Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Crewel With Hazel Blomkamp

I've been holding this in for two months, but now that it's happening soon I can talk about it. A while back Mary Corbet wrote a post on Hazel Blomkamp's kit Late Harvest and after taking a look at her shop, I've been itching to get one. My cautious self couldn't throw everything to the wind and just buy a kit (or 3), I mean what if I didn't enjoy Crewel. I settled for buying her two books (there are excellent reviews on Mary Corbet's site here and here).

However, the more I looked at the books, the more I wanted to try it. I was also feeling kind of down for not being able to attend this year's EAC seminar being held in Calgary (I spent that money to go to Cuba :P). Then I find out a great piece of news: Hazel Blomkamp was making a stop in Montreal to teach a class with the Lakeshore Guild. After a quick search, I find out I passed the registration deadline (by one day), but I figured I could still place an order with her and save myself the shipping cost from South Africa. So I contacted Hazel, who in turn put me in contact with Pam, the person organizing the class, and I was able to register for the class. I was floating for days after that. I can't believe I'm getting this amazing opportunity.

There is a little worry that I might not have the experience necessary for the class, but I refuse to let that stop me. The class is being held next week on May 19 & 20 (I even took the days off to attend), so I decided to create a little project for myself to practice.

This pattern is free from this website here. It's nice and big for what I need and I'm using DMC #5 perle cotton so that I can see my stitches. It's traced on fabric I found at a shop, using a Sepia Copic Marker. I have no idea what the fabric is, but it has a nice shine to it and tiny flower motifs that are only visible in good light.

I haven't don't much so far. I tried one of the woven patterns described in Hazel's book for the center of the flower. It started off okay, but you can see that I lost my way once I started the horizontal part. I'm thinking I picked the wrong weave pattern for the thickness of the thread. I think I'll try it again but in a square figure next time, just so I can get used to it.

The petals are done using the satin stitch which I LOVE, until I have to figure out where to pierce the fabric lol. I started from the second on the right and you can see that it started out okay, but then I got tired as I got to the last one on the left. I think I should have stopped at the second one. Because when I went back later to stitch the first one on the right it looks great.

The stem is stitched with stem stitch (duh). I still have to decide how to do the rest, but I do want to try the seed stitch and buttonhole stitch. There is an excellent page that describes the basic crewel stitches here. I also want to try the lace motifs described in Hazel's book. This is actually the main topic of the class she will be teaching next week.

These notes are for me: I HATE the Susan Bates hoop. My first frame was a Susan Bates plastic hoop, I didn't like it then and I still don't like it. It's the main reason I bought my first frame and q-snap and why it took me so long to trust hoops again. I can't get it to stretch the fabric properly, it keeps sagging and puckering on me as I stitch. This could either be caused by the fabric being thin or just plainly the hoop. I'll have to ask Hazel since she's the one who recommended we get one for the class. Also, when using satin stitch, I should be split stitching NOT back stitching the motif and then covering it with satin stitches.

I'll do another post once I've attended the class.


  1. Stunning, I once did this for an exam, it is great to do

  2. Beautiful work. I know you'll have a wonderful class.

  3. Lovely stitching. My mom did that when she was growing up.


  4. Guess who also has those two books :). I hope you have a fabulous time at the class, what an opportunity, can't wait to hear about it!

  5. your stitching looks beautiful! I think you'll definitely be ready for this class. I have done a couple of crewel kits and enjoyed every second.

  6. What stunning stitching! It's beautiful.

  7. You always do the most interesting pieces!