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Embroidery Designs from the Royal School of Art Needle-Work. See illustrations on page 812.
1G. 1 of this instalment of designs from the South Kensington School represents a piano back. It is of brown velveteen, and has a bold design of white clematis, which is solidly worked in natural-colored shaded crewels. The light are put in with silk, and the border lines, of a pale green, are couched down, thick crewel being used for the purpose. It would look equally well worked on olive green, dark peacock blue, or Indian red, and fine cloth or silk sheeting might be used instead of velveteen. When a piano has to be placed with its back to the room, such panels of needle-work have a highly ornamental and artistic effect. The large flat space to be filled lends itself so manifestly for decoration, and there is scope for such a variety of style in both design and execution, that it has become a favorite object on which to lavish taste and skill. A want of variety in design or execution is a fault which certainly cannot be laid at the door of the Royal School of Art Needle- Work. It becomes wearisome to repeat over and over again the fact of the scant justice which can be done to a design by a pen-and-ink sketch. But what can one do, when by varying the material, treatment, and coloring, it can be made to look so tota"y different that only a practised or a very observant eye would know it to be one and the same thing? Fig. 2 is a couvre-pied or lounge rug, of thick soft peacock blue cloth, which is entirely worked in out
line. The thick filoselle which is used for the work is “couched” or sewn down to the material with fine silk of the same color. The flowers and buds at the corners are treated in the same manner in shades of pale gold and cream. The border lines are of couched silk, in pale shades of olive green, and the dots in gold. The piece of work is warmly quilted for a couvrepied. But the design in different colors and with quite dissimilar treatment is equally suitable for a table cover, and is frequently used as such. Next we have two sketches of the favorite Victoria stools, always striking and artistic articles. Fig. 3 is of dark crimson plush, with the pattern solidly embroidered. The stems are reddish-brown crewel, the leaves in shades of green, and the flowers in various shades of terracotta, toned red and pink crewel, with a little filoselle in the high lights. This is adapted from a favorite Anglo-Japanese pattern which has been much used for borders. Fig. 4 is of brown velveteen; leaves and flowers are both outlined in feather stitch. The veins are in stem stitch, whilst the dots which represent the stamens of the flowers are solid. It is worked throughout in various shades of terra-cotta, but more brown in tone than those used in the first stool. It would look as well, or better, in pale brown and gold colors, but we have seen the same design worked very effectively on dark blue in shades of gold or blue filoselle. These stools are handsomely mounted on frames of ebonized wood; they have almost superSeded the milking stools,