Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Shelling

Since returning from Florida, I've continued my shelling even though it's 45 degrees F and I'm not anywhere near a beach.  I'm looking for embroidered interpretations of shells.

I'm lucky to have a few embroidered drink coasters with pretty pink cockle shells embroidered on them...

They're embroidered using a buttonhole stitch using about five different shades of silk thread.  A beautiful example of interpreting shells in embroidery.

My search has taken me to books of antique patterns, museum catalogs and vintage embroidery samples.  I haven't uncovered as many examples as I would have liked so if you come across something "shell-y, any help would be greatly appreciated.

This beautiful embroidered dress from Les Arts Decoratifs in Paris is one example I've had in my inspiration file and it's stunning...




I thoroughly enjoy the research phase of a piece as it helps me to refine my ideas, especially with this block where I haven't quite decided which approach to take.

I'd like to stick with the  "reflections" theme that I started in my January block so I was thrilled to find these mirror shell sew-ons.  You can get some too at A Grain of Sand here.


I'm oscillating between wanting to use fine embroidery yet honoring the organic nature of treasures from the sea.


Behind the scenes, I'm working on another project which I can't share just yet so if I'm not here as much as I'd like...that's why.

Shell on!

21 comments:

Nana said...

This dress is wonderful!!!

I am very curious what you will do with all those shell ideas and how it will turn out.

Nana

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

Well, you are certain to receive a lot of inspiration from the pieces you have and the pictures you have accumulated on line of items you love.

I like it that you are continuing the reflections theme. Who else but you could have found those sew-ons!
xx, Carol

Laurel's Quill said...

I am entranced with that gown. I can't imagine the work that went into it!!!!

Laurie said...

My sister pointed me to your blog, and I'm thrilled she did! Your work and creativity are beyond amazing. I love that you show as you go, thank-you for your wonderful blog!!

Saturday Sequins said...

I love the mirror shells! If you have a drill, you could make your own with real shells and some silver paint. :)

The research phase looks like a lot of fun. I'm now itching to try that with my work.

Also... found some shell-shaped sequins this weekend and thought of you!

Oriel said...

Your blog is a joy to read and your work is just lovely and I am looking forward to see more of your shell project.

Rachel said...

There are so many possibilities, in simple stitchery alone, and when we add in the myriad other materials and methods now available - I'm really looking forward to seeing what you choose to do...

JennyPennyPoppy said...

Your buttonhole shells look absolutely lovely!!

Marty52 said...

YUM! Love those buttonhole shells... really stunning. The dress, however, is really something else altogether... wow.

Judy S. said...

I, too, was thinking you could drill similar holes as the sew-ons into some real shells. Knowing you, you'll come up with something spectacular! Can't wait to see what.

Miriam said...

The embroidery on that dress is breath taking!!

Good luck with your research.

Have fun with your secret project. :)

Anonymous said...

The recent book " A rainbow of stitches' by Agnes Delage-Calvet and others (Watson Guptill publ.) has some pages of shells for embroidery - are you looking for that sort of resource?

Rita said...

I love the embroidered shells!

Robyn A said...

Last week I packed up my computer to show my friend your beautiful blog - didn't occur to me that she would not be connected to the internet - hmm, definite senior moment. However, I have to say that the shell research is incredible; can't wait to see what you do but I know it will be amazing.

Deb said...

That dress is stunning! Your shell research sounds like fun.

Bruna said...

I have the book "Motifs for crazy quilting" by J.Marsha Michler and in it found a page of shell patterns and a sample of a finished design. If you don't have access to this book, I can photocopy it and send it to you. Your work is stunning!! I too was born in January and love winter(I live in northern Ontario,Canada,so I get my fill of it each year.) Your interpretation of winter is truly amazing. Your work and your blog are a constant joy and inspiration. Thank you.

Ingrid Mida said...

Dear Susan,
I found a pair of antique embroidery scissors today - created in the shape of a crane - and I bought them for myself. I'm madly beading and doing sequin work for my upcoming show. Not sure I want to take any close up shots - because it is not exactly perfect - but the effect is what I hoped for. As I stitch, I often think of you. You are such an inspiration. Can't wait to see what you are up to next!

Catherine said...

I love the pinks and shell shapes on those drink coasters. And that dress is beautiful! I just love that you always share not only your beautiful works, but the things that inspire you as well!

vicki said...

Susan- that's some beautiful shelling girlfriend! The pink tones are fabulous- as are of course- your intricate stitches! The shell theme is simply amazing!
Xo
Vicki

Createology said...

I believe your research is what sets your pieces apart from the standard fare. Of course your beautiful stitching is key also. I will enjoy following your progress on this new theme. Blissful my dear...

coral-seas said...

What a stunning gown! It would not suprise me to see a variation of the satin stitch on tulle technique on your block.

I'm sure I've seen shell in some of the Japanese embroidery but at the moment I can't locate any!

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