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October 2016

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

lavender girl kits shop update

Kits contents collage

Just a quick post to say that the kits for these girls are now all in stock.  They are kits for one girl with or without a hoop

Main picture

I also have two girl kits as in the pic above.

they are all in my Etsy shop

and while I am here I also have printed fabric panels for wonky shed, in the garden and flower gardener.  Winter Dream panels will be in  in a couple of weeks.

Back in a couple of days with seed stitching thoughts


lavender girl inspiration


Inbetween busyness with dull admin stuff and lots of supplies ordering for the Christmas season this is what I have been doing, having fun with lavender girls.

Dress collage

I love playing around with liberty tana lawn scraps.  I especially love  the turquoise Betsy at the moment.  The fabrics are (in a clockwise direction) grey Mitsi, yellow Kayoko, turquoise Betsy, red June's meadow.  All these are available from Alice Caroline on Etsy .

Head collage

The kits should be ready in a week or so


little red and kindred stitches

With flowers

The new issue of Kindred Stitches magazine is out now and it has my embroidery pattern for the sweet little red riding hood above

Kindred Stitches is a digital stitching magazine full of lots of beautiful projects.  You just can pop it on your tablet or computer

This issue is 'red and white' 

it has a beautiful hand embroidery pattern by Kelly Fletcher along with patchwork , fairy toadstools and a tote bag.

Little red angled 2

Little Red is a simple pattern with lots of long short stitch

so if you would like a little extra stitching go take a look at this lovely magazine




winter dream embroidery pattern

Water marked

It's finished.  I really loved the whole process of designing and stitching this one.  I think the soft colours and repetitive stitching were just what I needed this week while I was trying to decide on plans and stock for kits and fabric panels for the upcoming season!

It took quite a lot of drawing, stitching and redrawing to get this one just how I wanted it.  When the children were little I used a lot of Rudolf Steiner/Waldorf methods in their education and I love the peaceful gentle art aesthetic associated with it all.  And I am a big lover of Robert Frost's poetry, one of my favourites being 'stopping by woods on a snowy evening'

Wm horse's head

and of course it was inspired by all the beautiful vintage dala horses out there.  Wouldn't it be lovely to ride off on one into snowy woods on a wintry evening

The pattern is in my shop now and I will be having fabric panels printed with this one later in the month.  I may also offer a kit for it in time for Christmas.

So all in all I'm feeling quite (unseasonably) Christmassy now!  In early October!!  Today I think I will have to go make squash soup and apple cake to get myself back into the autumn rhythm, or I could start my Christmas shopping early, for the first time ever, in my life!

I think soup and apple cake...