Playing with Crewel


Totally and utterly addicted.

I made this sampler from The New Crewel by Katherine Shaughnessy, a book I bought last year to entertain myself during the High Holidays (I am a non-Jewish pro singer and we are hidden from the congregants and have a lot of down time during sermons, etc. :)).  This year I put it into action.

Using my window as a ‘light box’, I copied the template in #2 pencil onto my fabric, selected a couple crewel wool colors (crewel embroidery uses thin wool as opposed to cotton embroidery thread) and set to work.  Many stitches are similar if not the same as traditional embroidery so those went quickly but I also learned a few new ones too.

Action shots – the top is a favorite new one.  “Spider Web” – works so well with the crewel wool.


And a few old standards…  I like the french knots.  They look more like ‘hair’ in wool than in normal cotton.  Fun possibilities there.



Overall, it took a week.  Added sewing bonus – it is extremely easy to thread crewel wool into a Chenille needle.  The wool has an extra heft which makes it a snap.  Love it.  I used Shaughnessy’s ‘quick blocking’ method to finish it off.  I love love LOVE the designs in this book. They are her own – very ‘mod’ looking.  I’m thinking of using her designs for the center of the red pillow I mentioned a couple weeks ago as opposed to an owl or butterfly.  I confess I ordered her “Motif Collection” book as my 2013 HiHos thank-you-to-me gift.  Great ideas in there too.  Seriously fun and I can’t wait to do more.

But for now, I have a special gift in mind that uses silk ribbon.  More on that soon….


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