My Embroidery Feed


There are only 2 more blocks that I am going to stitch for this project, the other 2 just don't suit my final design.  Added to this there are another 2 blocks that I have finished that I have decided to exclude.  Reason? I only need 12 blocks for my design and the ones I have decided against are just too different from the rest.  One is the applique block.  This is the only applique, it will stand out.  The VW's are also being excluded and I have just finished them.  They also don't match the theme.

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Because of this I decided to play with them a bit.  The applique will go into a mug bag, and I think the same will happen with the VW's.  This last block was very lack lustre so I thought I would play with my ink intense pencils.  I have had these for 5 or 6 years and done nothing with them.  In this case I did some colouring in and them applied water.  Not a bad result.  (But it won't suit my quilt.)  I will have to explore their use some more.

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I am also working on a friendship block for my patchwork group and looking at how to stitch my Medici piece.  (Those on-line classes I am designing are also being worked on but as they are for a client I can't post any images.)

My classes with Textile Designer have come to a halt.  Firstly I became ill and couldn't stitch and then I just wasn't interested in the techniques they were using.  I think I will give this another month and if I find the next 3 classes uninteresting, cancel the classes.  I have a ton of things of my own I want to stitch.  The only other class I would like to do is Sue Stones stitching faces.  I really enjoyed that class and would like to explore this further.

Be carefull what you eat!

We thought we would try a new Asian eating place the other night.  The meal was delicious.  Then we went to a movie.  Next day I wasn't to well but after a lie down felt a bit better.  Next morning my blood pressure was through the roof, combined with a bleed in my eye, stroke territory.  So, a trip to hospital where they thought it was stroke territory as well.  After some medication and a night in hospital I was sent home.  (I had a "go to the loo quick" attack that morning.)  That day the blood pressure was out of control again and another visit to the Doctor but I had a normal reading by the time I got there.  After all that it turns out there was MSG in the food and that was responsible for everything.  It will take a few more days to get it out of my system.  I love Asian food but will be very careful where I eat in future.

As a result of this I am behind on my stitching.  The Embroiderers' Guild has asked me to design some embroidery work for sale to their members and that is to be finished.  I did get my tablecloths sewn and they are now in the draw.

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But today a parcel arrived.  A quite large box for Inspirations.

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Inside was a smaller box with my Medici kit. (This looked like pass the parcel.)

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Inside this was a smaller parcel.

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And this contained a ball of thread a small piece of fabric and a needle.

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The fabric is 16 threads to the inch count. (My Kogin fabric is 18 count.)  So a rather open linen fabric.

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I have just been able to source some open weave linen fabric from a friend.  She got it from someone that said their parents had brought a number of bolts from Finland to Australia when they came here some time ago.  It looks very open weave, and not all together even.  I was surprised to see that the thread count for this fabric was 24 threads to the inch.

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Not nearly as open as I had at first thought.  I was going to experiment with some blackwork on this.  I will give it a go and see what happens.  The linen thread in this piece is very strong.  I had also thought about working with wool on it but I think the linen thread would shred the woollen thread.  I have no idea what this would have been originally used for only where it came from.  Something to research.

Stitch Club - Cas Holmes

It took a couple of weeks but I have finished my landscape for the Cas Holmes class.  I'm not very into working with paper, it was interesting but didn't really engage me at all.  I choose my island for the landscape.  The paper used for the sea was an image of ghost nets that wash up on the beach.  The red rocks was from a picture of strawberries from an Aldi catalogue and the green paper, representing the bush, from a travel brochure.  The best quality paper was the Aldi catalogue!

I mounted it on a piece of watercolour paper and included a short piece of prose I wrote.

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The eagles begin their hunt outside my house.  I always know when one fly over, I don't know how, but I know and look up involuntarily. There is one eagle who always looks me straight in the eye, which is a bit unnerving.  It is as if we know each other, as though we have a spotlight just on us.  To highlight this I took a spotlight image of the piece.

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I do not like stitching through paper and fabric, maybe because I am so emotionally connected to my stitching and I don't want the paper to intrude and it does intrude.  It doesn't feel quite 'right'.


I'm not doing anything out of the ordinary at the moment.  I need to get new glasses to use to do my stitching.  The appointment is next week and then I will have to wait for the glasses to be made.  So I am just doing ordinary stuff.

Like, I finished another pin cushion.

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And I am working, (a bit), on my simple stitching.

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And I'm crumpling papers to use for the Cas Holms Momigami piece.

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We are not using the traditional technique, rather her version of it.  I had no idea of what this was until this workshop.


You live and learn.

Left overs

After re-organising my sewing room I find I have bags of left over fabrics from previous classes.  Not enough to do anything major with but too much to put in the bin.  At the same time as this I was lamenting having been away from the sewing machine for a while.  So I went searching for what would use these pieces and I could sew them on the machine.

I came upon an old Quilt-along at the Fat Quarter shop that was based on small blocks and have decided to use these to make some pin cushions for the Guild sale table.  To be put on the table they must include embroidery, so I added a little.

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I reversed the fabrics for the back.

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I did find that I had lost some of my skills at the machine, that saw me tangle threads and do a bit of unpicking.  I need to travel up to town for a few days, for treatment for an infection,  so I want to get some more of these blocks sewn so that I can sit and embroider small projects whilst I am there.

Kathy is finished

It only took another mornings stitching to finish Kathy.  Not a very 'extending' exercise.

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Now I have the VW campervans all drawn up and ready to stitch.

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I also had Cas Holmes workshop running around in my brain and that has got me thinking.  I had never done anything like this before so I am sure to be extended.  The trouble with doing new and unusual things (for me) is I have little or non of the materials on hand.  I have to source it all from scratch.  That means trips to the mainland, if even for only a few bits.

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I am having a wonderful time exploring her website and blog.   Here is a link to an on line exhibition of her work


The medals

This week past has been rather testing.  It started fine but then those 2 young women brought the virus into the state and worse than that, into the surrounding suburbs to where we live.  Everyone checked where they had been and if they might have crossed paths with them.  Then we sat in the line for hours waiting to be tested.  Thankfully, these came back clear, but the stress and uncertainty saw my PTSS rear it's head again.  Only one night without sleep and I immediately knew what the problem was and was able to deal with it. But the result for me is that I have slipped behind with my work.  I am considering skipping the workshop with Cas Holmes, but we will see.

On a happier note, I decided to only stitch 3 medals not 4, there just wasn't enought time.  I cann't see myself doing this again, but never say never. I ended up spending a lot more time stitching than I had intended because I just couldn't deal with the finish or stitching on the sample pieces.

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Having said that the process of selecting the words to use was interesting.  I read 3 or 4 articles reporting on how the Covid virus has effected the community and from these selected a list of words that I thought were relevant.  What I did find useful was the information regarding the fonts to select, any thing with 'handwritting', and there are only a few, the size of the font to select, 48 and to print them out and 'draw in' the connecting lines so that the stitching flows easily.

I selected the words; mend, peace, care and safe for my medals.  I used an old hand towel for the fabric to stitch on, so this one will slot into my recycling project for the month.  I have a small packet of Liberty floral fabric pieces which I raided to select flowers to applique around my selected words.  I kept all the pieces as one until I made up the items.

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I didn't use the glue suggested but did use this basting glue.  There isn't the problem of the needle getting caught with this one.  ( I think I bought it at Allthreads.)

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I decided to embroidery the flowers and leaves to applique them to the background.  As these medals are about 3" (small) I used only 1 thread of stranded cotton to do this.  I then mounted them onto some card, also recycled and beaded the edges.  I bought some pins from the $ shop to hang each medal.

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I backed each one with a piece of felt, stitching it into place.  A pin could be sewn on the back to make each one a broach as well.

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I want to give one to a friend who comes out of isolation tomorrow.  She rushed to Melbourne to be with her Mother, who has since passed away.  She then got caught up in the virus scare and has had to spend 2 weeks locked up on her own in a hotel room.  Only being able to exercise for 30 mins a day under police guard.  She certainly deserves a medal!  But which one?

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I think I will let her choose which one she would like from the three.


Next Class

I no sooner finished the last piece and the next class arrived.  I haven't had time to draw breath.  This weeks class is with Haf Weighton and a lot of her work centres around architecture.  ( There are lots of great images to look at on her webpage.)

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I have to say that I find this work very appealing, although it is not what this weeks lesson is about.  We are to create a stitched medal (or series of ) bearing messages to document this corona virus time, or, as a gift to tell someone you are thinking of them. 

After a lifetime of perfecting my embroidery techniques the big challenge for me is going to be working in such a unstructured manner.  Watching the video I wanted to tell her how she could improve her stitching, I found I was almost squirming in my seat.  I think that I will have to do this my way and that includes careful stitching and a good finish.


I have the next simple stitching piece all framed up ready to go.

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But I am behind on my 'Stitch Club' lessons.  The death of my dog and my problem tooth has upset my whole world.  So, I decided that I wouldn't follow all the instructions that Mandy Puttello gave.  I decided that I would make this concentina book my way.  There are all these wonderful arty pieces up in the facebook page, mine isn't arty at all. 

I started with the idea that I would fill the book with images of my favourite things.  Number one being old embroidery.  I then cut a strip from one of the tablecloths that I want to use for recycling. 

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Guess what, it wasn't the size given, but I used it any way.  It just meant that I had to re-invent how the book folded.

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Then I found some old fabric that I had used in some class or other I was teaching that had prints of lots of things I like.  I cut these out and put them next to the embroidery slip stitching them into place.

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The material in the table cloth was some kind of rayon mix, a bit slippery so I decided to line it with a cotton fabric.  Now, I could have used a more arty fabric but as this little book is about some of my favourite things I choose pink fabric, my favourite colour.  Not trendy or arty at all but I like it, so in it went.

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I cut the fabric with my wavy roller cutter and machined it in place.  On the top edge I wrote " some of my favourite thing" over and over and on the bottom edge I listed all the things I had included in the little book.  Emotionally that  gave me a good feeling, just writting them down made me feel good.

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Then I had to work out how to tie the ends off as it didn't fold the way it should.  I decided to put a button and loop on one side and tie it off on the other.  I got my bag of threads that I had bought in Guatemala,  I bought them for embroidery but they are really meant for weaving.

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I selected all the pink threads and decided on the shiney one.  This was sold as silk but I'm sure it is rayon and it is untwisted.  Twisted thread is something we take for granted, winding it onto a holder was a challenge.  It acted just like flat silk, catching on my fingers and nails.  What a trial.  Crocheting the cord was also interesting.  (There has to be some kind of tool that helps you twist thread.) 

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The embroidery on the front cover is a copy of a design that I saw on a tablecloth from Sri Lanka. ( The math used for dividing up the edge is actually very complicated .)  Then I got out my button box and the butterfly yelled 'use me'.    I didn't want to add anything to the back cover, so I didn't.

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This book thing isn't really me but the exercise made me think and I did like writing down the things I like and maybe in the future some family member might look at it and say "Gee she liked some weird things!!"

Progress on the simple stitching

I have now finished block No 10 (I think that is the number.)  Simple but very sweet.  This is the link to all the original free patterns.

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I am getting to the point where I have to think about the design for this quilt, only 6 more blocks to go.  I found some fabric I think will suit from the current Tilda range.  Now I have to get down to designing the quilt.  Why buy the fabric now?  Well one of the upcoming blocks has hexigons in the design and I needed to tie this in.

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On another note, a new gallery opened on our little island on Friday night where all the artists from our Artisans Collective can display their work for sale.  Not a very momentous or world shattering occassion but I was able to dress up and socalise.  Now that is rare in these times and there was delicious food, wine and live music.  I put on my glad rags and then looked at my shoes, what a mis-match.  Since I broke my foot badly back in 2011 I have had to wear sensible, flat shoes.  I used to love all my glamorous Italian shoes but they had to go.  All except one pair, that were quite sensible being lace up and with a solid heel but I couldn't walk in them.  I held onto them for sentimental reasons.  But on Friday night I pulled them out of the cupboard, cleaned them, and put them on.  They fitted and I could walk in them.  Off I went like Cinderella to the ball.

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Now, maybe this is a sign that I can start collecting beautiful Italian shoes again?