Dresses, quilts and more….

Despite my lack of recent blog posts, I actually have been doing quite a bit of preparation and stitching!  I’ve been fighting with my overlocker so the hot pink tartan miniskirts are on hold, so in the meantime I have cut out four new dresses (two for a friend, one for myself and one for my mother-in-law’s belated mother’s day present):

photo 1 photo 2 photo 3(1) photo 3 photo 4

I’ve also finished a skirt for myself:

photo 2(1)and gotten underway with an embroidered lingerie bag for a friend to use on her upcoming travels:

photo 1(1)Oh, and nearly forgot, started on two Christmas presents as well – little lap quilts:

photo 4(1) photo 5So, there you go – I’ve been busy but with a whole heap of boring preparation and background work.  I’ll hopefully have more to update in the next day or two.

Happy stitching!



Deerfield Embroidery

As part of a Home Study Course I’m completing in crewel embroidery, through the Embroiderer’s Guild NSW, I completed a Deerfield piece inspired by a project in Inspirations issue #56.

photo 1(1) photo 2(1) photo 3 photo 4

I’m not ordinarily a “blue” person, in all honesty it is probably one of my least favourite colours.  BUT for some unexplainable reason, I LOVE Deerfield embroidery which is primarily blue on white.  I received my assessment back from the teacher and I was again praised for my stitches and tension control in my embroidery.  In this piece I experimented a little with using negative spaces/minimal stitch use and thankfully, that gamble paid off.  The teacher’s comments to this effect were:

“…you observed the tonal values of the blues from very dark to very light create a wonderful effect of light, shade and perspective…”

“…I note that you wished to experiment with minimal stitch use and the result is very appealing, I like it very much – for the pattern of open seeding stitches used on the body, the solid New England Laid stitches on the wing and around the neck, and the solid satin and French knots in two of the three circles [berries]…”

I’m pretty happy with my progress in this course so far.  Hopefully I can clear up this sinus infection that I yet again have, so that I can get cracking with my next module.

Lessons for today

I learnt a few lessons today.  Mainly, the groceries you ordered online WILL be delivered when:  a) you are still in your pjs; b) your teething, tired baby decides she really is tired and ready for a bottle and a nap; c) your crazy cat finds a fly and runs riot through the house knocking down a full glass of water, the recycling box on the bench and who knows what else; and d) the iron starts beeping and yelling at you for leaving it alone for too long…  Oh, and it doesn’t matter how long you spend staring at the bookshelf, you will NOT find Season 1 of Downton Abbey if the spine is facing the wrong way…  More on my current Downton Abbey fascination in a later post as this has something to do with an upcoming project.

Anyway.  Moving on.  An embroidery lesson follows for you:

I thought I’d share with you a neat way to start and end your embroidery with a waste knot.  My ulterior motive for doing this is also the fact that my lovely enthusiastic mother in law has offered to help me stitch some samples for new designs I have created, and I need to teach her how to start with a waste knot.

Start by threading your needle and putting a firm knot in the end of the tail (see photo #1)

Take your needle through the front of the fabric, about 2-3 inches away from where you need to start, so that your knot at the end of the tail is sitting on the front of your fabric (see photo #2)

Bring your needle up through the back of the fabric at the starting point (see photo #3) and stitch as you need to, until you only have about 2-3 inches left of thread.  Then take your needle to the back of the fabric (see photo #4) and weave the end of the thread over and under at least three or four stitches to secure it (oops, I forgot to take a photo of this step! But see below steps for similar photo)

Clip off the waste knot at the front of the fabric and discard the knot (see photo #5) and turn your fabric over.  The remaining tail will be there (see photo #6).  Thread the tail in your needle (see photo #7) and weave the end of the thread over and under at least three or four stitches to secure it (see photos #7, #8, #9 and #10).  Trim the end once this is complete  (see photo #11)  Voila!  A neat back with the start and ends of your threads!

(Oh, and a further lesson for today – you may wonder why I have a bandaid on my finger in the photos below – well, who would have thought, it turns out that newly sharpened dressmaking scissors are actually really sharp and can cut your finger!)

I have finally been able to pick up my new sewing/reading glasses and hope the Christmas decorations will be finished over the weekend.  I have also made some progress on the Sweetcakes quilt and will post an update later on.IMG_2498 IMG_2499 IMG_2500 IMG_2501 IMG_2502 IMG_2503 IMG_2504 IMG_2505 IMG_2506 IMG_2507 IMG_2508


Sneak Peek…. Embroidery pattern coming soon


Here is a sneak peek of a pattern which will be available soon for purchase in hard copy.  It will be a simple stitchery using very simple stitches, and will be aimed at the beginner embroiderer.

Hopefully it will provide some inspiration for those wanting to learn basic embroidery.

I hope to also make a kit available using this pattern so that a beginner can start with everything they need in one place, rather than having to go and source threads, needles and fabric.

Watch this space!