Home stretch…

I have another session at the RHS booked for next Friday and would really like to start to mount my piece of work if possible. So today I have made a concerted effort to look at it critically and finish off as much as I can.

I used coral stitch to end the vines in twirls, stem stitch and bullions to form leaves in the big petals of the large flower, stem stitch for the birds legs and bullion for it’s claws.

But there are at least two sections which are really annoying me now. The first of which are the bottom petals of the large flower which are just too orange and I think I may redo these in green or brown.

Secondly,  I must have slipped when originally painting the design and as a consequence the birds feet are very wide at their bases. I am now thinking that I may add another vine around the feet to try and hide this.

All I need to think about then is the birds beak and face….

Today was a good day for sewing and I also received a lovely surprise from Sewtherapy on Instagram. She was my ‘Send a little love swap’ – and here are some of the lovely things she made for me.

I just can’t believe that people spend so much time quilting mug rugs (which are lovely) – only to sit an old mug on!

Feeling lucky!

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The ‘tail’ of Jenny Wren…

Just couldn’t wait to get started, so after reading through the instruction booklet twice, I set to on what I considered to be the easiest part of the project. The tail of Jenny Wren is worked in wool, silk and goldwork on tweed. It was a lovely day, with lots of great light to sew by…..


However working with tweed does hold a few problems – it is a rather hairy fabric and the fibres are easily caught up in the gold purl and bright check. After the addition of spangles and beads the tail was finished. Next steps…. the wings!

For more details on this beautiful Jenny Wren Kit by Jenny Adin Christie……click here.

Also arriving in the post today was a new set, or 3, of Tulip needles. If needles could look sexy….then here we are!


Happy sewing to all…..

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Jenny Wren….

I was super excited this week when a parcel arrived through the post for me – and in the corner, on the front of the box, was a little address sticker from the amazing Jenny Adin-Christie. I had seen her little stumpwork Wren quite some time ago and then watched the progress of  Sally from Stitched Up with Thread  with great envy – and have been coveting it ever since.

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I have already used a number of Jenny’s kits to make three lovely goldwork brooches – and have not only been very pleased with the results, but also with the quality of the kits and the fact that Jenny is always on hand to help out, should a problem arise. But the little Wren has, as a kit, always alluded me.  But after waiting patiently (well not very patiently at all) all the elements of the kit were gathered (many are hand made especially, including the wooden base, bronze feet and beak) and it finally arrived!

The little Wren doubles up as a needlework Etui. It’s wings hide needlebooks, there is storage space for a thimble along the birds back and it’s bronze beak doubles as a thread cutter. It stands on a mossy hillock providing an emery filled pincushion and space for embroidery scissors. The whole ensemble sits on a wooden base that hides a little tape measure.

I am planning to take a lot of time over this piece of work as it involves lots of new techniques for me including, needle lace, ribbon work, goldwork on tweeds and many different surface stitches.

Here’s to a new stitching adventure……

You can find Jenny’s kits here.


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Sewing kits on the go…

Have had great fun this week making a little travel sewing kit (or three) for myself and as gifts. I followed a super simple tutorial by Lella Boutiquie and was very pleased with the results. I am not a quilter – so this was an easy introduction to the process.

Inside, the kit is separated into three areas. In the centre is a scissor keep, needle keep and a thread holder. Although you have to work very hard to get a reel on the thread holder – I think I might add a small sliding pincushion to this area instead. There is then an open pocket (or two) to the right of the centre panel and a zipped pocket to the left.

And this is what the finished kit looks like…

If I have learnt anything – it is that I need to follow measurements accurately. I tend to go at things like a bull in a china shop and wing it a bit! I think I have gotten away with it this time – although the binding around the edge of the kits could have been a little more even.

Have a go – they are fun to make. Happy stitching.

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Stitching in reverse…

Stitching in reverse, or unpicking! It was pointed out to me that the colours I had used on the throat of the mistle thrush drew the eye to the centre and detracted from the rest of the head. Once this was pointed out – it really began to annoy me, so the scalloped button hole had to be unpicked, and today was the day!

It was actually much harder to unpick than I had anticipated. Finally all that was left of my original efforts was a small bundle of wool ends. I then set to redoing the area – but this time graduating the colours from dark to light.



This is how it looked.


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Hopefully an improvement.


I think it looks better, although I am still not sure about the darkest colour. But this is how it will have to stay as I don’t want to damage the canvas beneath.

Happy stitching.

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Sew busy..

What a weekend! I was planning to do a little more work on my Jacobean piece – but I got totally caught up with the sewing machine. I finished my swap pieces and they are now ready to post off to my partner (hope she likes them).


Then I set about making a little something for my cousin as she is a new mum. I thought it might be a nice to make a little tote bag and some pouches to hold ‘mum and baby things’ in – whatever they might be! Maybe I will fill them with wine and chocolates!!

I had some lovely Riley Blake material that I bought ages ago – and found a zipper pouch tutorial by noodlehead which looked relatively easy to follow. It involves cutting four rectangles of fabric (2xlining and 2xoutside fabric) and attaching these to a zip. Once attached the linings are placed together and the outside fabrics. Sew around all, box off all corners and turn back in the right way. Click on the link above for full instructions. I then made a coordinating ‘Pick a Pocket’ bag to pop the pouches into.

Sew, there you have it – a very productive weekend. Next week it is back to the Jacobean, which means a whole weekends work and a few stitches to show for it! Happy stitching one and all.


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Send a little love 2….

Fabric is so expensive these days that I like to use as much of the scrap material as possible. So after finishing the ‘Pick a Pocket’ bag I decided to make a matching armchair sewing tidy for my  ‘send a little love’  swap partner. This is something that I had kept promising to make for myself – but as yet haven’t got around to it!

I started by googling for a simple pattern and settled on a pin cushion and thread catcher designed by sewmamasew . Progress so far………..

Sew, all that is left to do is – fill the pin cushion, sew the ribbon around and add a button to the thread catcher. Quite pleased with this first attempt – maybe now I will make one for myself!

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