Embroidery Feed

Brooch No 2

This brooch is far more acceptable.

Screen Shot 2019-10-12 at 5.41.09 pm

Firstly, I used a high count dressmakers linen as the base for my embroidery.  Not nearly as bulky as an embroidery linen which meant that it gathered better over the base.

I managed to replicate the 'doming' on the front by building up the layers of wadding.  I used three sizes and glued them one on top of the other to the base starting with the smallest.

Screen Shot 2019-10-12 at 5.40.55 pm

I then glued a piece of the same fabric I used for the embroidery over this.

Screen Shot 2019-10-12 at 5.41.18 pm

This meant that there was no glue anywhere near the piece of embroidery but the pale colour of the wadding didn't show through.  After this had dried I flexed the card by putting pressure with my fingers on the outside edges.  This resulted in the dome becoming a bit more pronounced.

I then gathered the edges of the embroidery and stretched it over this base.  Because the linen is thinner there wasn't very much bulk to begin with and I flexed the edges again to pronounce that dome.  When it came to sewing the beads onto the edge I fixed them to the very outside edge of the brooch.  This helped to accentuate the dome.  (A bit of an optical illusion.)

I then sewed the pin in place at the top of the brooch.  (Thanks for that tip Queenie.)

Screen Shot 2019-10-12 at 5.41.38 pm

I was right in saying the doming of the piece and the size of the pin were the two areas that were the main problems.  I think that you could cover your base with wadding and then leave an opening to stuff this with fibre fill or maybe lambs wool.  You would have to manipulate it a bit.  I will try that way in the future.  Repositioning the pin over came that problem without the need to buy a longer pin.  This is a far more acceptable result.   

The next one is going to be smaller in size.

Playing with threads

I have started to play around with the DMC Lurex thread.

Screen Shot 2019-10-10 at 3.12.03 pm

It is different to the old variety in that it is easier to handle.  It still frays where you bend the thread at the needle when you thread the needle, so I am not using so long a tail to save wasteage.  I cut my thread at about 35cm in length.  Any longer and it starts to break down.

I reduced a Japanese pattern to experiment on.  (The original was about 10cm square down to 5cm square.)

Screen Shot 2019-10-10 at 3.12.15 pm

Then I tried a number of stitches.

running stitch      good

back stitch    no good

any stitch whipped     no good

straight stitch    alright in one direction, if you go back and forth the light shows shiney and dull threads.

French Knots     good up to 3 wraps

Stem stitch     alright if you make your stitches a bit bigger.  (You can see that the bottom wing is smaller stitches and this is very untidy.  )

Screen Shot 2019-10-10 at 3.11.54 pm

It 'feels' very comfortable to work with but it does have limitations.  Still, it's a great improvement on the old Lurex thread.

Some New Threads

You know, I foolishly gave away all my Appleton Crewel Threads.  I thought I would never use them again.  But no, now I need them, and I had a full set.  So today I started buying some more.  Just a few. 

Screen Shot 2019-10-03 at 5.02.23 pm

I think I might buy some Renaissance brand wool threads as well.  I do like that they are naturally dyed and the colours are so muted.

Screen Shot 2019-10-03 at 4.49.57 pm

What I am looking forward to experimenting with are the metallic threads from DMC.  I haven't always had a lot of success for metallics as they tend to split and break but these one have a good review so we will see.

Screen Shot 2019-10-03 at 5.02.38 pm

We are taking our grand daughters to the theatre this weekend to see "Sleeping Beauty".  That will mean that I will not have a lot of time of stitching whilst they are around.  Still, childhood goes so quickly and these are special times to be treasured.

Whilst in hospital...

I came home to find that the book I had ordered had been delivered and it is even better than I had at first thought.

Screen Shot 2019-10-02 at 5.47.09 pm

The threads used are actually the theme of the book.  I hadn't thought about the difference between Tapestry and Crewel Embroidery wools before  and their use in embroidery, especially when combined with DMC  embroidery cotton.  It really gives a nice effect.

Scan 6

The other thing I hadn't considered was using metalics on their own, not just as a highlight.

Scan 7

Now what am I going to make from this book?  I think that I will use a part of some of the designs to make brooches.  There was this example in the book but I can see so many other ways I could use this.

Screen Shot 2019-10-02 at 6.08.49 pm

It is a danger to my wallet this being ill.  I sit and surf the internet and buy books!


I have managed to get some close-ups of Larry the lizard.  I think he is some kind of Water Dragon.  Isn't he just beautiful?

Screen Shot 2019-09-22 at 4.40.56 pm

He blends in with the bark of the tree and his colours are the same as the bush around him.

Screen Shot 2019-09-22 at 4.41.24 pm

I was wondering if he would make a subject for a thread painting?  I think it wouldn't be easy.  But he is a beautiful creature.

Music to Stitch by

Some music is too exciting to stitch to, some music just puts you to sleep. One of my favourites are String Quartets.  Most of Mozart's string quartets are about right for me.  This is an old performance (1991) of the Emerson Quartet.  I find it just right for cross stitching.


And here is a Russian composer who is new to me, Cesar Cui, he was a friend of Borodin.  He only wrote one sonata for piano and violin but I really like it.



Podcaste and starting a new Cross Stitch

A little while ago I had a comment for Kathryn who gave me a link to a podcaste featuring Jacob Degraff.  

Screen Shot 2019-09-04 at 4.06.31 pm

I have stitched a number of his patterns and loved each one.

I especially love the Quaker patterns and his comment that the medallions sit like (Quaker) Friends in a meeting rang a chord with me. 

However I have been stitching Cross Stitch since I was 13 years old.  I have a huge collection of my work and there are not any of my friends or relatives that I haven't gifted a piece to.  But then I looked at his site again and saw the Two Sisters Quaker Samplers.  I have two grand daughters who are sisters and I thought this might make a nice present for them.  Plus I would love to stitch it.

Screen Shot 2019-09-04 at 3.34.23 pm

So I have pattern, an excuse to stitch it and am off to buy some more fabric.

Some feedback

I got some lovely feedback from one of my students, who is also a fellow tutor and judge and who's work I greatly admire.  Alana sent me an image of a piece she had stitched in an advanced class I taught on Kogin using one of my own designs.

Screen Shot 2019-09-02 at 7.22.39 pm

I had stitched it in the traditional blue and white but I just love the pink addition here.  Then she took the pattern and turned it into her own original design in yet another colour way.

Screen Shot 2019-09-02 at 7.22.54 pm

That is the ultimate compliment for me.

All ready, nearly

I have impressed myself here.  All the kits are complete, with the exception of the right size hoops and those have been dispatched.

Screen Shot 2019-09-02 at 7.12.22 pm

I delivered the kits for the volunteers on Saturday which gives them a month to finish their stitching.  Considering that I timed the stitching and it shouldn't take more than a day I am really pleased with that outcome.  The other good outcome has been that I have sold all those extra hoops to another tutor.  I wasn't sure what I was going to do with those.  Plus, today I got the BBQ cleaned.  Sunday was Father's Day and the family were all here.  Lots of preparation and lots of cleaning up.  But Bill had a great day so it was worth it.

Oh No!!!

I just received my delivery of 30 hoops for the next Children's Class and they are all the wrong size!

Screen Shot 2019-08-29 at 1.41.59 pm

Not by much but I have already cut all the cardboard circles to fit in the back of the stitching.

Screen Shot 2019-08-29 at 1.42.11 pm

The other thing that is different is the screw fits a Phillips Head Screwdriver.  I will have to get one of those.  So another order has gone in for the right size.  Good thing they are cheap. (about .95c each)    I think I will include them with the bigger decoration just in case there are students that can't handle the assemble of the two circles.

I tried lots of different ways to sew those cardboard circles together.  There always seems to be more work in the finishing than in the actual embroidery.  Wish I had a little elf who sewed them together over night for me.  Because the stitching is laced together it is helpful, (but not absolutely necessary) that the length of the stitches on each piece is about the same.  If you can make them 'exactly' the same the finish is super neat.  But kids and exactness do not always go together.

So here are three tips that I have found will help.

  1. When marking the outside of the stitching circle do this using some dressmaking carbon paper. ( I like the Clover brand because you get a clean mark,) and a dressmakers tracing wheel.  You can usually find these in the haberdashery section, but you might have to ask.

Screen Shot 2019-08-29 at 1.56.08 pm

2. Sew around the marked circle with your sewing machine using a large needle and a thick thread.  When it is  time to stitch you can remove the thread  and use to holes left as a guide.

3. If you wind a thicker thread onto a bobbin and sew on the wrong side the machine couches the thread in position.  

Screen Shot 2019-08-29 at 2.33.02 pm

I use Razzle from Wonderfil which is a thick rayon thread.  This is about the maximum weight that you can use in your bobbin on a Bernina machine, some other brands will take a bit heavier. 

Screen Shot 2019-08-29 at 2.33.14 pm

You can then whip this, just make sure you tie off the ends so that when you pull on it it doesn't come undone.