Knotted thread

Since my last post I have been looking at Mary Corbett’s website  She has an article on this problem, which I found consoling.  When you have a problem it is heartening to know that it not just you. 

Mary deals with the case where you have already stitched through the thread, and so cannot just unfasten the knot.  If you would like to check it out, here is the link

I have almost finished the second side of the biscornu – just some outlining stitches to add.   But it is a Bank Holiday here, and that means I am doing a jigsaw, so will resume in a day or two. 

After that it’s back to those lists.  I intend (watch this space) to finish two items which are nearly complete before going on to something new.

May 30, 2011. Tags: , , . Embroidery. Leave a comment.

Pet Hates

I just managed to catch a piece of cloth which was outside the hoop with a few stitches, as it had got under the part I am working on.  This would be one of my pet hates.   It also happens when I am using the sewing machine,  I think I have finished, and there is a wayward bit of fabric caught in a seam.

Another annoyance is when an embroidery thread runs out, and just will not stretch to the last stitch or two.  Even more annoying when you run out of thread and have yo buy more for just a few stitches.

I will probably add to this post as I think of more (i.e. as they annoy me)!

Do other people have pet hates?  If so, feel free to add your comment.

May 28th ……..I was right,  I have thought of more.

Why does thread get itself in a knot under the fabric?   Particularly when I don’t notice it straight away, and have to take back a few stitches, then try to sort out the knot without damaging the thread. And if that isn’t possible, then even more stitches have to come out, so that the end can be finished properly.  I’ve had a think about this one, and decided that if a thread is particularly troublesome, then beeswax might be the answer.

Another is why, when using more than one strand, they end up at different lengths?   They have done exactly the same stitches!  I have to snip to get them even so I can rethread the needle.

May 26, 2011. Tags: , , , . Embroidery. Leave a comment.

Biscornu progress

First side in progress

I am pleased with progress made this week.  I have attached silk taffeta to a piece of fine cotton to give more stability, then traced the outline of both  parts of the biscornu.  As yoy can see, the larger petals have been padded with oddments of thread before finally stitching with log-and-short stitch.   I may experiment with some fine felt to pad the sepals and stalks.
Also, I am improving with the camera. I will photograph some more pieces and post several at once.
this week I have also been thinking ahead about some planned projects.  One is hardanger, which I have not tried before,  so I need to practice on a smaller piece before embarking on the family heirloom.  I was in Germany recently, and found a shop with some lovely Zweigart booklets, including the runner which I am intending to make.   I had better do the practice piece before buying the fabric.  I have found a source for it, but will check the ‘proper’ shops before I send for it. 
It is not always easy to get the materials I want/need, so I am always searching eBay and companies that do Mail Order.  However, if I think that a local shop may have an item, I will always check first, else they will all go out of business!  Our local sewing machine shop has just relocated into smaller premises, so their range of stock will be reduced from now on

May 20, 2011. Tags: , , . Embroidery, silk shading. Leave a comment.


Having made lists of  projects, it was no good just leaving them, so I made  a decision that I had to finish at least two that were in progress before I could start another.  So I have got up-to-date with the stitch-a month sampler (3 months worth), and put it away.  I am now working on a 2-sided (8 edges) biscornu pincushion.   This is a practice piece before making a 15-sided biscornu when I next go on holiday.

As I have been composing this post I have noticed a link to making a finger pincushion. Related articles

May 15, 2011. Tags: , . Embroidery. Leave a comment.



The theme for last year’s competition at our branch of the Embroiderers’ Guild was Autumn, and this was the winner.

I had a silk hanky which was dark green with an area of beige, which came as an extra when I ordered some plain silk hankies.  Rather than waste it, I decided to make a piece of silk paper, and put it to one side, wondering what to do with it.  Then I decided it was forest green so it might as well be a forest with trees – and this was the result.  The water at the bottom is a piece of voile, which I thought was white, but when there are several thicknesses, it is a very very pale violet

May 10, 2011. Embroidery. Leave a comment.



This is the best detailed photo I’ve taken.  But what has surprised me is that I took it from a distance of 18″.  Back to the instruction book for the camera.

In order to try to look at photos direct from the camera to the tv screen, I had to pull out the computer table, to disconnect the camera cable.   I wasn’t surprised to find a pencil, a peanut and some dust, but how on earth did an embroidery needle get so far under there?

Also, I tried to take the Or Nue which I have already photgraphed out of its frame, so that I don’t get reflections, and it won’t come out.  Why not?   Watch this space!

May 10, 2011. Blackwork, Embroidery. Leave a comment.

Coming up

I’ve been away for a week, and finished a project before I went.  I have so many things I could do, but haven’t got started again. 

 I couldn’t find the Stitch-a-month-sampler that I have been doing.  I had tidied it away.  I found it at last, and have three months to catch up.  This is on the hand-embroidery group on Yahoo Groups.  Members of this group post photos of their work, pass on hints and tips etc.  I think it might be best to get on with this today, and think about the lists which I started on 28th April.  I am not doing this as a sampler, but as a sample book.   I have used fabrics suitable for the month’s stitch, about 6″ x 9″.  When I have done all the variations of the stitch, I use any remaining space for a small design using the stitch.

 I really need to get to grips with my camera as regards taking close-ups.  I have a zoom feature, but when I take a photo of a flower it gets larger.  The foliage in the background is in focus, while the flower itself is fuzzy.  I’m sure it’s all about focal length of the camera lens. So the batteries are recharged, and I will work on that problem.  Then there might be some better photos to post.

Yesterday I went to an Embroiderers’ Guild meeting.  In the afternoon we had a talk by Dionne Swift, who is a Textile Artist.  She talked about her method of doing Devore, and we had the opportunity to dabble.  The piece I have done has some satisfying areas, which I can do something with.  Other areas are a bit blobby.  It is a technique where a bit of practice is best before doing a serious piece.  It was fun, and interesting to try.  Dionne’s website is

May 10, 2011. Tags: . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.