Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Vintage Tapestry Pictures Number 1

I am aware that my blog just recently has drifted well away from my initial idea of describing my needlework efforts, both those I'm doing currently and those I've done in the past.

Well ...... here I am waiting for a washing machine repair man to turn up, so I thought I'd do something about this :)

The last time I mentioned my needlework efforts when I was younger, it was to mention the large free-style flower picture embroidery that I did not actually finish!

However, the horse picture above was one I think I started when I was about 16 years old. I can't really remember. It's about 14.5 inches square in size. I'm pretty sure I bought this one for myself and it will have been the image that attracted me as I was horse mad when a girl. I did about half of it and then got fed up with it. I then started it again in 1981 and finished it in December 1981. The only reason I can give an accurate date is because I wrote this date on the back! In those days, I didn't use a frame and it needed quite a lot of stretching. However, this was the picture that got me 'hooked' on Penelope tapestry kits.

The one above I completed in March 1982 (again, thankfully I wrote the date on the back!) and it was 'Spring', one of a series of four, one for each season.

This one was the 'Winter' in the same Penelope series. I finished this one in April 1983, the month and year we got married! Again, I wrote the date on the back ..... plus my single name of Elaine Lawrence so at least I know it was before the 23rd April 1983! I didn't do Summer or Autumn as I didn't like them as much. Both of these are about 12 inches square.

All three are stitched with tent stitch and, at that time, I don't recall that you could even get kits that used the many other needlepoint stitches available to stitchers. Many think that doing vast areas of tent stitch is boring. However, I find such stitching to be very meditative. Also, there is something magical seeing the colours 'pop' out of the canvas from the subdued image on the painted canvas as you complete the stitching with the wool. It really can be a 'just one more stitch' every time you stitch one of these canvases.

All three of these were framed using non-reflective glass but I must admit to having problems taking photos of them. They all look a bit 'washed out' with a little bit of glare on the glass, even though I've tried to adjust the contrast and colour saturation. The two seasons pictures I actually put down on the floor to try and improve things but that has only been partially successful.

It probably needs more experimentation on my part ....... unless someone else knows some magic tricks?


Rachael said...

Both of the tapestry pictures (and your work) look very nice. I'm always saddened when I find something like this in a Charity shop for less than £10.00.

Elaine said...

I guess they only have 'value' to the person who made them or to their immediate family who cherish an item their loved one has made :(

Some time ago, I did find a post on someone's blog (can't remember where now) where they deliberately bought tapestry pictures from charity shops and turned them into bags and other items.

It was certainly an effective use of them. However, I guess in years to come there will be very few of them around. A bit like how few embroideries there are from Elizabethan or other olden times, especially given that everyone embroidered in those days.

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