I have this week off work (bliss) and have absolutely nothing planned (even more bliss). It is kind of one of those 'time off' times where you just take time to catch up on all the stuff that you don't normally quite get to. I am sure you know the feeling of lots of little bits of unfinished business lurking on shelves, in cupboards, in piles - I have great 'piling' systems, and little jobs that you want to get sorted but never do. It is a nice feeling - catching up.
Starting the week winding down the best way I know how, with fingers in the dirt, the veggie patch is looking lovely. Looks is not everything when it comes to veggie gardens and I wish it would all hurry up and grow so we can pick other stuff than lettuce and spinach, but it will happen. Beans, tomatoes and cucumbers are going mad - poor corn, got eaten by some hungry creature, but luckily it is not too late to start again.
The vines are growing like mad this time of year - so hours are spent first with tractor (not me, I don't do tractors) then with hedging shears to keep them in check.
With the outdoors tended to, I cleared the first pile yesterday. It was a fun pile to clear too, turning the Crewel Creatures into little zipped pouches. I had fun with these. Franky Fox (I think this is my favourite), Silby Sheep, Goof Green, Wally Wombat and Spunk Sparrow are in the shop waiting for new homes.
But some of you asked about the chequered grid pattern I stitched on the creatures. These are laid trellis or trellis couching, very typical of Jacobean Crewel work. Basically you place long straight stitches in a grid over a shape.
I have put a FREE stitches download for Trellis Couching HERE that will give you more detailed instructions. Have a go - the main things to remember are: you need to use a hoop, your fabric must be kept drum tight while you lay and couch the grid (this will make sense when you see the how to) and take care not to stitch too tightly.
Super easy, quick (well as all things embroidery; relatively quick) and once you have the basic grid you can make so many different patterns. The large left hand leaf and Franky Fox's back are stitched in exactly the same way - Isn't it amazing how much a change of colour and a few stitches can make?