Resolutions update

The piece of Bargello I mentioned in my last post has now been attached to the empty coffee tin, and here it is.  I’m quite pleased with the finished item.





Once I had completed the stitching I decided to have a clearout, and sold some of my canvas and tapestry wool on eBay,  as canvaswork no longer has the appeal for me that it had when I bought them. The proceeds were very pleasing.

The next item I made was a pouch for my diary, as it is a very pale pink, and I don’t want to spoil it.  This was made with fabrics from my stash. The outer fabric is a from a sample book of curtain fabric, and is organza-ish. 



There is bondaweb on the back of the lining fabric, and I really like the effect.  There is enough fabric left to make an evening bag when I feel motivated.


Before Christmas I bought a kit to make an etui.  It consisted of precision cut cards, and instructions.  I didn’t realise until I read the instructions, that the etui is primarily made by glueing.  Not quite what I had anticipated, but acceptable to practice on.  The piece of braid needed to complete it arrived today, and here it is.



I am quite pleased with it, but just a bit worried what will happen along the line, when the glue dries out.  I have had to buy the fabric, and will probably sell the rest on eBay, as I don’t anticipate using the rest.  The braid also had to be purchased and proved difficult to find.  I was looking in the wrong places!  It is chair braid, so not found in haberdashery shops.

There’s not much embroidery at the moment.  I was not well on the day of the last Embroiderers’ Guild meeting, so I am suffering withdrawal symptoms, and a lack of inspiration.

At present I am reducing my stash of knitting wool, by crocheting blocks to make… what?

Crochet blocks



Whatever it is will be colourful, with interesting textures.

For me, January has been successful.  as you will see above.  I have used or disposed of quite a lot of my stash.  The only materials were required for a planned project.

I have also managed to buy my lamp, and I LOVE IT.  I had not realised how yellow the light emitted by energy-saving bulbs can be.  It is good for embroidery, and for reading small print.  Earlier in the month when  i was still working long-and-short stitch on the tablecloth,  I was doing it without a magnifier, and making really quick progress.  I had been wondering whether I need a visit to the optician, but now I realise that the problem was with the lighting.


P.S. the new lamp is has a floodlight effect tube, with a colour temperature of 6500 kelvin, which is equivalent to overcast daylight at midday, so good quality, and not too bright.


January 31, 2013. Tags: , . Bargello, Craft, Crochet. Leave a comment.


My New Year resolutions are still intact, but it was a close call yesterday.

My husband gave me some money at Christmas , and I have decided to spend it on a decent work lamp, with a daylight bulb/tube and no flicker. I do most of my embroidery in the dining room at the back of the house. I can sit at the table with the window to my left, which is ideal for a right-handed person. The sun only shines on the back of the house early in the day (when I am doing my chores, so I can get on with the things I really want to do), so I am never troubled by shadow.  In the evenings, I am struggling.  I got on reasonably well with the Mountmellick  project before Christmas, but at the point when I had to put it away, I had a lot of satin stitch to do, and that required better vision.  Between Christmas and New Year I got out the tablecloth, which is my longest standing  W.I.P. and worked on it for a few hours, but I was struggling to see the lines , which are a limey green. I had to take it into the kitchen and use a pencil to go over the lines before doing the stitching.  I have a small lamp which clips on, but the clip is vicious, so I have to pad it with felt, and it is not stable.  Also the  bulb and the shade get really hot.  Unfortunately, I knocked it, and it fell off with a clatter, hit the radiator, and the bulb has gone.  So I have decided that the best thing to do is take it to the refuse tip, and buy something decent.

I have seen one I like on the internet, but it is out of stock until next month (a lot of lucky people must have had them bought at Christmas), so I thought  a trip to Hobbycraft would be a good idea.  You never know, at this time of year, they might even have reductions.  It was the reductions which tempted me.  I supposed I should have resisted the temptation to look, but they were there, just inside the door.  First I found  a Jannlynn candlewicking cushion kit – reduced from £44.99 to £10 – what a bargain!.  I must have held it clasped to my bosom for about 10 minutes, while I looked to see if there was anything else, when I remembered that this was not what I had come for, and I was about to break a Resolution.  So I put it back on the display, and continued.

I always have a general look round when I am there (or any other embroidery-related shop), because I like to what they have, so I know where to go when I need things.  Next I spotted a book, in another part of the shop.  It was reduced from £10 to £4.99, and had some really lovely lacy knitting patterns.   I had to remind myself that there is  jumper waiting for a neckband, which I am holding back to take to the craft group at the end of the month, and I would be braking a Resolution.  (Why am I holding this back?  The lighting in the room where we have the craft group is really not good enough for embroidery.)

On to the stand with the lamps and magnifiers.  They have a good selection, but I prefer the one on the internet, so I came  out of Hobbycraft without spending any money.

So after a week all my Resolutions are still intact.  How much longer this will last we shall have to wait and see.

Last night I decided to make a trial piece of Bargello.  I went through all my tapestry wool (have I really got that much?), and took out all the small amounts which need to be used up, and got started.  I found it relaxing.  I have always intended to make a Bargello cushion cover, but I think I have got a bit carried away with the amount of canvas and wool that I have acquired.  I think a lot of people will know exactly what I mean.

January 8, 2013. Tags: , , . Bargello, Embroidery. Leave a comment.

Books Part 3 – Types of Embroidery

I could’t decide whichof these to list first,  so I decided that the alphabet has an accepted order for a good reason – so here we go.

Beautiful Bargello,  by Joyce Petschek,  has 20 different charted designs,  with instructions to make a wide range of different items.   Cushions are the more obvious ones,  but there are also other items like a doorstop  (a covered house brick),  a box,  a waistcoat,  and a bag.   I have a stash of tapestry wool and lots of canvas,  and the intention of using them!

Brazilian three-dimensional Embroidery,  by Rosie Montague.  I love working in three dimensions, and some of the designs would lend themselves to other techniques.

New Canvaswork,  by Jill Carter.  Canvas makes me think of tapestry and Bargello.  This book gave me a new insight into the range of things which can be done with canvas.  The book gives many ideas for a differnt approach to using canvas as the base fabric for your work.

Wild Flowers in Cross Stitch, by Jane Iles.  This was a gift from a friend.  Again, apart from the designs, there a many ideas for making things with a cross-stitch design.  I did the cover design to make a cushion – see my post of July 12th, and also adapted a poppy design for another piece.

Goldwork – The Search press book covers the Histoy of Goldwork, and Church Embroidery.  There is a section on Goldwork Techniques, and  page about attaching jewels, glass, beads, and stones.  There are some interesting designs, but you would have to work out for yourself how to execute them.

Goldwork by Hazel Everett.  What can I say?  I am totally knocked out by this book.  I have not got all the way through it yet, but will probably do a review when I have.

Glorious Needlepoint, by Kaffe Fassett.  Again, this was a gift.  I loved Kaffe’s first knitting book, and went to a talk he gave in Halifax (many years ago).  But if I had seen this book first,  I would never have bought it for myself.   It is just not my thing.

A – Z of Stumpwork,  Inspiration Books.   There is agood instructional section, and a lot of varied designs.  All the outlines for the designs are on pages at the back of the book, and the pages are wire-bound.  This means than it is easy to scan a page, then enlarge the design to the rquired size.  I have used bits and pieces of stumpwork, and enjoyed getting that third dimension into some of my projects.

Painting with a Needle, by Young Yang Chung is another favourite.   This is a silk embroidery book.   I find the pieces shown inspiring.   The instructions for the projects are very clear,  literally step by step.  Sometimes I just get this book off my shelf, and look through it.  I found he information about traditional silk embroidery very interesting.

I hope you are enjoying these posts about my books.   Why not let me know which are your favourite books – perhaps the top five.

November 6, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , . Bargello, Brazilian Embroidery, Cross stitch, Goldwork, Needle Lace, silk shading, Stumpwork, Uncategorized. Leave a comment.