Embroidery Feed


I have been following Rachel's progress on her foot stool done in canvas work on her blog.  I used to do a lot of canvas work but got bored with it.  Now I think I would like to stitch a piece.  At the Embroiderers' Guild they have a huge selection of threads for this kind of work on the sale table, so I can get the thread cheap and I'm sure I must have some canvas in my stash.  Next step was what would I stitch?

I found a colouring book on-line from 1615.  It was originally written for glaziers and plasterers but I'm sure some of these patterns would work.  (These are the kind of things one finds on in the Internet Archive.)

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There is a design index at the beginning setting out all the designs as thumbnails.

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Then these are expanded to full page prints later and there are some interesting designs that could work.

Screen Shot 2021-01-26 at 2.05.47 pmIt also has some recipes for mixing colours that come with the warning that these might be dangerous, still, it is interesting to read how it was done back then.

Screen Shot 2021-01-26 at 1.52.14 pmI intend to have a play around with these designs and see what I can come up with.

The borders

I am much more within my comfort zone putting a binding on a quilt.  Not nearly as confronting as using paints on fabric and it is a job that has to be done.  Even if it is a bit boring, but, it is necessary.

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I am really surprised by how many people are Ohhing and Ahhing over this quilt.  I think it's the fabric.  It is an exact replica for the Beatrix Potter illustrations in her books.  Those people who look at the quilt are remembering the pleasure they had when reading them as a child.  I know that is what first attracted me to the fabric.

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I hope the child that receives this quilt loves it as well.  I think I might buy a couple of those little books to include with the quilt so that the pleasure can be handed onto another generation.  If you follow the link  to "Those little books"  you will find all kinds of activities for children (and those who are children at heart.)  Even though I live on the other side of the world my visits to Hill Top Farm are amongst some of my most special memories.

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Beatrix Potter was a great embroiderer as well as all her other accomplishments.  All the embroidery on the bed surrounds etc were done by her. 

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You can not take photos and there were very few post cards available to buy in the National Trust shop.  Researching her embroidery would make a great project for someone and I am sure that reproductions of her work in kits would sell.  There's a business idea for someone.

Some more stitched portraits

I have been exploring the work of Nicole O'loughlan .

This piece stitched on a recycled piece of linen is what first caught me attention.

(Self portrait as work in progress, 2020, hand embroidery with found embroidery appliqued on linen, 20x20)

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She is an artist from Tasmania and I am finding her work very interesting.  These are all hand stitched and tell such an interesting story.

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She has a great web-page and blog.    Certainly someone to follow.

Exhibition Part 2

These are the other pieces that caught my attention.I'm not sure if this was stitched by hand or zig zag on the machine.  It is a simple technique but effective.

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There were a number of pieces that were woven, which is one of the techniques favoured by Polish artists. This one looks to be needle weaving.

Wiodsimierz Cygan

"To weave or not to weave" (linen tapestry)

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And this one more pictorial.

Kith Mjoen

"I promise you a rose garden"

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A combination of a machined background with inkle loom weaving.

Maria Antonia Zecchina Herbaria

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I think this piece is woven it would also work well as an embroidery.

Dorota Taranek


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Although the embroidery is a messy technique I find the piece quiet charmning.

Marta Sienicka



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There are many versions of houses but the metal roofs made these ones stand out.

Teresa Rucinska


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A simple idea of using different coloured pieces of tulle and then embroidereing a grid, worked on paper. I liked the finished effect.

Lene Heimer Nielson

"Tasty Embroidery"


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There were other works with about a total of 40 pieces in all.  But it was nice to be able to walk into a gallery and enjoy these works.  Besides giving pleasure they also provide inspiration.  I will be so pleased when this pandemic is over and I can just enjoy things like this again.


I took the time on Saturday to have a look at a small exhibition that was on display at a Library fairly near by.  I had read on Sue Stone's ( U.K.) Facebook page that It was coming to my area and that she had a piece displayed in it.  The exhibition was called "Baltic Mini Textile Gdynia i"  and is quoted as being one of Europe's Leading reviews of textile Miniatures.  The works are all 20x20x20c, which makes it easy to transport and display.  The display was mounted by The Warwick Art Gallery (Qld Australia) in partnership with Gdynia City Museum Poland who curated the works displayed. ( I will take a few days to show the pieces that caught my eye.)

I found the piece by Sue Stone easily.  I had seen this piece before but didn't realise it's size.  When I looked into it I was able to see the intense detail in the background stitching.  (Her signature fish was in the picture.)

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The gallery is housed in a space in the Capalaba Library and this is an out of the way location.  Good for me because I had the place to myself.  (I asked the attendant if I could take photos and she didn't have any information that I couldn't, so I did.)  I was able to really look at every piece on display. 

This piece was cross stitch on Aida cloth and showed a really good use of colour and direction.  Simple but complex.

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There were some work by Queensland artists, two of whom I know.  That was a bit of a surprise.

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The top one

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and the second.

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And I was taken by this free form crochet piece.

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I had to look at this one a couple of times before I saw the image.

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To be continued....

Abstract Embroidery

Recently I happened on the work of Bonnie Sennot and her year-long daily art project titled "Daily Thread".

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These are not pieces of work that feature advanced technical embroidery skills but they speak of balance.  Balance between the stitches and colours used.  Balance of the whole finished piece which also radiates a sense of peace.

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She has used a linen fabric and perle thread to stitch each piece.

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There really is beauty in simple things.  Her blog posts about this project which detail her inspiration and working methods is a "good read."  Her first post about this project takes you on the path she is to follow.  Her "stitch logs" that she exhibits with her work are an inspired idea, something that I think I will borrow.

Bonnie is also a knitwear designer and if you are into knitting you will love her designs.

Making Pom Poms

Because I am now an old woman, I had over looked pom pom makers and always cut my two rounds of cardboard to make my pom poms.  But whilst in Lincraft the other day I found a pile of pom pom makers for sale.  Very cheap and I thought "these look flimsey" but I bought a packet anyway.  There were 4 different sizes in the box.  I also took a photo copy of the instructions which were on the back because I knew they would all be ripped up when I got the packaging off.

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I wanted the smallest size and found them easy to make, with a few reservation.

The wool had to be put on tightly.  Having a good tension on the thread was essential.  I also made 70 twists on each side with the maker open.

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The little clip on the side is the week point in the construction, it took no time at all for it to break but I could still secure both sides together.  I will just have to be careful that I don't loose the clip.

The next step is to close both sides together, you need the clip for this.

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You can hold it closed with your fingers but it isn't as good.

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I then prepared my thread with a slip knot for putting around the pieces after I had cut the wool.

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It was from this point that things were different.  The wool is twisted around one mold not two like the cardboard and when you come to cut the thread it becomes uneven.  I found that small very sharp scissors were needed at this point and I had to keep a firm hold on piece.  One time I was so focused on keeping it together I cut my finger as well.  (I won't do that again!)

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You have to trim up the finished piece because of the uneven nature of this type of construction.  This is best done over the bin.

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On balance though after it is trimmed this is a far better way of making pom poms. So a thumbs up.

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It is a great way to use up the ends of those tapestry wool threads.

The end of the month

Well that is January gone!  It didn't stick around too long.  School returned this week but my student goes back on Monday next week.  My husband bought a new screen so that she can see better.  Problem is he bought one without a camera built in or a mic!!   We won't know until next week if this arrangement will work or if we will have to go back to the lap top only.

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I got a nice little stand at IKEA to put that screen on and the lap top slips away nicely.  My husband built a box to put it on.  I'm not using that!

Reviewing my 'To Do' list for this year I have only made progress in 3 areas.  The knitted animals has seen progress with 4 nearly finished.  As I only plan on making 12 I think I can slow down on this one. The class sample will be finished this week and although I am only up to Module 3 of stitching faces I have made progress. The charity quilt is a year long progress so that is on track. That leaves the rest.  My Easter gifts have moved to the top of the list, Easter is just around the corner and I want to get one or two portraits finished in February.

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As I can't see to stitch at night I will have to look at some knitting.  There is so much to choose from.  What I will need for winter is a new hat.  I have knitted this one before as a gift for a friend.  I think I should do one for me.


The list for 2021

So, the list of "To Do's" is ready for the coming year.  Last year saw me take the opportunity to finish many outstanding projects.  This year, although that list has been reduced, I haven't added all the things I could have.  I know that with Home Schooling my time is going to be limited so no use setting goals that will be impossible.  I might find time to do some of them but then again I may not.  No need to set impossible expectations.  I have left lots of spaces to add extras.

(Oh dear, I forgot the charity quilt! I will have to add that.)

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The "Stitching Faces" class with Sue Stone and the book "Faces of Friendship" are linked.  Those are the faces of my quilting friends and the friendship blocks they gave me all those years ago.  It just so happens that the classes facilitate my portraits of friends.  The first section was of those friends who have died.

Screen Shot 2021-01-03 at 8.25.09 amIn the next section the portraits will be more detailed.  These will be of members of the group who have moved away but whom I still count as friends.

That Graffitti Quilt requires just one more applique to the main section.  I was going to add a border but now I'm not so sure.


I am way behind on the 'Stitch Club' classes.  I'm not sure that I want to stitch all of them so I will 'cherry pick' the ones I find interesting.  I will keep my subscription for the year to these classes and then review where I am going.  Those quilting gifts for Easter are well on the way to being finished so I will keep these for my weekends when I visit Toowoomba, then again it might be better to just 'get in' and get then done.

I did decide to make my Charity donation knitted animals this year.  I have nearly finished the first one.  Just her dress to go.  These are really relaxing to work on at night listening to music or a podcast.  (I have to re-do the mouth.  I didn't have any tapestry wool.)

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But high on the list is my teaching sample for "Exploring More Stitches".  That is now drawn up and needs to be finished by the end of the month.

The Kogin stitched bags will be for Xmas gifts at the end of the year and they are my indulgence.

Now I just need fate to step in and blow it all out of the water!!!