Embroidery · slow sunday stitching

Sashiko Sample Completed

Done and dusted – unless I decide to quilt it and make it into a dolly quilt.

Sashiko sample 4

Sashiko complete

I don’t have to quilt it but it would make a useful little mat to put under the fruit bowl. I managed to complete another sample too; hand-stitched reverse applique. I quite like the stepped appearance and it certainly highlights the centre. It would be a good way to mount any hand work and  this little piece of Botanique from Joel Dewsbury almost looks like embroidery.

I really must concentrate on the main assessment piece now – a wall hanging. Here are a few pages from my sketch book mostly worked from photos I took in Australia.

I made a printing block of a simple leaf shape and roughly painted it to print these

Next I will try it on fabric.

I have sketched a few possible designs but that is for another day, now it is time to link up to slow Sunday Stitching here

Embroidery · slow sunday stitching

Sashiko Number Three

The penultimate sample. The first curved one and it came out better than I thought it would.


Definately not perfect but it will do. I have also sketched out a second curved design but realise that it needs to be lowered by half an inch as it is too close to the first sample.


Again, it comes with free cat hair ha ha

One more to go and another sample finished! As a hailstorm has started outside it might be a good time to start – the snow may be gone but winter has not.


The cat has settled on my knee so I will be popping over to Kathy’s Quilts to look at everyone’s work for Slow Sunday Stitching which you can see here

What are you stitching?

City and Guilds · slow sunday stitching

Snow and Sewing

Second sashiko sample completed! Now with free cat hair!

Sashiko steps

I don’t think the cat hair really enhances it. I have also sketched out the third design, I kept changing my mind about the scale and pattern but settled on this one as I have completed two linear ones and now it is time for a curved design

Sashiko sketch

It has been a freezing week as the ‘beast from the east’ has brought wind bearing snow from Siberia. We have missed storm Emma though and today it is begining to thaw here in the South East.  I think snow encourages sewing – a good excuse to stay inside. However we did venture outside for a lovely walk in the Suffolk village of Long Melford a few days ago.


Shortly after this the wind and snow created a short-lived snow storm and we sheltered in the church of the Holy Trinity

Holy Trinity Church, Long Melford

Picturesque though the snow is I am glad to see it thawing but not as happy as the hens who haven’t been able to forage in the garden!

Now it is time to visit Kathy’s blog and see what everyone else has been creating for Slow Sunday Stitching

slow sunday stitching

Sashiko Sample

Another sample for my City and Guilds. This is the first attempt at Sashiko.


I found Sarah’s Hand Embroidery Tutorials very useful. It is all very clearly explained and illustrated. The sample came out better than I thought. I will try some more patterns as I have some time off work – good timing as heavy snow is on its way so I might just stay by the fireside!


Spring only exists indoors at the moment! I also finished the Kantha sample and love the ripple effect of the many lines of running stitch.

I am off to look at the other work on Kathys page at Slow Sunday Stitching, why not take a look for yourself and get some inspiration

slow sunday stitching

Kantha Quilting



I spent a little time today adding the quilting lines to the Kantha sample I am making for my City and Guilds portfolio – but only a little time as I have been on a Hen weekend and am a bit tired!. Originally I started with a more complicated design of cats and fish using an old pillow case. It was far too fussy and the cotton so dense it was not enjoyable to sew.


I swopped to this simple design using a piece of old linen trousers which, with its much looser weave, was much easier to sew and quickly built up the embroidery.


It is only two layers of material with no wadding but that is how Kantha is made in West Bengal and Bangladesh mainly by women in rural areas. It can be very simple and was a good way to use old saris and other fabric to make a coverlet. It can also be very decorative and ornate.


Well, I wished I had made it to the art galleries and museums in Cambridge but I seemed to have spent too much time eating and giggling. Another trip is on the cards as I missed the quilt shop too! That’s a first as I usually manage to find one wherever I go but I have been lucky enough to be given a £75 voucher for Franklins for my birthday so that makes up for it.

Think I can finish the Kantha sample tomorrow and then will start on the Sashiko one!

Farmer's Wife 1930s QAL · The Endeavourers

The Endeavourers – Nature

Well I must learn about scheduled posting so that these posts go out at the right time, still better late than never!


The theme is one I have chosen for my City and Guilds assignment too, so I have been thinking a lot about nature recently. I made a slightly ambiguous mini quilt. It could be the Sun, it could be a flower, or an anenome; such strange flower-like animals.


The background fabric was dyed using Procion dyes and the print was made from soft-cut lino. I used slightly thinned acrylic paint for the linocut and used a brush rather than a roller to have better control of the colours.


This close up really shows how much variation there is in the printing.It also shows the variegated thread. I used two; a blue, purple and green one and one of different green hues. Looking at it now a little orange would have been good. Just lately I feel more and more drawn to orange, It was one of my favourite colours as a child and I loved to put it with purple!


The binding is ice-dyed Procion which gives a lovely mottled effect.

Now it’s time for me to see what the other Endeavourers have been creating. If you would like to see for yourself just click HERE

slow sunday stitching

Out of the Hoop

Iris cross-stitchClose-up Iris Cross- StitchCross-stitch Bowl

Finally the first counted cross-stitch I have ever made is out of the hoop and ready for framing. There is a space in the guest bedroom wall waitng for it. I bought the kit years ago in charity shop as I love irises but find I don’t love counted cross-stitch. I kept making mistakes, unpicking, re-sewing until I decided to ‘adjust’ the pattern if I made a mistake. Apologies to the designer but I would never have finished it otherwise.


I finished the crazy patchwork sample, adding a bit of lace and finishing the last few seams with chevron, chain (open and closed), feather, blanket stitch of various kinds and now it is ready to go into my sample folder for City and Guilds.

I have also been working on another machine stitch project which has been taking far too long as I kept re-desgning it. I have finally made a decision and these form part of the central panel. All will be revealed but hopefully this year and not another two as it was started in January 2015. I have far too many WIPS! I bet I am not the only one….

Sometimes I think it would be easier to be Socks and sit in the sun in the garden, but then she doesn’t get to look at all the other projects over at Kathy’s Quilts Why not pop over and see for yourself



Antique smocks at the WI’s Denman College

Some beautiful examples of English antique smocking and to think this was work wear! This was posted on Marie-Louise Avery’s site which I would recommend you visit for the great recipes and beautiful photography

From the PictureKitchen

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Victorian Crazy Patchwork

I have to make a sample for my City and Guilds portfolio and I wasn’t very thrilled about it. With dark colours, black velvet, over-ornate stitching and every embroidery stitch invented it’s not my cup of tea at all.

However after a little research it seems it falls into two categories. It was a way of using up every scrap of cotton or wool by poorer people to make a quilt but women from richer classes, who had no need to work, it was another way to keep themselves occupied. With the wealth to buy rich fabrics such as silk, tulle, satin and velvet and trimmings it seems it all got a bit out of hand until the resulting patchwork was so encrusted with frills and furbelows, embroidery and beads, it was no longer a practical bedcovering and must have weighed rather a lot. It could be used to better effect for tea cosies, cushion covers or waistcoats.


As you can see I completely ignored the usual dark colours and used bright cottons. I have used feather, chevron, cretan, herringbone, and blanket stitch so far.


I’ve added one piece of lace and will add some ribbon too but maybe not buttons and beads!

The feather stitch is rather wonky as I managed to break my left thumb nail off including down on the nailbed. I didn’t realise how much my thumbnail is used to position and hold threads in place – it’s very difficult with a plaster and no nail!


Still a few more seams to cover and another sample is finished.

I am joining eveyone at Kathy’s Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching. Why not have a look at all the beautiful work which you can find here


Japanese Fabric

I don’t usually do posts just about fabric but from ordering to receiving it took only 5 days for this beautifully packaged fabric to arrive in the UK all the way from Japan.


I wanted some Alice in Wonderland fabric but not Disney as it is too bright and the wrong colours for the quilt I want to make for a special little girl. This fabric is perfect.

If you would like to order some yourself you can find it here

Can’t wait to start!