My Embroidery Feed


We have another week until end of term so I am still restricted with my use of the computer, but, there will be a new timetable next term and perhaps I might have some more time to sew.

My donation quilt is nearly finished, just the binding to go.  I used up all the Peter Rabbit fabric I had for this one.

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I found the printed panels were not printed quite straight which meant that I had to separate each row so that the quilt would end up square but still look alright.

I had the length but not the width so had to cut and piece every bit of fabric I had for the borders to make it wide enough.

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I managed to combine 3 fabrics for the back. I just used a stipple pattern to quilt the top, the design was too busy for anything else.  Now only the binding remains to be done.

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Whilst waiting for my yarn to be delivered to finish and start my projects I have embarked on my first knitted dog.  A Puggle who's name is "Nugget".  I will be interested to see how this knits up.

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And, I have had one false start on my next portrait, I'm not sure how I will stitch this one, so I put it aside.

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Then, I got out all the fabric pens and some paint.  I had no idea that I had so much.  I will need to do some experiments first with these.

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I then sketched out a design from an old photograph that was taken with a box brownie back in the 1960's.  It isn't a good photograph, I think my sister took it and she would have been 9 or 10 years old at the time.  But it is the only one I have of my two grandmothers.  You can't see the detail very well but I remember every detail of their faces and their clothing.  It was taken in the front yard of our 1950's home and I remember the flowers in the garden, the venetians on the windows and the railing around the verandah.  That verandah was all sand stone flagstones and I had to scrub it with a sandstone and scrubbing brush.  My Mother wanted no marks on the stone and the lady that came in to help in the house wouldn't do them.  (My Mother had terminal cancer by this time and I would do anything to make her life a little easier.)

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I hope this one turns out well, there are a lot of memories attached to this photo.


I have been really ill for the past 3 weeks but am finally starting to surface again.  I have managed to teach a couple of classes using the mini frames, which are a great way of completing a small project in a half day class.  Trouble is those screws that come with the the frames seem to be very attractive to "Peskies" who really like them. They can disappear in front of your eyes.

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The larger frame (approx. 4cm round)  is the better one for beginners and the linen fabric looks good, but, I am liking the smaller ones as well. (3cm)

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But they are small and the parts are small.  Drop a screw and it is gone forever.  This is stitched on cotton and there certainly is a difference.  I think they should all be stitched on linen.   Attaching the cord is a bit of a problem.  I think that I will need to add a small metal ring over the shaft of the screw, that means a trip to buy some more supplies.

I have some ideas for making a range based on local flora and fauna for sale in our local gallery.   I am thinking of adding them to key rings as another alternative.  I think that I will also start some experiments coating them in clear resin.  They will make a good sale item and are not too labour intensive.


I have been in the grip of this bug for 3 weeks now and recovery is sooo slow.  Just when I think I am recovering I find myself laid low again.  I have a class coming up on Saturday so that has been my first priority.

Screen Shot 2021-05-11 at 2.13.57 pmI have partially prepared kits all over the over the place.

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At the last minute I have decided to change thing by including a second frame.  This one is smaller.  This will allow students the chance to repeat the project in another size.

I also was not happy with my knitting so, it has come been pulled undone and re-knitted on a smaller sized set of needles.

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I am much happier with this.


The finished sample

These little embroideries were a joy to stitch.  Adding the muslin as a stabalizer is something I picked up from the Sue Stone classes and I have now made it part of my everyday stitching.

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I have worked my way through the whole class.  This always allows you to find out where the gremlins live and what extra things you might need to include.  I found that marking the dots around the outer edge came in very handy for mounting the embroidery over the backing piece.  I also added that batting to the mounding board and an happy with the result.

I choose the snow drop for the one I made up.

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I found the little screws in the frame very hard to manipulate so a pair of plyers is essential.  I must say I am tempted to make up all 4 designs but that would cut into the number of frames I have for the class.  Another reason to order some more.

Not a good week

I think I will just give up on this week or was it last week as well?

I got to my Quaker exhibition only to find they had closed it early due to work being done to the library.  After all I had to do to get there it was very disappointing.  I have the 1.5 to 2 hour drive to town to start with then because I haven't traveled by public transport for the last year they had taken all my money off my card.  I tried to top it up on the bus but was told all that has changed.  I then had to find somewhere to put some money on the card.  (It is just too expensive to park in town.)  Then when I got there, no exhibition.

The next thing was I have had to have 2 teeth extracted.  I had two root canal treatments about 8 months ago and now my body just rejected them so out they had to come.  The Dentist could find nothing wrong with the teeth at all, still, I have to admit I feel a whole lot better once they came out.  Shame about the $3,000+ that I had spent on the treatments.

The good thing is that now that those teeth have gone my mind is working again.  (Don't ask me what the link was I just don't know.)  I am in the middle of preparing a new class and am really enjoying the process.  Because it will be for beginners from outside of the Embroiderers' Guild and I already teach a class for new members, I had to come up with something different.   It is about learning the basic stitches but I wanted a project that gave them something finished to take away.  My solution was to settle on a set of 4 designs that can be stitched  in the allotted time.  I have actually drawn more designs than the four needed so that there is a lot of choice.  I have put the designs into my drawing program and put different colours behind each design.  Although I am using white cotton/linen fabric I think these could look good on a variety of fabrics.  (I see there is one circle outline I didn't cut after I added the fill colour, oops.)

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I got a bit carried away with drawing botanical things and have another two pages of designs.  They are only small, in circles of about 2.5" or a bit less.  I found I could fit 4 designs on a 6"x6" square of fabric.  I backed this with a fine muslin and tacked the two pieces of fabric together, put this into a frame and stitched.

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Because they are small they are quick to stitch and I am really enjoying this stitching.  When the students have finished this they will choose their favourite and then mount it in a mini-frame to use as is, or as a piece of jewelry.

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I think that I might glue a piece of thin wadding onto the backing board before it is mounted as well and I also think I had better buy some more of these frames because I could just keep stitching.

Catching Up

All the visitors have departed and thanks to my wonderful daughter-in-law most of the cleaning and washing has been finished.   I am so blessed to have such a wonderful daughter-in-law.  We ended up with far more people staying than I had first expected but everyone helped with cooking, cleaning and all the other chores.

When my children where young I always allowed them to bring a friend with them on our holidays to the island.  My son offered this to his children, but forgot to tell me.  Good thing I have a supply of blow up matresses.  I don't know how, but, I did manage to finish my portrait of Jasmine as well.  She was chuffed to see it.  This exercise asked us to incorporate applique and colour.  I am very familiar with applique so I didn't have an problems doing this, but there was still a lot of stitching involved. 

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I think I got a fairly good likeness but it could be better.  This is photograph that I based my design on.

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In the next exercise I have to use paint and pencil.  I have no idea how I will handle that.

A Wet Easter

My family are holding off coming over to the island until later in the week, when it is hoped, the rain will stop.  Not too good for all those who have come over for the Easter break.  There seems to be lots of kids stomping around in the wet, but no-one is swimming.

The trees love the rain.

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The water tank is overflowing and the tree fern has put on a growth spurt.

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Even my pot plants are growing like mad.  This one has made the wooden birds I bought in Guatamala look like they are lost in a forest.

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I am using this unexpected down time to work on my next portrait which incorporates applique.  Just some each day and it is slowly growing.  One thing that has surprised me is that my stash of stranded cottons has shrunk from 6 boxes to only 3.

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That has taken 5 years so this lot should last another 5, hopefully.  And in the current work I have sparkler candles to embroider.  That has seen me dig into my stash and find some lurex threads I knew would come in handy one day.

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The gold mesh they are laying on is even older, I must have had that stashed away for at least 20 years if not longer.  I knew it would be useful.  The lurex thread is a perle 8 from Wonderfil.  I had planned to use it for machine embroidery in the bobin thread but I think I will couch it in place on this piece.  Oh, the pain of having to open the packet!  It will never look so pristine again.


We went into lock-down again on Monday night.  There was a mad dash to get Monique back home after school finished so that she wouldn't be stranded over here.  They have closed all the schools a week early for the Easter Holidays so it just isn't the 3 days of lock-down only, and, now that they are finding extra cases it could be longer.

So, I find myself with a bit of extra time and am not sure what I will do with it.  I had been putting off starting the Sue Stone class on incorporating Applique.  After I watched it I realised there was nothing new for me, I have been doing all forms of applique for years, in fact I even teach classes in it.  I should have known when I came to that realisation that I was over-confident.  Sue's use of applique is deceptively simple at first glance.  I made the mistake of thinking "no problem" when in fact there were problems.

With normal applique you start at the bottom and build up.  I tried that and it didn't work.  With her method you stitch first and then add the appliqued pieces and then stitch on them again.  So I have had to rip everything out and am starting again.

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I wanted to put in a background first but that just didn't sit well with the figure, which is my other grand-daughter Jasmine at her 2nd birthday.  Looking at it now I think I will have to stitch the background and applique the hair, her shorts and nappie along with the birthday cake for it to work.  The photo I had is a bit smaller then the space on the fabric and I haven't quite enlarged the eyes correctly but that can be fixed.

Back then her hair was so fine and she used to cry and say how terrible it was because Monique and Mummy had such lovely thick hair.  Now she is 8 years old her hair is thick and lovely.  I am stitching this one for a gift for Mother's Day for my daughter-in-law.  I have already finished one of her sister at the same age, although I might add more to this one.

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Wierd Bag

I thought I was making a draw string bag from the small embroidery I made for the Guild but the embroidery was bigger than I thought.  I ended up making tote bag.

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It became a series of decisions about how can I fix this?  I sewed the border around the embroidery and then had to find a fabric that matched it.  Problem was it was a bit light in weight which would have been fine for a drawstring bag but by this stage it was too big for that.  So I added a interfacing to bulk up the weight and a lining to extend the top.  Next problem was the straps, I only had beige which didn't look right. Solution, stitch it with purple thread.

Actually, even though it isn't perfect it isn't too bad.

Juvenile Behavour

I know it is juvenile behavour but it is just how I feel at the moment. 

It has been 6 months now of home-schooling my grand daughter and there have been so many highs but her ADHD behavours have worn me down.  She is on the move all the time, she has "ants and her pants."  She touches everything without even realising that she is doing it.  I think that I have put things out of reach and then I find she has pulled them out of the draws and they are on the floor.

Added to this I have had to give up my space in my workroom to give her somewhere to learn, she also sleeps in this room at night because she is afraid in the downstairs bedrooms and I am not prepared to give up my bedroom for her.  Whilst she is here I can only do hand sewing and sewing at night is no longer possible.  That is so limiting.  I was looking forward to some time over Easter on my own but my husband has invited the family to stay.

I found her turning the pages of my diary and although it is only a record of appointments, IT IS MINE.  Added to this the covers I have for the diary are too small and I have to secure them with elastic.  Solution, make a new cover using some recycled fabrics.

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I wanted to write "DON'T TOUCH" all over it.  Instead I took a photo of myself and the word "MINE"

Screen Shot 2021-03-25 at 10.48.59 amI then embroidered this, making the expression on my face a bit hard, and put it on the front cover.  (Gee it is hard to stitch small faces.)  I made the lining the same colour as my ear-rings, you can see it peeping out at the bottom.

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Such juvenile behavour, but I enjoyed it.  I hope it keeps her away from it.