Saturday 31 January 2015

Hungarian Braided Chain Stitch

The stitch of the week today is the beautiful Hungarian braided chain stitch and the tutorial is brought to you by the ever talented Mary Corbett.

This is a stunning stitch and can be used for initials or indeed as a decoration.  It is amazing the variation on the chain stitch can make such a different stitch...

As you can see this is a letter A and has been stitch with variegated thread, that combined with the stitch its self and the embellishment I think you will agree it is a very pretty stitch indeed.

I hope that you enjoy this weekends tutorial and that you will give this a go yourselves...

Have a wonderful weekend.

Happy Stitching!


Friday 30 January 2015

Bonnie Bear ..... my latest creation.

"In a world where everyone seems to be larger and louder than yourself, it is very comforting to have a small, quiet companion."
-Peter Gray 

"Bears sleep by day. At night they stay awake to chase away bad dreams."
-Jesse O'Neil 

Having started you all off on hand felting I wanted to say that I have nearly finished my bear.
  She is hand felted with merino wool and mohair.... She is nearly finished I just have to attach her glass eyes which I am waiting for through the post...

The process of making her has been amazing.  I have enjoyed every hour on her.  The biggest challenge has been her face and the placing of the ears as if it is not right the face begins to look like a mouse!

As you can see she has an antique brooch on which is a thistle and as she has turned out to be Scottish her name is Scottish too...

I thought I would give her a Homespun Stitchworks twist and therefore vintage and antique were the order of the day.

I have added a vintage piece of paisley fabric as her head scarf bow.  I loved the colour with the thistle brooch...... 

 Bonnie has long legs and arms which is based on antique
bears and I have embroidered her nose in a darker brown antique thread as I felt that black was going to be too stark for her.  I hope that this has given you all the nudge you may need to try something new and as you can see you can make a bear your own with any design you decide.
When her eyes finally arrive and I stitch them on, I will show you a picture of the finished vintage Homespun bear....

Well I am away to my stitching room and today I am embroidering a sampler.... 

Have a wonderful day and Happy Stitching!

Thursday 29 January 2015

My latest find, vintage embroidery books.

Stitching and embroidery mends my soul.

I was so excited yesterday when the postman knocked at my door, they had come, three small vintage embroidery booklets... 

Two are NDS ( needlework development series) and originally they were priced at 1/-  and well worth it I am sure.  I have paid a little bit more than that for them but still very reasonably priced for little bits of history that I am now the custodian of.  The third book is a teaching one I believe and is called An introduction to embroidery stitches by Louisa Judd-Morris.  

I could not wait to open them up and see all the wonderful things inside them.  In the green book the contents shows a list of samplers, which is basically stitches to learn which includes Stem,buttonhole,feather,running and double running stitches.  In addition there is French knots, cross stitch and Roumanian stitch....  

As you can see (just about) the decorative needlework is a syllabus for A graded course in primary and secondary schools at the time. The book I have bought is the third revised addition 1962. 

The pin book pictured above is Embroidery stitches book 2 and is really beautiful, there are coloured pictures and instructions  with stitches such as Stem stitch, whipped back stitch and threaded back stitch. And a little section on items that can be made such as nightdress cases, cushions, work bag, tray cloth and a toy elephant!

The yellow and final book is  book five and is more complicated with
the stitches such as bullion knot, cretan stitch and  flat stitch and interlacing instructions.  There is a black and white photo of a embroidered child's party dress and the stitches include French knots, eyelet holes, hemstitch and fly stitch....  There is even a decorated lampshade for the home!

I am thrilled with my  vintage purchases and they will live happily in my needlework room on my ever growing collection of books.  I love to treasure hunt and when I find such treasures It makes me smile......

I am off now to my stitching room and I have three work baskets on the go.  I have been inspired by the embroidery so I think I will be doing some of that today.  I finished my article for Pretty Nostalgic so it is work on the book time....

Happy Stitching!

Tuesday 27 January 2015

Vintage loom bobbins and Thread mill shuttles

Warp threads are thicker than the weft, and made of a coarser wool as well. I think of them as like wives. Their work is not obvious - all you can see are the ridges they make under the colourful weft threads. But if they weren't there, there would be no tapestry.

My lovely purchase vintage loom bobbins.

The development of mills to mechanise the weaving process was more gradual partly because of the success of John Kay's 1733 invention of the flying shuttle, which increased the productivity of domestic hand loom weavers. Kay took out a patent for the application of water power to a Dutch loom in 1745 and opened a weaving factory in Keighly in 1750, but nothing is known of its success.A further attempt to mechanise the weaving process took place at Garrett Hall in Manchester in 1750 but was unsuccessful in enabling one worker to operate more than a single loom. The first feasible power loom was patented by Edmund Cartwright in 1785, although it was initially a primitive device it established the basic principle that would be used in powered weaving until the 20th century. In 1788 Cartwright opened Revolution mill in Doncaster which was powered by a Boulton and Watt steam engine and had 108 power looms on three floors as well as spinning machinery, but it was not a commercial success and closed in 1790.  A second mill using Cartwright's machinery, opened in Manchester in 1790 but was burned to the ground by hand loom weavers within two years. By 1803 there were only 2,400 power looms operating in Britain

Richard Arkwright's first 1771 Cromford Mill in Derbyshire, with three of its original five storeys remaining

This is a picture of the loom bobbins at work.  I have bought some with original thread still in place and some with no cotton at all.

I have an idea for them and they will feature in my book hopefully....

When I saw them I thought oh they look like ..... and thought I would have a go and see if it would work.

Adoring history myself not just in vintage fabrics for example but in genealogy as well ( I have got back to the 1600's on my Dads side) I also enjoy the history of anything to do with industry.  Cottons, weaving and all the trades that are dying off in our country.  If I can take a piece of that wonderful history and breathe new life into it and make it into a thing of beauty that someone will treasure, well quiet frankly that pleases me a lot.

In addition to buying these wonderful loom bobbins I also purchased some antique thread mill shuttles.

I have a great idea for those as well.  I have used one in my home for something and thought that that might be a great idea for the book as well.
The shuttles were to move some bobbins along the weaving. They are beautiful wood and it would be a shame not to utilize them in some way... 

I hope you have enjoyed a little history into the world of weaving and I also hope you like seeing the beautiful wooden bobbins and shuttles......

Happy Stitching!

Pretty paisley's and embroidery threads!

Methinks it is a token of healthy and gentle characteristics, when women of high thoughts and accomplishments love to sew; especially as they are never more at home with their own hearts than while so occupied.  ~Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Marble Faun, 1859

I am this morning surrounded by beautiful things (at least they are to me) I have an array of stunning vintage fabrics laid out and some stunning hand dyed shaker embroidery threads.

I have to finish my stitching for the article in Pretty Nostalgic magazine (deadline tomorrow, no pressure there!) and then I am going to sort through and find just the right materials for my next project.

These paisley fabrics are some of my most favourite and actually even if you cut out something quiet small you can still see a pattern in the fabric and I do believe it is one of the reasons I love it so much, that and the fact that it is normally time washed so it it is soft and slightly faded and looks so beautiful.... I am sure this love affair of mine will last all my life!

Also with paisley fabrics they tend to blend with one another beautifully and you find it is easy to match several of them without it looking like a flowery mess....

I am off to my first vintage fair in February and hope to find some more there.  The first Vintage Bazaar in March I have asked a couple of stall holders who I know very well now and have become friends with, to bring all the paisley they have for me to look at ..... That should keep me very busy for a while!!
I have to report that my new mother of pearl embroidery scissors that I have recently bought are really really good, not only are they beautiful eye candy but they really are very sharp and the blade is pointed at the end so that it can get into little corners easily, I am thrilled with them.

 Sajou do other embroidery scissors and I think I will be getting some for a present for a friend, if you love to embroider then these are for you.  They say the more you use them that they actually mould to your own fingers and hand to be very comfortable and I can quiet believe it.

I have been looking at the glass bead pins on there website and I would like to get some of those as well.  I think it is time to write a list for my visit in September and then go armed with oxygen so that I do not hyperventilate when I walk in the shop!!

Well I am away to my stitching and whilst I do that I can keep looking at the paisley pile and the threads I have laid out, that way I can decide whilst embroidering and then be able to start straight away (I might have to have a stroke of it all first though before I put what is not needed away again!)  Any fabric addicts out there like me will totally understand that last statement!!

Have a great day and Happy Stitching!!

Monday 26 January 2015

My News....

My days are going quickly and I am extremely busy.  I am finishing an article for Pretty Nostalgic magazine for their Spring issue and the deadline is this week PLUS I am writing a craft book and of course I can not show you what I am up to with either of these things.

In between all of the above I am designing new products for my website as well as designing patterns to sell as well..... I am also doing needle felting and it has bitten me and I have the bug!!  I need several pairs of arms at the moment and lighter evenings....

With the craft book I can tell you that I have to decide what to put in there, source all the materials (being that it is vintage it takes a while) then I have to make everything up and write the instructions and the book its self..... I would like 3 of me, not sure that my husband would agree though!!

In addition to all of the above I have been bitten by the bug of needle felting and making bears and things to embellish with my Homespun Stitchworks twist and I really am enjoying it....

I am finishing work at around 5, and then needle felting for 2 hours as well as preparing dinner!

Yes I am mad but secretly enjoying myself....

It has been so very cold here on the south coast as well and I am making a hot water bottle for my back to keep me warm, such a chilly mortal am I.  Open fires, central heating and hot water bottle!! I went out to feed the birds and thought to myself, gosh I am glad I do not live in a nest!! brrrrrrrrrr

So I am away to sort my day, I hope you all have a great day....

Happy Stitching!

Saturday 24 January 2015

Stitch of the week is Granitos by Mary Corbett

Good morning all

The stitch of the week today is 'Granitos' stitch by the talented Mary Corbett.  This is another little stitch which can be used for petals for flower embroidery.  Also it can be used to fill in shapes as well.  Have a great weekend....

See how pretty this little stitch is when used for
petals on a flower in Embroidery!

Enjoy the tutorial!

Friday 23 January 2015

Needle Felting Tutorial Basics 2

Good morning

This is the second part to the needle felting tutorial, the first one went down very well indeed.  Any animal you felt can be made your own with what you choose to add to it.  Mine of course is vintage all the way and slightly whimsical in character.  I brought forward part two as yesterday I had a lot of interest and people wanting to give it a go....  I am in the middle of mine at the moment.

I have been out and about looking for pure wool fabrics to felt, vintage jumpers,scarves and gloves...
Go to your local charity shops and jumble sales and not forgetting any vintage fairs that you can go along to in your own areas....

I am enjoying this as I enjoy natural hand dyeing of vintage linens and embroidery.

Found this little lady on google, I do not know who
she should be accredited to but can you see
what can be done with felting.  It looks to me as if she
is jointed as well.  I call her a lady bear because of
the pink bow......

I hope you have a great day and enjoy the last part of needle felting.....

Happy Felting x

Thursday 22 January 2015

Professional Needle Felting Tutorial Basics1

If you go down in the woods today
your sure of a big surprise!!   

Good morning all

I thought you may like to see the needle felting tutorial  I am making some jointed animals by this method and be putting Homespun Stitchworks finishing touches to them for my up and coming website to buy.  When I was looking for some tips on shaping etc, I came across this tutorial and as I have had a few emails on the subject, though some of you may like to see it.  This is part One and I will do part Two next week......

I have been felting my own vintage wool recently as well so I have I am enjoying this slight change to make something a little different, I hope you enjoy it....

This is what can be achieved with needle felting and also you can joint your animals as well, which is what I am doing on my designs......

I really hope you enjoy this as it is different from my stitchery but you can do so much with vintage embroidery and fabric to make it different and unique..... watch this space for my designs..

Happy Felting!

Wednesday 21 January 2015

Ooooh they have arrived!! ... The most beautiful embroidery scissors!

With every snip and stitch I am in heaven!    

Yesterday after I had started to stitch, there was a knock on the door and stood before me was the postman.

I knew what I was signing for and with such excitement I gladly took my parcel inside and tried to be sedate in the opening of it ( in truth I was like a child opening presents on Christmas day!)  The stunning embroidery scissors and old fashioned pins have arrived from Sajou in France.

They are so beautiful and of course I could not wait to try my 'S' scissors out.  In the parcel were two gifts as well, a mouse mat shaped like a cotton reel end and a free cross stitch pattern of all the scissors that they make.........  I think I may stitch my ones and make a little case for them with the pattern on the front.

I took my scissors to my sewing room and what a pleasure they are, not only a thing of pure beauty but useful and very very sharp and easy to handle.

They are very well looked after and a prized  possession of mine and another reason to rush off to my stitching! not that I need any more reason than I love what I do....

As I think I told you, I would love to go to Versailles this year for a long weekend and having discussed it with my husband I can inform you that we will indeed be going later in the year for a long weekend.  I will be able to wander the palace and wonder at the tapestries and painting and we will hire bicycles to ride around the vast grounds that is Versailles.  In addition right next door to the palace is the showroom and shop of Sajou so I will be in saving hard to be able to get some wonderful goodies in there.  I am excited to be going as we are not going to New England until next year, our friends are visiting us so we can show them some of our wonderful sights on the South Coast of England and the Jurassic coastline....

Happy Stitching!

My beauties!! aren't they divine!
Mother of pearl with 'S' handles........

Tuesday 20 January 2015

Antique Samplers .... always an inspiration to me!

On this fair sampler does my needle write.
Whitney Antiques
Samplers and historic embroideries.

I can loose myself in antique sampler the same way as I can in looking at a Monet painting!  I positively drown myself in them.  The vintage samplers are so detailed and many of them stitched by very young ladies indeed.

Because I love to stitch samplers as part of my work, it is wonderful to take inspiration from very old pieces.  The samplers that I stitch are not all cross stitch or embroidery but with applique as well, and of course a sampler does not just have to have ABC's or 123's either, it can have sayings and poems as well.

I had a wonderful book from my husband for Christmas and it is called 'on this fair sampler does my needle write' and was taken from an exhibition by Whitney Antiques... it is simply stunning.

There are lots of different samplers and I would like to share one with you.

Martha Smith 1836

This sampler is worked on cream wool in cross stitch, stem and long and short stitch with wonderful silk threads, fine wools and chenille, which gives texture and variety.

At the bottom of this sampler is a pastoral scene and has an embroidered shepherdess.  The verse is called On early Religion.  The pious sentiments expressed echo religious beliefs of the time.  Children of this era were not shielded from the grim realities of early death but actually prepared for it.

Although I am not keen on samplers with extreme religious undertones I do love to look at the embroidery of them, and this one is stunning.

You can see all the different colours and stitches used to bring this to life!

This book has really rather fine examples of beautiful stitching and has been such a pleasure to read and look at.  I can highly recommend it.  You can get it on Amazon.

So I am away to my stitchery now on yet another very cold day, but I am warm and cosy here and enjoying every stitch that I take.....

Happy Stitching!

Monday 19 January 2015

A little bit of history of textiles......

Did you know that by the Act of 1774 all cotton cloth could legally be sold and printed for use in Britain?  but it had to have three blue threads woven into the selvedges of the cotton of English manufactures to identify it for payment of duty, this continued and was dropped in 1811.

I find the history of our textiles so fascinating and thought you may as well.  Some of the facts will help you identify ages of some fabrics if you are searching at jumble sales or vintage fairs.

Damask is a patterned textile with one warp and one weft in which the design is formed by a contrast of binding systems which give shiny warp face areas and matte weft areas.  In its classic form it is reversible and the contrast is produced by the warp and weft faces of the same weave.

Glazed cottons has a shiny surface achieved by various chemical or physical finishing processes. This is lost when washed.... often found on unused eiderdown fabrics! so could be between 1920 -1950.

Clouds .. silks printed on the warp before weaving were called 'clouds'in England and chine in France.  They were specially fashionable in the second half of the 18th Century.  When woven, the colour printed on the warp is muted by the uncoloured weft, hence the name.

Demy Chinz in the mid 18th Century the 'half chinz' was composed of red, blue and yellow, which could be overprinted to produce other colours but lacked the extra reds and pruples of the 'whole chinz'.  By the early 19th Century the term 'demy' or 'demi-chinz' had a more restricted range, fewer than five colours, and was often used to denote the 'drab' style, with no reds at all.

Some of the above will be helpful when you are looking at fabrics, I will also do a blog about early manufactures as well which might prove useful for you.

I hope you have a great Monday and have a great day!

Happy Stitching!

Vintage damask samples.

Vintage eiderdown fabric with the protective layer on.
You can see the shine, when washed it disapears but
has protected the fabric.  Last year I bought 3metres
of green paisley if you remember.. what a find!

Saturday 17 January 2015

Cast-On Stitch by Mary Corbett

Good morning all.

Stitch of the week today is Cast-On stitch by the ever talented Mary Corbett.  This is a great stitch for embroidering raised flowers as you will see.  Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy this tutorial.

This is wonderful for raised petals in embroidery!


Friday 16 January 2015

Adorable fabrics, buttons and threads!

I am happy to report that my article stitching for Pretty Nostalgic magazine is coming along now.  I had to choose some fabrics for the article header and therein was the problem, which ones to use!

Anyway it is coming along nicely and all set up and I can stitch by the fire with it now, which is a blessing as it has been a dreadful week for weather here on the South Coast!

Then I can turn my attention fully to making my mermaid sampler and also getting ready with other projects that have a deadline as well.

I must say I enjoy writing articles to go into magazines and so far I have done far more of that for American magazines than here in my home country, so this opportunity to be in the best vintage magazine has been a great experience.

Now a little news.... I am writing a craft book!! yes and have been working on it last year as well.  I had no trouble in deciding what to include ( well not really) then of course I have had to find the materials for the projects and of course writing it and I am stitching for it as well.... Not to mention other work that I must do and commissions......  I will update you monthly as to how it is going.

That has been a problem with not being able to show you pictures of what I am actually stitching, so do please forgive the secrecy and the cloak and daggers!  Hopefully all will be revealed later this year.  I have a huge work schedule laid out before me and really must work very hard indeed, but it is something that I am passionate about and would like to achieve, to get people making pretty things for themselves and as gifts for other....

I can not believe that is the end of the second week back from the Christmas break!! where does time go to I wonder.  Writing my blogs and emails and articles takes several hours of my day and I suppose the early sunsets in Winter months do nothing to help.  I tend to working longer days in the Summer months...

Anyway have a wonderful weekend and don't forget that tomorrow is the stitch of the week.....

Happy Stitching!

Thursday 15 January 2015

Vintage fair withdraw symptoms .... so good news!

It seems such a long time ago that I went to a vintage fair, mingling with all like minded people, catching up with great friends and of course buying some great vintage goodies.

Christmas has been and gone and is all packed up, 2015 is in full swing and the dates for this years events are coming in.  Listed below are the first two that I know of.  Personally I can not wait, for me this is not only work but socialising with other vintagers!

I have some dates for your diaries so here goes....

Pamphill village Hall
BH21 4ED

Admission 50p
9.30am - 3pm

The above is a picture of Pamphill Church and the avenue that leads to it, It is a beautiful village with a Diary shop and cafe and of course the village hall a little way along.  Stunning venue for a vintage rummage!

fabulous collectables will be found at Fab Fair’s The Amazing Vintage Clear Out Sale on Saturday 14th February in Pamphill. in Wimborne at the village hall.

Also the first Vintage Bazaar of 2015 is being held in Devizes

Saturday 7th March
9.30 - 3.30
£2 admission

The Corn Exchange
SN10  1HS

I simply can not wait for these two dates. There will be  all the great names attending and promises to have some wonderful vintage goodies for sale.  I am making a list already.

Plus the night before the Pamphill event one of the stall holders attending who has become a wonderful friend, is staying with us the night before so that weekend is going to be a great one!
Vintage to Victorian is the name of this wonderful stall and the goodies on there are always amazing PLUS The Washerwoman will be there as well and lots more amazing names.....

Have a great day and Happy Stitching!

Wednesday 14 January 2015

The Maison Sajou

Memories are stitched with love

As you all know by now my love of vintage and stitchery know no bounds.  I simply am at my happiest working away in my stitching room or sketching and designing.

I love to buy vintage products to use but also enjoy buying tools to apply my trade, and Oh Boy! have I found the most wonderful place in France ...  The Maison Sanjou.

I have just ordered the most amazing pair of embroidery scissors that you can imagine.  I love using beautiful things in my work and to apply my trade.  I enjoy working with delicate vintage fabrics that honestly sometimes take my breathe away, wondering at my lovely embroidery threads and mother of pearl buttons that I purchase to use in my designs.  So it stands to reason when you see an amazing pair of embroidery scissors that I felt and so did my husband, that a purchase was necessary, in fact he has bought them for me.

mother of pearl with an S.
The S is for Sajou but I like to think it
is for my name: Sarah.

I can not wait for them to arrive. There is a great story to this website and stitchery book which is written by Frederique Crestin-Billet.

Frederque Crestin-Billet

She says that the rebirth of Maison Sajou was the direct result of the long term love of haberdashery and collectables.  She has written a lovely book and to be honest with you just to look through it is a wonder, my kind of book.

She has opened a website and you can go on there and look at all the wonderful goodies for sale.  There is some vintage and other haberdashery based on vintage such as the scissors, thimbles and pins.

Her idea was to offer products that were not only made in France, but also originated from their historical regions of manufacture.  Textiles, threads from Northern France and ribbons from Saint-Etienne with scissors from Haute-Marne. 

Not only is there a website but a small showroom in Versailles just next to the palace and this is on my wish list as a long weekend stay.  I have been to Versailles before but another visit is on the to do list, especially with haberdashery goodies in walking distance of seeing all those beautiful tapestries and furnishings and the delicate embroidery on show!

This is the sewing book which I had for
Christmas that started this pure love of
these products.

This is a really lovely book and I am thrilled with it reading all about the original Sajou and the products....

I hope you have enjoyed the little insight and please check out their website, it is wonderful.

Hope you have a great day and Happy Stitching!

Tuesday 13 January 2015

Magazine work

Buttons and patches and the cold wind blowing,
The days pass quickly when I am sewing.

Good morning all and brrrrrr it's cold outside!

Oh am I glad that I work at home on a day like to day, the wind and the rain and the cold makes me so pleased that I do what I do and love doing it!

I feel so sorry for the folk in Scotland at the moment with the weather that is battering them and lots still without electricity as well.

I am busy today working on an article for Pretty Nostalgic magazine ( Spring Issue).  I am writing an article for the magazine and also stitching for the pages that I will be on .... all exciting stuff!

My article is about there and just a few adjustments for me to make and then it will be taking some photo's and doing some art work ( in the form of stitching).

This will be taking up my day today as I watch the trees bending and the rain going sideways.  It makes me so happy in my stitching room or by the open fire.

In addition to this I will be cutting out some fabrics for this and choosing some stunning buttons.... Look out for the Spring issue of this beautiful all British magazine on the shelves soon.  I will of course let you know the date when I know it.   This delicious magazine has all sorts of wonderful articles and ' how to' information.  The ethos of this great publication is to waste less, appreciate more, spend wisely.  The Editor and owner of this magazine is Nicole and she urges her readers to be creative and have a sustainable living inspired by the past.  Up-cycling and vintage fabrics, buttons and use our skills to make do and mend..... This is a magazine not to be missed.
You can also take out a subscription which then means the magazine pops through your letter box.... and on days like today that is a happy piece of mail to have with your morning coffee!!

Have a great day and Happy Stitching! 

Look out for this stunning magazine!

Monday 12 January 2015

Rare Coates box of buttons

Buttons and patches and the cold wind blowing,
The days pass quickly when I am sewing.

Good morning all and I hope you had a great weekend.

My weekend started well as there was a knock on the door and the postman stood there with a parcel for me.

I had bought on Ebay a rare box that was from Coates the stitching company and it was full of vintage mother of pearl buttons.....

As you know if you are a regular reader of my blog and have been reading for a good while now that Coates has a special place in my heart.  My lovely friend and neighbour who died last year used to work for them and was a mine of information to be and always interested in anything stitchery related.  I miss him terribly and wish also that I could take the box round and he could probably told me more about it as well.  I like to think of him looking down upon my purchase with a smile....

Today I am going to be continuing with getting my mermaid picture ready to stitch and also I am going to be cutting out the letters for my Homespun Stitchworks banner....

My day is sorted as when the light fades I will be going through my little box and sorting all the buttons to see what I have.

What a happy day, what ever you are doing I hope yours is happy also!

Happy Stitching!

This is the little Coates box.

This is the inside of the box with all the stunning buttons 
for me to sort through later.....

Saturday 10 January 2015

Scroll Stitch ..... Stitch of the week! by Mary Corbett

Well for the Stitch of the week for 2015 I have chosen the Scroll Stitch, it really is very very pretty and would make a great border or embellishment for a table cloth maybe.

The talented Mary Corbett walks us through step by step.

Enjoy and Happy Stitching!

Such a beautiful stitch!
Watch the tutorial by Mary and learn
this lovely stitch for yourself...

Friday 9 January 2015

A Fishy Tail !

“I am a creature of the Fey
Prepare to give your soul away
My spell is passion and it is art
My song can bind a human heart
And if you chance to know my face
My hold shall be your last embrace

Yesterday, as you know, i was having to decide which of the four fabrics to choose for my Mermaids tail..... then a curve ball hit! yes could there be a fifth choice!! Oh dear.

Well I have bought some more fabrics and awaiting to take delivery of them you see, and I took a closer look at at one and thought 'that could be good' too! so there was more deliberation on the matter.

But I decided to settle on my first choice.  So yesterday after a shaky start, went well.

I managed to finalise my choice of fabric, draw the pattern for my mermaids tail, cut it out of my fabric and also finish writing an article for a magazine!

So now I have to get my mermaid picture for stitching by stitching the tail onto vintage French linen and drawing the rest of the design for embroidering.  

In addition to all that I need to design a banner for my business and stitch it ready for use by the end of the month..... it is all go here!

Today is all about the above so it will be a busy day, but productive now that the deliberation has been solved.

The weekend is upon us so do not forget it is the stitch of the week tomorrow and have a wonderful weekend.

Have a great day what ever you are doing and Happy Stitching!

Thursday 8 January 2015

Siren of the Sea

Thou rememberest since once I sat upon a promontory
and heard a mermaid on a Dolphins back
uttering such dulcet and harmonious breath
that rude sea grew civil at her song
and certain stars shot madly from their spheres
to hear the sea-maids music!

William Shakespeare 

Choices choices choices!

I am working on my mermaid sampler at the moment, at least getting it ready to do the hand stitching and embroidery so that when it grows cold and dark, I can retreat to my open fire and cosy down with a warm drink and carry on.

I thought I knew which fabric I wanted to use for her stunning fabric tail but now I am unsure!! grrrr

I do not want to cut one out and think oh no, should have used this one or that one.  I am so looking forward to starting this project but I do not want to make a mistake.

I have an article to write for a British vintage magazine and photos to take so I am busy as the deadline is this month but I am also eager to get stitching!

I have decided on the the sampler words so that is finalised (not the words above) so now it is decision time today.....

I will show you the four candidates, yes four!!!

This is the original  contender! and I think the winner.

I love the blues and greens in this one!

The green in this is stunning with little splashes of blue!

Then you see there this stunner!!

As you can see I have  a awful lot of thinking to do, but I have pinned them on my tailor dummy and then kept going and looking and walking away and then going back....

So this is my job today then when I have cut her tail out I can then pin it on ready to stitch and draw the rest of her to embroider and the saying and I will be away!

I hope whatever you are doing today that you have a great day! I will let you know tomorrow how it went today....

Happy Stitching!

Wednesday 7 January 2015

A little too early off the block!

Yesterday I braved the cold and set off around some charity shops in the area. My first mission was not as successful as I had hoped but did yield some goodies!

I found a granny blanket in crochet and a jumper. 

I was told they had lots of bits in but had not gone through it all and priced it. 

Nevertheless I am happy with my treasure... I am going to make another trip on Friday to look again and see what I can see.

I am going to felt the wool jumper to cut up and use and the crochet granny blanket is mine as a lap blanket.

I am also sorting my business diary today and making sure I have all my deadline dates in for magazine work, after which I am going to be cutting out my mermaid tail for a sampler I am doing.

My design book is brimming with new ideas and designs so it is a case of nuckling down and getting on with the stitching. 

Open fires are blazing here by 3 ish and then I move myself there with my hand stitching and embroidery until it is time to stop.

I hope you all have a great day and I am off to my stitching room.

Happy Stitching!