thrown out' or discarded when they were no longer needed - more pairs of bobbins are needed to make the leaves and petals - so you add pairs in at the start of the leaf, and throw them out towards the end! It's figuring out where to do that as invisibly as possible that's the tricky part. Anyway, this is how many pairs of bobbins I needed to finish that last little bit:

As you can see, they are all carefully organised onto large safety pins which are threaded through the spangles (beads). This means I can move any sections of bobbins I don't need out of the way, without them getting muddled up. You rarely, if ever, work with all of those bobbins at once!!

If they do get muddled up I look at the threads to make sure they are running in order - in cloth stitch (the outer border) the passive threads should all be parallel to each other, with no crosses or twists.

Anyway, at this point I just needed the bobbins on the left of the piece - so I moved the other two groups of bobbins out of the way, took the bobbins I needed off the safety pin and grouped them back into pairs:

Once I'd finished the bit of lace, I joined the ends together, and cut all of the ends off:

Once I'd taken all of the pins put I was left with a huge pile of loose threads:

Usually I make lace face down, so I could have cut the ends off close to the work, but this piece was made face up. So to make sure none of the cut ends showed, I carefully sewed each one through to the back of the work, and cut it off there... which needed a small sharp needle, LOTS of light, and even more patience. Hmm, I think I'll try and stick to face down pieces in future!!

And here is the final piece:

There are some areas which look so neat I can't believe I made the lace, and other areas I'm less happy with in comparison - but this is by far the neatest piece of lace I've ever made... I learnt so many techniques and tips on Christine Springett's course last year - I can't wait for the next one in May!

Happy Stitching :)


Giovanna said...

Oh my, that is just exquisite! Congrats on the finish!

Sally said...

Wow that looks amazing.

I wish I could ahve learnt lace from my Gran before she died in 2009 :( She was planning to teach me but cancer hit her hard.

jayne@~an eye for threads~ said...

I am in absolute awe.

Theresa said...

Wow! That's a lovely piece! Love your explanations too - lace-making is so hard to describe when you have lots of bobbins on the go ;-)

Anonymous said...

That's gorgeous, great work!

Blu said...

Gorgeous! It sounds so very complicated!

Lindsay said...

WOW that is gorgeous Jo, Congratulations.

One of these years I'll have enough bobbins to make something as beautiful :)