14th century inspired pattern - surface couching on red silk,  Embroidery,  Embroidery Patterns,  Framework,  Medieval Embroidery,  Projects,  Surface Couching,  Thoughts about working with medieval patterns...

Sneak peek at my next embroidery project – a 14th century inspired pattern worked in surface couching .4 & some thoughts about medieval patterns

2015-06 - Racaire - 14th century project - surface couchingI had a quite busy weekend – hanging out with friends, first time at the drive-in cinema in Franklin (KY), visiting family and even drafting an XXL hood pattern for a friend as well as already cutting the fabric for a sample hood to test the new pattern…

But I still managed to make some very good progress concerning my “14th century inspired pattern worked in surface couching” project. 😀

I always found it very helpful to recharge my “batteries” by taking a short brake while working at a bigger embroidery project. New energy makes working and focussing on big projects so much easier for me. 🙂

Normally I just switch to another kind of craft like calligraphy, hand-sewing, nailbinding,… but well, hanging out with my husband, friends and family and watching one or two good new movies at the cinema is a perfectly fine brake too. 😉

But let’s take a look at what might interest you the most – at the new surface couching embroidery progress which I achieved during the last days and some of my thoughts about working with medieval patterns like this – enjoy! 😀

2015-06_Racaire_14th- century_surface-couching-project_sneak-peek_03

As you can see on the picture above, I am just three “double lines” worked in surface couching short of completing the main “framework” of the pattern. As soon as the main framework is finished, I will start with the small details which are surrounding the main framework. Btw. I tend to call this small details “pattern fillers”. [emember_protected not_for=3-4 do_not_show_restricted_msg=1]

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…and some thoughts about working with medieval patterns like this:

If you take a closer look at medieval embroidery, you can actually deconstruct many of the patterns – especially the big ones used for wallhangings – in “main framework” and small “pattern fillers”. This kind of pattern deconstruction is very helpful if you want to create your own medieval patterns or if you want to slightly alter extant patterns for your own embroidery projects.

For this purpose it is necessary to identify the form of the main framework first. I call it main framework because it has the purpose to divide the available space into smaller sections and to structure the whole embroidery.

As you might have already encountered – the main framework patterns consists mostly of straight, round and oval forms. The better the “combination” of this basic forms as well as the “play” and the “balance” between this basic forms is, the more appealing the overall pattern will appear to the eye of the beholder.

While the main framework mostly consists of a good combination of well balanced basic geometric shapes, the real “fun” lies in the details of the small filler patterns in-between. Yes, for all of us who are suffering of detail amorousness – btw. “Detailverliebtheit” is a real word in German – this small pattern fillers are a great possibility to “whoop it up”.

2015-06-Racaire_working-at-the-14th-century-patternWhile looking for medieval filler patterns you will in most cases find at least 3 (more or less differing) filler patterns at most wallhangings. Their shape depends mostly on the available space of the section they were used for:

  • corner sections
  • sections between the inner main framework and the outer frame/border
  • sections between the main “roundels” of the main framework

You can find all this mentioned fillers at the pattern shown at the picture above or at the picture of my “Malterer”/”Weiberlisten” wallhanging underneath. 🙂

Racaire - Klosterstich - medieval embroidery

…and here a picture of the neckline of my 12th century silk dress where I decided to go without any pattern fillers at all:

12th century slit neckline with surface couching - Medieval embroidery

If you are not really happy with the filler pattern of the medieval embroidery which inspired you – just take a look at other similar patterns within a set time frame (like the same century or +/- 50 years) and allow yourself to be playful and to alter or completely exchange your filler pattern…

Please never forget that after all, it’s your embroidery, your time & work and you should be happy with it! 🙂 

…and now back to my surface couching embroidery or maybe my new hood project?
Well, after a short lunch snack I will decide about this dilemma… 😉

Best regards Racaire