Friday, May 22, 2015

My Day With Hazel

As you know I attended a two day class with Hazel Blomkamp and the ladies of the Lakeshore Creative Stitchery Guild. It was both amazing and intense. I've never spent an entire day just stitching, but it was worth it. I learned so much from both Hazel and the girls (as Hazel called us). As it is with these things, I didn't take a lot of pictures, preferring to spend it stitching and soaking up as much information as I could.

The main topic of the class was "Using Needle Lace Techniques in your Embroidery". This is a technique Hazel adapted from an old needle lace book she had bought by accident. Using these techniques on top of traditional crewel techniques gives pieces an extra dimension. Pictured below is one of her pieces, you can see she used a cream thread to needle lace over the petals. Afterwards she passed a ribbon through the lace, giving you the illusion that it is a piece of lace that was patched on.

As part of the course, we each got a piece of fabric for us to try out the different stitches. The fabric is a cotton linen backed with voile (or muslin). We got a nice little spiral book that contains all the needle lace techniques that are described in her books Crewel Twists and Crewel Intentions. It also comes with a needle book, a packet of beads, cotton thread and two different weight dentelle lace thread. By the way, she is also working on a spiral book with all the weaving techniques she uses in her books. Let's hope she comes back to Canada for another class so I can get one.

The first day we spent it trying different needle lace patterns with the thicker weight so we would be able to see our stitches. The stitches are not that different from crochet stitches, instead of a hook we are using a needle. Hazel named the stitches to match the ones from Thérèse de Dillmont's Encyclopédie des ouvrages de dames, but a lot of these stitches have names. They are not only used for creating lace but other embroidery techniques such as Elizabethan Stumpwork.

End of Day 1

All these stitches start with us back-stitching the square and then filling them with rows of lace. We didn't want to waste our second day on back-stitching, so we had homework to do at the end of the day.

Homework done!
The next day we got the chance to try out more complicated patterns and Hazel also showed us her buttonhole and weaving technique. I didn't get much done on either (the leaf on the bottom is started with the buttonhole stitch and the circle on the left is the beginning of the weave). I was too busy talking to the ladies and just listening to Hazel.

At the end of the class Hazel walked us through how she stitched each of the take home projects. The take home projects were Dancing ThreadsThe First Sip and Jac 11. I picked Dancing Threads as my take home project, but I also bought Dancing Threads. I love the blue colors and the lace that surrounds the flowers.

Dancing Threads
The First Sip
Jac 11
The rest of the pictures are eye candy. I tried to take really close up pictures of each project as well as the other stitched items she brought with her. The kits for all these projects are available through l'Atelier de Penelope. The owner, a lovely lady named Patricia, was in the class with us and I had a fun time talking to her. I'll have to plan a trip to Quebec City one day to visit her shop. There were other projects she brought with her, but I'll have to wait before I post them. They are for her new book that she will be releasing next year(?) and it is FABULOUS and AMAZING. It's just too bad I can't show you. I am allowed to say that it will be about crazy quilts (but way cooler in my opinion).

By the way, I apologize in advance for the glare. All the pieces are covered in plastic, which is great because it meant we could pick them up and pass our fingers over them to feel the bumps created by the stitches. But it's not so great for taking pictures.

If you've made it to the end of this post, you're seeing the only picture of myself I'll probably ever post on my blog. I'm the one on the right, with Hazel right next to me. The ladies with us are Suzy (in the back) and Helene (on the left). They both belong to the Lakeshore Creative Stitchery Guild.


  1. What interesting classes, such gorgeous work.

  2. Sounds like a fantastic couple of days and what gorgeous, gorgeous work. I can see why you would want to take another class with Hazel.

  3. gorgeous work! You must have had a lot of fun, just stitching and learning a lot.

  4. Very interesting! The class looks fun and the stitchery is very pretty.

  5. I have lost my words.........just beautiful! How lucky you were to be in the presence of greatness! I'm already thinking about my plans for next years stitching and I'm thinking one of Hazel's projects needs to be on that list!