All Posts · Geese · Guinea fowl · Making and crafting · Thistle Cottage Studio

Tapestry time

I am very lucky to live near Aubusson, the famous tapestry town in France. Felletin is just another twenty minutes further south and our brocantes are full of notions, wools and tapestries to snap up as bargains. I collect pre-loved tapestries too, always birds as they are my passion. Thistle Cottage studio will eventually have a little tapestry gallery as I really feel these need to be shown given at some time, someone crafted them them with pleasure.

Pipi designs ..please scroll down.

As a child I loved needlepoint, stitching wools onto canvas following a “cartoon” as its known in the trade…a colour coded version of the design to be followed and adapted as the weaver or sewer feels. For the famous weavers, these small personal changes were their brand so to speak, an identifiable craft mark. The cartoons would be drawn on paper, works of art in their own way, and mounted below the tapestry to be followed by the weaver. Having visited Aubussons manufacturing weaving factory, all I can say is I was awe of the skill, physical dexterity and strength you need. Aubusson runs apprentice internships and it takes years to become a master weaver. I am not surprised.

Stunning array of shades.

Tapestries are woven on a loom, needlepoint is a canvas you embroidery on in specific stitches, threading through the holes in the canvas. The most common and hard wearing stitch is Tent stitch. Its quick too to cover large areas. Alot of modern designs use other stitches that are longer or angled differently but for traditional illustrative designs, tent stitch gives a natural unobtrusive finish. Petit point is a small tent stitch and is used for fine work or to add detail, as in faces or on insect wings or flowers.

Which leads me to Pipi pintade. After many requests for her to be printed on needlepoint canvas and cross stitch cotons, I have put together an initial 10 designs. I still have to invest in Needlepoint software to convert my illustrations, but having sent off for samples, so far these are lovely. I ask for a high colour sensitivity to get detail, but really the choice of works, floss, colours etc should be an individual choice, otherwise your work will look like everyone elses. Over time I will be specializing in needlepoint designs and adding second hand wools and buttons and threads to my kits.

If anyone is interested in learning more about needlepoint or ordering a design, please send me a comment and I will get back to you. I will be putting up links next week with more details.

Below are three new designs, from my Naughty Goose range. This is Bumble. He is one of my eight Tolouse geese and grumpy. But I adore him all the same.

Pipi is my guinea girl with her partner Bovril. I have over 50 geese, chickens, ducks and they have such great characters, so I hope these designs capture a little of that.

Pipi designs

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