Sunday, 30 September 2012

A House in the Country

This week I have been putting together my first framed piece which will be a picture in its own right.  I was a bit nervous to make something that had no other function than to be decorative.  Everything else has been decoration on an item that already had a purpose - purses, cushions, phone cases etc.  I have done some embroidery hoop framed pictures, but they have been a collection of small images rather than a scene.  Hence my worry that a picture would have to stand up in its own right with sufficient detail and interest.

Enough delay, here is my effort........

I am quite pleased with the way it turned out and may still add more detail in the next few days.  I have had a suggestion that sheep on the hill would be a nice touch.  I also think the green in the foreground could do with some more detail.

Then again, it may be too busy if I add too much, wouldn't want to detract from those fabulously artistic chickens!

The details were particularly enjoyable to do, although the dry stone walls seemed to take forever to do.

I haven't worked out how I have managed to love sewing for over 30 years and have only just discovered  free motion embroidery or as Kirsty Allsopp calls it 'the crack cocaine of craft'!!!  It is so lovely to not have to be exact and to be able to just 'paint' on the fabric.  Kirsty is right, it is completely addictive.

Saturday, 22 September 2012


This week has been purse making week.  I have had a lovely time designing and making these pretty things and found them to be much easier than I expected to make.  I was helped massively by one particular blog post Purse Frames De-mystified by the fabulous Lisa Lam who is the Oracle on all things bag and purse related.

This first set of purses are all in some way fashion related (this was totally unintended, they just turned out that way).  They are made with silver 125mm purse frames with either a cotton or calico cotton background.  The images are applique pieces, enhanced with free motion embroidery.

Each purse has a different design on the front and back and most are linked in some way.  The design above 'Going Out' has a clutch bag design on the back.


All of the purses are lined with a complementary cotton fabric, usually featured on the outside in some way, so creating a linking theme.

I have already had interest in a couple of the purses, so I think it is time to start designing more..............  I think the next lot will be a smaller purse frame  and possibly in a rounder shape.

  Watch this space!

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

English Country Garden

This cushion was inspired by my Dad's allotment.  I thought something for gardeners would be nice.  The cushion is made from cream calico cotton and has the motifs added in applique.  I have done very simple embroidery on this piece with very little embellishment as the shapes are very distinctive in their shapes.

Moot Hall

I really like to draw buildings to decided to try and incorporate one of my favourite buildings in my next piece.  This is Moot Hall in Keswick and after sketching an outline, I used a little bit of artistic licence to add the surrounding street details before starting to embroider.  Overall, I liked the result but will need to practice more before these types of picture are up to a sellable standard.

Pride and Prejudice

This weekend I decided to try a piece based on a quote.  The obvious choice was Jane Austen so I thought I'd try to reproduce an outfit from the period as the illustration.  Instead of completing the embroidery in black as usual, I used a toning blue shade which gave the piece a much softer edge.  This is something that I will try with future pieces.

Saturday, 1 September 2012


Today my 8yo is learning to crochet.  We have invested 99p in the first issue of the new 'The Art of Crochet'" magazine and she is sitting next to me with her ball of yarn and crochet hook at the ready.  Although I have no intention of shelling out for the rest of the series, I am prepared to buy the first couple of issues to get the basics sorted.

I think I was about 12 or 13 the last time I crocheted anything.  My Nana taught me the basics and I can remember being able to make circular patches but never squares!  Perhaps we will both be learning something.

I can now report that we have successfully learned to make a chain.  We have endured one tantrum and a few tears but 8yo has forgiven me as I have promised it will not happen again!  I will add a photo of our first square when it is complete............