Tuesday, 3 July 2012

I finally found a 1997 Embroidery magazine that I had put somewhere safe............yeahhh!
I'd kept it because there was an article in it that fascinated me and it was centred around the piece of work above that had also appealed to me.
The artist concerned is called Elizabeth Cottom from Gressingham, near Lancaster. She was a member of the WI up there, I wonder if she is still stitching?

This wallhanging was then hanging in a Norman church in Gressingham and I would love to go to see if it is still there.

The article calls this lady's work her 'fleece embroidery' and its that technique that interested me.
I do have the article scanned now, before I lose the magazine again lol 
If anyone wanted to read it and see how she must do this technique, email me seperately and I will send you the scanned article.
The base fabric is simple hessian and from the picture it appears the central whirl is a mix of embroidery stitches and then circular rows of proddy technique but using wool fleece.
Its like an inbetween stage, somewhere tween wet felting and embellishing!
Elizabeth uses carded fleece and 'rollags' ( rolls?) of carded wool fleece which are stitched in position with small stitches on the top and longer stitches beneath.
It says she used shaped tufts of fleece to make the leaves, then stitched them in place, but there are areas of what looks like wool yarn, stitched in a variety of embroidery stitches, over, laid fleece background.
She uses a crochet hook to pull fleece through in places too it says, maybe thats where she has done thge proddy bits.
Apparently once the design is all in place, loose parts of the design are stitched down and then the top surface is " flicked" with soapy water to "dampen the surface".
Then a towel is laid over the work and a folded blanket on top of that and it's left overnight.
This partially felts the work and its allowed to dry out naturally, after which edges can be " heringboned" securely.
After that it can be hung on a batten but it says every 10 years or so lol it should be handwashed gently to keep it clean and refreshed.

I doubt youll be able to read the text on the pics below but as I say I can email you the scanned pages which might you should be able to read easily.
Its an interesting idea dont you think and I hadnt come across it before the article in the magazine.
If any of you happen to know if this lady has done  anything else Id love to knowabout it and whether shes still stitching today.
I havnt found anything on the great Google about her, but I reckon she must have done more than just this!


  1. I'm glad that I'm not the only one that puts things in a very safe place and then can't find them. Then, once I DO manage to unearth whatever it is I've been looking for, chances are I will have forgotten why I wanted it in the first place.

  2. Very interesting article. Her work looks so inspiring.

  3. Gosh, 'safe places', I can relate. Beautiful process. Sort of
    painting with the wool. If you do have a moment I'd love to have
    the article. Thank you!