Spring 2024: Google ended its email subscription service in 2021. I believe I've found a replacement, but haven't had time to test it. I have been stitching a little bit here and there and have some posts ready for when the email subscription is active again. Fingers crossed, I'll have time to rouse this blog out of its dormancy sometime this year.

09 November 2018

Remembering...with a Burr Red Poppy

I was rummaging through some old photos of embroidery projects, and came across this Trish Burr red poppy that I stitched about ten years ago. I believe this is my first Burr effort.

With Armistice Day and the centenary of the end of World War I approaching on 11 November, it seemed like an appropriate project to share. Red poppies are used as a symbol of remembrance.

Close-up of thread paintined red poppy centre

31 October 2018

Goldilocks and the Green Beads

I sometimes spend way too much time fussing over finding the 'just right' embroidery result. Hence, I call myself 'Goldilocks'! True to form, my latest Goldilockian adventure concerned some green beads on Wild Child.

Green bead filling on Wild Child leaf using two different shades of green. (Wild Child Japanese Bead Embroidery by Mary Alice Sinton)

09 October 2018

Beading the Blues

It's time to get some projects finished off! Before I start anything new, I am determined to complete the embroidery on Antique Society Silk Violets, Summer of Love challenge (aka: SFSNAD Challenge), and Wild Child. Wild Child, the Japanese bead embroidery project, requires the most work so I've been focusing on it when I have a spare moment. (I'm also preparing to teach the stumpwork hedgehog piece over the next couple of months.) At the moment--with Wild Child--it's all about outlines and the blues.

In the last episode of Wild Child, I was working on adding some surface embroidery. I've completed most of that and have returned to beading. There are lots of elements to be outlined, lots and lots of elements!

Japanese bead embroidery showing beaded outlined leaf and needlepainting. (Wild Child Japanese Bead Embroidery by Mary Alice Sinton)

02 September 2018

Remembrance Poppy Pin - Free Pattern and Instructions

This is the pattern I created, along with some basic instructions, to make the Remembrance Poppy Pin. If you stitch a poppy, please send me a link/photo. I would love to see what you do, especially variations. Feel free to adjust the pattern, threads, etc. Most importantly, have fun!

Red embroidery remembrance with stitching completed. Ready to be cut and mounted in a pin setting.

30 August 2018

Remembrance Poppy Pin

Armistice Day, 11 November 2018, will be the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. The Flanders poppy, a brilliant red flower, is an oft-used symbol of this horrific conflict. In several countries, paper poppies are sold in the autumn to raise money for veterans' causes.

Silk and cotton threads surround a paper remembrance poppy

21 July 2018

'hog on a Log

The Embroiderers' Guild of America (EGA) has a selection of small bite-sized embroidery designs called Petite Projects. Available to all EGA members for free, these small projects are a nice, gentle way to explore new embroidery techniques.

My local EGA chapter, Muchas Manos de San Diego, has been teaching some of these projects at our monthly meetings. I was asked earlier this year if I would consider teaching one for stumpwork. I mulled it over for a while and decided to give it a whirl.

Bead wrapped in red thread for stumpwork. (Stumpwork and thread painted hedgehog)

13 July 2018

Beading Koma: What a Great Tool!

One of the best things about taking needlework classes is exposure to new tools, either from the teacher or other students in the class. In my most recent class, Wild Child, I was introduced to a beading koma.

Beading koma used in Japanese bead embroidery

25 June 2018

Shading the Blues Away

I can't seem to leave well enough alone. I've decided to experiment on Wild Child, my Japanese bead embroidery project. I'm going to add some shaded work instead of using only beads on the project.

Bead Embroidery with Thread Painting: A selection of DMC blue floss. (Wild Child Japanese Bead Embroidery by Mary Alice Sinton)

09 June 2018

Just Another Burr-d

Inspirations issue 69 contained a lovely surprise: a Trish Burr bird. The project is called Robin--a deceptively simple name for an elegant study of a beautiful little bird.

Detail of thread painted robin's head. (Robin by Trish Burr (Inspirations))

11 May 2018

Bold Orange-y Goodness

If I didn't like orange I'd be in big trouble with the Laurençon nasturtiums. I can't say that orange is my favourite colour, but it is certainly a fun shade to stitch with.

This is the palette for the flowers. It seems rather tame in the photo, but not when stitched. Get ready for some vibrant embroidery!

An orange colour palette for the needlepainted nasturtiums. (Catherine Laurencon Capucines (Inspirations))

20 April 2018

Spring Capucines

Several months ago I started a project by Catherine Laurençon called Capucines. After a strong start, various events took over my life and I haven't had much time to work on these lovely nasturtiums.

Until recently....

I've been able to complete the small flower and more!

Needlepainted nasturtium bud with the real flowers (Catherine Laurencon Capucines (Inspirations))

30 March 2018

Thinking About Pansies

I have been pondering pansies lately. There's a project I'm looking forward to working on that involves pansies, lots and lots of pansies! I want to wait until a couple of the current projects are finished before starting the pansy project, but in the meantime I've been looking around at real and embroidered pansies for ideas.

Trish Burr has created some wonderful pansy projects and I've worked some of them, the most recent being Victorian Pansies. Before those, I stitched a design simply called Pansies.

Detail of thread painted embroidered purple pansy flower and bud (Pansies designed by Trish Burr)

16 March 2018


Occasionally, I take a needlework class with no intention of finishing the project. It's a rare occurrence, but sometimes I just want to learn a specific technique or see how a particular designer/teacher approaches embroidery work. That's not the case with Wild Child. I do want to finish the project, and I'm learning interesting things as well!

I have completed most of the stitching on the white flowers (outlines and centres). I'm still debating whether or not I'll fill them with randomly placed beads, but that decision can wait until the end of the project.

Most of the white beaded flowers completed. (Wild Child Japanese Bead Embroidery by Mary Alice Sinton)

02 March 2018

Gold Leaf

Back in 2007, I had the opportunity to take three goldwork classes over six days with the Royal School of Needlework (RSN) in Iowa. (The RSN used to teach in Iowa every year.) In one of the classes, I learned several metal thread techniques by working a goldwork rose. In the final class, we embroidered a more modern take on goldwork which included this gold leather leaf sprinkled with beads.

Goldwork leaf in detail. (Royal School of Needlework, goldwork with pansy)

23 February 2018

Laziness is the Mother of Invention

I'm having the best time ever stitching all the white flowers on the Wild Child wallet.

No, that's not quite true. After the first couple of flowers, I got bored. I can't help it. I don't like a lot of repetition. One aspect, in particular, of the outlining of the flowers really bugged me for some reason.

Three bead embroidered flowers. (Wild Child Japanese Bead Embroidery by Mary Alice Sinton)

09 February 2018

Leaf Lesson

In the last installment of the Antique Society Silk Violets, I detailed the stitching plan for the flowers. This time, I want to share my approach to the leaves.

(Warning: This is going to get extremely geeky!)

The leaves are composed of three greens.

Antique green silk for violet leaves. (Society Silk Violets)

02 February 2018

On the Fringe

As I've been working on the Japanese bead embroidery project Wild Child it's made me remember my first, and possibly only other, bead embroidery endeavour.

Detail of bead embroidered purse. (Rare Vintage by Liz Vickery, Inspirations, bead embroidered purse)

26 January 2018

Bead Brain

I had absolutely no intention of starting another project until one of the current ones was completed. Then along came a Japanese bead embroidery class and, well, I had to start another project.

I really liked the project, was interested in learning some Japanese bead embroidery, and the class was being taught locally. How could I resist?

Obviously, I couldn't resist, and I have a feeling that there are more than a few of you out there who have experienced the same problem!

Allow me to introduce you to Wild Child.

Beginning the beaded edge of the purse. (Wild Child Japanese Bead Embroidery by Mary Alice Sinton)