Sunday, 28 May 2017

Mount Stewart-hidden treasures brought to the fore with a little creativity thrown in

This place inspires me and relaxes me which is almost a contradiction in terms as I am overflowing with so many ideas I should be exhausted. Despite walking through the gardens for years during my volunteering here I constantly see things I didn't notice before inside and outside of the house. Some time ago I took some photographs of some stone work as I thought it would be interesting to convert them to embroidery.
I chose this piece from the Italian garden. I would love to know what it says on it. It's possible it's Latin and it's also been said it is actually upside down but if some scholars out there could interpret I would be delighted to hear from you.

 I decided to sketch this from the photograph first to get the feel of it before deciding how I would proceed.

This was fun to do and in fact the easy part. I decided after drawing that blackwork would be best for this piece.

I had some oatmeal Aida which was fine enough for effect (probably a 16 hole per inch) and the colour suited well to stone effect. I had ordered some silk from for a larger project and thought this would be ideal to try it. Using the wax I also got from them it was a dream to sew with.


After five drafts of the design I was ready to sew. I chose a traditional border and altered it to fit the scene. Some L's which could also be interpreted as swans both in keeping with Mountstewart.

I added a coronet again for the family connection and a cross to represent their faith.

I am delighted with the finish and feel it definitely lent itself to blackwork and I have many more ideas if I can find the time.


This is a one of a kind piece as I have since altered the design of the border slightly. My next piece I have started to work on is also inspired by a garden sculpture but will be much larger blackwork.

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