Historical English stumpwork is amazing but very busy. My stumpwork teacher, Laura Dobrint, at the Guelph Embroiderer's Guild does work that is so beautiful it makes me wanna cry! This is a technique I would like to spend more time with.

      The sea "rock" was inspired by a piece in Stitch magazine featuring monochromatic work (monochrome is not for me!). I painted the fabric, a little and added coloured threads and was very pleased with the resulting stitching. I wish I had padded the rock a bit more though - it's too flat.

        Stumpwork red flower The red flower was an exercise in buttonhole stitch. I worked a petal at a time, while waiting, and took about 4 months to finish it.


Mermaid Mother

Stumpwork Mermaid mother no frame

     Old stumpwork pieces typically show 2 or more central figures, elaborately dressed, surrounded by outdoor elements such as trees, ponds, flowers, squirrels, dogs, buildings - with no regard for scale. There may be some landscape elements such as a bush or grassy mound.

I wanted to make a stumpwork landscape but absolutely not in that style. The idea of moving underwater occurred to me immediately. The "human" figure would have to be... a mermaid, of course. Oh, ack! Breasts covered or uncovered? Certainly, one should be "artistic" - uncovered! Why did I then see a school of about 6 or 7 little fish trying to suckle from those exposed breasts?!? I thought that would freak my kids out a bit too much!

I mentally compromised and carefully embroidered 7 curled up merbabies covered with a bit of sheer fabric, as mermaid eggs. The central figure *did* have bare breasts but the composition ended up saving me from deciding whether the nipples were to be pink or green.


GooseberriesRaspberries StrawberryThese three were done in my first stumpwork course, with Laura Dobrint. I was very satisfied with them.


Wedding Garden  A Stumpwork garden I made in 2010