Finished … or am I?

I managed to finish the little canvas work sampler this week, and as I was unable to get to a sewing shop or on line – decided to keep stitching to see how much more I could get out of the kit resources. The brown ran out first, meaning that I had to resort to counting on the squares before stitching – but I think that the other coloured wools will stretch to another 25 squares! So if you ever wonder if you are provided with enough resources – you certainly are with this kit.  Now that I am home I managed to find a similar brown to tent stitch around the boxes.

One thought though – it is far more difficult to tent stitch the edges after the main stitching has been put in place – resulting in uneven looking stitches.

I have chosen to use 6 new stitches in the second square. These include (so far), byzantine stitch (a), chequer stitch (b), alternating cross stitch (c) and star stich (d). I quite like the look of the byzantine and chequer stitches as they have a smooth finish to them, but did not enjoy the alternating cross stitch – finding the edges looked messy however I tried to finish them off. Just hope that I have enough canvas at the bottom of the square for the final row!


As to my garden, well it can always be described as a bit of a jungle – but following a holiday – the jungle has got a little out of hand. The lilies have all gone over and the phlox now takes centre stage. As I cut back the dying foliage it is great to find my other artistic efforts in metal work and pottery!

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Sew and tell…..

Sew far, this holiday, we have been lucky enough to have had the sunshine with us and have enjoyed lots of long walks with the dog along the beach. The evenings have been quiet allowing time to rest and recuperate – and to do a little sewing. The canvas work is proving the perfect project as it is not too taxing on the brain. I wondered at first if I would enjoy it as I used to do a lot of tapestry work many years ago – most of which involved tent stitch, tent stitch and more tent stitch – hence the reason I stopped. But this little project uses a number of different stitches and also allows you to see how colour (and colour mixing) changes the look of each stitch.

I particularly enjoyed stitching the reversed cusion stitch and rice stitch – which can be seen in the top two boxes. Hopefully I should finish this over the rest of the week and then can think of what to do with the finished piece after that.

Finally a couple of photos of a few old birds that we have met on our travels!

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Holiday project…

Everything has come to a standstill with my goldwork bird as I cannot take it away on holiday with me – I think that many of the sections will become damaged and cracked if packed away with all my other bits and pieces. So out of the hoop it came to be replaced with a piece of canvas from the Rachel Doyle Canvas Stitches project.

This is a far more robust project and the little pack contained a selection of different coloured wools all bundled neatly into colour themes, a very generous piece of canvas and a full colour instruction booklet. Once the sun goes down I will make a start – just don’t want to spend too much time indoors when the weather is so good!

Happy holibobs everyone, and happy stitching!


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Just not cutting it!

I have been continuing with my goldwork bird whilst the rain hammers down outside (so much for the British summer!), mostly working on the cutwork leaves. From a distance they look quite tidy, but under closer inspection I am a little disappointed. I know the theory – if you cut the pieces too long they will buckle and crack, too small and you will not fill the space – but in practice I just can’t get it right!

I think I am getting the hang of s-ing, but, because of the order that we did things in, I am finding that I keep catching the little shards and causing them to crack.


I have used super lizerine  to outline the body of the bird – this is like pearl purl except finer and tougher to stretch and cut. I have learnt a lot by sewing this little piece but, as with everything, I would probably do a lot better on a second attempt.

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World Embroidery Day

How funny that my birthday was on World Embroidery Day this year – just another excuse to get a little more stitching done! I had hoped to show the finished ‘Bird on a Wire’ goldwork project – but alas am no where near complete. There was just so much plunging of metal threads to do following the basket weave wings. Here is my progress so far….

I have completed the birds body (well almost) and most of the basket weave. So all that I need to do now is edge the bird in pearl purl, complete the s-ing on the branch and finish the cutwork on the leaves. Happy World Embroidery day everyone!

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Day 6 of Crewel…

I seem to have spent most of this week at Hampton Court – not that I am complaining. Today I was back to working on my Jacobean crewel work. I have become very frustrated with this piece and have not been sure what direction to take it in. I was particularly worried about the lack of progress with the large flower at the top right of the design. I think the main problem is my lack of knowledge of the way that different stitches will fill the spaces.


A smaller room, in a different part of the building.

However after a day with Sara Meanwell as tutor – I feel that I have finally made some progress. With only three students to the one tutor, it meant that we were able to spend a lot of time sorting out problems and making stitch choices.

Although I didn’t manage to do that much in the way of stitching, I did make a start on the flowers and am now more confident about what to do next. I have chosen to keep the flowers more open and use a number of different decorative edging stitches.

For the smaller flower I outlined in scroll stitch (a), filled the centre with fly stitch (b) and now only need to complete the long and short stitching in the leaves (c). For the larger flower I stitched a centre of trellis which I then bordered in raised button hole and stem stitch (d), a combination I particularly liked, the second outline is heavy chain stitch (e) and finally coral stitch (f). I think I will then fill with French knots and seeding. We have also decided on a number of stitches for the flower sepals – which means more long and short (not my favourite!).

Meanwhile, back home in the garden, it is all about the lilies, They seem to have flowered early and all at the same time. I whizzed out between thunder showers to picture them before they are ruined. I love lilies, particularly their scent which fills the air on warm days.


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Final day of Goldwork

My final day with Helen Stevens at Hampton Court and today we looked at cutwork – a very time consuming process – but one I really enjoy. We were shown how to edge work in pearl purl, add spangles, and how to form a line using s-ing. Needless to say I did not get very much done and will need to do a lot of homework over the weekend. I also added more basket weave to the birds wing and as you can see there is now an awful lot of plunging to be done!

But compared with Helen’s demonstration piece, I don’t think that I have done too badly.


I am planning on resting tonight and then it is back to Hampton Court tomorrow to work on my Jacobean Crewel work – but I hope to get more of this project completed at the weekend. Whilst at HC I paid a quick visit to the shop and picked up a new canvas work project by Rachel Doyle (having already seen this posted by ‘The Stitching Sheep’) – in the hope it will prepare me for the canvas work module. It looks like it is going to be a very busy summer!

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