The Avid Embroiderer Presents – Mountmellick/Montmellick Embroidery and a freebie for Mother's Day

While I was researching Mountmellick Embroidery, I found this book on Amazon.  You may want to rush to buy this one. . .  The cost was $291.84 and was (from their top 100 books list) #5,988,838 best seller rank...

Just the same, this is really beautiful embroidery. In many ways, it is very similar to the machine embroidery that we do today. Mountmellick embroidery was created by Johanna Carter, in the little town of Montmellick, in Queen's County, Ireland.

The stitches are “padded” (underlay) to create the third dimension of this needlepoint craft. I found that most of the stitches appeared to be made in very heavy thread, almost cording.

My blog today is based on an article I saw in the “Trove” a newspaper in Australia (the article is very interesting). It was from Saturday, 28 July 1894. (Isn’t the Internet great!!)  I even read some more of that days’ newspaper and was delighted with what I read on the Ladies Page. This reminded me of when the Advertisement for Jobs was listed as “Help Wanted, Men” and “Help Wanted, Women.” 

Back to the blog, I saw almost exclusively white-on-white embroidery work and very interesting types of stitches. I was so impressed by them that I wondered if I could simulate some of the stitches working with what I have available. I do wish I could digitize but that is one of those ‘want to do some day’ things in my world.

I hope you can see the numbers in the lower-left corner.

1.       Overcast stitch is a ‘firm’ stitch and is used for stems.

2.       Cording stitch is a variation of the chain stitch, you can see the uptake thread is to the left rather than in the original hole.

3.       Is called the Cable stitch and indeed, I think the extra small stitch makes it a really outstanding design.

4.       Is the Wheatear which, according to the article was used for grasses.

5.       Is called a Feather Vein.

6.       Is named Double Feather and can be use in the triple form, not shown.

7.       The Double Bullion takes its name from the hollow bullion used in gold and silver embroidery. It is also called the ‘worm.’

8.       Is the Saw-tooth button-hole used in finishing or borders.


9.       Is a fill-in stitch and is an application of ‘couching’ and appears to be a brick motif.

10.    Is also a variation of the buttonhole but including a French Knot. This photo may be upside down as the notes said French Knots at the top. (But, I am delighted we have photos at all!)


11.   Is a leaf worked in the Trellis stitch. There are detailed instructions in the article, click on the link above called “Trove.” To me, #11 seems like something you could possibly do with a thin ribbon as an accent on a machine design.



12.   This Pansy is done with a buttonhole stitch and has the Honeycomb stitch as a filler. I feel like I can see some underlay on the bottom petal at the 5:30 position.


13.   Raised satin on the leaf (left side). Some sewers used cotton under the stitching. It was not a good method since during washing, the cotton would likely clump. I believe that is an incomplete leaf that clearly shows the underlay.

14.   Number 14 is on the right of that same photo. It is a fringe that is great on larger items where the fringe would be an accent rather than a smaller item because it would overwhelm the project.

Ladies (and gentlemen) – if you have some warm mutton suet laying around, there is a great tip for using it in the “Household Hints” section just below the above article. Again, use the link at the top “Trove” to see a great story on the ladies requesting that women be hired for the police force – nearly 122 years ago, they were quite progressive. Those ads are quite interesting as well.

With Mother's Day just around the corner, here is your freebie:

Superwomen are incredible, but let us get real, being a Super Friend is one of life's joys. Thank you for joining me today!

Comments (2) -

True works of art!

I too love the look and I honestly think that this might be replicated by a machine if someone digitizes the layout.  Even the fringe, on a small scale, could be done.

Pat, The Avid Embroiderer

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