My Embroidery Feed


It is coming to the end of term so working on assignments with my grand daughter on her home schooling takes up a lot of my time and has taken over most of my space. (Maths has changed a lot since I was at school and she is far better than me at Japanese.)

I am stitching a new Kogin piece for next years class.  My computer with the drawing program got replaced with a new computer for Monique and I have nothing to draw those types of designs on.  The drawing program I have does great vector drawings but doesn't print a grid.  I might just have to learn how to use illustrator, which is super expensive.

So it is back to the graph paper but I still find stitch and see just as good.  I am using an old design but am adapting it to fit the fabric I have.   Allana used the same design in it's original form on one of the bags she stitched.

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My version is similar but my space is smaller.

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A lot of trail and error, then reverse sewing.  But I think I have got it now.  I'm sure this is how the old people did this work.  They didn't have computer programs or even graph paper to work out their designs.  It might have been easier to just cut a larger piece of fabric!


I am working on my Kogin class.  I started with an edge to edge design but as I stitched it out realised that the counting would be too hard for some people.  With this in mind I extracted the centre design and have just stitched that part, to begin.  I am also using the very last of my old cotton.  (The manufacturers reduced the metreage in the skein for the new cotton.)  And you know like all older threads it tends to knot, so I will be happy when that is used up.

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The knitting is back out of the bag again.  This is being knitted in one piece, no seams.  I put the sleeve onto 4 needles as I think that it will be easier to manage.

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The native grass that I planted near one of the bird baths actually has flowers.  So pretty.  I will have to think about that as an embroidery design.  I have that AGM to night and will be glad to see the back of that.

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Well as you can see from the last couple of posts I am drawing patterns for new embroideries.  I haven't been able to put my mind to this for ages but that Japanese fabric gave me so many ideas.  Then, I walk the dog twice a day and this takes me through the bush.  I never actually 'saw' some of the things that have now claimed my attention.  Amazing what one little thing can start.

So I am working on another small embroidery, this time of some gum leaves.  I was taken by the fact that the colours were the same as some thread that I had in my thread box, this is a Stef Francis thread.  The leaves are just gum leaves but the shapes and colours caught my attention.  It may not work out, but I will give it a try.

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My knitting is still here.  It has been unpulled and re- knitted a number of times but now I am up to the sleeves.  As the weather is on the turn I think this will be for next winter, so I have made it a little larger.

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And I'm still working on the backing for the quilt.   I have to use the left over fabric so it will be almost another quilt!

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More Flowers

At this time of year the gum trees are in bloom, a bit too much in bloom. There are seeds and flowers all over the place.  Especially on my newly washed car!!

I hadn't realised just how many types of wattle flowers there are until I started to look.  They don't all flower at the same time, rather one comes out then another.  The bright splashes of yellow in the bush catch your attention.  Looking closely I can see that they have different leaves and flower formations, it is just the bright yellow that is consistent.  The one I am looking at now is more like a finger of flowers rather than the little puff balls you usually see.  The green of the leaves is a lot darker than some of the others, but they all say spring.

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So here is another little embroidery of this variety of wattle.  I have used Danish flower thread for the stems and flowers and DMC stranded cotton, 2 strands for the leaves, to stitch it onto a small piece of 32 count linen.  I will include this design in a class I will be teaching later on this year "Discovering more Stitches" for the Embroiderers Guild.  Again, this design was inspired by that Japanese fabric.  (In fact there is nothing like it on the fabric it just sent my brain in this direction.)

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But, is such a nice small design, approx 3"x3", I thought I would  include it here.

  Download Japanese fabric designs - wattle




Time to start the new quilt

Well the time has come to start the new quilt which will incorporate all the embroideries that I did last year.  I had one false start when I thought that hexigons was the way to go but that just didn't look right.

This time I am going to use mainly yellows and blues and have come up with a simple design.  Problem is that I have and even number of blocks  (12) and I don't think that is what I want.  I think that 9 would have a bigger impact.  I am going to make the top 9 embroideries into the quilt and then audition it with the remaining 3.  It might work and it might not.

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As this isn't a published design, just something I have in the back of my mind, as I had an extra block I decided to make up what I had in mind and include the extra embroidery I have.  I am quite pleased with how it looks but as I won't use it in the quilt I added a pipping border so I can use it as a cushion.

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I am going to settle on 7 squares on each side.  I tried 6 colours on one side but I like the odd number again.  I have a whole lot of charm squares, 5" x 5", that I am going to use and will just juggle the sizes to suit.  I do see a problem with the embroideries however.  I included a light stabliser (non stick) on the back of each one and there is a slight wrinkling.  Not much, but I can see it.  I just hope it doesn't distract from the finished effect.  I thought the size would be too small for a cushion cover but I have an old one the same size so know it will work.

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The one the same size is really old.  I was into printing and learning to machine quilt back then.  I am still using this cushion.  A thought!  If I only use 9 blocks I could make cushions from the others? 



Well HALF the order for wool from Australia has arrived.  No sign of the Scottish one yet.  Now I'm trying to work out what the pattern for the cardigan, that I want to knit, actually says.  It assumes I have so much knowledge that I don't have.  I'm looking for some advice on-line from someone who has already knitted it and I have a fall back pattern just in case I can't work it out.


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I got my first lot of scraps in order and have quilted some fabric for project bags. I used one piece of my photo transfer fabric and I think I will try other photos of the island as well.  I have a few ideas about how I might develop this design and incorporate re-cycling.

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I made another project bag from one of the orphan blocks I had.  It turned out to be a lot of work but as I want the bag to hold a project I'm about to start I don't mind all that work.  It is hard to see the quilting but I used a red thread to cross hatch the surrounds and back of the bag.

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I linned it with a red fabric that I rolled the top of so it would show as a piping.  It fits the frame well and has internal pockets for all the other pieces.

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This leaves me with just a small roll of left over to use, but, I have just found a couple more bags of scraps in the cupboard.

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The quilt is now completely finished.

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It was a bit hard to photograph so I hung it from my back  1st floor patio.  It is out of the wind and a sun trap in winter and a great place to work.

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Because I use a hidden hemming method for the binding it took a whole day to hand stitch  but I like the fact that you can't see the stitching.

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When you write it down I actually did quite a lot this week.




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.