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.

26 November 2020


I've finished one more hare from Jenny McWhinney's Queen Anne's Lace set of accessories. This one is on the back of the travelling work station.

This is Jenny's original:

Queen Anne's Lace Travelling Work Station
(Back) by Jenny McWhinney

15 November 2020

Driven by Hares

I have delighted in seeing various embroidered animals created by Jenny McWhinney over the years, especially in Inspirations magazine. I've always wanted to stitch one of her bunnies, but hadn't quite come across the 'one' until recently.

Jenny has a set of four embroidery accessories adorned with 'bunnies' (and Queen Anne's lace flowers). It turns out they are hares.

Here's the original Queen Anne's Lace accessories set:

Queen Anne's Lace by Jenny McWhinney

19 October 2020

Fun with Floche

As a thank you for helping with the Alpine Rose project, my student sent me a set of three flour sack towels with pre-transferred designs by Mary Corbet of Needle 'n Thread. The towels seemed like a good excuse, um, opportunity to play with some fairly new-to-me threads. So, I went shopping.

Three flour sack towels designed by Mary Corbet ready to stitch

26 August 2020

And Now for Something Completely Different

If you wait long enough to finish a project DMC comes out with new colours! With the help of some of the new DMC threads, I have finally completed embroidering my design for the San Francisco School of Needlework and Design (SFSNAD or SNAD) 2017 challenge. The challenge commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love and was due in August 2017. I'm a little late...but I finished!

These are the 16 new DMC colours that were released last year. There are eight brights and eight naturals. I normally stitch with naturals, but for this project I got to use some of the brights!

New DMC floss colours from 2019 

22 July 2020

Thread Painting Basics: Flower Petals

In the final installment of the Red Alpine Rose designed by Trish Burr, we'll work on the flower, especially the petals. There will be lots of blending practice and I'll show you a slightly different way of approaching shading.

The flower petals are composed of four reds. I think of them as shades 1 through 4 with 1 being the lightest.

Four shades of red thread that will be used to stitch the petals on a needle painted rose

26 June 2020

Thread Painting Basics: Flower Bud

With the leaves completed on Trish Burr's Red Alpine Rose, the next element to be embroidered is the bud. We are still working from background to foreground and the bud sits behind the flower.

Outline for needlepainted flower bud prior to stitching

19 June 2020

Thread Painting Basics: Leaves and Stems

Right before the virus lockdown, I had started making plans to teach a beginning thread painting piece to a stitching friend. She had picked out a project from Trish Burr's book, Needle Painting Embroidery: Fresh Ideas for Beginners, and we were in the process of sourcing some ground fabric. Then the lockdown hit and we were unable to get together in person.

Recently, she has decided to start working on the project and I have provided some feedback via email. I thought that there might be others interested in following along, so here we go.     

The project is Red Alpine Rose.

Beginning a Trish Burr needlepainting project: Red Alpine Rose

24 May 2020

Lavender Diversion

I can't believe I've stitched and finished two Lorna Bateman scissors keepers in a matter of months (amongst other projects). I turned the first keeper into an over-the-top, albeit fun, project, but I can't bring myself to use it. It's too fancy. This second keeper with lavender and bees, however, might actually be usable since I've managed to maintain a reasonable level of embroidery.

The original design consists of a lavender bunch on the front and a lavender spray with bees on the inside of the back.

An embroidered lavender bunch along with a lavender spray and two bees. These are the required embroidery elements for the Lavender and Bees Scissors Keeper.

I wanted to add a few extra finishing touches, but not go too crazy!

15 May 2020

Crewel Bells

I've finished all the 'boring' bits of my crewel bluebells project. No, they aren't really boring--they are stitched with beautiful Heathway crewel wool after all--but the primary reason for stitching this design is to play with Daisies variegated crewel wool.

The big leaves in the middle of the design are first.

Gumnuts Daisies Rainforest green crewel wool to use on the big central leaves

06 May 2020

More Bees, Please

I have succumbed to temptation. Again! Lorna Bateman has just designed a scissors keeper to match her Lavender and Bees pincushion that I recently stitched. How could I resist? Besides, my pincushion needs a scissors keeper to keep it company.

Completed Lorna Bateman embroidered lavender and bees pincushion with photos of newly released coordinating scissors keeper

27 April 2020

Matching Shading and Waiting for Dessert

After determining the colours and stitches for my crewel bluebells, the grunt work of filling things in begins. First up is matching the shading on the central leaf thingies that I call 'ribbons' in my head.

(Warning: this is going to be a geeky post about shading.)

Most of right side of crewel design completed and beginning to work on the left side.

18 April 2020

Crewel Test Drive

I have some new crewel wool that I need to try out. It's made by Gumnuts in Australia and is called Daisies. It's beautifully variegated and I want to see how it works with Heathway crewel wool.

Blue violet crewel wool from Daisies entertwined with Violet crewel wool from Heathway

14 March 2020

Cut it Out

After completing a scissors keeper and a pin cushion I'm on a mission to finish more things!

The next project I wanted to complete was the Antique Society Silk Violets Centrepiece that I started way back in 2017. To recap, this is an antique stamped linen that I am stitching with antique silk thread. The embroidery was completed in 2018, but I have never gotten around to cutting it out along its buttonholed edge.

There are certain things in my embroidery world that I like to avoid. One of those things is cutting along buttonholed edges. However, I wanted to see this piece finished so, I couldn't procrastinate any longer!

Embroidered Society Silk violets centrepiece complete and ready to cut out

29 February 2020

Finishing a Scissors Keeper: Cords, Bullions, and Glue, Oh My!

I have finished all the embroidery for the Lorna Bateman Scissors Keeper. It's time to tackle the finishing...with glue. Glue! (Cue some ominous chords.)

Here's the final bit of embroidery for the back of the keeper:

An embroidered 'M' for the back of Margaret Cobleigh's scissors keeper

23 January 2020

My Flower Pots Overfloweth

After a good start on Lorna Bateman's scissors keeper I had to figure out how to fill the pots at the bottom. I wanted to balance whatever I put in the pots with the colours in the completed areas. I had no idea what I was going to do!

Embroidered front of Lorna Bateman scissors keeper in progress

13 January 2020

Billions of Bullions (and a Couple of Bees)

When embroidery designer Lorna Bateman was in town recently she taught two classes: Embroidered Country Garden Scissors Keeper and Lavender and Bees Pincushion. As with the scissors keeper the pincushion is stitched with hand-dyed variegated DMC perlé by Chamleon Threads. Unlike the scissors keeper which uses many colours, the pincushion requires only two main colours: lavender and green.

Lavender and Green over-dyed variegated threads for use on a lavender pincushion