Too much time spent teaching and not enough on my own work, or that is how it feels.  It is Easter this coming weekend and I am teaching the following week.  Still I love teaching and I keep coming up with new ways to teach old techniques.

So the only work I have done is a little stitching on a prototype.  I like this gentle type of design that you see in modern Japanese stitching so I thought I would have a go at designing some of my own.  I have decided to just use DMC stranded cotton for these pieces,  there will be three in this set.  To be a bit different I decided to use  2 strand of cotton for the lettering and Portuguese Stem stitch.  I think it could have looked just as good in Back stitch or stem stitch, but that was too easy. 

All the rest of the stitching will be done in 1 stand of DMC cotton and I am experimenting with stitching in layers.  This is something different for me so I am enjoying the experience.

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Well, 12 years later, I can now cross this one off the UFO list.

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I did lose it, find it, lose it find it, then lose it again.  Then it turned up in the boxes when I unpacked when we moved here.  Another positive is that as I finished it now I can put 2017 as the date.  That means I have finished the sampler for 2017.  You beaut!  It amazes me that in that time I never misplaced any of the cottons so all the colour is the same.  I did separate the pattern from the project for a few years but all is well that ends well.




Well, it isn't finished.  My fall put paid to that.  I can't keep my eyes focused for more than 15 minutes so I haven't done a lot of work.  Maybe it will be finished next week?  There is something about this piece, I think it just wants to keep my attention for itself.

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As per usual I grossly under estimated the amount of work in the borders.  I thought I would be finished by now but I have only finished the inner border.

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This inner border is worked in single faggot stitch.  Now, this is normally a drawn thread stitch but if you work the stitch with out pulling it, it makes a great decorative border.  I went to get my text on drawn thread and all I found was a space on the book shelf.  I hope I haven't lent that book to someone.  So it is just a hand drawn illustration of the stitch.  This was worked over 4 threads.

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With any luck I might finish this next week.


Lately the creativity bug has got me and my mind is racing with ideas so I thought it needed to calm down.  What to calm it? Back to an old cross stitch that I started in 2005.  I will finish this, eventually.  In fact I have now got all but the outer border finished.  I have enjoyed learning all the different types of stitches that have been used in Asissi embroidery and even though this piece has taken a long time to complete to this point I'm glad I kept at it.

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That border is repetitive stitching, so perfect when I sit with friends and chat.  I managed to have less than 1 metre of stranded cotton left over from the central design.  Just enough to sign my name and put the date on the piece.

I have to admit that yesterday I took time out to make jam and

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Potato and Leek soup in which I will add bacon when it is served.  I left the cream out of this recipe and made it on a light beef stock rather than chicken.  That will be great for lunches.  I also got to and made 6 lots of vegetables au gratin along with cooking some beef.   If I hadn't done that I might have got more of the border completed.

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Another one hits the dust! Yoo Hoo. 

The book-cover is finished and constructed.  I doubted this design would stitch up as I had imagined it in my mind.  (A5 book size.)  My direct inspiration for this is the tree trunks of the trees outside the front of my home.

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Moving from the above picture to this wasn't an easy journey.  I had to find a way to get from that tangle of trees to something I could stitch and still keep the feeling of the trees.

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I isolated three tree trunks that I though were similar.

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Then I made a repeat pattern of this.  Next I changed how the limbs of the trees intersected, diguising that pattern.  I then stitched the outline of all the design is stem stitch using Sef Francis fine perle and the water in differing colours of Danish Flower thread with just a little rayon thread for high light.  Where I used the same stitch I had used in one tree I repeated this in another but changed the thread.

The class, for which this sample was created, is called "Exploring More Stitches'  and will be held on Saturday 22nd of April at the Queensland Embroiderers' Guild.






I have finished all the tree trunks and now it it time for the details.  It may seem strange that I have isolated the tree trunks but that is how they stand on the island.   The wind aided by Council spraying has damaged all the under-story and those trunks stand alone as you look out on the water.

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There are a huge variety of bark on the trees and the colours and shape are a study on their own. At different times of day the birds fly in flocks across the sky, but not when the eagles are hunting.

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I have used different stitches on each of these trunks.  From left of right.

different varieties of chain stitch, flattened fly stitch, eastern stitch, alternate stem stitch and a combination of cretan and straight stitch.  In some I have used the same stitch but also used a variety of thicknesses of thread.

The birds in the sky are fly stitch using one strand of DMC. The vine on the tree is a combination of chain and straight stitch and I used 2 stands of Anchor varigated stranded cotton.  I drew my inspiration from this tree and vine.

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And the trunk stitched in eastern stitch from this tree.

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Now that I am up to the detail I keep walking out the front of the house to look closely at the scene.  I can see boats out there one the water.  I think I will have to find a way to include a couple of those.

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I have been stitching, but not a lot to show for it.  I have been playing around with fly stitch.  I flattened it out and then made that centre holding stitch small and sent it on a walk. (On right)

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I also had a play with different types of chain stitches. (on left.)

The other thing was that I started another pin cushion and have miscounted the stitches. I am not undoing it so I am going to have to improvise.

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I bought four patterns from Modern Folk Embroidery so they will keep me busy in my spare time.  (Ha, Ha.)

I could have designed them myself but these are so charming.

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I think I will go back and purchase these ones as well.

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I have a lot of past work mates to make Xmas presents for!   (Non of these are for me.)





I thought I was finished with this book cover but I decided to change the stitching and use it for my "Exploring More Stitches" class.  I was only going to do small inserts of detail and perhaps those in the class who don't want to spend a lot of time on the piece could still do this.  But I have decided that this sample should have a fully stitched band across the design.

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I have tried to use a range of stitches  and then use those stitches in different ways.  From left to right the tree truncks use Herringbone stitch, the next two are an alternate back stitch, Pekinese stitch, Stem stitch and finally Cretian Stitch.  I still need to put in the details of vines, flowers and birds.



I couldn't wait, I started stitching straight away.  I have changed the pattern to make it into a pin cushion instead of a Valentine's Day heart.  That means that I will be able to get 4 pin cushions out of the fabric included in the little kits.

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I bought some red fabric for the backs.

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I have to say "I love this wool thread".  It is a lot stronger than I thought it would be and is a pleasure to stitch with.