on my work table

shop update

Girls collage

At the moment I am busy stitching dancers, fairies and girls.  I love doing this because it's so much fun creating each little character.  Which dress?  Boots or dancing slippers? Crazy hair or tamed hair? Stripes and more stripes... And then the little french knot embellishments.  It's a lovely calm time in between checking stock, packing and trips to the post office.

Delicate silver grey

Red dancer

These two girls feel like dancers with their delicate shoes and dance poses.  

Red fairy

Grey fairy

fairies with attitude.  I will also have some framed fairies once I have worked out the best way to back the oval hoops.

Gold hat full

Red mitsi

and girls in boots to celebrate my own new winter boots!!!!

I hope you are all enjoying your Christmas stitching

x

 


The fairies have arrived

Fairies galore

It has been such a busy two months I seem to be ordering supplies, packing kits and going to the post office for most of my working days.  So exciting to be sending my kits to so many different countries.  The all new post office staff in Penzance's sadly moved post office don't seem quite so excited by the number of parcels I'm taking them.  I love to think of all those girls being stitched all over the world!!

Today however my desk is swamped in fairies!  Not the kind that pack kits, order supplies or go to the post office sadly.  In fact they are the kind that sit there reminding me to get on with the stitching.  So, after what has turned out to be a very busy November, I have finally finished the 'fairy with attitude' pattern.

Full black

I love stitching this pattern.  It feels like playtime after all the work stuff.  I love choosing colours (mainly black white and red I've noticed!) and I love embellishing her hair, messing around with sock stripe patterns and wing possibilities ...  Best of all she is deceptively simple

Full red

She can be stitched with an embroidered dress or with an applique dress.  I recommend Liberty tana lawn for the applique as it is such a light strong fabric.  If you are in the UK you can buy small pieces from here at Duck egg threads.

Black silver wing

I think these fairies would make lovely stocking fillers.  I also think a bedroom 'keep out' sign might be fun (or a craft room or a chocolate cupboard...)

I will have some hand stitched versions of these for sale by next week I hope probably in the same cushion form as the lavender girls so they can be hung up as decorations.

I'm also working on that little boy fairy cushion and hope to have a pattern for him next week, still enough time to stitch a fairy cushion before Christmas I hope!

I know quite a few of you are long since started on your Christmas stitching and I hope you are all enjoying it.  I think I may need to start thinking about our family Christmas quite soon too!  A bit of knitting maybe...

x

 


On my work table

Hair

thanks to all my lovely customers my work table has been mostly full of kit supplies and packaging while I have been sending out such a lot of lavender girl kits!  How lovely to think of all the lavender girls that are being stitched this winter.

But I have had a moment or two to carry on working on this 'fairy with attitude' design.  I've used my absolute favourite Liberty fabric - red mitsy for this prototype.  Sadly I can't get hold of any more but I may have enough for a couple of dresses!  

I'm still tweaking the dress design and thinking of adding a stitched dress design as well as an applique pattern.  I have a tutu idea in my head but whether it will work in stitch as well as it works in my head...

Legs and boots

I love stitching with one strand of thread (using my super duper magnifying lamp!) because it looks so much more like my original drawing but I am also stitching her up using two strands to give a more solid line.  I think she'll work with both but the effect will be different.

I'm also looking at these oval flexi hoops 

Catching wishes

I used the round one for catching wishes and they are so easy to stitch and then frame in.  I also love the little Victorian look hanger at the top.  I think these may be easier for using in the kits too as they stay taut.

New designs

I love the lace and the Christmassy fabric.  I was thinking of making her into a sort of mini quilt hanging...

Little elf

I also have a little elf drawing on my work table that is soon to become a fairy cushion for boys.  My own two boys were always very happy to have messages and gifts from the fairies so it's probably about time I designed a boy version!

I'm also messing around with my blog template so that it works on mobile phones and ipads, because not everyone is as old fashioned as I am and still using a laptop for looking at blogs!  It will probably change again before I am happy with it...

Now for hot chocolate and a nice film on this grey cold evening

x

 


lavender girl inspiration

Watermarked

Inbetween busyness with dull admin stuff and lots of supplies ordering for the Christmas season this is what I have been doing, having fun with lavender girls.

Dress collage

I love playing around with liberty tana lawn scraps.  I especially love  the turquoise Betsy at the moment.  The fabrics are (in a clockwise direction) grey Mitsi, yellow Kayoko, turquoise Betsy, red June's meadow.  All these are available from Alice Caroline on Etsy .

Head collage

The kits should be ready in a week or so

x


colour and threads

Colours

Today I have been deciding which colours to use for my new pattern and now I am writing this rather than getting on with the pattern tracing!  Choosing thread colours is probably my absolute favourite part of the whole design process.  In real life I am a wearer of neutrals, greys and blacks so I think lilipopo is where I can release my inner colourful self!

I tend to use either DMC or Anchor stranded cotton because they are usually readily available for most people.  And if you can only get one or the other (usually DMC is more available) there are conversion charts between the two, such as this one at Sew and So.

I do also love the sublime stitching colours but they are not as easy to get hold of so I don't tend to use them for my patterns, although I do use them for personal projects and commissioned work.

Anchor 19

I have my favourite basics, DMC black, DMC white and DMC ecru are always in my box.  Alongside those are DMC3799 a charcoal colour that is great for the girls faces and DMC451 a brown I sometimes use for faces or hair.  Then there is my all time favourite red - Anchor 19, I am always running out of it and nothing else ever seems quite the same.

I also have a tendency to buy the same colour over and over by accident, thinking I am buying a new colour.  I have four skeins of Anchor 168 sitting in my box!

Purples

Then there are the colours that I struggle with a little.  Purples!  These two are my favourite purples and really they are quite close to greys.  I don't use purple very much as I find it quite a difficult colour to work with.  Is it just me?  or do you have colours that you just never really pick up?

Blues greens

So back to choosing colours for my new pattern.  These soft blue green colours have been calling to me and there are some trees in the pattern that would suit.  

Soft

along with these lovely peachy soft colours.  I definitely have a hankering for quite soft colours at the moment which will probably mean that I work this pattern onto white fabric rather than my usual 'natural' essex linen as soft colours can disappear into the natural colour, especially when photographed.

Dala colours wmk

It's a wintry pattern that I hope will be a nice Christmas pattern.  I will have it ready for mid October so lots of time to stitch it before Christmas!  I think I might do a printed fabric panel for it too.

Do you enjoy the colour choosing process or do you prefer to have a list of colours so you can get down to the stitching?

And now back to the pattern tracing or maybe a little while in pinterest land first...

x

 

 


on my work table

Flowers blog

at the moment I am slowly slowly stitching a girl with flowers on her mind.  Reading 'mrs Dalloway', on her way to buy flowers, popped the idea into my mind.  I love the idea of her being stitched in greys with all the flowers around her.  But I'm also torn about whether to give her an applique dress so I may have to include both options.

Flowers so far blog

I'm also torn about the flowers.  I'm filling them in at the moment but I really like them outlined with just the french knot centres so I may do both versions of that too.  I think this pattern may take a little while to finish, I know I need to stitch another one and photograph the processes for all the different flowers.  I am very much making it up as I go along and thoroughly enjoying it.  That long short stitch has snuck in again for her hat.  I just love the knitted texture that it gives.

I do have another pattern on the go but no pictures yet.  It will have to stay secret for a few more days.

Printed fabric panel

I have also finally sorted out some wonky sheds printed onto fabric.  There are only a couple in my etsy shop at the moment but I will be ordering more next week if you miss out.

Now I think a little more sketching and stitching while I listen to the wonderful Melvyn Bragg telling me how great the North of England is but of course I already knew how great it is.

x


sulky fabri solvy and wonky sheds

Cat stitching

Sulky Fabri Solvy -  it has been sitting on my shelf ever since one of the lovely instagram ladies recommended it to me.  This week I decided to spruce up my wonky shed design ready for printing onto fabric in September and this seemed the perfect opportunity to try the sulky.

Sticky fabri solvy

so it's basically a sticky backed stabilizer that you can put through the printer and then stick to your fabric.  You stitch over it and when you're done simply rinse it away so the pattern disappears and you are left with your beautiful stitching.  It is quite expensive, mine cost £9.91 for twelve sheets.

It went through the printer perfectly and the lines are nice and bold.  I was worried that it would be difficult to stick down smoothly but it wasn't the case it was easy to stick to the fabric

Transferred

I stuck it to my usual Robert Kauffman Essex linen in ivory so there was no problem.  I do want to try it out on felt too though.

I pretty much always stitch using a hoop and was a bit nervous about how well it would sit in the hoop, whether it would come apart from the fabric or shift but it seems okay.  I haven't tightened the hoop as much as I usually would though.

In the hoop

I found that the stitching was a little harder (I really do mean 'a little').  I knew that the needle gets a little sticky and you need to wipe it, which had put me off, but it hasn't happened very much at all.  Back stitch was pretty straight forward.  I think stem stitch might actually be easier to do without the hoop but maybe that's always true!  I started filling the cushions under the cat but to be honest I think I would just stitch all the lines then remove the sulky and do any filling in afterwards.  This is just because the stitching is a little stiffer which makes the filling in a little tedious.

Sleeping cat

I have only done a little bit of my stitching so I will write a second post next week about how it rinses away and the end result.  At the moment it seems a great way to transfer a larger more complicated pattern for anyone who doesn't like transferring or has difficulty with the transfer process.  
So back to my wonky shed stitching

x
Here is part two of my sulky fabri solvy journey
 


on my spring work table

Sketches

The sun has started to shine outside and it's feeling much more like spring.  The teens even mentioned swimming in the sea the other day (although I noticed that they didn't actually swim).  So it's time for a new spring pattern, a flower gardener.  

This is probably the most complicated pattern I have made.  I don't want to make the stitching too complicated but there is just more going on in it, hopefully, once it's finished, lots of flowers!

Flowers

I was test stitching flowers last week along with a bit of fern stitch, a fun thing to spend my time on :)  I should point out that I am absolutely not a gardener! We do have one house plant that my lovely daughter gave me on Mother's day, I am trying my hardest to keep it alive.  I love flowers, plants, weeds, vegetables... I love drawing them and stitching them but I am just not a gardener.  So I have to let others do the hard work while I just draw, stitch and eat the fruits of their labour.

Flower gardener 2

and now I am working on the first stitching draft.  I was aiming for this to be finished by the end of the month but I can feel April creeping up on me and I'm not so sure that it will be!

I have been asked about her cheeks.  I use faber castell polychromos pencil crayons if I add colour to the faces.  They are oily so go on nicely and stay there.  I think if you are in USA the prisma color pencils are very similar in quality.

I am panicking a little about the fence as I'm not quite sure how I'm going to stitch it but I'm sure it will work out in the end!  And hopefully look like a fence!

Wip flower gardener 1

I am loving having lots of lovely soft colours sitting on my work table but I also think bright colours might work well for this pattern too.  It may change a little before it is finally a pattern but she will be a flower gardener and there will be lots of flowers, and a watering can.  I love watering cans, they remind me of my childhood, perhaps that was my job in the garden!

 

Just a quick note, my blog has been behaving a little oddly and closing comments before I can reply to them!  I am not sure why but if you have commented and not received a reply I am sorry !  I have read the comments and always love reading them and usually replying to them!  I will try to sort the techy stuff out

x


mini designs for mini frames

Main

Quite some time ago (before christmas) I was contacted by Shelby from Ewoodstory to see if I would like to create something using their lovely frames and pendants.  I loved the idea and Shelby sent me some frames to try out.

Pendants

aren't they gorgeous?

she also sent the sweetest little wooden flowers, a bit like sequins with a central hole so you can stitch them on with a bead.

Wooden flowers

I plan to use these in a very different sort of project later in the month

So, back to the frames...

As I doodled ideas into my sketch book I realized that there were lots of things I would quite like to fit into these little frames

beginning with little heads

Girl c 2

I love the shape of the oval half n half pendant

and then moving onto flowers

Vase of flowers whole

In the end I came up with eleven tiny patterns (between one and two inches tall)  with tiny stitches.

Main collage

and the pattern that includes all these designs is over in my shop 

Tomorrow I will pop a tutorial on here to show how I attached the finished embroideries to the pendants.

x


ideas, details and questions

Blog two

I spent a lot of time on trains last year so I have an awful lot of sketches but most of them don't make it to be embroidery patterns because I just love a bit of detail, detail that I suspect most people might not want to trace onto fabric.

But it seems I may be wrong

Blog one

yesterday I shared this drawing on instagram and facebook and was surprised to see that some of my lovely followers would like to see it as a pattern.  I am curious to know how you feel about lots of tracing.

Are you happy to do lots of tracing?

Do you always trace all the lines or do you copy the picture sometimes rather than trace the whole thing?

Do you print the pattern directly onto the fabric?

Would you prefer something more complex already printed onto cotton so you can just start stitching?

I love the idea of stitching a whole picture, perhaps for framing so I think this will be my next project after my mini frame patterns are finished.

Next week I have a little freebie for the colouring in fans among you as a thankyou for a wonderful year last year.

x