Friday 31 October 2014

All Hallows Eve........

It is said that All Hallows Eve is one of the nights when the veil between the worlds
 is thin - and whether you believe in such things or not, those roaming spirits
probably believe in you, or at least acknowledge your existence;
considering that it used to be their own.  Even the air
feels different, Autumn crisp and bright!
Erin Morgenstern

Things that go bump in the night!..... having just been to America I am armed with treats for this evening and will be decorating the house.  So many do in our road and to hear the squeals of delight from so many wonderful children having fun is great.  The mums and dads dress up too and it is lots of family fun!

I am hoping the little bumble bee will appear again this year, although she will have grown so much! Those of you  who read my blog regularly will remember last years blog all about her.

So I will be doing some wonderful sweet stitching today, until around 3pm then start to get dressed up and decorated for the early little ones... Keep safe everyone.

By the way I have I am dressing as the patchwork girl from nightmare before Christmas!! I have a very long bright red wig too!!


Thursday 30 October 2014

Autumn designing......

O Wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumns being
Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves dead are driven,
like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing!

Percy Bysshe Shelley

Well it is nearly upon us.... Hallows Eve!

I simply adore the Autumn as you all know.  I have lots of new ideas for Autumnal stitching and think I will be doing some designing for next year.  I am usually out of season with my stitching but I love this month so much as well and having been to New England in the Fall again this year, its got me in the mood!  The colours were outstanding and I have some great ideas for my natural hand dyeing projects, also I want to play mixing veg for different colour ways!

I love the changing of the leaves and all those wonderful colours, so I think some sort of  Autumn garden sampler may be in order.  I think I will get my water colours out and have a little play.

I have picked up my coveted hand dyed threads.  Oooh they are so very beautiful!!

I will be picking a name out on the 3rd November for the shaker box so if you have not joined this blog yet... hurry!...

Have a great day and Happy Stitching!

Wednesday 29 October 2014

Bullion Rose Bud Video Tutorial

This is a great tutorial on how to use bullion stitch to create a stunning rose bud.

Having shown you the bullion stitch, I thought this would be a great follow up and show you what can be created either on an embroidery picture or perhaps to embellish an piece of clothing or a table cloth or runner.

You will be able to watch this and if you want to practice whilst this is running you can pause it at any point to catch up or go over it.

I hope this is helpful to you all that are enjoying learning new stitches and have messaged me with please keep them coming.

Happy Stitching!

Tuesday 28 October 2014

How to sew the blanket applique or button hole stitch with Lisa Pay

Good morning all

A appliqued picture with blanket stitch example.

I thought this was a great demonstration of blanket stitch on applique.  It is very detailed and neat work and shows you how to tackle a corner or turn very neatly.

I find watching someone do something easier than instructions in a book, and for those of you thinking about doing something like this, I hope you find it helpful and easy to watch.

Have a wonderful day stitching or if you can not sit and stitch have a great day doing whatever it is you are doing or  have to do!!

Happy Stitching!

PS...... Do not forget to join this blog if you would like a chance of winning a shaker box!

Monday 27 October 2014

American design idea's

Design is what links creativity and innovation.  It shapes idea's to
become practical and attractive propositions for users or
customers.  Design may be described as creativity deployed to a specific end.

Sir George Cox

With my design book and pencils firmly in hand and taken to America with me, I have some wonderful ideas bouncing around my head and designs to work from.

America is a vast country and I am very fond of New Hampshire and New England.  The scenery is breath taking and the changing colours of the leaves this time of year is a sight to behold.

Having done some beach combing as well and then into Forests and by lakes and indeed the architecture in some of the Towns and Cities that we are visiting I have had some wonderful ideas and can not wait to put some into practice......

Watch this space!

Happy Stitching!

Sand Dollar!

Saturday 25 October 2014

Embroidery: How to Chainstitch

This is a great tutorial on how to chain stitch by Wend Gradz again. I think her tutorials are great.

Chain stitch is a great filling in stitch and using on a single strand of thread it is rather delicate and beautiful for a stem of a flower as well.  Do not forget to use a embroidery hoop as it helps keep your work taught and very neat.

Have a wonderful weekend.....

Happy Stitching!

Friday 24 October 2014

Boston, Massachusetts

Good morning!

This is a great little movie of Boston.  It shows you all about the freedom trail and the lovely attractions of this most beautiful city.

Think of me wandering around here and taking in the sights and sounds.  There is some wonderful shopping to be done here and when I am there I always go to North End to get my balsamic vinegar ( Rubio) this is the only place in the world you can buy this particular one

There are some wonderful shops and also Boston is not far from Salem, which this time of year is a must!

Enjoy your tour and Happy Friday! have a great weekend.

Happy Stitching!

Thursday 23 October 2014

Canterbury Shaker Village...... New Hampshire

This a small movie of the Canterbury Shaker Village in New Hampshire!

This place is a tranquil haven and the landscape and forests and ponds there are stunning.  You can walk around the grounds and the houses on your own or you can join tours if you so wish.

This time of year in there restaurant they serve home made soups and breads along side pies and fruit...... It is a wonderful lunch.

They have restored so many of the buildings and in the school room there is a video of a lady who came to live in the village for many years of her childhood.  It is very moving as she explains how loved she was for the first time in her life! Think of me wandering around here!

This is a beautiful place and where I will be buying the shaker box for the competition, so join our blog today to be in a chance of winning....

Wednesday 22 October 2014

Vietnamese Embroidery: Flower

This is a great little film and the flower is beautiful.  It is very beautiful and would be great to put on a blouse or on table cloths.

You just need two different shades of the same colour thread and the end result really is beautiful, I think you will agree......

Give it a go and decorate something lovely today!

Happy Stitching!

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Side-part Victory Rolls

This video not only has fantastic music but shows you how easy it is to achieve that vintage look.  There are lots of people selling vintage dresses to go along with it and it is becoming ever more popular! ( Donna Flower has a great selection)

If you are going to a vintage fair give it a go, no need to go to a hairdressers to achieve this at all.

I have tried it and it works, you do need hairspray though if you have silky hair.

I am looking for the right outfit now to go with this look.

Well off to my stitching and I think I might play some Glen Miller whilst stitching today..... I am strangely in another era today......

Happy Stitching!

Monday 20 October 2014

Hand made small Shaker box Competition!


Well readers would you like to win a hand made Shaker box from Canterbury Shaker village??
They are stunning...... Bought back by myself....

Well if you are member of this blog you are in the draw yourself and all you have to do is get one other person to join, if not all you have to do is join, it's that simple.... plus there is a shaker wax for putting on your needle to help it glide through your fabrics.

This is a great prize so if you are not a member ' what are you waiting for'.... join us today!

Closing date is 3rd November..... in time before the postal rush!!

This is a picture inside the Canterbury Shaker shop.......
the box was handmade here! join today!

Saturday 18 October 2014

Wheat ear Stitch

This is a great stitch for wheat embroidery.  It is a little complicated but shown here by Mary Corbett it is made a little easier than when you see it in a book.

This time of year for embroidery for Autumnal samplers and pictures or a lovely runner for your table for Thanks giving!

Give it a go, it is very easy when you get going.......

Have a great weekend and Happy Stitching!

Friday 17 October 2014

Antique buttons and vintage buttons, Bakelite buttons from Gannon's Anti...

Bakelite is a type of synthetic resin that was a precursor to modern plastic and was invented in 1907 by Leo Hendrick Baekland.

Bakelite was also a popular material for costume jewelry and was very popular between 1920 -1960.

How to tell if a button is Bakelite or plastic... if you run it under hot water and rub it has a smell like formaldehyde and also there is no seam as Bakelite is cast NOT moulded.

The Bakelite buttons have become very sort after again and are very popular in the vintage collecting world!

I hope you enjoy the video and looking at some lovely examples....

Happy Stitching!

Thursday 16 October 2014

Land Girl Head Scarf

Good morning all

As you know I love attending vintage fairs and go frequently!.... One of the things that is getting very popular indeed is looking the part as well.  The 40/50's being very popular indeed.  You have probably seen the photos on here of me with my 40,s look.  That was done by professionals but I have been looking at ways we can all achieve a look at home for ourselves....

I thought some of you who wanted to try and dress for such an occasion would like to see how to do the forties land girl head scarf.....

I really hope you enjoy the music with this as well, had me jiggling in my chair whilst watching....

Have a great day and Enjoy your stitching!

Wednesday 15 October 2014

Our Anniversary!

Good morning all

Well it is quite unbelievable but it is our wedding Anniversary again.... where does time go.

Today I will not be working and having a wonderful day with my husband.....

So today enjoy whatever you are doing in our Autumnal weather.  The day we married it was sunny and warm with a slight breeze.... Autumn leaves were swirling as I sat in the carriage behind the horse.  I was with my best friend.  We were drinking a glass of champagne and watching the leaves fall.  My dad had died the year we married in the January so I felt no one could fill his boots, instead I had my best friend with me for company.

As far as I was concerned no one could take his place so I gave myself freely to my husband and walked down the aisle together in a ceremony in the New Forest at the Burley Manor, instead of a church.

We had a small wedding but we enjoyed it and my dad would have been very happy that I was happy.

So today we are going to enjoy our day and hope that you do too!

Tuesday 14 October 2014

White Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe

Good morning!

I thought I might try and tempt you all today with this seasonal recipe for pumpkin cheesecake!

Watch the video and you can scribble down the recipe....... It's divine.

I am carrying on with my stitching but later I will be going to get the ingredients for this to make when friends come to dinner....

I have some amazing Autumn fabrics at the moment and in Paisleys too, which you know is my most favourite of all.

There is enough pattern in  but not the fabrics and not too busy being as it is all vintage and around 1930/40 slightly washed out.  Combine this with embroidery in the right design and it is so very pretty!  I have some ideas as to what I would like to do with some of them.

I am playing around with some stitches to compliment some of the fabrics and designs as well.  On the cooler Autumn days I enjoy my sewing room the most with the little lamps on and feeling content and cosy whilst working away.

Have a great day and please tell me what you think about this recipe.

Happy Stitching!

Monday 13 October 2014

My favourite Season!

Fall has always been my favourite season. The time when everything
bursts with its last beauty as if nature had been saving
up all year for the grand finale!!

Lauren DeStefano

That quote is so correct!  also the simple pleasure of cooking Autumnal foods as well. Pumpkin soup, pumpkin breads and muffins and a most scrummy pumpkin cheesecake that is to drool over!

On a crisp Autumn day to walk through our forests and stare in wonder at the changing leaves and the chestnut trees starting to get heavy with their delicious bounty!

I would like to do a Sampler for our home that we get out at this time of year.  I have been looking for just the right fabrics and I have already designed this bespoke piece of fabric art for us.

I think it can come out in September and go away in December ready to hang a Christmas one in its place, if I can bare to wrap it up?

I am going to the pick your own later to get some pumpkins for cooking... before they are all bought to carve.

I have an amazing wall hanging for this time of year bought in America with a basket of apples appliqued on it and it makes the room look cosy and inviting with the open fire light dancing around the room.

I am away to my stitching room now and I have some Christmas stitching to finish so I must get on with it......  Also I must tidy my stash of paisleys as I was looking for some the other day and it got a bit re-arranged in the process.

Have a wonderful day and Happy Stitching!

Saturday 11 October 2014

Eva Cassidy - Autumn Leaves

“Autumn...the year's last, loveliest smile."

[Indian Summer]”
William Cullen Bryant

I think this lady has a wonderful voice and this is a wonderful song... thought it a lovely way to say Happy Saturday! on a beautiful Autumn day.

I am going to be sorting out some buttons today and also some fabrics for vintage covered journals, it is that time of year when people are buying them for presents.....

I will be loading some up in a few weeks to buy.....

Have a lovely day and hope enjoyed Eva Cassidy's s beautiful song and voice... Her talent is amazing and she was taken far too young....

Happy Weekend!

Friday 10 October 2014

Pretty little sewing tins .... NEW design from Homespunstitchworks

Hi All

Well the weather here is blasting away with intermittent rain and wind and it has turned cold!

I have been busy designing and stitching and have completed lots of things for publication.

I have been doing some of these little stitching tins ... what do you think?  This one contains vintage scissors, tape measure and threads as well as pins and needles.

There are two rare hand carved mother of pearl buttons and hand embroidery.  The tin is lined at the bottom and the lid with vintage paisley quilt bits.  Also for decoration there are some vintage crochet bit as well.

I hope you like my new design ...

 The vintage tin lid

 The inside of stitchery tin

The quilted lid inside tin

Happy Stitching!

Thursday 9 October 2014

The joy of practising embroidery stitches

“I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”
L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Morning all

Well today I am going to have a sort of busman's holiday.  I would like to practice lots of different embroidery stitches.  Some stitches ( I would say around 15 or so ) come naturally to me and other I have to look up and refresh myself on.

I thought I would do some practising of stitches with different colours and combinations as well.  The stitch of the week is still running as there are SO MANY stitches and I would love a lot more of them to become second nature to me.

I keep all my practise pieces and today I need to start a new piece of vintage linen.  You may ask why practice on that precious piece of fabric, but I feel you need to do that as for me it is what I use all the time.  Stitches behave differently on different fabrics, so it makes sense to me to actually practise on what I use all the time......

So I am away to my stitching room to gather my materials and then cosy into a chair and start. The weather is soggy! so warm drink, comfy sofa and my stitching!

I hope you have a great day and Happy Stitching!

I saw this and thought it a great idea, in the way who ever stitched this has put the name of the stitch.  I think I may start that as well.......

Tuesday 7 October 2014

Natural Dye from plants from... PURPLE and BLACK

Morning All

This is the last in the plant dye series on this blog.  I will of course in the future publish my results for all to see and with embroidery added as well.

The plants below are for PURPLE & for BLACK.

I have found it most informative and I hope that it has been for you as well.

Also I have found an amazing book called harvesting colour by Rebecca Burgess. I have ordered the book and will let you know what I think and of course any information I think maybe helpful to any of you who might wish to do some natural dyeing of your own.

I hope you have a great day and I leave you with your purple and black plant lists along with a picture of the book I mentioned.

Happy Stitching!

The blackberry

Byrony (Byronia dioica) Berries
Damson, Fruit, with alum
Dandelion (Taraxacum Dens-leonis) Roots
Danewort (Sambucus Ebulus) Berries
Deadly nightshade (Atropa Belladonna)
Elder (Sambucus nigra) Berries, with alum, a violet; with alum and salt, a lilac colour
Sundew (Drosera)
Whortleberry or blaeberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) It contains a blue or purple dye which will dye wool and silk without mordant

Alder (Alnus glutinosa) Bark, with iron
Blackberry (Rubus fruticosus) Young shoots, with salts of iron
Dock (Rumex) Root
Elder (Sambucus nigra) Bark, with iron
Iris (Iris Pseudacorus) Root
Meadowsweet (Spirea Ulmaria)
Oak, Bark and acorns

Natural dye for ... BROWN

Good Morning all

This is nearing the end of the plants for natural dyeing series on here.  This is for BROWN and also with varying depth of colours you can make it dark or lighter, again adding other plants that give other colours.

I am finding it all very fascinating  and can not wait to make up different batches and do lots of dyeing and log my results.

This is the list for browns and I hope you give it a go!

Alder (Alnus glutinosa) Bark
Birch (Betula alba) Bark
Hop (Humulus lupulus) Stalks give a brownish red colour
Onion, Skins
Larch, Pine needles, collected in Autumn
Oak (Quercus Robur) Bark
Red currants, with alum
Walnut, Root and green husks of nut
Water Lily (Nymphæa alba) Root
Whortleberry (Vaccinium Myrtillus) Young shoots, with nut galls
Dulse (Seaweed)

Monday 6 October 2014

Vintage lovers it is pouring with rain!!!

Just an extra little post to say on a day like today I am so glad to be inside stitching!  I love watching the rain dance off the window but I am so glad to be inside!

When you have finished reading the blog why not find my page on facebook!

Have a great day and keep dry!!  Happy Stitching!

Natural dye plants for .... GREEN

 Good Morning

Well this is the list for green.  I did see that deadly nightshade leaves could be used but I am not sure I would want to handle them.  Also the other thing is celery for a very light green.  If you boil it up in a saucepan. In addition to that spinach is a great one too.

When mixing colours have a look at mixing watercolour paints and it will give you what colour to mix with what colour to get the desired effect.

Has anybody out there tried any of the dyeing yet? please message and let me know.

Happy Stitching!

Also adding either lemon or orange peel to spinach can make a great soft pale yellow to the water.

Elder (Sambucus nigra) Leaves with alum
Flowering reed (Phragmites communis) Flowering tops, with iron
Larch. Bark, with alum
Lily of the valley (Convalaria majalis) Leaves
Nettle (Urtica dioica and U. Urens)
Privet (Ligustrum vulgare) Berries and leaves, with alum

Saturday 4 October 2014

Checkered or Alternating Chain Stitch

Good Morning

The stitch of the week is a chain stitch but with a difference having two colours.  I thought is a great tutorial from Mary Corbett.  Her videos are so easy to watch.

I think this is a great stitch to learn and will be giving a multi coloured one a go......

Look what you can achieve with it, again great for paisleys....

There are lots of different stitches here put together, but the checkered chain stitch is a great outline stitch!

Happy Weekend and Happy Stitching!

Friday 3 October 2014

Plants for natural dyeing .. YELLOW

 Good Morning All
I am going to be experimenting over the next few months and as I find things out, I will let you know. If someone out there does a bit of dyeing please let me know the results as I would be very interested in comparing with people.

I hope you all have a great day and Happy Stitching ( and dyeing)

Turmeric as well! not on the list.


Agrimony (Agrimonia Eupatoria)

Ash (Fraxinus excelsior) Fresh inner bark

Barberry (Berberis vulgaris) Stem and root

Birch. Leaves

Bog Asphodel (Narthecium ossifragum)

Bog Myrtle or Sweet Gale (Myrica Gale)

Bracken (Pteris aquilina) Roots, also young tops

Bramble (Rubus fructicosus)

Broom (Sarothammus Scoparius)

Buckthorn (Rhamnus frangula and R. cathartica) Berries and Bark

Common dock (Rumex obtusifolius) Root

Crab Apple (Pyrus Malus) Fresh inner bark

Dyer's Greenwood (Genista tinctoria) Young shoots and leaves

Gorse (Ulex Europæus) Bark, flowers and young shoots

Heath (Erica vulgaris) With Alum

Hedge stachys (Stachys palustris)

Hop (Humulus lupulus)

Hornbeam (Carpinus Betulus) Bark

Kidney Vetch (Anthyllis Vulnararia)

Ling (Caluna vulgaris)

Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris)

Marsh potentil (Potentilla Comarum)

Meadow Rue (Thalictrum flavum)

Nettle (Urtica) With Alum

Pear, Leaves


Polygonum Hydropiper

Polygonum Persecaria

Poplar, Leaves

Privet (Ligustrum vulgare) Leaves

St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum)

Sawwort (Serratula tinctoria)

Spindle tree (Euonymus Europæus)

Stinking Willy, or Ragweed (Senecio Jacobæa)

Sundew (Drosera)

Teasel (Dipsacus Sylvestris)

Way-faring tree (Viburnum lantana) Leaves

Weld (Reseda luteola)

Willow, Leaves

Yellow Camomile (Anthemis tinctoria)

Yellow Centaury (Chlora perfoliata)

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Natural Dyes for BLUE

Good Morning All

Well these are your plants for blue..... including the wonderful Woad.

The Woad which I have used can be made into so many different blues, by adding yellow you can make a great duck egg colour and you can make so many variations.

Give it a go!  I am going to be doing some great experiments with all this new found knowledge!

Happy Stitching!


Devil's Bit (Scabiosa succisa) Leaves prepared like woad

Dog's Mercury (Mercurialis perennis)

Elder (Sambucus nigra) Berries

Indigo (Indigofera tintoria)

Privet (Ligustrum vulgare) Berries with alum and salt

Red bearberry (Arctostaphylos Uva-Ursi)

Sloe (Prunus communis) Fruit

Whortleberry or Blaeberry (Vaccinium Myrtillus) Berries

Woad (Isatis tinctoria)

Yellow Iris (Iris Pseudacorus) Roots

Natural Dye plants used in RED....

 Good Morning All

As my blogs on natural dyeing on vintage linens have been very popular and sparked a lot of talks and emails I thought I would do lots of research for myself and share with you.

Today is about RED.  Below is the plants recommended to dye red with, I would also like to add that beetroot is very effective as well as you know.

I think natural dyeing is the way forward on vintage fabrics and I am enjoying dabbling in this immensely.......

This is a start of  the colours you can naturally dye fabrics and wools with.... I hope you enjoy.


Birch (Betula alba) Fresh inner bark

Bed-straw (Gallium boreale) Roots

Brazilwoods - various leguminous tree bark
Cochineal - (Coccus Cacti) Insect

Common Sorrel (Rumex acetosa) Roots

Dyer's Woodruff (Asperula tinctoria) Roots

Evergreen Alkanet (Anchusa sempervirens)

Gromwell (Lithospermum arvense)

Lady's Bedstraw (Gallium verum) Roots

Marsh Potentil (Potentilla Comarum) Roots

Madder (Rubia Tinctorum) Roots

Potentil (Potentilla Tormentilla) Roots

Why not give it a go yourself.

Happy Stitching!