Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Crewel Work, Christmas Cross Stitch, and Knitting

Hello my friends,

I trust you have all had a thoroughly enjoyable Christmas.

I'm linking to Super Mom - No Cape's Vintage Embroidery Monday & Stitchery Link Party


Crewel Work

This is a semi finish, and I do feel like dancing, having made it thus far!

I was intending making this embroidery into a cushion, and was going to use some blue velvet as a border around it ..... thought I knew exactly where the velvet was ..... and then I realised that in the summer we had had a clear out ready for decorating, and what happened .... I gave that piece of fabric away! Doh!

Now I shall have to think again about what to use to make my cushion!

Finished flower!
Little flower finished too!
I really struggled with this, and I don't think
it is quite right,but I'm happy enough with it!

Main flower head

You can find details of stitches and more
 in my previous posts filed,
strangely enough, as "Crewel Work!"

This was a project my local handicraft group were working on, and I hadn't initially intended to join in! However, once I started I became happily immersed in my stitching, so much so I have 3 books on the subject currently sitting on my coffee table - one library book, and two books that were recommended by Mary Corbett of Needle'n Thread. I have talked about Sheila Armour's book previously.  The second book Mary reviewed was  Crewel Embroidery in England by Joan Edwards - click on the link to see Mary's review.  I haven't had time to read the book thoroughly yet, but even DH was impressed with the historic information it contained!

I hope that wasn't too much information - once I start I can't stop!


Christmas stitchery

I stitched these cross stitch pictures a while ago, but as I haven't shared any cross stitch for a while I thought I would feature these pictures today:

Margaret Sherry pattern.
A Margaret Sherry pattern from
CrossStitcher magazine
Cake band.
My cake band awaiting its cake....
I will probably use the following two for Christmas cards next year.
    Christmas card picture.
    Second Christmas card picture



Plus, I'm sure you have noticed, I like variety, and have started working on  a new project!

Unfortunately I spotted this wool on our recent trip to the local stitching supply shop, and I couldn't resist buying it as I really needed a new waistcoat.
Recent wool purchase -  Kiko by Sirdar.
The wool looked so pretty, I couldn't help but buy it!
Kiko by Sirdar.
The colour in the photo is not strictly true to life, but it is close enough!


Did you do any crafting over Christmas? ?

BTW: Don't forget to visit Super Mom - No Cape's Stitchery Party to see what others are making.

Thank you for visiting today, and I wish you all a Happy and Healthy New Year.


Barbara xx

Thursday, December 24, 2015

A lovely surprise!

Hello Dear Readers

Last Saturday Darling Hubbie and I had to go out shopping -  I needed more white embroidery thread to finish my Christmas stitchery (which is still not finished unfortunately!) and while we were out we went to a lovely little Tea Room (eBear's Attic Tea Room & Charity Boutique) a few doors away from the sewing shop!

Embroidered Christmas Tree
For anyone who may not have seen my tree
 before this was stitched from a pattern found
 on Super Mom - No Cape's blog

It was hard to find somewhere to sit, it was so busy. They make such lovely lunches, snacks, and treats, and people get there early to eat the wonderful jacket potatoes!  We had to settle for toasted sarnies which are also delicious, but I had really wanted one of their jacket potatoes - they are cooked properly in the oven, not in a microwave!

While we were there we bought some raffle tickets. We didn't consider that we might win, we just wanted to put some money into their funds as its for a charity - aadc research trust, for children with a rare brain disease (we had not heard of the charity before but their website explains in detail about the very worthwhile charity). We knew the raffle would be drawn on Tuesday, and we were really surprised when later we had a message on the answerphone to say we had won their gingerbread house.

The following day on collection of the gingerbread house the staff told us that other people collecting their prizes had asked if they could have the gingerbread house in place of what they were offered.

We were totally impressed with the size of this homemade gingerbread house, and couldn't believe how incredible the detail was in its creation.  Even the boundary fence around the garden is a lovely chocolate covered toffee.  However, we have so far resisted nibbling at it.

The gingerbread house is approximately 12" wide by 15" long and approximately 11" tall, and was quite heavy to carry!

Gingerbread House
Its a gorgeous cake, but it was difficult to picture it properly.

Gingerbread House, view 2
I wanted to keep the cover on it to protect it,
but that did make it hard to photograph

Gingerbread House - view 3
The cow bells are really pretty, and surprisingly heavy!

Gingerbread House, view 4

Gingerbread House, view 5
The back of the house.

Gingerbread House - View 6
Trying to show the side of the house a little better.

Our new front door!
Just a quick picture of our new front door,
with our first ever Christmas Wreath!

It only remains for me to wish you all 

A Very Happy Christmas!

I hope you all have a super time!

and I look forward to seeing you all again in the New Year.


Barbara xx

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Winter Solstice Plus 1 Day!

Hello Friends, old and new, alike!

Thank you for popping by to see my little blog.

Don't be alarmed or shocked - yes, I have changed my header!

I hope the picture quality is clear enough for you to see it properly.

Is it my imagination, or are the days drawing out already? This picture was taken at 16.24 today.

I send you Seasons Greetings and I hope to post again, this side of Christmas!


Barbara xx

Monday, December 14, 2015

Mid-December stitching

Hello Dear Readers,

I'm sorry I've been quiet for a while!

I meant to post last Monday - but missed my deadline!

Then Tuesday I found I couldn't get warm all day no matter how many heaters we had on, or sweaters or blankets I wrapped around me! By Wednesday I found out why! Without going into too much detail I have been suffering with the winter tummie virus, so I trust you all have your anti-virus programmes switched on, otherwise you might catch it!!

Truthfully, Darling Hubbie has suffered most, as he has had to take over all the shopping, cooking and household duties, not to mention looking after our very demanding little madam cat!

For the whole week I didn't feel in the mood for sewing or for looking at the computer screen for more than 10 minutes at a time - maybe I have that Cyber sickness I've seen reported in the news, too!

So this is what I had intended to post last week!

1.  Crewel Work - nearly there!
Crewel work flower - long and short stitch.
Chain, split and long and short stitch
It took me a long while to stitch this tiny flower. The chainstitch was fine but I hadn't stitched long and short stitch before and I really struggled to get to grips with it! I have since ripped out these stitches and restitched this part of the flower.

Then, one day last week, when I was laying in bed feeling proper poorly, I heard the post drop through our letter box onto the hall floor with a resounding thump - I was much cheered as I guessed the noisy object was the book I had been waiting for! And I am now the proud owner of a copy of Crewel Embroidery - A Practical Guide, by Shelagh Amor.

It is a little too late to help me with this flower, but I do have other ideas for Crewel work in the future.

2.  Patchwork Mini Thread Catcher:
Quilting my mini thread catcher.
A little bit of quilting! This is masking tape, easy to remove,
and easy to stitch alongside.

Quilting - close up.
Not perfect, but I do love quilt lines!

3.  My Christmas project::

I was really pleased when I saw this lovely Christmas Tree was one of Super Mom -No Cape's Vintage Stitchery PDF's. I haven't stitched all the branches from the original pattern, as I was going to add some Christmas Decoration buttons - unfortunately the buttons are a little large for the tree so I am not using them.

tree - DMC 6 strands
I used DMC blanc in 6 strands
For those who don't quilt, the safety pins are quilting safety pins, for basting. I probably bought them about ten years ago, so maybe everyone is using adhesive now, I don't know, but I still use these and they do a good job.

removing tracing paper from Christmas tree
As my heat transfer pencil wouldn't be
visible on red (being pink) I traced the pattern,
in pencil onto tissue paper and stitched
over the pattern.
Tree - after removing stitches
I had forgotten how hard it is to remove
tissue paper from between stitches!
Tree with stars and french knots
Starting to add some french knots and
stars around the tree.

Thank you for visiting my blog today, and I hope you would like to say "hello" and then I can visit you too!

I'm linking to Super Mom - No Cape, why not pop over to see what everyone else has been making this week and see the lovely free Christmas PDF that Sue has for us.

Must dash, I'm off to write some Christmas cards!


Barbara xx

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Crewel Work

Hello Dear Reader,

Thank you for popping by.

I have spent some time since last week completing the main flower head, and now have the French Knots in the correct colour!

Flower head

Perhaps pale green wasn't the best colour to use for the grid on the second leaf - seemed like a good idea at the time!

Leaf and grid
Wasn't sure how to tackle this leaf,
but I stitched the grid first, and then
surrounded it with three rows of chain stitches 
Close up of leaf and grid
A little closer!

Then I hit a stumbling block on the last flower! 

Shelagh Amor's picture, which is guiding my stitches, shows Long and Short stitch, on the bell shape flower, which I want to try out but can't quite fathom how!

Shelagh Amor's pattern
Picture from Shelagh Amor's book

I know the theory but the photo I'm following appears to show the tiniest amount of shading at the top of the area to be stitched, and I just can't get my head around how to start. No doubt I will work it out. I've looked at many examples but they don't seem to be stitching in the same direction as my flower!

Last flower
Last flower: I stitched the outline in split stitch,
and embroidered pink chain stitches.

Having thought about this some more, and looked at yet another book on the subject, I have decided I will start just above the pink flower where it meets the lower edge of the bell shape, and I understand the stitches should slant towards the stem.

Close up of last flower

Apart from my crewel work I have managed a few stitches on Izzy's dress:

Izzy's dress
This is part of the dress I am making for my doll (Izzy).

I find I can't embroider without the support of a frame, can you? So, as the stitching was an afterthought, I had to use a picture frame to support the embroidery - just hoping I can iron the creases out after stitching!

I have also spent a few minutes on my thread catcher.

Thread catcher
It is a while since I quilted and I almost forgot I had
 these pins for basting!

That's all for now and I haven't even looked at my Christmas stitching yet!

I hope you would like to say "Hello", then I can visit you too!

Have a great week.


Barbara xx