Embroidery started: May 24, 2012
Embroidery ended: May 28, 2012
Total Time on Embroidery: ~ 16 hours.
Needle Book Completed: May 31, 2012
was a gift for the former Queen of Caid, and now Countess Cassandra. It
was made as a thank you for her choosing me to be her Arts & Sciences
Champion during her reign. The C is her initial, and the yellow rose is
a symbol of the Queen (and former Queens) in the SCA.
The C & rose design came from The Macclesfield Alphabet book. I took
the rose from another letter, and enlarged it to make it easier to embroider.
I enlarged the whole design using my computer software, printed it out,
then using a lightbox, traced the design onto the silk satin.
The embroidery style of the C and rose was similar to the style of the
winning piece I had created. I used
Soie de Paris silk filament thread. There are two shades of red, and three
shades of golden yellow for the rose. Long & short stitch was used
for the C and center part of the rose, and satin stitches in the outer
petals of the rose. The center of the rose is gold check. The outlines
and diamond grid are in Benton & Johnson Wire #371 Dark Gold passing
thread. The gold gilt spangles are held down with gold bullion through
the center hole for that extra sparkle and movement.
The pattern for the needle book came from Margo
Anderson's Elizabethan Wardrobe Accessories package of patterns. Needle
books are patterned from illustrations of period prayer books, which were
often small and hung from girdles. There are no documented needle books
as far as I know. I modified the pattern instructions for a hand sewn
style. The fabrics were chosen from leftover scraps in my stash. The outer
book cover is dark red cotton velveteen, the lining is red silk dupionni,
and the pages are made from cream wool flannel. White silk satin is the
fabric for the embroidered piece. Gold cord allows the book to hang from
a girdle, and a hook & thread eye keep the book closed.
Originally, the needle book was to have an embroidered overcase to protect
the plain book, but I made the mistake of using cotton velveteen on the
book cover. Even slippery silk linings would not slide over the velveteen
without a lot of problems, so I sewed the embroidered satin directly onto
the book cover instead. Live and learn not to do that again. Thankfully
all was completed in time.
I enjoyed making this needle book, and hope to make more as gifts soon,
including one for myself.