By Melissa Christensen
A Style of Deerfield by Peggy Kimble (revised by Helen McCrindle) will be retiring at the end of this year. The course has been a part of the curriculum since 1992 when Peggy Kimble first developed it for EAC. Have you had a chance to stitch this? Deerfield embroidery is a variation of crewel embroidery. Many of the stitches are similar to crewel and when I took the course, I found that the emphasis for Deerfield stitches is on economy of materials. The traditional stitches used in this course are stem or outline, herringbone, Deerfield herringbone, New England laid, feather, chain, cross, lattice, French knot, fly, spike, seed speckling, satin, snail trail, and darning.
I started my embroidery “lifestyle” with counted work, primarily cross stitch. When I enrolled in the course in the summer of 2014, I had branched out into Hardanger and counted canvas and had only done a couple of surface embroidery pieces up to that point. I think this course was a good way to broaden my horizons. When working on embroidery projects I am in the habit of taking progress pictures. It’s the next best thing to keeping a journal… I just scroll through my pictures to see what I’ve been up to and how quickly I progressed.
Out of curiosity I searched the archived newsletters of the Town Clock Stitchers, which we’ve converted to PDF to make searches possible, to see how often and how far back the course was mentioned. I found three instances ranging from 1993 to 2007.
If you can’t do the course before it is retired for good you can still learn about Deerfield embroidery embroidery. A Style of Deerfield II teaches the same stitches but the finished design looks very different.
Have you stitched A Style of Deerfield? If so, how did you finish it?
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I did this a few years ago and it hangs in the hall near the kitchen so I see it every day. It’s framed with a round oak frame.
This was my very first EAC course, done in 1994.
A guild member lent me a book on Deerfield embroidery and the history, which started a new passion of collecting stitching books (somehow a local bookstore was able to get this out of print book, not an easy task before Amazon an eBay)
The technique wasn’t easy for me, but The finished piece turned out great, but learning the history of technique was even more fascinating to me.
I gave the finished piece away, but wished I had kept it to remind me how far I have come.