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January 2013
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March 2013

February 2013



I am feeling dizzy with excitement as I think my printing technique is going to work!!  I will be able to sell the patterns preprinted onto fabric for those who prefer not to have all the faff of transferring patterns.

I will be sewing up (yet another!) caravan to test my method out this week.  This should mean that I can expand my kit range too:)

as for the weekend...

Cushion 001

I found a use for the bright caravan embroidery.  I've patchworked around the edge to make a cushion front but we ran out of fabric for the border and back.  So we did a bit of armchair shopping at fabric rehab for some yellow dotty fabric and now we're waiting for it to arrive.  Needless to say the cushion has already been claimed by Annis, the hoarder of all things handmade!


on my work table

Caravan pattern

the caravan pattern is finally finished and available over here.  The pattern contains the two different caravans and a larger version (more suitable for a cushion perhaps) of the second brighter caravan

Bright window

I'm really happy with the way it turned out and of course your caravan doesn't have to be a pink one!  I have included a guide to the colours I used for both caravans though.  

In addition to this Etsy have added an exciting new feature that means you can download your pattern as soon as you pay so no more waiting for me to email it to you!  This only works with individual patterns at the moment so If you order a three or four pattern packet you will still have to wait for the email.

Printing on fabric

I've started looking at printing onto fabric in order to sell pre printed fabric pieces which you could sew without having to transfer the pattern, these will also go into kits for those who would like the hoop threads and needle supplied


and there have been a lot of plants and flowers in my sketchbook recently

Plant shop

possibly even a plant shop

Plant shop 2

I'm not sure where this is heading, stitched drawings or an embroidery pattern or maybe both

Bunny girl

and of course easter is on its way and bunny hats are creeping back into my pages!

have a lovely weekend



embroidery injuries and caravans

Caravan detail 1

this should have been a ta dah post.  this pattern should be sitting in my shop so that all of the happy campers out there can stitch a caravan for their caravans or their potential caravans (for those of us without) but embroidery is a dangerous business and injuries can occur.

Caravan detail 2

 I have suffered an embroidery related back injury.  I'm not sure how but I have torn a muscle in my back while seemingly just sitting here sewing!  So I have half a caravan to show.  A sneak peek because sitting for long periods of time hunched over my stitching is not on the agenda for a few days. I have my hot water bottle and some family members to order about so I should be back stitching after the weekend and finally have a completed caravan pattern

Caravan detail 3

Now I shall go back to feeling sorry for myself and bossing people about for another day


backstitch tutorial

Backstitch main

I think everyone has their favourite outlining stitch but mine is really the most simple, backstitch.  It is the most basic stitch and here is a little tutorial for it.

Backstitch 1

first bring the needle up to the front of the fabric a stitches length from the top of the line you are stitching

Backstitch 2

leaving a tail at the back, there's no need to knot

Backstitch 3

next take the needle down at the top of the line (moving backwards) careful not to pull the end of the thread right through

Backstitch 4

you have your first stitch!  Bring your needle back up further down the line you are stitching trapping the loose thread at the back of your work as you stitch

Backstitch 5

this is the back of the work with the loose thread trapped by the stitches

Backstitch 6

continue stitching along the line


when you get to the end of your stitching or you're running out of thread just weave the thread through the stitches at the back of the work and cut your thread.

Backstitch main

and there you have backstitch :)




it was a lot like this at the weekend, I don't know where the sun has gone!  Surfing didn't happen due to coughs and snuffles but middle son did join the local cycling club on Sunday for a 36 mile bike ride.  Apparently there were an awful lot of hills and definitely quite a bit of rain

Jason pics 012

I don't know where these children of mine get their hardiness, I can only assume they got all my mum's northern blood and I must have my dad's macedonian blood because all I want is a nice mediterranean climate with warm sea!!

Knitting 005

which gives a good clue as to what I was doing at the weekend (indoors and cosy).  I finished J's hat and he's so pleased with it that he has gone to work wearing it, which means I haven't photographed it.  This is the beginning of my own hat in a blue heathery cascade yarn.  I have to say I love this pattern.  It is my most successful piece of knitting in that I have had requests from children for the same hats.  It is also lovely to knit, just interesting enough to keep me from getting bored but not so complicated that I can't watch David Attenborough's Africa while I'm knitting. The pattern is called dustland hat and is by west knits here.

I downloaded some Trollope onto the kindle (for free!!) for some cosy reading. I love 19th century literature, I think it's all the rules, good manners, conversation and letter writing.

Laure Berthaud_crop_resize

and I was desperately keen to watch the new series of spiral but we didn't have time so I am waiting patiently to catch up on the first two episodes.  In all honesty it's usually so complicated I could probably watch them secretly now and still watch them again with J later without giving anything away.

I hope you all had lovely cosy or (if you prefer) cold wet outdoorsy times this weekend.  Perhaps a little bit of both

A french knot tutorial

French knots!  You either love them or hate them, personally I am a bit of a lover of them and as a result do like to add them to pretty much all of my embroidery.  They seem so difficult and then once you've got the hang of them they're addictive.  I am going to attempt a tutorial here, I'm sorry in advance if it's not clear enough but my computer literate/film maker son is willing to make a short film for me when he has the time (moving into video tutorials!!!).  For now here it is in photo form.
You'll need both hands for this so rest the hoop on your knee or table
French knot tutorial 1
first pull your thread through to the front of your fabric making sure it is taut
French knot tutorial 2
wrap the thread around the needle
French knot tutorial 3
French knot tutorial 4
French knot tutorial 5
push the needle back through the fabric very close to where you came out (but not the same place or you might end up with a disappeared knot!).  Keep the loose thread taut with your free hand (but not so taut you can't push your needle through)
French knot tutorial 6
let go of the thread and let the last of the thread through and hopefully you will have a lovely french knot.
French knot tutorial 7
If this is confusing I will hopefully soon have my very own film although I may film my daughter's beautifully manicured young hands doing the work!
If you're loving french knots then the incredible stitcher Karen Ruane has a flickr group specially dedicated to precisely this over here.  I recommend a visit
Hope this helps 



at the moment I have about ten patterns in my head.  Sometimes it goes like that. Throughout December and most of January I felt dull headed, no ideas and the ideas I had started like the caravan above didn't inspire me then all of a sudden I felt full of enthusiasm and rearing to go.  I did seem to keep getting bugs in January which probably made it all seem worse.

Bear ears

But the strangest thing of all is that this burst of inspiration has happened in February!  Usually February seems like the longest month despite being the shortest.  Usually I don't want to get out of bed in February!  But this February I am bounding out of bed to go swimming and rushing back to get sewing. 

Bunny ears

I don't mind the strange mixed up weather, I don't mind that we are a little too on top of each other in the winter, that the house is a little too overcrowded, a little too messy.  It has occurred to me that not worrying about those things has allowed me to think about designing and stitching.


so because of this I have the new pattern in the shop, a few new patterns on the way, some kits and some exciting ideas involving screen printing (something I did once at school!) and preprinted embroidery patterns on fabric.  I want to do it all now but I think that may be a little unrealistic (although the children are quite happy for me to forget about them for a while!).  So I'm hoping to have all these things happening gradually over the next couple of months and I will blog my progress, especially with the screenprinting...