Friday, 19 August 2011

Baroque Embellishments - The Inspiration of Kimberly Servello

I am always thrilled when stitchers go to the trouble of showing me images of their work - it just lifts my heart to see the inspiration and talent at work in stitching today. So you can imagine how I felt when I saw Kimberly's fabulous purses.
Kimberly says her inspiration came partly from a jacket at the V&A museum in London (Acc # T.4-1935), which features the pomegranate and partly from the engravings published by Peter Stent in the 17th century. She loved the pea pods in his engravings, which looked a bit Tim Burton-ish. The book is out of print, but available used from Amazon. The title is: A Book of Flowers, Fruits, Beasts, Birds, and Flies: Seventeenth-Century Patterns for Embroiderers Printed and Sold by Peter Stent
Here's a picture of the Peter Stent engraving that inspired her. Kimberly says, check out the wicked looking strawberries! By the way - the Met museum has a copy of this book that you may look through in their prints and rare books room.
Kimberly designed this purse for a class she taught for a Mid-Atlantic Regional meeting of the Embroiderers' Guild of America (EGA) few years ago. She says, I used Kingston 50 ct cream linen, and black silk threads in various thicknesses, from Mulberry Silks in England. Motifs are outlined in Outline stitch, and shading done in speckling technique. Paillettes (the gold sequins) are from Access Commodities and are real gold. The vine is Plaited Braid Stitch done in #7 Tambour thread (a non-tarnish metal wire that's very pliable). I typically use #4 Gold Passing thread (real gold), but the Guild requested that I use imitation gold to keep the cost down. Here's a close up of the vine. I outlined the entire purse in Heavy Broad stitch, which is nice for hiding the seams on the purse construction, as you can see here.
A kit to make this purse is available on Kimberly's etsy shop, Baroque Embellishments. To see Kimberly's fabulous blog, Baroque Embellishments, click here.


  1. These are gorgeous! I wish I were that talented! Thank you for sharing :)

  2. I know Kimberly, and the kit is extremely minimally costed. She plans to make a name for herself before making profit.
    The Mulberry Blackwork silk thread kit just in itself is a wonderful thing to have. And also, the pattern is already drawn on the linen for you.

    Congratulations, Kimberly, on being featured here, and thankyou Jacqueline!

  3. Makes me happy to see you highlighting Kimberly's lovely work. I was in her class for the blackwork purse and she's a wonderful teacher. (Is my purse finished? Not quite...)