My Embroidery Feed

The next Children's Class

It is all finished and ready to go, well nearly ready.  I still have to assemble the kits.  But the samples are all stitched and the bugs removed.  I have a range of patterns for the children to choose the design they like best with ability levels for beginner to the more experienced.

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The biggest challenge has been mounting the embroideries over the card.  I now have 5 different methods of finishing these.  I intend to write a little tutorial for each one.  I might even attempt some videos!  (Might is the operative work here.)  Now I have to get back to my other classes for 2020.  And there is a new baby arrived in New York USA, so I have to get back to the knitting.


Now that I have given this as a gift to my friend Angela I can show the finished piece.  I had it framed but found it hard to photograph because of the glare on the glass.  So this is the piece before it was framed.  I really liked working on this one.

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New Applique Technique

One of the blogs that I subscribe to is Martingdale Publishers.

I sometimes find a book I like and I have bought a number of Ebooks from them.  In one of their latest posts was a video about a new applique technique, called "stitch and flip" applique.  Sounded interesting, so I had a look.


I teach all kinds of hand applique techniques and thought this might be a good addition.  But, would it work on other shapes?  So I did a little trial, with patchworkers in mind.  I know from experience that, as a norm, they do not like hand stitching and prefer to so as much stitching on the machine as possible.  I choose a star shape and rounded the corners of the star.   I found that I needed to lower my stitch length to 2.0 or less and that it was neccessary to use a slow speed for the sewing. (Using a Bernina machine.)

I think that if I had used points on the star and similar scissors to those used in the video it would have been easier to turn through and I would have got a sharper edge. 

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Still, I wasn't unhappy with the result and the applique shape did sit up proud on the surface.  The fabric I used was a bit problematic because it had such a high thread count.  Great for the fabric to take up the dye but hard to get a needle through.  I wrote the quote on the fabric using a 1.0 ink pen.  Working on the assumption that most would machine stitch the opening closed after the pin cushion was stuffed I decided to do some Feather Stitch over the join.

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I then added some beads and made tiny tassels to finish off.  I don't think this technique would work in my handwork classes and I prefer needle-turn applique myself.  But, it was fun making this little pin cushion, (5" square,) although those tassels were a bit of a fiddle.

Testing Designs

I have to have some really special designs for my beginners and that isn't as easy as it sounds.  I have decided that we will mount the pieces in 3" hoops and that they will embroider Xmas Greetings of various sorts.  For some kids this will be as much as they could handle but they can decorate this will little glitter shapes.

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Now, I got in a mess with the glue!  I will have to come up with some better way of handling this for the kids.

Choppy and the Universe

My son had a little dog called Chopper. ( Named after a notorious criminal, Chopper Reid.)  We was a Jack Russell, King Charles Spaniel cross and he had the sweetest personality.  He has been part of our family since he was a pup.  We always looked after him when they went on holidays or had to go somewhere where they couldn't take him.  He would tear up and down the beach in sheer delight and loved to find ways to escape.

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He and Charlie, my dog, have always been the best of friends and have grown old together.  When they were puppies they romped around.

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My grand daughters have grown up with him and Charlie.

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As a little thing they would always stay close and play next to her.  Here she turned around and told them they were making too much noise!

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But now he has grown old and ill, so the decision had to be made to put him down.  He was just in so much pain.  It is very sad to loose a family member and the girls have given him a funeral and buried him in the garden.

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Monique has her own telescope and often he would sit beside her as she looked out at the skys.  This inspired an embroidery for one of my Children's Classes a few years ago which was made into covers for the lids of boxes. I called the embroidery " Download Choppy and the Universe .  In memory of Chopper I offer it as a free download.

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Learning a new Technique

I am going away for a few days next month and as it is for rest and recreation I decided it would be a good opportunity to learn a new embroidery skill.   I have been looking at needle painting for a while now and I think I have mastered the machine version but I wanted to trial the hand embroidery version.  But, where to start?

I looked around for a class I could take but just couldn't find anything that appealed.  Then I happened on the work of Emillie Ferris on Etsy.  It cost $25.00 (Aust.) for the Ebook but the instructions are extensive and being a Ebook you can zoom in to see the fine detail.  So that was the first thing to go in the bag.

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There are 17 different colours in this piece and I have a huge collection of threads but I don't want to take any chances so I bought all new ones.  I also have a good selection of hoops but saw one with a wide frame so that went into the bag, along with new needles and 30cm of fabric, cost $75.00 (Aust.)  My eye sight isn't the best so I bought a small magnifyer and lamp, another $40.00.  

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At a total cost of $140 I sure hope I like needle painting.

Loose ends

Some pictures of temple bells from Thailand that inspired me to buy the bell for the front door.

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I bought my daughter some ceramic fish when I was in Guatemala.  When I was last at the town house I saw one of the tails was broken so it came home with me to be repaired and I think they will stay here.

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Coming home we sailed through this beautiful rainbow.  It is a bit deep at this point in the bay so that treasure is buried deep.

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And I have finished the last needlebook so that has got the desk cleared.

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One for me.

I designed this stitchery for a children's class but it didn't make the cut.  It was stitched on a scrap of Aida using a cheap sewing cotton that I found on a sales table for 20cents.  Just shows you, when you are stitching you should use good materials and thread.  I think this would have looked better on a piece of even weave linen.  I was going to just discard it but I like this little design, so it is for me.

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There wasn't enough fabric for the back leaf so I had to improvise and used the same fabric I had selected for the lining.

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If I keep looking at this design I might be able to make something else out of it.



No time like the present

I have got stuck into finishing those needle books and clearing my desk and tidying my sewing room.  The desk is clear with all the threads returned to their correct boxes.  The sewing room is tidy and I have finished off 3 of the needle cases to take into the Guild for the sale table.

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The one stitched in red is done with a wool thread.  I haven't used this before and it is lovely to stitch with.

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The colour is fast but I worry about moths as all woollens are attractive to them in this climate.  I used a dark red fabric for the linning and the lack of seam allowance was a problem but it looks alright.

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I had a few problems, of my own making with the stitch sampler one.  Again, lack of seam allowance was frustrating. 

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The design on the back isn't what I planned.   I used an air drying marker pen to mark the circles and then ironed it!  I had to over sew the fly stitch to cover this up.  It still shows a bit but I the end result is acceptable.

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I sacrificed some of my treasured fabric, (the type you take out and pat), for the lining of this one.  I love this fabric.

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 Two more to go to get these out of the way.