Thursday, 7 April 2016


Those of you who have been following my blog for more than a year might remember this project. It's my Citta stitch along.  Pattern from CasaErba here.

At the start of 2015 I stumbled across a Russian woman called Daria who intended to help people stitch this beautiful design.

I've done a bit of needlelace over the years, so I thought I would join in and learn all the tips and tricks the Russians use to create their beautiful pieces.

Daria's blog posts were in Russian, but she is fluent in English too, so if google translate didn't give me all I needed to know, I just asked questions in English.  I met another lovely lady Anna who was stitching along too, and she had perfect English as she had majored in English at university. Anna provided extra information where necessary.

I got to this stage and then Daria stopped providing instructions.

It turns out that she got busy doing other things (including designing and selling her own cross stitched Christmas decorations patterns).  Now Mila has kindly taken over the stitch along and she will continue from where we left off.  Fortunately Mila speaks good English too.

I've now been inspired to pick this up again and set up the frames for the upcoming needlelace instructions.

The Russian ladies make the padded roll in a different way to what I was originally taught, so I'm trying out their method and quite like it.

How I was taught:
1. do the satin stitch around the edge of the box
2. cut the threads in the centre
3. trim the threads very close to the padded roll
4. wrap the bars and bury ends in the padded roll.

How the Russians do it:
1. cut the threads in the centre - yes scary stuff.  Sometimes I mark out the zones with tacking threads.

2. pin the threads back and tack them down

3. wrap the bars

4. do the satin stitch around the edge of the box, covering all the tacking threads

5. trim the threads on the back of the padded roll.

Still lots to go yet if you compare it to the finished article.

It's meant to be a table runner, but no one will be putting coffee anywhere near mine if it ever gets finished.  Does that sound unreasonable?


margaret said...

so good to see someone else has taken on the instructing, what a beautiful piece, not so sure as to the way they cut the threads prior to the satin stitch though, yours is coming along so well

Granny Maud's Girl said...

No coffee stains? Not at all unreasonable.

Julie said...

Admittedly, I will never have the patience for a project like this, but it hasn't stopped my from enjoying your progress. I have many pieces of handiwork from generations before me, and I love knowing the time and love they put into it. I would only realize it from watching you work. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

your piece is just beautiful!!!! I would put it behind glass so nothing could ever touch it!!!!!

D1-D2 said...

Glad to know someone else picked up the project again. I will bookmark the page for when I start stitching this piece. Their technique is different from the one I learned, I will have to share it with my teacher. Thanks for the step by step images :)

Sandi said...

That is an amazing piece! It sounds like the Russian way gives a more completed finish.

I'd be tempted to put under glass when finished, no coffee or tea anywhere near it?

I'll have to check out the site and see what other amazing pieces they share. Congrats on pricing it up again.

Chris of UK City Crafter said...

This is just beautiful, so glad you'll be able to carry on with it under the guidance of a new 'leader'.

Natureluvr57 said...

I always wanted to do Hardanger or some other cut work but always chicken out. I don't think I would do well with an online class either. I would want to start with something small like a coaster but no one gives one on one classes around me so I doubt I'll ever try it. That design is beautiful! I'm glad someone stepped up to the plate.

Von said...

A runner that gorgeous has to be protected! No coffee comes near it! :D

Julie said...

This is amazing, I don't think I would ever have the patience to do anything like this. So glad someone else carried on with the stitch a long, nothing worse than half finished projects.

Anthea Garrod said...

Wendy, lovely work! Take a look at 'Lefkaritiko' or 'Lefkaritika ' embroidery from the village of Lefkara, on the island of Cyprus, where I live. The tradition of drawn thread work here dates back to the Venetian period. I think you will see similarities!

JudyC said...

Wendy, Your piece is wonderful. I was wondering where did Daria's instructions go? Thank you so much for letting us know that Mila carries on the SAL.

HeathersSewingRoom said...

What an amazing piece of stitching. I am impressed by your patience with all those threads.