Creative articles about embroidery

Embroidered Lampshades – by Carolyn Sinclair


A shop in France commissioned me to make these lampshades and wanted the designs aimed towards children and especially boys, as girls are easy to find things to buy for, but boys are more difficult.

Patterns fills were perfect for creating the designs for these lampshades. As we live beside the sea naturally much of my inspiration comes from the sea!
lady seagull

Variegated threads are perfect for use with pattern fills and I use a mix of polyester, rayon, cotton and silk threads. These vary in thickness from 30wt to 50wt and the same pattern can take on a different look when the thread type is varied. Some designs have more than 15 different threads used and I can never repeat a design perfectly as I just chose my colours as I work.


boat 2An effect that I used on some of the shapes was ‘wave fill’ as these boats show. The hull and two sails both used a wave fill at different curved angles to give a more 3dimensional effect.boat 1

As I was using a 15cm diameter lampshade ring and wanted a finished height of only 16cms the Bernina 150 by 400 Mega Hoop was perfect and with all the colour changes I really appreciated the automatic needle threader on the Bernina 830 !

fishing boat 2

The clouds used a ‘Ripple Fill’ but the ‘stitch spacing’ was changed to 4mm and the’ centre’ moved using the ‘reshape feature’ to the bottom of each cloud. Again variegated thread gave the perfect effect. The small details of the fish seagulls etc. were fun to design and helped link the larger designs together around the lampshade.

fishing boat

hen 3

Markets are an important part of French life as is buying fresh bread every day so hence the design of ‘hens with their bread and baskets having a chat!

hensLampshade carcasses and rings can be found to buy online and there are a number of tutorials on YouTube showing how to create your own lampshade.


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