Thursday 25 June 2015

William Morris' Strawberry Thief

I've told you how I love all the William Morris designs and I've been lucky enough to find two books about his work- both at thrift stores.
This one,

The Art of William Morris in Cross Stitch by Barbara Hammet was a real find.  I've often looked through it and took note which of the 40 projects I would like to work.  I've decided that my next cross stitch for this summer will be from this book.  I'm starting with the birds, the Strawberry Thief, which is probably Morris' most famous motif.

I was fortunate to have in my supplies all I needed to complete this project which is a little surprising.  I always seem to need to buy something no matter how much I have on hand, but not this time.   

The book offers both Anchor and DMC floss numbers and I found most of the DMC and a couple of my Sullivans after checking out that conversion chart online.  Wait a minute; I don't see a rust colour here.   I must have forgotten to track that down...note to self.

Luckily 14 count Aida is the suggested cloth to use and  in navy colour; I honestly don't know if with my eyes I could work on a smaller thread count these days.  

And here is my start, part of the wing.  It is suggested the bird be embroidered first which will be fun. I worried a little about counting on dark material which is a bit more challenging, but I got the hang of it and I don't find it any more difficult than working with the cream material. 

This is another blue project for me; I have completed a number of blue cloth or thread projects with the hope of someday having them all arranged together on one wall which I think would be neat.  

This book offers some interesting information about William Morris and his methods.  I like how multi-layered his designs are; images in the foreground and chevron, triangle or diamond shapes suggested in the backgrounds and arrangements. No straight lines because natures' lines are curves. And of course, he used all natural dyes to achieve his interesting colour palettes, which to this day artists try to replicate.  You may not love all the colour choices but you have to admire the way he put them together.  


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