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May 2013

Tutorial Tuesday chain stitch


chain stitch is a stitch that I have hardly ever used.  I have vague memories of making a chain stitch embroidery as a child at school but that's about it.  This could be because I lean towards laziness and it seemed like a faffy stitch for outlining but then (I have no idea why) I used it for the walls and roof of my wonky shed and loved it!


and so here is a quick and hopefully helpful tutorial on my method for chain stitching


I Prefer two strands of thread and I began this with a knot!  There isn't really a need to I just wasn't thinking and before I knew it I'd knotted my thread!  But you poke your needle back down where you came up


pulling your thread gently until you have a smallish loop.  Next poke your needle back up inside the loop (as above).  How far along you poke your needle back up depends on how big you want your stitches (mine were about 3mm long).


pull your thread taut, how taut depends on how you want your stitches to look, I like a little give in mine.  The best thing is to practice because tension matters in chain stitch, you need to keep your tension even throughout your stitching.


this is a little slower to stitch than backstitch but if you want an outline to stand out it's a great stitch.  In fact I'm thinking it would be rather nice around the caravan...


p.s. I have accidentally changed my whole blog layout while trying to change my banner.  I'm not too sure about how readable it is like this, the photos are a little large for my liking.  I have an intention of sorting it properly but for that I will have to learn to use typepad properly!!  It may be a while... please bear with me!



messing with a camera and a dog


a bit of a poorly dog, possibly because he stole our curry the other day!


a bit of pretty baking (strictly not for dogs)

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our first sunny evening picnic in a secret spot

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a bit of advice on where the best jumping spot is

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and an evening swim for one of us!

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and a beautiful walk home again

I hope your weekend was lovely and sunny too (or if it wasn't then perhaps it was full of cake and stitching)


A wonky garden shed with a cat...

Bird cage

After a marathon of stitching yesterday while listening to radio 4 (ask me anything about our economy or Teresa May's opinions about the police and I can tell you!!) I have finished THE SHED!  


I'm thinking it's going to make a lovely cushion if I ever get to Truro to buy some fabric for it


I've been using chain stitch for the walls and roof, not a stitch I normally use but I enjoyed it and will probably do a photo tutorial next week (which really means in about two weeks at least if you're lucky!).

I've gone for the bunting as it seemed like the best way to pretty up a shed and you could applique the bigger bunting, especially if you have lots of lovely bright fabrics.

Pattern and finished

I have a sampler available to stitch (this avoids the pattern transferring).  It is pre printed onto a lovely organic calico which is US letter size (8.5" x 11").


or you can buy the pdf pattern and transfer it onto any fabric you like

The pattern is here

And the sampler is here 

And now onto lots of lovely sketching in the (almost) sunshine!




I put the shed aside last week but I've had time to pick it up again this weekend


my favourite part of the process is choosing the colours

Window 2

this weekend, due to bad weather, I have had quite a bit of stitching time

The crew

but this morning we dropped the new home educated crew of the Hardiesse at the quayside.  Do they look a little nervous

On their way

this is them motoring off to their home until tomorrow night

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Teague, Annis and their friends are crewing on this beautiful ship right now as I write this.  I hope they''re enjoying it!

Mystery flower

and we saw these lovely delicate flowers after we had dropped them off.  No-one knew what they were.  I am hoping one of my lovely readers might have an idea.  They were growing on a bank of grass and there were lots of them.  I hope you've had a lovely weekend too


bank holiday weekending

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Oh my goodness but it feels like spring finally!!

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there were flowers everywhere at Cot Valley where we went for our bank holiday picnic

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it was so busy we had to perch along the cliff path

and I admit there may have been a little bit of a chill wind later on

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but we saw our most favourite thing to see, in fact we saw three... choughs.  They must have been nesting nearby as they stayed with us all afternoon.  Of course that didn't mean we could get a good photo but honestly it is a chough!

I hope you had a lovely weekend too


Yesterday... and not a spot of stitching in sight

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Yesterday was so very beautiful

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so after a day of building bug houses we visited one of our favourite beaches for too short a time

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there was time for a spot of juggling

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Annis and her friend did a bit of splashing but they were too quick for the camera, disappearing behind the rocks trying to fit a day's worth of splashing into an hour

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all too soon it was time to leave, promising ourselves more time next time.  We can feel summer coming, home ed starts winding down... the beach stuff sits in the boot of the car just in case... picnics and barbecues 

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and forgetting all about that longest of winters

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pictures by Jason and Teague


spring stitching and growing

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yesterday Jason went outside to build a shed, a proper wooden shed with real wood so i drew my own shed, one with bunting and pretty blinds and flowers in pots (this is how our yard looks in my imagination).  You see we don't have a garden, just a back yard that is full of steps and levels and not terribly useable.


I even started stitching my pretty shed.  But then we received a letter.  A letter we have been waiting for for 5 years!!! 


we finally have an allotment and it's lovely!!  See the excitement in my little companion.  I might add that she is standing on tiptoes to look taller next to me!  (but if I did tell you that she would be very cross indeed).  We are so very excited.  It's so peaceful up there and it's only a twenty minute walk (or shorter bike ride) away.  At this point I should add that I am not known for my love of gardening.  I love flowers and nature and organic fruit and vegetables but not hard labour!  Fortunately the three males in this family are all taller and stronger than Annis and I and seem up for the digging type stuff leaving us with choosing, watering,weeding,sketching,dreaming and picnicking...

I am thoroughly enjoying the stitching of my shed.  And I hope it will be a pattern and a sampler in my shop quite soon.  But I am already dreaming allotment embroideries and pictures...