Monday, December 30, 2013

Well two entries in two days this is starting to look like I might make my resolution come true. I have done some more work on Sue's block Arlene kindly suggested the grey and pink blocks looked a little empty.

  So I added some funky flowers in the top grey block and some rain in the pink block. In the other grey block I added some Sturts Desert Peas. They are mainly done in bullion stitch with the leaves in detached chain. I will be mailing this to Sue next year; probably Friday.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

I am going to try and blog more often in 2014 so I thought I would start practicing today. This is the block I did for Sue in the Stumpwork RR. The wattle is Acacia Pycnantha the Australian floral emblem.
I did a course with Arlene White and adapted her hydrangeas to my wattle flowers. The leaves are woven stitch. Most wattle have little leaves but this one has long strap like leaves. The fabrics Sue used were beautiful but really challenged me as the colours are not me; this being said I am fairly pleased with the result. I intend to keep on now trying to learn to create more stumpwork embroideries. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

I have been so slack this year no posts since February. I really intend to try harder next year but we will see. I have done two courses with Stitchmap this year. 
The first was the Crazy Quilt Course where we made a pretty sewing kit and the second was Redwork. I was very fortunate to have Shari as my mentor each time.
Here are some photos from the Crazy Quilt

Here is my first needle book I use it for Milliner (my favourite needle) and Crewel needles

The second needle book. I use this one for Tapestry needles

The thread holder contains my special threads - mainly silks and Brazilian threads

The pincushion sits on my worktable and because it is so large it never gets lost

This is the thread holder opened out. It was such fun to do creating this secret garden for my threads

And here is the whole set together.

This course had a lot of stitching as well as design elements in it. I found it really valuable.

The second course was Redwork and here is a photo of my finished set. These are little weights filled with rice for the times you do not want to use pins but still want to hold something steady.

Once again this was a very stitch intensive course but I think the finished product was worth the effort

Friday, February 15, 2013

Sashiko Challange

I took the challenge from my group at  to make a needle book with Sashiko stitching on it.  

This was a fun exercise just to get the juices flowing. I first drew a series of lines in white charcoal pencil on the dark blue fabric,this was supposed to be indigo dyed cotton but the dark blue homespun was all I had. I then stitched the lines in a running stitch in a heavy white thread trying to remember the rules for Sashiko and also trying to keep my stitches even. 
I then made a little flower in the Japanese Kanzashi style with my new Flower Maker from Clover and a pretty button and some beads.
 This is the back of the needlbookI think it turned out ok.

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Diamonds are finished

I signed up last year to swap 3 diamond blocks. At last they are finished and mailed out only 3 days late. That is a record for me. They were such fun to do and I am very happy with the way they turned out.
Here are all three of them together. Of course I have left a much wider frame around them but I pinned it back for the photos.

This is a closeup of the first one I finished with a pretty peacock in the centre block. The photos are not great as I had to use my phone. 
That is a tale in itself, I could not get the pictures to load into my computer so I could send them to my blog so after much swearing and cursing, yes I used the magic @#$% word, I finally worked out how to get the blue-tooth to work between my laptop and my phone. 
Not bad for an Old Gal hay!!!

This is the second one I finished  All the stitching is experimental either I am learning to do a stitch or I want to find out how a combination works. It often means a lot of reverse stitching LOL.

And last but certainly not least is this one more just playing around but I wish the photos came out better.

I have no idea which of my partners got which diamond because what I did was package them up with a little note and sealed the envelope. Then I addressed them, kind of like a lucky dip. I mailed 2 of this morning but I do not yet have my third partner's snail mail address so soon as I know that I will send it off also.

I do hope my partners will like their little diamonds as much as I have enjoyed making them.

Friday, February 1, 2013


Another block finished; Jacque's Confidence Booster. This is a fun block to work on because we know what the finished product will be. It will be the bag to take to the casino.
With that in mind I stitched as much luck as I could into the bag by using Chinese good luck symbols and stitching in red, the Chinese lucky colour and then whipping the stitching in gold for good measure.
This photo does not do the luscious fabrics justice.
Here is a close up of the stitching, I hope I have the calligraphy right. I looked up on the net the characters then practiced them until they looked right. Then I drew them in pencil on the gold fabric, stitched them with red perle 8 thread and then whipped them with gold filament. I think they look OK and I hope any Chinese writers think the same but even if they do not I thought good thoughts all the time I was stitching so that must count for something..

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

RoseAnnes BAS Blocks

Back again at last. I have been very slack with my writing but here are some photos of the embroidery I have been doing on Rose Anne's blocks.
 This is a butterfly done with chain stitch, detached chain pistil stitch, seed stitch and colonial knots. It is done with single thread art rayon.
The next block is the beautiful underwater scene. I added the tiny fish around the angel fish with silver thread and fly stitch finished with a chain. The other panel is coral, starfish and seaweed in various threads and pearl beads.
Here I added a bead tumble down the side of the heart. The stitching is Rhodes stitch in yellow silk.
A basket of silk flowers with a beaded button for an accent.
Sometimes I make real flowers but most of the time I make made up ones like these. The leaves and the flowers are silk ribbon and the vine is silk thread.
This stitching on the trellis is a sort of cross stitch but the legs are straight not slanted. It came from one of my favourite books "A Book of Fancy Designs for Ornamenting Oriental Work" This is in the public domain and can be found at I don't know what page it is on but the publisher is Mary Haehnlen. This little jewel only has 24 pages and was published in 1884.  
This is just a series of straight stitches using one of Carol Sample's templates. Once in blue the echoed in a goldie colour. A lighter shade of blue was used on the detached chain with pearls. As you can see even with a template I cannot sew straight.

 The bottom of this basket is woven over irregular buttonhole stitch and topped with chain stitch to make the appearance of a planter box of woven cane. The flowers are a stitch I found on the web and are supposed to look like peacock feathers. They are made with one large detached chain in a dark colour, then a smaller detached chain in a lighter colour stitched upside down to the first stitch lastly a Colonial or French knot to finish off. I personally like Colonial knots so that is what I use. The greenery is fly stitch and straight stitch in some places.
And to finish on block 9 a personal touch of a Gum Blossom done in Pistil stitch, Satin stitch and couched bullion. The leaves are satin stitch outlined with outline stitch in a single thread. The gumnuts are bullion stitch. Gumnuts are the seedpods of the plants not the buds as some people think.