Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Country Living Article SEPTEMBER 2013

Well here it is, more about the cottage than the business but very pretty none the less. This was photographed before I had even had the first prototypes for the kits printed. The Pigeon being started ... then it got put in a cupboard because everything started to get rather busy. But working on it again now, and I think it has found a home before it has even been finished! It does not look like this now, in fact so much has changed, and amazingly I do not live in this sort of lazy idyll at all, mooching about stitching in the garden! whatever next!

It would be great if this feature gives me a bit of a surprise one way or another ... I have already had one come to think of it. Last night my call for a Girl Friday was answered in the shape of Sarah who is coming to help me once a week! I am really excited about having her here and I think it will be great fun and certainly extremely helpful! I hope I can help her too, starting with learning to crochet!

My desk and living room from the other end

Living Room and details of studio


Thursday, 25 July 2013

Shed, and Pigeon embroidery production

I love working in the shed, it gives me the feeling I am actually going out to work rather than getting up and sitting down to it in my kitchen/studio with my tea and porridge and not stopping till the jobs are done. I NEED a girl Friday, any offers? Bored graduate who loves textiles and would not mind roughing it in a quaint, beautiful, no mod cons cottage for a few months .... get in touch!

Here are some pictures of my little garden studio/shed. Biddy loves it too and sleeps behind me on the futon. Though during the heat it was all a bit much for her and she kept asking me to turn down the thermostat, which I tried explain was not really up to me, which just made her sulky and bad tempered, and refuses a licky lolly. Ruby the dog next door likes to be hosed down, with much hysterical and excitable yelping. Does make me smile!

And here some pictures of the next piece I am working on, "The Pigeon" embroidery, on the go as an infant and as it grows. It is a large piece and is tiresome to get through the machine with all the twisting and turning necessary when doing these embroideries but a couple more weeks should do it! Then I will post it!

The Etzy shop is exciting too ... There I will have one off pieces and other things, just really an alternative audience source hopefully. I feel uncomfortable about putting prices here on the blog ... but the Swallow is £110 unframed but beautifully finished with a linen backing and edges. But on Etzy I won't feel so bad. It all feels a bit spammy somehow. What do you think? I will let the world know (!) when it is all spik and span and ready to visit!

Teaching tomorrow at The Sewing Space so if your coming along I really am looking forward to meeting you and having a great day!

Embroidery on the go ...
The Pigeon being embroidered on hottest day ...
Pigeon embroidery on the go
The small but lovely interior of my summer workplace!

My own and my father's old brushes he used for his oil paintings, and an lovely old anglepoise lamp

Applique stage
Cuckoo under construction
Applique stage
First stage of laying out the Pigeon pieces. Velvet, silk, prints, ready for embroidery...

Biddy very much at the end of her tether
Biddy complaining about the heat

Rayon embroidery threads
The boxes of Rayon threads I use

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Rain, heat, pleasure and Swallow embroidery

I am writing with the blessed sound of rain on dry parched garden, great big luscious drops and it is fantastic. Yesterday I found work so hard in the shed as there is a breeze most of the day but when the sun comes round it is like a microwave, and the most I sweated (pardon me using the word) the more the  ... thunder flies stuck to me until I was almost weeping with the irritation ... little tiresome so and sos (can one swear on blogs?) The rain is lovely and I have to say I am not one for heatwaves when there is stuff to do ...
But ... I have also worked out one of the things in life which gives me enormous PLEASURE ... not half naked young men, not chocolate, not shopping for shoes, but a piece of new equipment ... ahhhh yes. On Saturday I bought a reconditioned Pfaff expression 2048 to replace my tired 15 year old one ... in part exchange which I am drooling over since, everything WORKS, it has countless new stitches to play with, and I just love it. It makes work a pleasure, eliminates the swearing and curses and it is the ultimate in stitchery satisfaction. So as a result of this purchase I can work so much better .... also same day bought three proper bras for the first time in three years! That pleasure was great also. The lady in BHS was an absolute darling who I will never forget, and thank you dear Eileen who came to help me on a very hot old day. I now have a cleavage again and feel great!

Velvet, silk, printed cotton, blues and terracotta rayon threads
Now down to business. The Cuckoo has winged it's way off to New Zealand yesterday, Rachel, I hope you enjoy him! I am on a roll now and really loving getting back to this work again. It makes me want to do kits for each design which I am thinking of .... but here is Swallow, 26cm x 17cm a machine embroidery with some hand stitching also. Old (note deliberate lack of words "vintage" and "retro") velvets, silks and own printed fabrics. The next one is The Pigeon from our poster design which I have had half finished for months, and one day would love to make into a kit, maybe for Christmas ...anyway enquiries about this embroidery to
Velvet, silk, printed cotton, blues and terracotta rayon threads

Velvet, silk, printed cotton, blues and terracotta rayon threads

Velvet, silk, printed cotton, blues and terracotta rayon threads

Velvet, silk, printed cotton, blues and terracotta rayon threads
And lastly Many Thanks to all at for a lovely feature on this great blog, which has a weekly creative review on a Tuesday, which is such a fantastic idea ... so get over there and check it out!

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Cuckoo embroidery

I have just finished this embroidery, just now this minute! Took my machine out to the shed in the garden to work with the breeze keeping me cool, as it is another baking hot day! Find I am secretly wishing for a little rain?

I was so pleased by the response to The Blue Bird and now it has a new home in Bristol ... that I have dived back into my other work which has been neglected this last two years with the stitch kit business, but I think the two will compliment each other.

So here we have Cuckoo, an old shape I love but larger and with more embellishment. It is 265 mm x 165 mm and like most of my machine embroideries is made in wool, felt, silk, and old velvets and stitched in rayon thread. I may add some hand embroidery tonight.

Hope you like it ... all enquiries via here or

machine embroidery using wool, silk, velvet

machine embroidery using wool, silk, velvet

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

What to make with Whipped Running Stitch!

The first in a collectable set of six new downloadables. This is just one of 6 designs which can be downloaded and printed onto linen of any chosen colour and made into cushions, framed pictures, bags etc, etc.

Whipped running stitch is so easy and so quick, you can use one colour for the running stitch and the whipping or contrasting for the whipping to great effect. On this design I have used satin stitch for the berries which I will post a quick tutorial for shortly. The PDF comes with full instructions to print onto linen, and how to stitch the pattern.

There are six designs to collect ... I am making them up into a cushion cover in natural linen but it will take a few weeks to complete!
Available here

perfect for cushion covers, gifts framed picture

Friday, 12 July 2013

Tutorial for Whipped Running Stitch and French Knot

Whipped running stitch is so easy and so quick, you can use one colour for the running stitch and the whipping or contrasting for the whipping to great effect.
It is wonderful for following a line on any design, which you can draw with a vanishing pen, or lightly with a pencil onto your fabric. If you can follow a pattern with running stitch you can use this stitch to make it more defined and three dimensional.

Next week I will have a new download for you where you can use these stitches ....
Tutorial for whipped running stitch
Whipped Running Stitch

Tutorial for French knot
French Knot
 Also the Blue Bird has found a new home. Thanks Anna, I hope you enjoy him!

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Blue Bird

I have not been idle, though quiet here for a week or two. There is much to do always, and many hats to wear ... designer, producer, packer, postmistress, business manager, blogger, self promoter, office dog walker, tea girl (most important job, photographer ... brain stormer ... well it does not stop.
Some days it feels as though I have achieved very little of any substance though the steps forward are great but not actually the show and tell variety. I do spend too much time on the computer sourcing, researching, emailing, and dealing with orders. But when it works it works beautifully and I would not be doing anything else. I wish I had more time to blog though ... will try to make more time.
But here I am this week think and starting to make one off embroideries again ... it has been in my mind to do so for a while and before the end of the month I hope to have several to put onto my new etzy shop ( not there yet!)
But here is my first for sale ... Blue Bird, 23 cm x 23 cm, appliqued in silks and vintage velvets also my own printed fabric scaps, machine embroidered in rayon threads ...
Please email me if you are interested. It will be unframed but packed beautifully ready to frame as you would like and a one off. Let me know what you think.
I will of course offer a free stitch kit of your choice to the purchaser!
Silk and velvet appliqued machine embroidered picture 23 cm x 23 cm
Silk and velvet appliqued machine embroidered picture 23 cm x 23 cm
Detail of Blue Bird

Silk and velvet appliqued machine embroidered picture 23 cm x 23 cm

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Happy Evening

My first teaching post op and had a lovely time at Hoop in Tenterden making those little bottle top pincushions! Vanessa has lots of lovely felts and ribbons and buttons and haberdashery sweeties for every craft crazy lady (or man of course!)
felt, thread and a bottle top

felt, thread and a bottle top
Happy couple of hours spent!