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.

My phone isn't working!!

My phone isn't working properly.  I had no idea just how much I relied on it.  I can do some things like receive and send messages, look at advertisements and some photos and some apps but I can't receive or make phone calls, use the camera or the alarms.  I don't know if I have hit some button by mistake or the phone is faulty.  This calls for a visit to the Apple store which is an hours drive away and I can't get an appointment at the Genius Bar until 1 pm today.

Now, although I love all things techie I don't have a lot of knowledge, I just barge in and hope it works.  I might have done that on the phone.  After 10 years of trying to work out why my circular knitting needles keep coming undone I saw some one else tighten theirs and had  light bulb moment. I kept moving the screw when I should have been twisting the needle!!

I am going to have another attempt at "Stitch Camp" tomorrow with Gwen Hedley.  I did this course last year and really enjoyed the process.  (It's Free.)

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This year I have  taken my colour scheme from a vase of flowers I saw in a gift shop.

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And this time I think I will try a more figurative approach.  So things are about to get messy but I have my workspace set up to withstand the mess I make this time.  (I hope.).

Time for a review

Well looking at the year that was I didn't set a goal for each month as I said I would.  Life kind of just took over and I reacted to events.  

  I think I had more success when I set a list of goals, even if I didn't achieve them all. 

I did resign from all paid teaching although I have kept a few classes where I will work as a volunteer.  

I must NOT let this grow' and, I will limit the number of judging jobs that I undertake.

My right arm, which I have broken a number of times, can be temperamental and I have been doing a lot of knitting in the second part of this year and I have a number of knitting and crocheting projects I want to take on.  

I will need to pace the amount of knitting and crocheting I undertake in the following year.

Friendships have been super important over the last year.  My husband is ageing and experiencing signs of dementia and I have found this very distressing.  It has highlighted just how important having a good support system is. I am also getting older and I know at some point in the future driving may be a problem.   I have joined a local patchwork group that I can catch a bus to, to attend meetings.  I have also made some new friends in my local area and will take more time so I can meet my old friends.

Also,  I need to re-kindle some of my other interests, most notably, my love of music.  I need to attend more concerts and play the piano more often.  This is difficult with the injury to my right arm but not impossible.  What is impossible is singing.  I have a inoperable growth on my thyroid gland and if I sing it becomes very painful and I lose my voice, but I can listen. So, going to concerts in on the agenda and visits to the Art Gallery in the city needs to recommence.  These activities also allow me to join with friends to enjoy their company and having responsibility for home schooling of my grand daughter is no longer an issue.

Now that I am not teaching the priorities for my stitching have changed.  Most stitching was driven for the need to design teaching pieces.  That is no longer the case.  This has left me rather unsure about just what my priorities will be.  So I asked myself,

"what do I want to stitch?"

The list was so long that it would be quite unmanageable.  So this list may change as the year progresses but I will;

join the TAST challenge

Design and stitch a new book cover for the year.

Continue with the Kogin pin cushions and bags.

Complete the Graffitti and Friendship quilts.

Make the majority of my own clothes.

Travel is now back on the agenda but I don't want to go far or for very long as I don't like to leave my husband alone.  So my goals here are modest.

 Go to the Wool Festival in Bendigo, Victoria, in 2023.  (The pandemic has made this impossible over the last few years.)

I will visit my quilting friends in Toowoomba at some of their retreats.

I will attend at least one retreat with my Maberly quilting group.

I will attend two meetings a month at the Embroiderers Guild.

I haven't looked at what I want to do around the house or how I will incorporate family into all of this but it is a good starting point and gives me a sense of direction and if you can't change your mind along the way about what your goals are it isn't a workable plan to start with!

(I found this article  very informative when coming up with my plan.)

So, "girding up her loins" she launches into 2023!!

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(source: https://www.fruitfullywrite.com/woman-of-valor-notebook/)



Just laying around

I am still confined to my bed so I have been sitting knitting, in fits and starts, and looking at Pinterest.  ( That can take up most of the day.)

There I found the work of Katrin Vates, and I am captivated.

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Here is a link to her Instagram page.  (Be careful of your keyboard while you drool.)

The stitches she uses are simple but her use of colour and her ability to shade is wonderful.  She has a small video explaining her process.  And, there are a number of images on her site that explain this also. 

I was interested to note that although she mostly uses stranded cottons, (I have to have one of these thread holders)

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she supplements these colours with sewing cottons.

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And, she uses  a process like a knitter's swatch to test her colours and stitches.

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I have a small design that I would like to test this process on.  It may not eventuate into a finished piece but I'm sure the 'process' will be interesting.There is so much to learn from looking at her work.

The parties commence

It is now the week of parties, once each day for the next two weeks.  I think that I will need to put my stitching aside and just 'go with the flow'.  Although, today is the last day to get my Xmas parcels in the mail so I have to fit that in as well.

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And as these needle keepers/pin cushions make up some of the gifts I think I might be burning the midnight oil!

Machine Embroidery

I have been following the work of Meredith Woolnough for several years now.  She has a beautiful web-site

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Her work is now acclaimed all over the world and just gets more beautiful.

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On her blog she has had a series for free videos where she gives you the ins and outs of working with water soluble fabrics. 

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She also has an on-line class coming up.  Even if you are not interested in doing this kind of work yourself It is well worth having a look at her site.

A wonderful discovery.

My sister, who is really into knitting, rang me to tell my about a You Tube podcast called "Fruity Knitting."   She was sure I would find it interesting.  This show started back in 2015 and she gave me a link to a current episode.  But, me being me, I went back to episode 1, because if it was any good I wanted to watch it in sequence, starting at episode 1.

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She had watched several episodes of this show and noted the similarities to my early life and the life of Andrea the presenter, but didn't tell me this.   Andrea has lived a life as a classical musician before these pod-casts.  That was what I had planned for my life before I met my husband.  This might have been my life if I had kept on my original path.  It is rather strange to come to this realization.  A bit like that movie "Sliding Doors".  My sister, also didn't think I would go back to episode I, so she didn't tell me that Andrew would develop a fatal illness later on and die.  I had totally fallen for this lovely man and sat there and sobbed when I read this in the comments.  I thought about not watching it again, knowing what was coming in the future, but I have prepared myself for this now.  ( My friend Mary's 6 year old grand daughter has just been diagnosed with the same illness so she will walk this same path.)

This podcast has shown me knitting I haven't even imagined, starting with Alice Starmore

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Where have I been not to know about this woman?  Her work is so beautiful and so revolutionary in many ways.  So, for Xmas and Birthday presents I have asked my family to give me money so that I can buy her Creative Course 1.  In this course your knit and embroider all of the hats below.  (I have one daughter, two grand daughters and three nieces one for each of them.)

Screen Shot 2022-10-08 at 2.55.31 pmThis is going to be one of my major projects for 2023.

I don't think my life is going to be the same after finding this.

A bit of inspiration

So, we have to start making things for the stall.  I have a whole lot of those mini frames so I will embroider some of these.

But in my search for inspiration I came upon the work of Silversmith Karin Ferner.

I especially like the collars that she creates.  This one from care labels on clothing.

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Or this one of Swedish braids.

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I know her work is all about the Silver-smithing but there is just so much embroidery inspiration here as well.

Swedish Blackwork.

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Cross stitch on drawn thread work.

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Mounted cross stitch.

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And I adore this collar.

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I might have to take up silver-smithing!