Friday, June 5, 2015

Hedebo Tea Cosy - Drawn Thread

I haven't done a lot of stitching recently, but I have made a little progress on my Hedebo tea cosy. The surface embroidery has been completed and the drawn thread work is well underway. You can read more about this project in previous blog posts here and here.

Below you can see that the pretty little pulled work border around the sides is complete and I have started cutting threads and filling in the openwork areas. I started with the small less important areas, leaving the central motif until I had had a bit of practice.

Each openwork or drawn thread area is outlined by the two rows of chain stitch so characteristic of Hedebo embroidery.

In these drawn thread areas, I cut 2 threads and skipped 2 threads in both directions. I strengthened the grid with ordinary sewing machine cotton because I wanted the whipping and the underlying grid to be unobtrusive.

For the large rectangular area of drawn thread work at the bottom I carefully counted and tacked over every 2 threads to mark the threads I wanted to cut. Its's a big area and I didn't want to miscount somewhere and have to fix up any threads cut by mistake. Why the blue and red tacking?

I started with the pale blue thread but that didn't show up too well, especially at night. The bright red was much easier to see. I won't leave it in the embroidery for too long in case there is a transfer of it's strong red colour to the linen.

Also, when I changed to the red thread, I began at the side by going under the first two threads to be cut, as you can see above. The plan was to slip the point of the scissors under each pair of threads where the red thread lay underneath. Anything to make the cutting easier and more foolproof!

I have eased out the cut threads one by one and trimmed them off close to the satin stitch border. Next I'll strengthen the grid as before by whipping over the grid intersections with machine sewing thread. Finally I'll weave in the decorative filling.

The end of this piece of embroidery is in sight. It will be good to finish it but I still have to decide if it is actually going to be a tea cosy or if it's eventually going to be something else.


On a different note, I am back from a long anticipated reunion of Rod's family. It's been a few years since the four siblings and their spouses were all together. We met up in Sedgefield on the beautiful Garden Route and spent a very happy time taking long beach walks, having fabulous home cooked meals, and catching up and sharing fond memories. With the family scattered all over the country, and the globe, getting together is difficult but we all left Sedgefield with the firm intention of having another reunion before too many years have passed.

Winter arrived surreptitiously while we were away and being back home in Cape Town has been a bit of a shock weather-wise. Temperatures have dropped and the first big, but very welcome, rains have fallen. Perhaps with the cold weather here it's time to stay indoors, keep warm and take out the embroidery.

Till next time, happy stitching!


  1. It's very beautiful Lyn. I'd be a bit wary I'd stain it with tea as a tea,cosy, but it would look great - if you have morning or afternoon teas for friends or groups it would look good.

  2. Yes, I'm still wondering about turning it into a tea cosy.