My next thought was to focus on the knotwork and let it escape from the dresses, so I came up with the idea of making freestanding knots on a larger scale. I had just been working on this little piece
and really enjoyed it, so I used the same technique. First, I drew the knot - a triangle elongated as if to fit the bodice of a dress - and cut it out from felt which I painted with silk paints in red and yellow. I graduated the colour from red at the corners through orange to yellow in the centre.
Here you can see how I started with all the red areas and then worked through to orange and yellow, carefully blending as I went.
Once I had a layer of thread ends fixed down, I handstitched over the whole piece using long random cross stitches in the same threads.
Finally, I trimmed all those ends away to give a clean edge and painted over the back with fabric stiffener to stop the corners from flopping. The finished piece is about the size of an A1 board. Although I attached a dowel for hanging in the exhibition at Sidcot, I like the idea of using it just propped sideways against a wall or leaning on a fireplace as a piece of home decoration - maybe several in different colours. My only regret with this piece is that having carefully drawn the overs and unders in the knot correctly, they don't show, so perhaps for a future one, I can make it clearer.
I am putting the knot into the Bristol Embroiderers' Guild Exhibition in February - details below - so do come along for a look round, a cuppa and some homemade cake.
Embroiderers' Guild, Bristol Branch Exhibition
Feb 20-22nd 2015
Stoke Lodge Adult Education Centre
Bristol BS9 1BN
Open Fri and Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 10am -4pm. Admission £3. Light refreshments available