a stitchy flowery thank you

Final flower globe wm

This week has been a little bit here, there and everywhere so in between those mixed up moments I got on with a little flowery stitching and created a little free pattern for all of you as a small thank you for making last year such a fabulous year for lilipopo.

I am a huge fan of snow globes, I utterly love the magic and sparkle of them.  They take me straight back to my childhood and also to the moment when my three year old daughter picked one up and cracked it in the shop at the  top of the Eiffel tower!  A moment she has never forgotten but she still (at 16) can't help 'looking' with her hands!

This week though I wanted something flowery rather than sparkly, looking forward to spring so the pattern is for a flowery globe rather than a snow globe.

Butterfly flower detail wm

There's even a spring/summer butterfly in there.  Right now I am sitting typing in a very cold space wondering whether to put my cosy fingerless mittens on so this spring scene is something I'm really looking forward to!

Flower globe pattern transfer

If you are a new stitcher I have beginner notes here 

there are some stitch tutorials here

and there are lots of tutorials on my pinterest board 


Right hand detail wm

The link to the pattern

I hope you enjoy stitching the pattern up as much as I enjoyed making it

Now to tidy my mixed up messy work space and try to create some order for 2017!



on my work table

Bandit 1 wm

It's January and I really should be brightening everyone's day up with colour but I'm a little bit addicted to blacks and greys at the moment (although there is some red thread in the picture, I'm not sure what I planned to do with that!).  I thought I would share a little bit of my stitching process.  This is only the first stitching of my drawing and already I am changing things in my head as I go along...

Bandit 2 wm

First I trace the drawing using this flatbed lightbox. Mine is actually A2 size but it takes up too much space on my table for how often I use it, especially given that my designs are really very small!  On top of that I have accidentally trapped and almost snapped the wire!  So I think I will be treating myself to a new A4 lightbox that can sit on my desk all the time and not be put at risk!  The fabric I have used here is in natural colour (light brownish) so it is harder to see the design  but once I'm tracing and pressing the fabric against the box it's clearer.  

Bandit 3 wm

Here is what I end up with.  I am a very lazy tracer and don't trace stripes etc.  I put them onto the pattern because I suspect not all stitchers are as lazy as me.  

Bandit 5 wm

and now I can hoop her up and pop her under my very exciting magnifying lamp.  For a very long time I didn't need a magnifying lamp but these days I find it helps immensely and I have become quite reliant on it.  In fact perhaps I did need one before I just didn't know it. This is the one I use.

Bandit 6 wm

And out comes that black thread, 2 strands and back stitch.  I love filling with back stitch, I tend to do it in sections 

Bandit 7 wm

I'm not sure if this is a proper technique but I find it helps me keep to the shape of the hat.

Bandit 8 wm

I'm not sure how clear it is but I'm using long short stitch for the sleeves.  I think I just felt like a change really but it works nicely in the long thin gap

Bandit 9 wm

and this is as far as I've got with her (well I'm a little further on but no light for photographs!).   Once I finish her I will redraw her making the changes that I have in my head and then restitch her to make sure she's quite right before turning her into a pattern.

If you are new to stitching I have guides for 

materials and transferring patterns

various stitches including back stitch and long short stitch

I'm hoping to have a little colourful free pattern on Monday for you.  As long as everything goes to plan!  Something to make us all feel a little spring like in winter (unless of course you are reading this towards the end of a glorious summer)


Happy New Year

Oh my!  A little late as usual...  It takes me a little while to get into the new year there is quite a lot of looking back at the old year and planning for this year in the first two weeks.  This leads to a gentle slow start.  I do feel lucky to be able to start my year this way when I see my partner and daughter rushing out the door on the 3rd of January to get to work and college.

It's very cold and grey here at the moment, lovely for sketching and stitching but not so lovely for photographing.  So here is my 2016 pattern collage!

2016 collage

I'm always a little surprised when I realize that a particular pattern only emerged last year.  They become so familiar to me that I think they've been there forever!  And I love seeing them together like this.  Along with patterns there was a lot of kit preparing and pre printed fabric panels sorted out.  And then a few commissions and two magazine pieces.

All in all a wonderful year for LiliPopo and I would like to thank all of my lovely followers and customers for sharing the year with me.

This year I have lots of pattern plans, some in my head, some in my various sketchbooks and some already partly stitched.  Flower girls, unicorns and a thief of hearts are foremost in my head at the moment.

Heart burglar detail

along the lines of this little ACEO 

I want to improve my ability to use a posh camera (aka a DSLR).  At the moment I use a rather nice RICOH but I just have it on one setting and go for it!  I think I would like to understand a little more about photography this year.  

One of my own favourite patterns has always been catching wishes

Catching wishes detail1

I love working with one thread and in blacks and greys so this year I want to stitch up more of my drawings using a blackwork style of stitching.  I started towards the end of last year with my attitude fairy

Pics 027

I popped some wall paper around her (Edward Gorey style or Matisse without the colour)

Pics 028

and some floorboards beneath her boots.  I love the slowness and repetition of this kind of stitching.  I'm still working on my usual linen cotton mix so I get a little bit of unevenness here and there but I think I like it like that.

Pics 026

I like the idea of building up a space around the girls to create more of a picture.  

It would be lovely to know what you would like to see more of on the blog as I am going to create a blogging plan in the hope of being much more consistent over here!  I just need more sunshine so I can take more photographs

So I have my list for 2017.  Time for a coffee and I'd better make a start!

Wishing you all a wonderful New Stitchy Year


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



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...



On my work table


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



Just a quick reminder


A couple of years ago I did a short series of blog posts to stitch this little notebook cover for a Christmas lists notebook (being something of a notebook and list fanatic!)

I realised that I don't have a clear link to the posts anymore and Christmas is on the way so I have added a page above to link to any free stuff 

and here is the link to the beginning of the series for anyone who missed it the first time around

lilipopo Christmas stitch along

What's in my shop?

Full winter dream

I've discovered that sometimes there's a little confusion about what the different items in my shop are.  I do try to be as clear as I can but sometimes what I might think is clear can be confusing to someone else so today's post is just to clarify the different items that I sell.

Mushroom pixie lower

Firstly I sell PDF embroidery patterns.  These are the cheapest option.  You buy the pattern as an instant download and Etsy send an email with the pattern link and you then download it straight to your computer.  You will then need to print the design and trace it onto your fabric, I have instructions for transferring the design here.  The PDF contains the pattern, the pattern in reverse and a stitch and colour guide.  


You can also buy 2, 3, 4, 5, 8 and 10 patterns together for a slightly cheaper price in my special offers section (I wasn't sure what else to call it!).  If you want, for example, 3 different patterns, you can buy the three pattern packet and send a message to me to let me know which patterns you would like.  I will then email the patterns to you within 24 hours.  Sometimes I am superquick because I am at my computer but sometimes I am a little slower because I am in bed and you are in Australia but it should never take longer than 24 hours.  These packets are not instant download as I need to email your particular choices out to you.

Sampler etsy

Next I sell fabric panels with the design printed onto them for you to stitch.  I honestly don't know what to call these!  I have called them samplers and fabric panels but nothing describes exactly what they are.  If you choose this option it is a little more expensive, especially if you are ordering from outside the UK as it has to be posted but you don't have to do any transferring.  You can start stitching the moment it arrives.  You can choose to order the panel with or without the PDF, so if you know how you want to stitch it and what colours you want to use you probably won't need the PDF but if you want to follow the colours and stitches that I used then you will need the PDF.  Again the PDF is emailed to you.  At the moment I have four fabric panels  available but I will be increasing this number

Yellow kit photo

Finally I sell kits, these contain everything you need to stitch the finished product.  You can choose whether to include a hoop or not depending on whether you already have a suitable one.  By the end of the week I will have all the lavender girl kits back in stock along with winter dream, friends and fairy cushion.  But they do tend to sell quite quickly and it takes a little time to gather all the materials together again to relist them.  If there's a kit you especially want please feel free to message me and I will see what I can do.

I'm hoping that I have covered everything here but if you have any other questions about ordering from my shop or my products please do ask in the comments and I will, hopefully, be able to answer


blog hop Modern folk embroidery

Cover picture 2

A few weeks ago I received an email asking if I might be interested in reviewing the new Nancy Nicholson book 'Modern Folk Embroidery'.  I am a big fan of Nancy Nicholson's colourful embroidery kits and already have her beautiful cat sampler waiting to be stitched up so I jumped at the chance.

I was sent a copy of the ebook.  I have never had a craft book as an ebook before but I really enjoyed using it.  It printed well and easily and I could just print out what I needed.

the book is really beautiful, she has a fabulous way with colour and I immediately wanted to stitch at least five of the projects but I didn't have any felt so I had to wait!

The projects are relatively simple in terms of stitching together.  They range from pin cushions to full size cushions, hanging decorations to tote bags and even a table runner and a little folk doll.  There are quite a few embroidered pictures for framing and some useful hints and tips.

I particularly loved the  stitch library which groups the stitches into 'families' such as running and herringbone.  She begins with the basic stitch and then gives you lots of ways to embellish the stitch.  The diagrams are nice and clear but I would recommend practicing  any unfamiliar stitches before stitching them onto your final project.

There is also a practical guide to tools and materials.  Nancy favours an air removable pen which may be wise for felt but I have a water removable pen so that's what I used.  The pilot frixion pen that I use for the fine lines of my patterns on linen/cotton wouldn't really work.


There are lots of beautiful projects in the book.  It was so difficult to choose just one to stitch.  I am absolutely going to have those beautiful hanging decorations all over the house!

I already had a whistle fish square white frame so I decided to stitch the bird on the cover because it fits the frame beautifully and because  I LOVE it!

Bird cut pieces

Once my local buttons and bows had opened up the next morning I stocked up on gorgeous felts in beautiful colours.  Once home I settled in with a coffee and Cerys on 6 playing on the i player radio to read through the instructions and start cutting pattern pieces and stitching.

-folk embroidery bird 3

The stitch instructions were easy to follow and I enjoyed feeling as though I was making it my own by choosing my felt and thread colours.  

Nancy suggests tacking the pieces in place first and then removing the tacking afterwards which I did with the smaller pieces.

I normally stitch with a hoop (because I normally stitch on linen) but for this I decided to do without and it which was fine because the felt I used was quite stiff enough.  I would recommend the good quality wool felt that she suggests (the white in my project isn't wool felt and was a little see through)

I drew lines and circles where I wanted my stitches using a water removable pen as I have a tendency to 'wander' when I am stitching

Bird stitching

I loved the feather stitching on the tail.  I did draw lines to follow so I didn't stray too far.  

Eskimo laced

and, just like Wild Olive I loved the Eskimo laced feather stitch.  The variations on running stitch are my favourite as they are so simple and yet so effective.

-folk embroidery bird full close up

The eagle eyed among you may notice that the flower stalk is missing from the picture!   I measured the bird and got so excited that it fit perfectly in my frame that I forgot about the flower!  But I still love it, even without the flower. 

I followed the stitching diagram quite closely but there are the most beautiful stitch pattern illustrations all the way through the book showing lots of combinations of stitches so you could use all kinds of other stitch combinations to create other birds.

There are diagrams for putting the projects together along with written instructions.  I found it easiest to use both together.

I have already started on a second project from the book and have a list of Christmas presents and decorations to make from it too


This is the start of the cuff bracelet...

I love the fact that this book opens embroidery up, especially for the beginner.  Once you've made all the beautiful projects that are in the book I think it will be difficult not to go on embellishing every textile surface in your home.  Which is probably what I'm going to do 

I'm hoping that if you click on this widget you will be able to look through the book but just in case my techy skills have failed me here is the link that should take you there.  The book is available for pre order on both Sew and so and Amazon (where you can have a look inside).

I bought all my threads from Sew and So and my felt locally.  There are a few suppliers of felt listed in the back of the book that I will be trying.

And now take a look at the other fab stops in the blog hop to see more pics from the book and what my fellow stitchers chose to make

Monday 17th October - Sew and So
Wednesday 19th October - Wild Olive
Thursday 20th October - Kate and Rose
Friday 21st October - Right here at LiliPopo
Monday 24th October - Anna Scott Embroidery
Wednesday 26th October - Carina Crafts


filling in the spaces with simple stitches

Slow stitching

I am still loving my slow stitching book and taking a little quiet time to stitch some patches.  I'm not quite sure what I intend to do with them at the end of all the stitching but...

It got me thinking that I really do love my stitching to be simple and relaxing.  I'm a huge fan of backstitch because it is so simple and does exactly what I need it to do.  

Wishes head

You can change the kind of line you create by changing the number of strands.  So for something delicate and sketchy like my catching wishes pattern I just used one strand of thread to give it an ethereal feel.


whereas feeling witchy is much bolder and uses two threads.  I also love filling with back stitch.  This could be because satin stitch is definitely not my strong point but I like the sketchiness of back stitch filler.  And again it is different according to how many strands of threads you use.

So all this has got me thinking about filling the spaces.

Etsy red fairy cover

A lot of the dresses for my girls have fabric appliqued to fill the space but sometimes I like to stitch the space.

So here are a few ideas about how to fill the spaces


There are always back stitch stripes, in the friends pattern I have used them for the hat and I often use them for tops and socks but they could also fill a dress nicely.   I have a habit of using three colours, a dark colour, a lighter version and an ecru always seem to work nicely.  You can either alternate them or you could have two rows of one and single rows of the others.   It's fun to mess around and see what effects you get.


I often just add straight stitches, I tend to prefer this to satin stitch as it's less heavy and seems to suit the girls more

I also used straight stitches in some of the trees below.  I find a pattern forms naturally as I stitch, but I will go back and undo if a stitch looks out of place.  I think a variegated thread would work nicely with these straight stitches.


for winter dream I used seed stitch for her dress.  I think this is my favourite way to fill dresses.  It's so relaxing, making tiny (1-2mm) stitches, each one running in a different direction to the last.  

I also sometimes like to create patterns in the spaces.  I especially love star stitches, just four single stitches crossing each other as in her scarf above.  Little crosses can suggest a knitted fairisle hat.  You could have rows of crosses and V stitches alternating in different colours.


For the little reader I created a pattern for her dress rather than applique it.  I made a blue french knot and then just radiated lemon straight stitches out from it.  There are so many possibilities for filling those dresses and hats with very simple stitches and it's fun to mess around creating patterns with stitches.

I'd be interested to know whether you prefer simple stitching or to be challenged by more complex stitches and do you like creating your own patterns to fill the dresses or do you prefer to applique them?

There are tutorials for back stitch and french knots on my tutorials page

All the patterns area available in my Etsy shop

I will be back on Friday with a gorgeous book review by an embroiderer I love