GUEST POST FROM HELEN HODGSON - Visit Helen's blog here. As a former resident of the City of Seven Hills (Sheffield that is, not Rome!) one of the designs from Made by Mrs M that first caught my eye were the fabrics based on the Park Hill flats.
Love them or hate them, there is no doubt that they are a striking part of the city skyline.
Having previously worked on other iconic buildings as part of my ‘in stitches’ series, I was really excited to be able to work with Kate to bring you this tutorial so that you can create your own stitched version of Park Hill.
- A4 sheet thick card, but suitable for printing on (I used 250mg from recycled-paper.co.uk)
- Pattern (download here)
- stranded embroidery thread in black, dark grey, light grey and brown (1 skein of black and approx. half of the other colours)
- narrow adhesive tape
- blunt ended tapestry needle and scissors
- a sharp, strong needle and needle vice or cork
- thick felt / wad of paper
My colour choices were inspired by the original Park Hill fabric, but all of the other colours in the range would make a striking piece. Be warned that working black on orange sent me cross-eyed!
1. Print the pattern on to your card, taking care to centre it . Remember this will be the reverse of your finished piece. I worked at A4 size but it can be scaled to fit.
2. Carefully make the holes in your card. I used a ruler as a guide which made it easier to follow the grid.
Be careful to keep the holes at least 1mm apart to reduce the chance of ripping the card.
The right side of the card should look like this:
3. Start with 6 strands of the black thread work the horizontal lines – 2-17 on the diagram- using a running stitch.
4. I used tape to hold down the end of the thread to keep it flat, or you can cast on through the threads as you would with a traditional cross stitch. If using tape, try to keep It at the edges of the work so that it doesn’t block the holes.
5. Continuing in the same way work the following:
6. Once the main structure is complete, it’s time to add some detail, starting with the main façade.
Columns B-C; E-F; H-I:
Using single thread in dark grey, cast on as before, but this time, pass the thread UNDERNEATH the existing stitching to give a continuous line. Return to the wrong side of the work only at the top and bottom of the column.
Rows 2-17, but only working in between columns A-B; C-E; F-H and I-K
Continuing with a single thread dark grey, work the balconies in a similar manner. Avoid the vertical threads which you have just worked.
Looking at the right side this should give a pattern of two columns of balconies; interspersed with one of vertical threads.
7. Work columns K-N of the angled façade in the same way
8. For the stair tower and near façade use the same technique, but work the threads as close together as possible to give solid blocks of colour.
O-P 3 thread black
P-Q 3 thread dark grey
N-O and Q-R 3 thread light grey
9. Finally using the 3 strands of the brown thread work the curved stitching at the base of the building.
It is worked in two sections, firstly in front of the main façade. Using the separate diagram work as follows:
a-1; 2-b; c-3; 4-d etc finishing with q-15 with one long stitch each time. This uses quite a lot of thread so you will probably need to cast off and on frequently.
Add the wall base lines over the top, from a-q; q-16
For the second section work the area at the base of the stair tower as follows:
r-13; 14-s; t-15; 16-w; t-w; x-u; y-u; z-v
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