Monday, July 11, 2016

Couching & Laid Work - Couched Cord

For my Couching & Laid Work back up pieces, I needed one showing simple couched cord as a decoration.  I decided to make a cover for my Kindle Paperwhite for less obtrusive use at events.

First, I obtained a cover to fit my Paperwhite, with space for the cover to be folded over.

I chose a design from La fleur de la science de pour traiture et patrons de broderie façons aralïque et ytalique par Fr. Pelegrin, de Florence, which can be found here. Published in 1530. I chose the "bones" of the design found at 22r. Four of the motifs fit the middle of my cover well.

Next up to was to obtain materials.  I found a lovely piece of brown linen, then a trip to my local needlework store yielded tapestry weight wool for the cord and silk for couching down. I selected "my colors" of blue and gold.

Construction started with cutting a piece of the linen larger than the open cover.   I hemmed the piece of linen and assembled folded in for the book cover.  I did this to ensure that the embroidery will be  centered properly on the cover.

Here the Kindle is in the cover.  I would have preferred a larger turn over, but the way the Kindle fits in the cover precluded that.  Once the cover is done I will lace it in place to keep it better anchored.

Next, I pinned the design, which I had traced, onto the cover.

Unfortunately, the brown  linen is too opaque to use the light box.  Therefore, I had to choose another transfer method.  Since I have no "pounce" on hand, I chose the stitching method.  I carefully stitched through the paper, following the lines of the design, using a simple back stitch.  I used yellow for the places I intended to couch down yellow wool, and blue for the blue -- figuring that in this way I would limit the amount of the stitched guide lines that would need to be removed later.  Then, I carefully tore away the paper.  A thinner tracing paper would have made this easier, but with careful, steady work, it all came off without distorting the stitching. 
There we are, all outlined and ready to go.  Kind of pretty that way, too, really like this design.  Yes, those are my glasses.  I often do fine work without my glasses on -- my nearsightedness means that very close work is easy for me without correction. 

Next, it was time to start laying cord.  I started with the larger section of the blue.  For that section only I pinned the "cord" in place (though as I worked I adjusted the laid cord to more carefully follow the guide lines. 

First round down.  Since the subsequent cords would need to be "woven" through for the over/under, I carefully couched on either side of the guide lines.  Now, I was sure I had taken pictures of the next phase, but apparently I did not.  I took a large tapestry needle and loosely wove the inner blue cord, then couched it down.  Next I did each of the yellow ones. 

Blue done, starting on yellow.

All done the basic couching
Having finished the basic couching, I removed the guide lines that were showing, to have a cleaner look.  At this point, the only couching is to anchor the loops and one either side of each cross. After removing the guide lines, I went through and placed additional couching. 

And, there it is, all done -- on the cover.  My plan is now to do an applique on the back -- with couched cord around the edges. Once the linen cover is done and laced into place, I may couch cord around all the edges, but that will be addressed once the back is done. 

Close up of one quadrant

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