Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Modern Crewel: Pomegranate, Stems & Leaves


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Good morning, and a Happy Monday all around!

This morning, just a quick update on Modern Crewel – I want to show you a few things and discuss mistakes and their corrections, or non-corrections – and talk a bit about padding again with this particular kit.

While this weekend was meant for catching up on stitching on this (I wanted to have all the leaves finished and the little bloom on the right), in fact, I spent the whole weekend nursing a toothache that struck with raging sincerity on Friday night. (Murphy’s Law: toothaches rage on weekends, when a dentist can’t be had for love nor money). I already had an appointment set for tomorrow, but I’m hoping against hope they’ll take me in today. Otherwise, I may have to resort to an ice skate. (Movie reference: Castaway!)

All that just to say, if today’s article sounds a bit weird or wonky, blame it on the tooth!

Embroidered Pomegranate - Modern Crewel - Progress Report

So here’s my progress at the moment.

I love the “trunks” on the trees, embroidered in raised stem stitch. They’re interesting – and they remind me of octopus tentacles. I have an affinity for the octopus – life must be very efficient, with eight arms.

I made a mistake on the left tentacle …errr…trunk.

Embroidered Pomegranate - Modern Crewel - Progress Report

I had the colors laid out in the order they were supposed to be stitched, from light on the right to dark on the left. There should be four colors across there.

Somehow, I picked up the second to the lightest color and started with that, so I ended up with the option of only three colors across the trunk, if I didn’t make a correction.

At first, I decided not to make the correction.

But about half way through the trunk, I really did want a little bit of the lighter thread on the right side.

Fortunately, with this particular stitch, you can crowd quite a bit over the foundation bars and still end up with a decent-looking, smooth filling.

So I just went pretty loose on filling the lines of raised stem stitch that I was working on, finishing all the way over to the dark on the left, and then I went back to the right, and worked in several rows of the lightest color, just up to wear the trunk starts to curve.

It worked out ok, and no un-stitching was involved!

The moral of the story: before you start to rip out an area of stitches, see if you can make a correction in a subtle way that won’t detract from the design. Sure, it might not be exactly as it was originally meant to be, but in the scheme of things, will anyone notice?

Embroidered Pomegranate - Modern Crewel - Progress Report

And then there are these guys.

I talked about padding the shapes on this project already, here.

Finding the recommended chain stitch padding a little tedious, on the leaves, I’ve opted for alternating lines of straight stitches inside the split stitch outline, to build up the leaf area.

I left the center line blank, to accommodate the vein down the middle of the satin stitches that will cover each side of the leaves.

Much, much easier (and much faster) to stitch the long straight stitches, and I don’t think there will be that much of a difference in the end result.

So that’s where I am on this kit!

Looking for More?

You can find my original review of the Modern Crewel kit here.

You can find the kit available for purchase through Inspirations, here.

Instructions for the kit are available in Inspirations Magazine issue #90, available here.

And eventually, I’ll set up a project index for this kit, so that you follow all the articles relating to it in one place!

Coming Up

I’ve written a LOT about needles and choosing the right needles for embroidery – and we’re going to revisit that topic this week, and very specifically discuss three sizes of embroidery needles, fabrics, and threads.

In the meantime, if you need to brush up on the subject, this article on embroidery needles and how to choose them might come in handy.

And now, to quote Shakespeare, because I’m sure he must have said this at some point: I gotta get me to a dentist!

Have a jolly Monday!


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(12) Comments

    1. Thanks, Susan! Normally, I don’t mind going to the dentist. I just sit back in the chair and doze off a bit. But I’ve never had an actual, real, honest-to-goodness killer toothache before. Now I know!

  1. Dear Mary

    Oh you poor thing I hope you get to a dentist today and you don’t have to resort to an ice skate Yuk! The trunk looks fine I can’t notice the difference and a good idea to stitch over rather then undo which takes time and your stitching is beautiful. I like the idea of straight stitches for padding much easier then the completed chain stitch. I’m looking forward to the post on needles it’s always useful to know which needle to use for different projects. Thanks for sharing with us your tips and techniques on how to avoid unstitching. I wish you luck at the dentist.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  2. Old school tip for toothache- swish the highest proof alcoholic beverage you can get your hands on around the bad tooth, and then spit it out. No, you don’t swallow! It may feel a bit of a burning sensation in your mouth as you swish, but the alcohol numbs up the nerve for a while to allow you a respite from the pain. (I use vodka myself, less taste there).

    1. Thanks, Tracy! LOL – finally, a use for vodka! I’m not much of a drinker, myself, so I don’t have any on hand. But I find swishing with warmish salt water is helpful, too. I got in to the dentist, so things are on their way to being fixed! I’m thinking the best curative right now might be a nap. :-/

  3. Hi Mary,

    Nothing worst than a tooth ache, When I was a kid, we took a tooth pick , wrapped the end with a small piece of kleenix, or gauze, dipped it in some hot coffee, just to wet it, then dipped it into cloves. It helped to numb the pain some what. Hope your dentist visit was successful. Your Modern crewel is coming along really nice.

    Happy Stitching
    Louann P

  4. Hi Mary,
    I just had to tell you something. I’ve started to watch “The Young Pope”on HBO and I thought of you. I’m still not sure about the show because it is WAY weird; however, the vestments Jude Law wears in the show are out of this world. This one gets lots of air time: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3655448/mediaviewer/rm1565997568

    I watched a “behind the scenes” video about the show and apparently all the costumes were done by hand. Drools!

    Thanks for all you do,

  5. Ouch @ toothache! I’m lucky and have pretty good teeth thanks to having had parents who were militant about sugar, regular brushing and frequent dentist trips, but ended up needing a root canal on my one dodgy tooth before Christmas – I was dreading it, but by that stage I was also seriously considering the ice skate route too! Much better afterwards, thank goodness, so I hope yours is as “easily” resolved!

  6. Hi Mary –

    Toothaches are awful! And I’ll never understand the mystery of why things happen on a weekend. I hope you’re doing better today and even better tomorrow.

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