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February 2014
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April 2014

March 2014

stitch notes

It started with some stumpwork findings. I drew a very wonky square to practice corded detached buttonhole stitch.

That ended up looking a bit like a wide vase so I started adding plants. A giant daisy using turkey knot stitch, some raised satin stitch buds and some French knot branches.

I loved messing around with this and it is now the first part of the first patch of what will become a sort of sampler quilt.

If the weather is sunnier tomorrow I will take a pic of the first completed patch and pop it here.

Most of this was sneakily done on Mother's Day while my poor children slaved in the kitchen for me. But they did make a wonderful coffee and walnut cake. Yum!!

31 Mar 2014

31 Mar 2014

31 Mar 2014

31 Mar 2014

31 Mar 2014

fun with lavender girls

All 2

I've been having fun for the past few days with lavender girls

Blue bands front

Blue green front

All these girls are based on my daisy girl pattern but I just love messing around a little with it

choosing dresses

Red bobble socks front

Red socks front

long socks or short socks

I love choosing the colours

Red slides front

Pretty front

and long hair or short hair

I think it's a lovely retreat where I can play dress up dolls and mess around with scraps of luscious liberty fabric

Red slides back

and because (when I started!) it was feeling like spring, a lovely bloom in a vase on the back

I think I might like a liberty print vase

The girls are all available in my Etsy shop with a couple in my folksy shop

and now I'm working on a little gardening bunny girl


Diving in with no plans


Last summer, for my birthday, my daughter gave me this beautiful Limol box filled with glorious bright threads

Perle 8

perle 8 portuguese embroidery thread from this shop.  The threads came with two pieces of linen and I am ashamed to say that it has taken me this long to properly break into them!

At the moment there is a lot of home education going on.  We have slow times and busy times and I think that between now and the summer we will be in a busy time.  T has exams in May and is filling a portfolio ready for college, possibly in September.  A just wants to start her IGCSE work.  All this means a lot less time for lilipopo because I tend to only get snippets of time and have to be on call to answer spelling questions (Dictionary!!!).  

So I have started a project, a kind of quilt wall hanging thingy with no plan.  


It will have patches and bright embroidery (using the perle 8).  It will contain everyone's names but apart from those things I'm not too sure what form it's going to take.  

The main thing is that I can work on little patches, sitting and stitching while reciting french verbs, spelling words and looking for metaphors!

I love the portuguese soul posts on feeling stitchy so I think I will be re-reading those to gather inspiration.  Birds and flowers in bright colours and bold stitching all seems very summery, perfect now that the sun has come out!

Of course I will still be designing new things for lilipopo but I will definitely be working part time over the next three months so it will all be a little slower.  But I am excited to see where a bit of bright, bold experimenting might take me.

I'd love to hear of any good resources for this style of stitching if anyone knows of any and I will share anything I find along the way.


ideas and sparks and faffing


There hasn't been too much spare time recently for experimenting and sketching but I have been fiddling around with tiny bunches of flowers (about an inch)

Flowers and prints

I like the idea of patching them with small squares or strips of liberty prints.  

Flowers and one print

I also really like the pen marks, the unfinished look of it.  I can't really leave it as pen (not least because it is heat removeable so I could never iron it!).  I think I'm going to try out a single thread of grey and try to keep the pen like thing there.

Of course, before I do that I have to go and do English with my middle son.  I/we will be very happy at the end of May when the exams are over!


some nice things


This week I have had a bit more time to peruse lots of lovely stitching and food blogs, my favourite kinds.  And I thought I would share a few finds with you here.

Firstly I noticed that over at &stitches there is a new back to basics series going on.  Today they have kindly suggested the neutrals that every embroiderer needs in their stash.  There is a rather lovely looking charcoal grey that I am quite sure is missing from my stash, what a shame I will have to go thread shopping in the morning.

Karen Ruane whose work I absolutely adore!  is starting a new shorter class that has caught my eye.  It's a class for making a pillow and includes ledger pages too.  I adore her ledger pages  and am very tempted.

Finally I have been informed that Mollie Makes , a lovely English crafting and vintage magazine is setting up a US version and they have a blog (only just started) over here that is looking rather nice.


finally a nice sunny (!!!) birdwatching photo from a beautiful day earlier in the week with one of my sons.


Backing a hoop tutorial

There are lots of tutorials out there about how to back a hoop so you can frame your embroidery in the hoop but I thought that I would share my preferred method (not that I invented this method!)

I am not overly keen on glue even if it is fabric glue.  I have a tendency to get in a glue mess, in fact I even get in a double sided sticky tape mess so that doesn't really work for me either.  This method only really takes a little longer and stitching your backing on means that you can unpick it and remove your embroidery at a later date if you want to clean it, change it or you've run out of hoops!

Hoop backing 4

I start by taking the inner hoop and tracing around it onto the felt using my heat removable transfer pen.  If you prefer not to draw on your felt you can make a paper pattern.  Next cut out the circle.

Now you need to hoop up your embroidery, making sure that you're happy with the position in the hoop and that the screw is at the top in the centre.

Hoop backing 1

I trim the fabric to about 2.5cm around the hoop in a rough (!!) circle

Hoop backing 2

Next you get to do some big old gathering stitches about 1cm in from the edge all the way around in a circle.  You can use a shocking red if you like but I would normally suggest using a colour that blends nicely with your fabric.

Hoop backing 3

Now my favourite bit... pull them in until your fabric is nicely pulled behind the hoop and tie it off.

Hoop backing 6

Now pop your felt circle on top and stitch nicely (using a matching thread perhaps) all the way around.  Catching the felt and the fabric underneath.

Hoop backing 7

And you're done!

You could embroider the felt with a date or name before you start or stitch a calico label onto it.  But make sure you attach your felt the right way up with the screw at the top if you add anything.

Hoop backing 9

And now you can hang your handiwork for all to admire.

Time for a cup of tea