Previous month:
December 2012
Next month:
February 2013

January 2013

catching wishes embroidery pattern

Stitch 002

I have just finished the catching wishes embroidery pattern and it is in my shop today!  It is a fairly simple embroidery in terms of stitches, done with a single thread for a sketchy quality.  There is a bit of metallic in there but you could swap it for the shiny satiny type thread if you prefer slippery difficult rather than catchy difficult!

Off to enjoy the rest of the weekend now, have a fun one

Pixie houses and colouring a grey day

Pattern pics
I have finally finished the little houses pattern.  It has been so much fun embroidering these pixie houses in bright cheerful colours while it's so very grey outside!

Grey day 001

this is just how grey (and the exposure has been brightened up on this!!!).  So a little colour and cuteness was absolutely in order this week.

12 january 007

these little houses can be filled in with all kinds of colours

Little houses outlined

or quickly outlined in a simple backstitch

Fabric roof framed

you can even give them little appliqued rooves

I've been stitching these pixie houses on lavender bags for a long time and I think they are a form of colour therapy.  They would look lovely all in a row, a sort of pixie street, but be sure to pop some trees on your street too.

PicMonkey Collage

the pattern is in my etsy shop and my folksy shop.

Now I am moving on to a little black and white work as I have been asked to create a pattern for my catching wished embroidery

Catching wishes

It's actually black, grey and silver and mainly single threads with the dreaded shiny thread too!  I shall pop a post on here when this pattern is available for sale

Have a lovely weekend



slowly slowly...

Little houses
my little houses pattern is coming along nicely in between my commission work, so perhaps not as quickly as I might have hoped but then sometimes you have to just go with the flow!

Blue little house

The stitching has been fun

Red pink little house

I have loved choosing the colours

Tall roof

I have loved trying out different stitches

Fabric roof

I have even taken copious notes, including colour guides for these little houses

Twizzle roof

which means I now have to turn my scribbled pages into understandable instructions and at the same time I am drawing diagrams for a stitch guide to include in all my patterns.  My hope is that with the stitch guide and instructions a beginner stitcher will be able to stitch these little houses.

I am also including three smaller houses that would be good for brooches or lavender bags

so back to the desk and photoshop (!!!) and hopefully the pattern will be on sale this week

so back to my desk and pens 

Not stitching

Thursday 004

knitting has begun again after quite a gap, there was just no time at all in the lead up to christmas and I did spend the time thinking next year I will be more organized so I can cosy up and knit more but maybe January is the right time for quietness, dreaming up ideas and knitting

this pretty coloured piece (excuse the horrid table that still needs stripping) is going to be socks.  I had got further than this, I had started turning the heel, unfortunately it was a bit late at night and I have made a little error in counting which means quite a bit of taking back.

It's a regia sock yarn, garden effects, and so lovely to knit on grey days.  Bright colours are definitely drawing me at the moment

Thursday 055

I am going to put my socks (and bright colours) to one side just long enough to knit with the grey above.  After years of offering to knit for J and him refusing I showed him this hat pattern which I was actually intending to knit for me (having long since given up on him!) and he said 'I really like that, I'd like one'!!  So he happened to be going to London, in fact Islington, which happens to be where Loop is and I directed him there with instructions to buy whichever colour of cascade yarn he liked which he duly did and he bought a beautiful heathery blue for me too!!  This of course means I need to start on the hat this weekend just as soon as I've finished all my commissioned work.


bright colours and little houses

Little houses
I am busy being organised this week.  I have been working all week on a pattern for my little houses to sell.  My intention is to have these three larger houses which would work well on something like a needle book or coaster or even all in a row as a picture...  and some smaller sized houses for lavender bags or keyrings.  

Green tree 2

the houses will have little trees by the side of them too.  I thought I would have it all finished this week but with all my note taking (no pics of my apallingly scruffy note taking!) it is quite a slow process.  Usually I simply sell the pattern but I am adding a colour guide and stitch guide for these houses.  I have been floss blending like crazy (see the ladder) I am completely hooked on it!  So I'm quite happy in my little stitchy world but I suspect it will take me most of next week to finish all this properly!

Tall house roof

I've also tried out an open chain to create quite a nice tiled effect on the roof of this house.  I've got a bit of work to do on my stitch diagrams.  I have ideas in my head about a beginner's kit with these houses as they are small but not too fiddly and nice and bright.  

After this my caravan pattern is not forgotten and I have a gypsyish girl in process too.  So I think my January will be spent with quite a lot of stitching... there are worse ways to spend January!  I've also got some regia sock yarn to make myself some purple red and green socks (knitting socks while watching bad or good crime drama is my meditation).  I may even show you them when they're done.  I notice I am surrounded by bright colours at the moment despite my entire wardrobe being made up of black and brown, it must be a January thing!

Where are you getting your colour from on these grey days?  Or maybe your days aren't as grey as Cornwall!


it's all about the pens

Transfer pens

pattern transfer is just one of those things, you have to do it to get to the fun stuff but no single method ever seems perfect!  I am frequently asked what I use for transferring my patterns so this post is just to show the different pens I use.  It is also possible to use carbon paper for fabric but this is a method I have never tried although I will probably give it a go soon and will blog about it.

Frixion pen

My absolute most preferred method is the pilot frixion pen, I have mentioned it before.  I find I can get all the detail as it is more or less like a biro and I like being able to just iron the lines away.  The only downside is that you can't iron anything until you've finished sewing as your lines will disappear!  This is definitely the pen I find easiest to use for detailed patterns.

Wash out pen

If you prefer to wash the pen out then a water erasable pen is for you.  They are more like felt tip pens, this particular one is quite thick (like a normal felt pen), I tend to use it if I want a very clear line and the pattern is very simple, usually for my daughter.  You can get a finer line pen as well but I don't find them great for really detailed patterns.  This pen just washes out when you've finished but it's worth doing a trial run on a scrap of the fabric you're going to use just to be on the safe side.

Both these pens are tracing pens.  I use a light box but you can tape the pattern to a sunny window with your fabric over it and trace the design.

Sulky pen

Iron on transfer pens are quite new to me.  You trace the pattern onto paper (I've used tracing paper and cheap copier paper both work but I got more transfers with the copier paper)

Sulky images

You iron your fabric so it's warm then place the image on the fabric and move the iron over it (on a high heat) while keeping the pattern still.  The image is very clear but it is also permanent (it faded a little on washing) so you would need to cover the lines with your stitches.

Sulky repeats

the advantage of this sulky pen is that you can get more than one image from your transfer (with the tall roofed house I got three good images).   I couldn't get a really fine line on it but it could be lack of practice.  The pen flows nicely and is easy to draw with.

Heat pencil image

these houses were transferred using a heat transfer pencil.  I could get a fine line with this which was great and I got two stitchable images from one pattern.  Again this method is permanent but the line is finer so you may find it easier to cover with stitches.  It doesn't flow quite as easily as the sulky pen but for detailed work it's definitely preferable.

All my pens were from The Cotton Patch.

If a design is quite complex and I know I'll stitch it more than once I will use a heat transfer pen or pencil as I can get more than one image for all that tracing work!  But usually I use the frixion pen and a lightbox.

Once my personal computer skills mentor returns from his travels I will ask for help setting up a tutorials and methods page where I will gather useful information for beginner embroiderers and I will add this post to it so that it is easy to find!


New year new plans...

January 4th 021
usually our new year begins on the first of January but this year there was a bit of illness around, a need to snuggle quietly at home (eating through the mounds of chocolate) and so today felt like a beginning.  the reason is Sennen, we always seem to gravitate there around this time of year

January 4th 012

we can spend the whole summer without going near Sennen, (possibly because we would have to set off at 5am to find a parking place) but in January we are always drawn there

January 4th 030

partly it's the surfing (not me but my children!) but I think it's the colours, it's such a perfect wintry place.  A place to walk and think up plans for the year, dreaming of warmer weather, wild swimming in France, Golden eagle spotting in Scotland, more plans than we can ever manage in a year but we love to have plans

January 4th 017

and while I'm standing watching the others I'm thinking of blogging plans, embroidery tutorials, and pattern ideas bubbling away in my calm serene mind!  I hope you're having a calm and lovely start to the new year, making more plans than you can fit into a year...