Crewel is a surface embroidery, stitched with wool. Darker, bolder, more vivid and dramatic than thread embroidery (or counted cross stitch), free-form crewel was very popular in the 70s when I was coming of age.
I remember ace-ing the sewing section of high school Home Economics with a crewel medallion guitar strap made for my hippy boy friend.
It took months to design and stitch.
These days I prefer to “harvest” vintage crewel from pillows and scraps I find at tag sales.
Here are two recent projects–
A few hints on working with vintage crewel:
- If the piece is very soiled, wash it in cold water and hang to dry. Expect some fading. It will be less noticeable if you cut the motif out.
- ZigZag stitch around any motif you plan to cut out. I go around twice to keep threads from raveling (all motifs tend to be linked).
For more on my rewind designs, shopping and fabric, go to www.kikisrewinddesigns.com