Welcome to my blog about Home Arts Needlecraft Magazine! I "discovered" this publication about 2 years ago and fell in love with it to the extent that I had to start collecting issues as I ran across them. The magazine began publication with its September, 1909 premier issue, and continued through March, 1941. It has been interesting to follow the changes through the 30 plus years the magazine was published. It is a great source for needlework, fashion, recipes and short stories. Through my journey of sharing my issues online, I hope to discover a pattern of what was popular in different forms of needlecraft over the 3 decades. I hope you enjoy my blog as much as I am (so far!) enjoying posting articles and projects from the issues. Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

The New Stipple-Embroidery

By Adelaide Nickerson
1913 08, page 16


Here is the definition of stipple: “To spot; to shade or decorate by means of small dots applied with the point of a brush, or in any similar way.”  And that is exactly what is done at the point of the needle in stipple-embroidery.

There is nothing new about it save in name and application; indeed, it is greatly doubted whether there can be anything absolutely new in the realm of needlework.  The beautiful punched-embroidery, which sprang into feminine favor almost in a day, is nothing more nor less than Bermuda fagoting – the old “big-needle work” of our great-grandmothers’ time; but its application was novel and charmed everybody, and it has taken its place among the standard stitcheries which are included in every good needleworker’s list of accomplishments. The same may be said of Wallachian embroidery, fashioned by means of the buttonhole-stitch.  Many other instances might be cited, with which, however, all are familiar. 

And now comes stipple-embroidery, in which our old friend, the French knot, is used exclusively in producing the most charming effects imaginable.  Simple, effective and fascinating are some of the adjectives applied to this work by enthusiastic admirers; and it is quickly done, which is a great consideration with many of us at the present day.  We do like to make our home attractive by the use and display of pretty things of our own handiwork, but other demands on our time are so many and varied that we hesitate to begin an article which requires a great deal of work and may not, therefore, be finished for many weeks or months.  Appreciating this state of affairs, those who cater to the demand for “something new” in the realm of needlework are constantly on the alert to produce designs, adaptations and applications, which shall combine rapidity of execution with effectiveness.

And so we have stipple-embroidery, in knot-stitch.  There is no preliminary running of the design, no padding-stitches to be taken.  You simply thread your needle and get right to work.  The size of the working-material depends, naturally, on the quality of the foundation-fabric – a heavy gray crash would take a much coarser thread than a fine white linen centerpiece, and of course one gets on faster with the larger thread.  With the French-knot probably all are familiar.  The needle is brought up in the exact spot where the knot is to be.  Twist the thread around the needle, draw it through the fabric at almost the exact place where it came up, keeping the knot in place with the thumb of the left hand, while you draw the needle down with the right.  Not more than one or two twists are made, as a rule, although for a very heavy, raised knot there may be a third or fourth.  Practise a little on the stitch, if you have never made it, before beginning on the “real work.”

It is a very wise plan to first outline the form, placing the knots close together along the stamped line, which should be followed accurately; then fill in with the knots, closely, covering the fabric.

Three examples of this work are given, entirely different as to design, but equally attractive.  The oval center piece, sixteen by twenty-two inches (the stamped piece measure about two inches larger, always), has a conventionalized lily design in mahogany, green and yellow, and this combination on the gray crash, which furnishes a charming neutral background, is very pleasing.  The leaves and stems are of green, as are the stamens of the flower, tipped with “pollen” in yellow; the flower-centers are also of yellow, and the petals of mahogany.  But three colors are used, and no attempt at shading is made, yet the effect is striking and artistic.  The stems may be of the knots, laid side by side along the stamped line, or of the German or Russian knotted outline, made as follows: Bring the needle up through the line, or just a thread at the left of it, insert needle a thread to the right (the working-thread covering the line) and take a very short stitch under the line, thus forming a loop or stitch on the surface about one eight inch long or according to the quality of your working-material; carry your needle back over this loop, and under it from right to left, leaving this last stitch a trifle loose; again put the needle under the loop as before, below or to the right of the last stitch, keeping the working-thread under the needle, so that you really form a loose buttonhole-stitch.  Again take the short stitch under the line, a little ahead of the completed stitch, and repeat.  A few minutes’ practise, after once mastering the details of the stitch, which is easily done, will enable one to do it rapidly and well, and it will be found very useful in many pieces of embroidery.  As a braiding-stitch it cannot be surpassed.  The knots may be made close together, or slightly separated, as desired.

A centerpiece, in two tones of yellow suggests in a charming way the popular empire design.  The flowers and stems are of the darker shade, and the bow-knots and festoons of the lighter.  Two tones of any preferred color may be chosen, and the size of the centerpiece – twenty-two inches when completed, makes it a very desirable between-meal piece.  The lace border may be wider, if desired, and would be especially attractive if handmade.

The second centerpiece is of the same size, and the design is developed in three tones of apple-green – the large circles in the darkest shade, the small ones in the medium, and the bars in the lightest shade.

One can form no true conception of the attractiveness of this simple stitchery until after having seen a prettily worked piece.

No. 335D, and No. 336D.  Both in 24-inch sizes.  Perforated stamping-pattern of either design, 25 cents.  Transfer-pattern, either design, 15 cents.  Either design stamped on white linen, 50 cents.

No. 337 D.  Perforated stamping-pattern, 25 cents.  Transfer-pattern, 10 cents.  Stamped on homespun, 30 cents.

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