My Embroidery Feed


Samantha and Geraldine are finished.

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Those two have been on my 'to do' list for a few years now but the time was never quite right.  They were always destined to be for my grand daughters but with so much work involved I wanted the girls to be a little older so they could look after them better.  I am so surprised at their different personalities.  The patterns are identical but each rabbit is different from the other.  And, they took some time and a lot of effort to make.  I stitched each one in a different coloured thread so that, even without clothes on, they could tell which was which.  I am not altogether happy with the boot laces.  They are probably a bit long but little fingers have not perfected the skill of tying them so I make the laces a length they could manage.

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I see that Salley Mavor over at Wee Folk Studio has a wonderful idea for slippers that I could also sew.  ( Everything Salley does is inspiring, I have all her books.)

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At the moment their wardrobe includes;

a good dress + capelet

a skirt + jumper

and 4 pair of undies.

Each rabbit has it's own overnight bag.

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I need to make hoodies, slacks, cardigans, night clothes, quilts and pillows.  One cardigan is finished but I am a bit worried with the amount of wool I have left to finish No 2.

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Grandpa is still working on the beds so they will not be finished until after Easter and I might leave the quilts until then.

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I have become quite attached to these young girls.  They have been writting to my grand daughters so hopefully they will get a warm welcome.

A fatal error!!

That is what I have made with my SAL embroidery.

Short of starting again I will not be able to fix it I'm afraid.

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When I read the instructions it said the piece was 70cm X 50cm.  I read this as 70cm width and 50cm height.  I now realise it should have been 70cm height 50cm width.  There is no way I am going to have enough fabric to stitch the design as it is.

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I have put hours of work into it so far and used a whole hank of silk.  What to do?  I am going to have to change the pattern and make it 50cm x50cm.  So it doesn't matter that I am behind any more.  I will finish the width and when the next pattern comes start adjustments. 

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Oh well, I will just have to be different to everyone else. 

I suffer from dyslexia. Give me a map, and I go in the other direction.  Spelling has been a problem all my life until spell check appeared.  I read numbers in reverse. This was a problem at school until a teacher gave me an oral exam rather than a written one and it became clear I could do the math problems but when it came to writting them down I would reverse the numbers.  As a teacher I made sure I had over heads rather than having to write on the blackboard.  Some times I would write everything in reverse on the board, especially if I was stressed, and the kids would fall on the floor laughing. I know all these things and check all the time but I reversed this one vital measurement. 

I could kick myself!!!



One thing about writting this post is that it keeps my stitching front and centre in my mind. 

Just what did I do last week? 

What will I do next week?

What would I like to do?

 So what IS in progress.

My sampler.  Looking at this image I hadn't realised that I had made so much progress.

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But that is only progress on January's pattern, I am 2 months behind on the rest of it.

Doll's clothes.

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I hated dolls as a child now I love them.  (I never said I was normal.)  I bought these kits back in 2013 to make for my grand daughters but they were always a bit young for them.  Now at 5 and 7 years I think the time is right.  You can still purchase the sewing patterns from Alicia Paulson  although there are no kits.  I adapted the little sweater from a pattern I bought from Little Cotton Rabbits.  These are such good patterns that adapt to all kinds of toys. I also have a few pieces of fabric for more clothes.

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 and that's about it.


It is finished!!!

The last of the "Peace Embroideries" that was my project for 2017.

Peace Embroidery No 12

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The whole piece was stitched in back stitch.  The outline of the hands in 1 thread of DMC  stranded cotton and the lettering in 2 threads.

Now it is time to reflect on the process.  I found this a really worthwhile activity and I learnt so much about the process of translating a drawn design into embroidery.  July's design was the easiest to stitch.  Traditional stitching on linen.

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The most difficult was April's design

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It was the modern type embroideries that pushed me the most, including No 12.  The modern designs called for simplicity.  Using the 5 basic embroidery stitches, well.  I tend to over think everything.

The other lessons learnt is that stitching lettering is not easy on non traditional fabrics.  In fact all lettering calls for some skill to achieve a good result.

I have another long term project simmering in the back of my mind but I have to give it a bit of thought.

Some experiments

I am working at putting together a bag made from the Kogin stitching that I finished recently.  I bought a shoulder bag in Guatemala when I was there and have found it to be really useful so have based my design on this.

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But it has leather inserts between the zippers and the embroidery.  I have never sewn anything like this before.  I bought some upholstery fake leather, but it has a flock backing that I don't like.

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I also bought another type of fabric that can be used as a blackboard for children in quilting,  it looks like what it is.   I then found a leather supply Company in a nearby suburb and was able to purchase a piece of leather that looks good (like leather) and would do the job and piece was only $20.00.

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It isn't very thick so I tried sewing it with a "Jeans Needle" . 

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That didn't look too bad, but not quite right.

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So I have tried a leather needle which is a lot better. 

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The only cotton I had was a "Rasant " which is great for dressmaking but a bit light for leather.

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So off to the patchwork shop to get a heavier weight cotton, and would you believe it,  I got the cotton I wanted,  and a couple of pieces of pretty fabric.  Just too nice to pass by.

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Now for the prototype.

Applique - 2

Another friendship block to finish for my patchwork group and this time I have just put my fabric onto a double sided heat and bond and then assembled on a piece of bake paper.  After this it is easy to lift off onto the background fabric and fuse into position with the iron.  That sounds easy if you have done it before but there are a number of steps.

Firstly you must reverse your pattern then trace it onto the heat and bond and then fuse this to the back of your applique piece.

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Cut out your shape and then score the paper with a pin to remove.

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If you have a pattern place this under the bake paper and then assemble your pieces on top and fuse together on the bake paper.

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These will then just lift off as one piece and

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you can then  fuse them to the base fabric.

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But I see a problem straight away with my cup cake.  I should have backed the icing on the cake with another fabric to get rid of that shadow.  Still I have a crafty plan to deal with that.

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Next I zig-zagged the edges down.  Before I did this I put a piece of interfacing on the back to stablise the stitching and before I actually stitched I did a few practise lines to get the width and density of the stitch correct.


I pull my bobbin thread to the surface to eliminate tangles.

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Bottom and then the top.

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Then turn to the back and cut away that interfacing.

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My crafty plan for that shadow was to embroider and embellish the design.  It takes your eye away from the shadow.

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I used straight stitch, pistol stitch and French knots.  The fabric for the icing is by Odile Bailloeul, I just love her fabric designs.


So, I have put in the last hand stitch on this piece. It still needs to be blocked and then made up, so another weeks work still to go before it is complete.  My challenge was using a running stitch (pattern darning) and Kogin Hishisashi patterns from the Nambu region of Japan  (even count), stitch a piece where every pattern is different.

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There are 95 different designs in this piece, (and a number of small counting errors, which you really have to look for to find. )   I started by selecting the count of the diamonds then I choose patterns that would fit into that count.  The fact that there are some small errors is a positive when it comes to teaching.  It shows that although it is technically not completely correct, and you would never enter it into a competition, you can wing it, sometimes.  

You know, it is going to drive me crazy that there are a couple of small mistakes.  I might have to stitch another one?

Summer Stitching

This is not a good time of year to stitch.  It is hot and sticky and the outdoors keeps calling.  But I have been experimenting with a new zippered bag.  I am calling this one "a good idea at the time!'.  It seemed a good idea to do the stitching but I had no clear plan of what I would do with it.  Some pieces are samples on which I tested ideas others are for projects that didn't work out.  Now I have come up with a bag design in which I can use them all, or some of them anyway. 

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I am working on making a pattern and tutorial that I will put up later.

Last of the series

I have finished the last design for my series of embroideries about Peace.  But I'm not sure how this is going to stitch out, it could be great or a disaster.  Actually, the last saying "Peace is in your hand" is probably the most forceful of all the embroideries in the sentiments it expresses.

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I have these embroideries framed, ( in cheap frames) and hung on the wall behind my computer and there are one or two that I think need to be restitched.  The designs are good but the choice of stitches selected is not.  I think that is a job for the future.  I will just be pleased to get them finished at this stage.

After I had designed this I sat down and made up one of the kits I bought in Houston from Odile Bailoeul.

I just love her fabric designs and this backed velvet is fantastic to sew.  This is Hercule the cat.  (Notice all the feet for my machine are back in the cabinet.  I don't want to lose one again.)

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The instructions that came with the kit are terrific.  Her method of construction is so simple that I had the whole thing finished in under 20 minutes, I need to add a tassel on the zipper yet.  Oh Dear!  Reading her instructions again I find I have invented another way to construct a bag! I didn't follow her instructions at all!

This is one bag pattern I am going to add to my folio of bags.  I will put together a little tutorial when I make the next one.





The first class

The first class of the year is next week.  Goodness that time went quickly.  There are still a few places left so if you would like your child to attend get in touch with the class registrar.


The details for the class are:

Place:  149 Brunswick St Fortitude Valley Q'ld

(Guild Rooms)

Date:  16th and 18th January 2018

Time: 9:30am to 2:30pm

Cost: $55.00 this includes lunch on both days and all materials.  Children are asked to bring their own morning tea.


Phone: 07 32528629  (leave a message on the machine)

or ring the Class Registrar on 0427726836


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