Embroidery Feed

Boro variation

It was last Mother's Day that my patchwork group made bookcovers, stitched with boro designs.  Gee nearly a year ago.

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One our group, Mary, has been haunting Op shops for old fabric and threads and I love the designs she has come up with.

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She has kept true to the original old Boro pieces, using only 2nd hand materials but these are from shops in Australia, not Japan.

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The use of different types of fabrics changes the end result.

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I really like what she has done.

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 I am still searching for that.  Just when I think I am starting to recover this virus comes back and reminds me it still has the upper hand.  I have got lost in this fog.  I know I first started feeling ill back at the beginning of March, I'm still not sure if it was some new medication or the virus at this point.  But by the 19th of March I was ill.  It is now May.  That is only 8 or 9 weeks!  It seems like years.  Writting that down gives me some hope.  I keep thinking that I am going to die.  But not yet, not yet.  It is now the most perfect time of year and the island is so beautiful.

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Even though I am not well enough I prepared a class for the Guild to teach yesterday.  I had most of the notes already prepared but I had to put the effort into preparing the kits and supplies.  I enjoy this activity.  I like to think my students will be surprised and delighted by the little extra's that I add to the kit.  I am unable to just give a list of requirements,  I always found that such a chore to get it all together.  Far nicer to get a surprise bundle.

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So off I headed into the city.  I enjoyed teaching the class but boy I was tired when I got home.  Still it was worth the effort.


I am having serious reservations about Typepad.  After most of my comments being blocked, now, I find that I can't answer comments.  If this isn't resolved I might have to move my blog elsewhere which I wouldn't like to do as I have been at the address for the past 10 years.  Still, it might be the only solution.

I thought I might put a link up to Salley Mavor's new video.  boy that woman is talented.  It is a great little video and will worth the time to look at her embroidery.

Liberty and Justice.

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The other link is to the work of Claudia Pfeil on facebook.    And this one is her website.  I met Claudia in Huston last year and besides being a force of nature,  she is a wonderful quilter.  Friends Pam and Lisa have been in her shop in Germany teaching and It seems to me they were doing more falling about laughing than any serious work. 

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Firstly, the wedding dress is finished and it fitted perfectly.  It is all lace and net and would suit Cinderella and my client looks beautiful and I promised not to put up a photo until the wedding on the 13th of May.   Such a relief.  That was so stressfull I don't think I will do it again.

The patchwork continues without to many dramas.  But,  I can't sew straight.  Thirty one correct blocks and 4 re-sew ones.  Just one more row on each block and then I can sew them together.

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And I have given up  getting that poly-cotton fabric to work for chicken scratch.  No matter what I do it looks terrible.  I still need a couple of new breakfast cloths so have resorted to stitching some zig zag with herringbone stitch around the edges.  I won't be able to leave it like this I will have to add more.

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Some acqusitions

I bought this painting last year when my husband was ill in hospital.  The hospital had an exhibition at the time and part of the sale was donated to the hospital.  Problem was I couldn't bring it home because the exhibition was to hang for the rest of the year.  I almost forgot that I had purchased it!  But now it is home and hangs next to the breakfast nook.  I have a passionfruit vine in the garden I just hope it fruits like this one.  As I come up the stairs from the lower level this is the first thing I see.  I am so glad I bought it.

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Also in the breakfast nook I have my new (old) chicken scratch table cloth given to me by my friend Angela.  (The Rosemary is cuttings from my garden that I want to strike for next year.)

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The design is only simple but very effective.

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And I must remember this rick rack braid edging put on with herringbone stitch,

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The two finger tassel

Quite a few years ago I decided I needed to have every colour of DMC stranded cotton.  Back then I was stitching other peoples designs and only dabbling with my own.  I thought that I had a full set and then DMC added new colours to the range and discontinued others.  At that point I decided I didn't need a full set of threads.


So what to do with all these threads, boxes of them?  Some I donated to the guild but I still have a lot that I will never use.  That is where the two finger tassel comes in.  One skein of thread is just the right amount to make a nice little fat tassel.  Now you could use three or even four fingers to make the tassel but they get a little thinned the longer they get.  You could use a piece of cardboard as a template but this little tutorial is just for fingers.

You will need 1 skein of stranded cotton or the equivalent amount of left over mixed cottons.

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A large needle with a big eye, a pair of scissors AND 2 fingers.

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Take the paper wrapper off the thread  and cut one small (1 round approx.) and one large length(6 rounds approx.)

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Then, with your two fingers slightly apart, lay the short thread along you index finger and wrap the main thread until it reaches the thickness you like.  This could be all the thread left or just as much as you want.

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Slide your fingers out and tie a tight knot with the short thread.

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Take the longer thread and make a slip knot in one end leaving enough length in the short end to blend in with the tassel.  (I had to put my pen through the thread because I couldn't take a photo and hold the tassel with one hand.)

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Pull the slip knot tight to make the head of the tassel and then wrap this firmly. 

Thread the end of your thread through your needle.

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Work you needle under the wrapping thread, working from the direction you finished wrapping.  I finished at the bottom so had to work towards the top.

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Work your need up and down behind the wrapping threads a number of times finishing with the needle towards to bottom of the tassel.  Notice that I work this on an angle and be careful not to pierce the strands of cotton.

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Now cut your thread at the length of the tassel and cut that folded thread along the fold.  At this point it will look a bit ragged.

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Use you scissors to trim it up.

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You could use it just like this but I have used that left over thread to make a longer hanger.  I threaded it through the top knot and made a secure knot.  You could make it fancy by using a twisted thread if you wanted to.

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First time I made one of these it took me about 15 minutes, I now have that down to 5 minutes.

Quick and Easy.  Uses up my extra threads and this is just right for the zipper pulls on all these bags I have been making.


Next Project

As I only have one table cloth that fits my kitchen table I need to make some more.  I am not a huge fan of chicken scratch but have decided to decorate the cloth with that.  Now, I can't buy the nice fabric gingham that you can get in Europe and the USA.  I am stuck with a poly cotton, not very cheap at $14.00 per metre but this is what we all have to use.  (Unless we have access to a relatives stash.)  I have considered backing it with a stabalizer,  or maybe lining it, but for a breakfast cloth?  I don't think so. 

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I bought a little extra fabric to experiment with, so first off I will try different thread weights on some serviettes.  It should be interesting.

The other new project is a teaching sample for applique.  I have roughed out a design based on Ginko leaves, which I have never seen up close but I liked the shape.

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Then today on Pam's blog, among the most wonderful images were 2 shots of the real leaves.

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Screen Shot 2018-02-27 at 10.12.27 amSource:https://iampamholland.com/2018/02/27/new-zealand-the-land-a-soft-white-clouds/

I am going to have to rethink how I do this one.  (Do go over and have a look at her wonderful story about NZ.)

Apologies and a sigh of relief

It has taken months, lots of profanities and near nervous breakdowns but I have finally sorted my computer problems, for the moment.  It turns out it was a fault with my service provider and now that I have sorted that I find I have over 2,000 emails to work through. 

We have had so much rain as well, over a months rainfall in 2 days, and this hasn't helped at all.  What with wild storms damaging the phone towers and now all this rain I am hopeful that I am now back onto the tracks and will run along at a steady and predictable pace.  We did develop a leak in the latest storm which partly flooded the kitchen.  I went to put on the dishwasher only to find that all the cleaner was soaked.  Next thing will be mold.  I have the bleach all ready for that.  I did find that my kitchen table top is showing some wear so went looking for a tablecloth to cover it.  I only had one tablecloth the right size and this was one I bought in an Op shop.

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It looks like it was made by Betty or Ron or by someone else for Betty and Ron.

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I wonder who Betty and Ron were and if they liked sitting at their table with this cloth.  Were they young, old, still living or dead?  So many questions but it is obvious that they were a couple and it would seem that they enjoyed this or else all that work wouldn't have gone into the stitching.  I was wondering if I should make another with Carolyn and Bill?  I don't think so.

Those lovely flowers on the table were from my daughter in law as a thank you for dropping everything and looking after a little wounded child.  Turns our it is not broken but lots of soft tissue damage.  She still can not stand on it so we are booked for more babysitting.

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She has lost another tooth and was angling for $4 from the tooth fairy.  She had to settle for $2.

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So apologies to all those people I have not replied to via Email.  I am working on it.

P.S.  I spoke too soon, that Email has gone again!  But, I just got it back.  This could go on forever......

Pattern Darning

I have always liked pattern darning.  Maybe it is the regularity of the patterns, it's geometric base, or maybe it was because running stitch was the first stitch I learnt and all it's variations?  What every the reason I like it, so it is with great interest that I see that Yvette Stanton has a new book coming out this year about Norwegian Pattern Darning.

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I started to do some digging into this technique and found that there isn't a lot to find.  I did find this image that shows a historical piece.

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A book was also given as a reference and I found a copy on Amazon.

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Other than this Medieval piece  I have only been able to find examples of baby clothes on Pinterest, no source given.

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So it is with interest that I await the publication of this book.