Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Stumpwork is a raised style of embroidery where the figures, whether floral, fauna, person, etc. are raised from the piece to create a 3D effect. The figures can be created using an armature, of wire or padding and then fastened to the embroidery. Traditionally stumpwork was found on boxes, cabinets, mirrors, and small bags. It was also popular to decorate book covers with stumpwork, incorporating other elements such as beading, jewels, pearls, and other embroidery forms to create unique covers.

Much of the stumpwork I have seen has been used for decorating flat embroidery. The piece on the right is actually an old kit by DMC, stitched by Elizabeth Braun and shown on her blog Sew in Love. You can check out her blog by following the link. Her work is very pretty and is a great example of stumpwork. The kit is no longer in production, but it shows how you can use special stitches along with stumpwork to create a really nice piece. The fact that this is a DMC kit also shows that it would be easily accessible to stumpwork beginners.

The piece below on the right stitched by Kay Dennis is a perfect example of how you can use molds and create not just puffed pieces but 3D elements, such as an acorn. This piece is just fabulous. I love all the colors and all of the different stitching techniques. The wings are pefect with their delicate stitching, and I love the little mini acorns and leaves. This piece would look great on the wall, framed. In my search for different examples of stumpwork, I've come across a lot of really great embroidered fairies, and they are all technically very good and look like they'd be a lot of fun to stitch. If you check out her website, and see another fairie on the left by her, you'll be able to see that Kay has done a lot of really fun fairies. From the variety it's easy to see that these are easily customizable, and it would be quite easy to make your own.

And, to show you that you can do anything if you have an idea, here's a Stumpwork portrait of Lady Gaga. Follow the link to see the artist's other stitching projects.

We have a Beginners Stumpwork class coming up. It's scheduled for April 16th. The minimum signup is 4 people, and the max is 8. It's $10 and includes linen, fiber, instruction, beverage (we have lots of teas and coffee!), and conversation! To assure your spot in this class, you must RSVP and prepay. Hopefully if any of these projects pique
your interest you'll give us a call or come in to the store and assure your spot in this fun class!

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