a mermaid tale

Lilipopo mermaid stitch fixed

I have been enjoying a quiet but busy January so far, lots of stitching and even more sketching and painting.  Yesterday I decided it was time to warm up the old computer so I could get on with finishing the mermaid pattern and this morning I have her in my Etsy shop 


I have been having some fun playing around a little with stitches and so I came up with her tail stitch which fills the tail very prettily.  I have also been practicing consistency with my chain stitch (testing my patience a little) but I think I finally have a rhythm going, as long as no-one interrupts me. 

Generally speaking I like to use a hoop as I find I can keep the tension in my stitching more even.  But I found long lines of chain stitch a little easier without the hoop really or at least with a small hoop just covering the area I have to stitch.  An 8" hoop can be a little unwieldy for rhythmic stitching sometimes.  Do you prefer to hoop or not to hoop?

The fish tail stitch is very simple and began with rows of back stitch

Lilipopo mermaid stitch 1

I made sure that my stitches met at the top point of all the half stars.  My star stitches are roughly the same size as my back stitch

Lilipopo mermaid stitch 2

Lilipopo mermaid stitch 3

Once the half star stitches were in place I added french knots in between using 3 strands of thread instead of 2 and a contrasting colour.

Lilipopo mermaid stitch 4

This is such a simple stitch but I love the textural effect.


I think the mermaid would make a nice cushion doll.  Just stitched on her own and then cut out with a seam allowance and backed and stuffed.  This might be my next bit of stitching...

Lilipopo mushroom reader

Another project that I have been busy with this month is creating this girl who has found a quiet spot to do a bit of reading.  I am thinking of creating prints of this and possibly notecards (I have an addiction to notecards!).

I hope you are enjoying a quiet cozy creative January


On my work table


thanks to all my lovely customers my work table has been mostly full of kit supplies and packaging while I have been sending out such a lot of lavender girl kits!  How lovely to think of all the lavender girls that are being stitched this winter.

But I have had a moment or two to carry on working on this 'fairy with attitude' design.  I've used my absolute favourite Liberty fabric - red mitsy for this prototype.  Sadly I can't get hold of any more but I may have enough for a couple of dresses!  

I'm still tweaking the dress design and thinking of adding a stitched dress design as well as an applique pattern.  I have a tutu idea in my head but whether it will work in stitch as well as it works in my head...

Legs and boots

I love stitching with one strand of thread (using my super duper magnifying lamp!) because it looks so much more like my original drawing but I am also stitching her up using two strands to give a more solid line.  I think she'll work with both but the effect will be different.

I'm also looking at these oval flexi hoops 

Catching wishes

I used the round one for catching wishes and they are so easy to stitch and then frame in.  I also love the little Victorian look hanger at the top.  I think these may be easier for using in the kits too as they stay taut.

New designs

I love the lace and the Christmassy fabric.  I was thinking of making her into a sort of mini quilt hanging...

Little elf

I also have a little elf drawing on my work table that is soon to become a fairy cushion for boys.  My own two boys were always very happy to have messages and gifts from the fairies so it's probably about time I designed a boy version!

I'm also messing around with my blog template so that it works on mobile phones and ipads, because not everyone is as old fashioned as I am and still using a laptop for looking at blogs!  It will probably change again before I am happy with it...

Now for hot chocolate and a nice film on this grey cold evening



ideas, details and questions

Blog two

I spent a lot of time on trains last year so I have an awful lot of sketches but most of them don't make it to be embroidery patterns because I just love a bit of detail, detail that I suspect most people might not want to trace onto fabric.

But it seems I may be wrong

Blog one

yesterday I shared this drawing on instagram and facebook and was surprised to see that some of my lovely followers would like to see it as a pattern.  I am curious to know how you feel about lots of tracing.

Are you happy to do lots of tracing?

Do you always trace all the lines or do you copy the picture sometimes rather than trace the whole thing?

Do you print the pattern directly onto the fabric?

Would you prefer something more complex already printed onto cotton so you can just start stitching?

I love the idea of stitching a whole picture, perhaps for framing so I think this will be my next project after my mini frame patterns are finished.

Next week I have a little freebie for the colouring in fans among you as a thankyou for a wonderful year last year.


a little birdhouse fairy

Basket small

my little birdhouse fairy is finished and her basket is full of love to share.  I have to admit that one good thing about all this wet weather is that it's perfect for stitching.

Birdhouse small

I've used quite delicate colours on a natural linen that I got from frumble.  I love working on linen but the colours are all much more subtle, not the easiest to photograph!  Especially on these grey wet days.

Whole pic small

She is going to be the centre panel on a cushion just as soon as I can make my mind up about fabric!  The pattern is available over in my Etsy shop.

Tiny fairy

I have started on the design for the toothfairy cushions.  I'm thinking of making them as kits too.  I loved making my daughter a toothfairy cushion (all that time ago when she was only six!!).

Tiny fairy stitched

Here I've stitched her entirely in a single strand because I like the delicacy you get from one strand, closer to a drawing.  Linen again, I'm not sure whether to back the cushion with a print and a felt heart pocket or more linen and a print pocket...

This rainy weather is clearly good for my work ethic even if it's not very nice for walking a whippet.  We sneak out in a moment of dry and usually get soaked through before we get home again!  

Maybe I can trick one of the children into walking him today and get on with some more sewing...



balloons and cuteness


I am busy working on some new patterns that I hope will make lovely kits for beginners or children but also cute embroideries for a child's room.

I have had drawings of balloons on and off ever since I started making embroidery patterns and yet for some reason I have never actually made up a pattern with them.  But balloons make a perfect base for a sampler to try out lovely stitches and colours.


So I'm hoping to have these cute little creatures taking part in a grand balloon race ready for stitching this week.

I think these might make cute embroideries on baby items or perhaps on a little shoulder bag, maybe even framed in a child's room.

What would you embroider them onto?


sketching and instagramming

Bunny ears main

this week I've been enjoying doing a little bit of sketching rather than stitching (sorry Paula).  I am having fun with aceos mainly because it is like making tiny fairy pictures (they are only 3.5" x 2.5").

Pinks main

it's a lovely thing to do in the evenings and at the moment the evenings are all I've had for working.  For some reason our summer so far has been very busy and mostly with the educational stuff we usually leave behind us at this time of year.  Teague is studying for English and French IGCSEs and his piano grade 3 (the first one he's done) and needs some help.  

Race and dog walk 002

Then there's the cycling which has had us driving around the county (ironically) to get him to time trials and races.  


And we need to get out and enjoy the beach as we're not sure how long summer will last 

Fairy hair

so a little bit of day/evening dreaming and fairy/pixie sketching has been beautifully relaxing in the evenings

Fairy sparkle main

I have also (due to a rather nice birthday present) got myself onto instagram as lilipoposketches.  I have a little button shaped like a camera at the top of my blog on the right which should take you to my page.  I'm really not sure what I can do there yet as I've only just set it up but please leave me your instagram names and I will visit your pages (once I work out how to do it!).

Blue fairy

and there are a few fairies left in my folksy shop at the moment although I think I will be making more along with some custom cards I have been asked to make.  

I may be a little absent next week as we have visitors almost on their way and chaos will definitely ensue.  But the very best kind of sister/nieces/cousins chaos, hopefully with a little bit of sunshine too.


weekending and weeking!!

Bunny ears whole

This week I have been more than a little absent.  I have been stitching my socks off getting work ready for an August craft fair in St Just.  It is pretty much the only fair I do but it requires stitched goods so I have been very busy stitching!  A percentage of the profits of the fair go towards a cancer charity and I need enough work for three weeks!  

Green daisy legs

this week I concentrated on phone cases (I have also listed a few of these in my Etsy shop).  Next week I will be concentrating on glasses cases but I intend to take a little break for a bit of sketching too.  

Beach huts

I have festival girls, gothic girls, beach huts (Paula)


bathers and crows in my sketchbooks, all waiting for me to work on them and stitch them but there just aren't enough hours in the day at the moment and of course the sun is shining!!!  Hot hot hot, this week is summer.  So I will have to take my work to the beach and bask in the sunshine while sketching beach huts and boats, sandcastles and swimmers.

I hope you can enjoy this hot hot weather