Embroidery · slow sunday stitching

Not Quite Midnight Stitching

I really shouldn’t stay up so late sewing but I have again, at least I didn’t sew a corner in and so no unpicking today.

Dorset feathery hoop

I’ve finished the outlines of the ‘pinecones’ and have started to fill them in. The book ‘Dorset Feather Stitchery’ by Olivia Pass suggests using satin stitch and feather stitch.

It shouldn’t take too much longer to finish this sample and then it will form the from cover of a needlecase.

I think I should take a leaf out of Sock’s book and go to sleep! First though I will take a peek of all the work at Kathy’s Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching why not take a look yourself

Embroidery · slow sunday stitching

Midnight Stitching

In a word – don’t. This is what happens when you do

Bad Stitching

The annoying thing is, the stitching was ok on the other side but had to be unpicked

Good Stitching right side

So I went to bed and started again in the morning with better results ha ha

Dorset Feather Stitchery worked sample close up

As you can see from the photos below I have been working from a book by Olivia Pass printed in 1957. A group of ladies from a Dorset WI (Womens Institute) had fun reviving simple stitches in a new form that they called Dorset Feather Stitchery.

 

Mostly they were inspired by the stitching decorating English smocks worn mainly in the Nineteenth century although they were worn as late as WWII in a few cases. Principally worn by male agricultural workers they were a practical and beautiful coverall – I intend to make one myself as I have another lovely old book by Alice Amess called English Smocks with Directions for Making Them. I particularly like one worn by a milk maid from Essex. As I am from Essex and have milked a few cows I think I can wear one!

You can find more about them here

Before that though, I will pop over the Slow Sunday Stitching to see what everyone else has been making, why not see for yourself!

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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

 

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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.

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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.

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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!

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