My Embroidery Feed

First Marks

When I went to start my mark making for 'Stitch Camp' I found that all my acrylic paint tubes were either empty or dried out.  Not a good start.  Paint and I do not have a good relationship.  I had to wait until I could get to the mainland, where I'm trying not to go, to get some more.  Then the instructions said "mix till it looks like cream". I added to much water and had to add more paint so now I have two jars of diluted paint.  But I have made my marks and am waiting for it to dry.

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It is raining cats and dogs here.  This might take some time. But, I couldn't wait so I set the paint with the iron.  The next step was to deconstruct the two pieces of fabric and then reconstruct them ready for stitching.

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I think I will leave this overnight and come back to it.

I have lots of left over painted fabric to use for other things.


I am busy sewing new samples for my Machine Finishing class and have taken an applique I did a while ago and turned it into a piped cushion with a hidden zip.

First I had to unpick the old pillow, unpicking is so boring.


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This is always a difficult set of techniques to master so I have been on the look out for another way of doing it, and although not simple, I think I have found a new better way.   I'm happy how this has turned out.  There are some improvements I think I can make to the process.

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And how the zipper worked.

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I am also beavering away at my cross stitch and am at the half way mark of stitching the design.

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I also have to go back and have another Covid test.  I'm not looking forward to standing in that line.


With so many people coming and going from the house things have to be simple.  Those simple embroideries are great for stitching whilst you are sitting chatting, so three more finished.

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One member of my Patchwork gave me a machine embroidered piece as a Xmas present.  I wasn't sure just what to do with it.  Then my grand daughters said they thought it would make a nice wall hanging.  I have added boarders and now it is all pinned up ready for quilting.

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And one of the things I didn't put into the clean up, (which has now been delivered to the Salvos) is these small panels from France.  Another gift from a travelling friend.  They are about to be made into place mats.

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And I made a new 'skirt and binding' for the piece I have in my hoop,  this means I can fit smaller pieces of linen in the hoop.  I have the next Cross Stitch ready to go.

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Although, all this may have to wait until everyone goes home.  Even then I might need a couple of days just to catch up on sleep!!

Time for a review

So, time to check if I completed the list I wrote for 2021, and, it didn't happen.

Perhaps I should say, some of it happened at different times.  I ditched the Easter gifts and made Xmas ones.  So I suppose that happened.

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The faces stalled when I got to using colour.  I have to face that fear this year.

Didn't do a thing on the Graffitti Quilt or the book.  There is only one more applique to put on the quilt so it is do-able.

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I got 6 animals knitted, then I stopped, because I couldn't find a charity who wanted them.

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I finished the classes for stitch club and the sample for Exploring More Stitches along with two Charity Quilts finished and one that still has to be quilted. and Instead of sewing bags I made pin and needle keepers for the Kogin.

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Now that I have written it down I see that I did achieve most of the things I wanted to.  I have not looked forward to doing this because I was sure that I had failed but that is not the case.  The things that didn't happen were the faces book and the Graffitti Quilt, that doesn't mean that they will not happen.  Those ones go on the list for 2022 along with a note to not be so hard on myself.

So my No 1 New Year's Resolution is:  to be kinder to myself in all things.

(Only one resolution? There has to be more than one resolution, doesn't there?)

So, I think I will change tack and instead of long term goals for the year I will set goals for each month.  This will allow me to change my plans if I need to and set smaller tasks that will suit the prevailing circumstances.  I would like to have one or two major projects that I can work on over the whole year but if I don't finish, so what?

This was the 2021 list.

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So I stopped!

Yes, just like that.  I have enough things sewn for presents, I don't need any more for this year.  I am just going to use the things I have.

I put my small table out on the front patio, took my book and a cup of coffee and just sat and read.  (I did put on mozzie spray first.)  Sitting quietly in the corner there I watched the birds as they came in to drink and wash at the bird baths.  I am going to have to take a camera out there with me in future.  There are some beautiful birds.

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Then I took some of that simple embroidery that was in the panel I bought and just stitched for the fun of stitching.  No fancy techniques, just simple stitches and the pleasure of stitching them.  Nothing that is challenging, nothing that is seen as 'politically correct' by other stitchers.  I just took out a box of threads (I have more than one) and selected the colours that were there.

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 I will worry about what I will do with them later, for now I am going to indulge myself.


So, the experiments with stitching the Kogin patterns with different threads and fabrics continues.

I tried using 4 threads on this one and although I don't mind it I think that 3 threads works better.

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I used linen fabrics back some time ago and dismissed them because I found that they shredded the cotton thread I was using.  So I tried again with this thread and had no problems.  It is a 28count fabric and I used 2 strands of cotton to stitch.  Only problem here was with my eyes that found the higher count of thread hard to see.

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Then, looking at all those pieces I got from my friend I found that one piece really was not repairable so I have unpicked the stitching and cut out the pieces I can use.  I haven't finished the layout of this just yet but it is starting to come together.  It is for a book cover.

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I found all these little mirrors tucked in amongst the threads.  When I get the layout how I want it i will use a Kantha stitch to hold the pieces in place.  I am having fun with this piece.


I can see these experiments continuing on for some time.  The stitching is based around the threads I bought in South America.  The plain cotton, great, the resist dyed, I'm not sure. It looks like a piece of marled, tweed, kind of weave.  Interesting but I don't think it is worth all the effort that goes into preparing the thread.

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I think that these go back into the bag for another day.

There was another lot of thread that I bought, again one hank of every colour, that they(Mayan Indian) called 'silk'.  I found the same kind of thread in Brazil and after I did a burning test on it found that it isn't protein based, as in silk worm product, but carbohydrate, and is probably rayon, but to those in South America this is silk.  This doesn't detract from the beautiful colours or the lustre of the thread.  (I have some similar type of thread from India that I bought from Prudence Mapstone for Knitting.  I will have to test that for composition as well.)

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I prepared this the same way as the Sashiko thread also and this worked well.

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Then I tried to stitch.  Just like flat silk it caught on everything.  Finger nails, any rough piece of fabric, just anything.  I thought about bees wax, but this was a CHO based fibre and I knew it wouldn't work so I improvised and moistened my fingers in water running the thread between them.

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This worked but I still have to refine just how I stitch.  The edges of the linen fabric catches the thread, the moisture in the thread drys after about 4 passes of the needle through the fabric and to lay the thread flat you have to stab the fabric and pull the thread through for each part of the stitch.  This is very labour intensive so they would only be for very special gifts. I also think there is a slight dulling of the lustre caused by the application of water to the thread.  But, I like the finished product.

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The next job is to refine the shape of the dome and the way you would remove this to reveal the pins.  As I live on an island and access to shops requires a lot of organisation and time this could be quite a process.

The first prototype

Well I have made my needle keeper and I think I have worked out the best way to construct it.

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I need to increase the size of the area I stitched to allow for an overhang around the cardboard shape I made the dome from.  It will make gathering up the fabric a bit easier and allow me to make that dome a bit higher.

I couldn't find anything on the net much about these little cushions other than they are called 'Hinoki' and the wood is usually carved from a sweet smelling wood.  I did however find a retailer of this kind of pin cushion on Instagram called 'Hanakogin'.  (Here an I thinking I am inventing the wheel when it had already been invented!)   Here is an image of some of her work.  (I think, because I found some of the same images on Ali Express' website.)

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This piece has been stitched on Hemp fabric, I am stitching my version on 18 count linen.  I got this linen from some CWA  (Country Women's Association) ladies some time ago and have been keeping it for something special. 

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The gloss finish on the wood makes it really nice to handle and matches the sheen on the cotton.  The pattern that I choose for this prototype is called 'Hanako Flower"

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And I am using an artisan, hand dyed Sashico cotton for the stitching.

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This is all for a short 4 hours class I have planned for 2022.  The problem is that these cushions are addictive to stitch and make.  I will have to be very stern with myself and just keep them for the class, but, they would make great little gifts for my friends.



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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