My Embroidery Feed


I am working on the October Holidays Children's Class.  Why now?  Well I am obsessed with birds at the moment and I had an idea to stitch a pocket to attach to a tote bag.  Only problem is the cross stitch version I have come up with would be great for the older students but what to do for the younger ones?

I have a box where I put away donated fabrics and threads at the Guild but when I went in I found that all the wool threads I had put away had been donated to the sale table in my absence.  (I doesn't do to be sick.)  But, I did find some fabric that looks a bit like aida and is 9 holes to the inch.  So, I went out and bought some wool and tried the design on that.  It isn't finished yet but it shows great promise.  The cross stitch didn't work but tent stitch looks alright.

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There is a problem.  It shows so much promise I think the older kids might light to stitch this one as well.  ( I have taken back a heap of woollen threads from the sale table.)  I will stitch out the original design on 14 count aida as well, maybe some of the older students will like that.



Another relapse but I have bounced back better this time, fingers crossed.  Still not completely back to normal but I was able to go into the Guild this week.  I drove myself into town and back home again.  So fingers crossed.

I also finished the sample for the "introduction to applique' workshop.  It is a cushion cover.

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I have included 7 different applique techniques in this piece so participants can have a taster of some of the common methods in use today and I plan to add a tassel to each corner of the cushion. The design is based on a bird I saw in Quatemala.  It looks nothing like the bird in question but is my representation of how I think it should look.

This is the male,

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and this the female bird.

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I thought these birds looked kind of royal, hence the crown.  I also included the colours of Guatemala, like the ones we saw in the thread shop.

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I realise now the these threads are for weaving but I am experimenting with making some tassels with them.  They are about the thickness of  2 strands of embroidery floss but have a higher twist.  This is going to be a slow job. 

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First you have to work out just where to undo the knot, like all of these things there is a knack to knowing just where to pull it apart.  I have it around the back of two chairs, just like my mother would have done when balling wool.  Then the very slow process of winding the thread around the base frame.  I hope they work out alright.

Spoke too soon

Back in my bed again.  Two steps forward one backwards.  Still that is one step in the right direction.

I finished the little applique bird and those pieces are a bit too small to get a perfect finish on the piece.

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But I don't want to discard this design so I have re-scaled it and mucked around with it a bit to make it fit a cushion cover.

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I will stitch this out and see if it works.  (I think I need to make those tail feathers a bit longer.)


Wednesday has come around again.  It keeps doing that.

So what of my progress this week?  Well the knitting has grown, nearly up to the armhole.

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I have started work on my little bird purse.  I decided to applique the design and then found that parts of it are just too small.

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I will try to applique the tail but those leaves will be just too fidderly.  I want to embroidery some details onto the applique.  It might work and then again it may not.

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I put this design into my 'bird file' on my computer where I found some more designs I have done nothing with, so this may be the first of a run of bird purses.

Hiding from the vacume cleaner

I am still in my sick bed or rather I have progressed to the chair beside the bed.  Charlie is still my constant companion and can now go up and down the stairs on her own.  It is so good to see her improving.

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This last virus is continuing to  give me grief and my husband is doing the vacuming.  The noise of that machine just goes straight through my head.  So Charlie and I have retreated to my sewing room so that I can shut the door.  I am now on super strong antibiotics, ear drops and pain killers, all of which leave me tired.  But at least the pain is under control and I have begun to think about sewing again.  I can't remember what I was doing last time so I have decided on a new project.

I decided on a clip purse.  Why?   Well that is a bit of a wander of the mind.  The government here is bringing in a tax on all purchases from overseas and making the persons selling the goods collect the tax for them.  Which just blows the mind.  I don't mind paying my taxes but I hate being ripped off.  I can buy rat tail cord on line for 5cents a metre but have to pay $1.00 a metre in the shops here.  They would buy in bulk and get that cord even cheaper than me.  The same can be said of my purse frames that sell for about $10 to $15 each in the shops or $2 or less on line.  So I looked in my bag of purse frames and found I was down to 3 only.  One I really liked so decided to make a clip purse and I also put an order in on line for some more frames.

He was still vacuming so I did a little vector drawing for an applique.  Just a silly little bird but it is about all I can handle at the moment.  I have found the fabrics, drafted a pattern and got everything ready.

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I have no idea what I am going to do with it when I am finished.  It will probably go into the Xmas gift draw.


This week has been all about getting the samples stitched out for the July Children's Holiday classes.  Now I have them finished and all the kits ready to be packed up.  (I still have to write up the instructions.)

One simple design in back stitch for the beginners and another more complicated design for those who can stitch.  And although they are not over large I found that each one took me two days to stitch out, even the back stitch design.  I hope the kids like them.

( These are my own designs to which I own the copyright.)

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One thing about living on a tropical island is that there is always shells and coral to pick up on the beach to frame the photo.  The remains of the seed pods are from the mangrove plant.


Samantha and Geraldine are finished.

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Those two have been on my 'to do' list for a few years now but the time was never quite right.  They were always destined to be for my grand daughters but with so much work involved I wanted the girls to be a little older so they could look after them better.  I am so surprised at their different personalities.  The patterns are identical but each rabbit is different from the other.  And, they took some time and a lot of effort to make.  I stitched each one in a different coloured thread so that, even without clothes on, they could tell which was which.  I am not altogether happy with the boot laces.  They are probably a bit long but little fingers have not perfected the skill of tying them so I make the laces a length they could manage.

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I see that Salley Mavor over at Wee Folk Studio has a wonderful idea for slippers that I could also sew.  ( Everything Salley does is inspiring, I have all her books.)

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At the moment their wardrobe includes;

a good dress + capelet

a skirt + jumper

and 4 pair of undies.

Each rabbit has it's own overnight bag.

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I need to make hoodies, slacks, cardigans, night clothes, quilts and pillows.  One cardigan is finished but I am a bit worried with the amount of wool I have left to finish No 2.

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Grandpa is still working on the beds so they will not be finished until after Easter and I might leave the quilts until then.

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I have become quite attached to these young girls.  They have been writting to my grand daughters so hopefully they will get a warm welcome.

A fatal error!!

That is what I have made with my SAL embroidery.

Short of starting again I will not be able to fix it I'm afraid.

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When I read the instructions it said the piece was 70cm X 50cm.  I read this as 70cm width and 50cm height.  I now realise it should have been 70cm height 50cm width.  There is no way I am going to have enough fabric to stitch the design as it is.

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I have put hours of work into it so far and used a whole hank of silk.  What to do?  I am going to have to change the pattern and make it 50cm x50cm.  So it doesn't matter that I am behind any more.  I will finish the width and when the next pattern comes start adjustments. 

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Oh well, I will just have to be different to everyone else. 

I suffer from dyslexia. Give me a map, and I go in the other direction.  Spelling has been a problem all my life until spell check appeared.  I read numbers in reverse. This was a problem at school until a teacher gave me an oral exam rather than a written one and it became clear I could do the math problems but when it came to writting them down I would reverse the numbers.  As a teacher I made sure I had over heads rather than having to write on the blackboard.  Some times I would write everything in reverse on the board, especially if I was stressed, and the kids would fall on the floor laughing. I know all these things and check all the time but I reversed this one vital measurement. 

I could kick myself!!!



One thing about writting this post is that it keeps my stitching front and centre in my mind. 

Just what did I do last week? 

What will I do next week?

What would I like to do?

 So what IS in progress.

My sampler.  Looking at this image I hadn't realised that I had made so much progress.

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But that is only progress on January's pattern, I am 2 months behind on the rest of it.

Doll's clothes.

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I hated dolls as a child now I love them.  (I never said I was normal.)  I bought these kits back in 2013 to make for my grand daughters but they were always a bit young for them.  Now at 5 and 7 years I think the time is right.  You can still purchase the sewing patterns from Alicia Paulson  although there are no kits.  I adapted the little sweater from a pattern I bought from Little Cotton Rabbits.  These are such good patterns that adapt to all kinds of toys. I also have a few pieces of fabric for more clothes.

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 and that's about it.


It is finished!!!

The last of the "Peace Embroideries" that was my project for 2017.

Peace Embroidery No 12

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The whole piece was stitched in back stitch.  The outline of the hands in 1 thread of DMC  stranded cotton and the lettering in 2 threads.

Now it is time to reflect on the process.  I found this a really worthwhile activity and I learnt so much about the process of translating a drawn design into embroidery.  July's design was the easiest to stitch.  Traditional stitching on linen.

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The most difficult was April's design

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It was the modern type embroideries that pushed me the most, including No 12.  The modern designs called for simplicity.  Using the 5 basic embroidery stitches, well.  I tend to over think everything.

The other lessons learnt is that stitching lettering is not easy on non traditional fabrics.  In fact all lettering calls for some skill to achieve a good result.

I have another long term project simmering in the back of my mind but I have to give it a bit of thought.