Apothecary: wall hanging

Having completed most of the interior it became clear that I needed to fill the empty wall space in my apothecary set. While I couldn’t find anything on how an apothecary shop may have been decorated, I decided that as half shop half house, it would be ok to decorate the set as a home. One afternoon spent at the library convinced me to put an embroidered wall hanging above the fire place as the main decorative piece. I experimented with a few floral compositions, as flowers were a popular motif in embroidery of the day and fit well with my botanical theme. The final result (as seen above) was a pattern of thistles, fennel, carnations and speedwell.

I am not very familiar with embroidery; I do a bit of hand sewing every so often, but they’re hardly the same thing. I spent some time practising, and when it came to the final piece, a lot of time unpicking and redoing. The result is still a little rough, but honestly with my (lack of) skill I’m surprised I got something even halfway decent in the end.

wall hanging making

The thread I mainly used is actually tapestry thread (I don’t have any embroidery thread), as I have a whole box full of colourful yarn from my grandma. I unravelled each length of thread to get four finer ones. The colours are lovely and matt, but to get some contrast I used sewing thread in some places (for the fennel fronds, thistle spikes, carnation stems, and paler details on the speedwell).

Clearly I was using the tapestry thread in a way it is not supposed to be used, and as a result the separated threads were weak and prone to breaking, whenever I pulled the needle too quickly through the fabric. It was worth it in the end for me, and I even quite liked the slightly fuzzy texture of the flowers.

Before cutting it out I put strips of tape over the places to be cut, to prevent freying. There are probably nicer solutions to secure the raw edges of the fabric, but by the time I came to that I had spent so long on the embroidery itself that I just wanted to finish it. Anyway, the tape is not visible once the wall hanging is mounted, so it seems this was one corner worth cutting.

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