Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Drifting on the Breeze

It has been, and still is, freezing cold, wet and windy here in Adelaide. As much as there are things that should be done outside, I have been hibernating, waiting and hoping for warmer weather, 

Ever since I finished 'Over the Hills', (forever ago) I have had other fun and friendly characters finding their way onto my scribble note pads, waiting patiently to one day come to life in stitches. I have a million (well maybe not quite) things I could and should be stitching, but I think it is time to get one of the characters off the notepad and bring him to life in stitches.

The blank 'canvas' is ready to go - except of course it is not canvas, but silk, backed and stabilised so it can support the stitches.
For these types of pieces I don't put any of the design on the front. One reason is that with no marks to cover, I can make changes if I want to, without having to worry about hiding any lines. The added advantage is, that these stitches will hold the layered fabrics firmly so that they won't shift.
I draw the pattern on the wrong side of the backing fabric before I stretch that and the main fabric onto my frame. (If you want to try this, keep in mind, this should be a mirror image of the final embroidery.)

To transfer the design to the front, I then stitch along all the design lines with fine silk. This may sound a bit tedious, but I don't mind this stage. It gives me time to ponder how to stitch the finished piece. I can vary the size and spacing of the running stitches for the different elements. If there are lots of overlapping elements, I may use different colours for each, so the lines will make sense and not just look like a confusing mess on the front.

If you look closely at the picture above, you can see that the waves are drawn right across the everything else. This is another advantage of this kind of design transfer - you can draw in 'layers' so that lines are continued behind others parts.

The wavy, blue lines, are part of finished piece. I was trying to work out how to stitch a breeze, and up with the idea that perhaps, just perhaps, faint, broken lines could be the answer. They too are stitched from the back but I have kept the running stitches stitches quite short on the front so they become wavy lines of dots. Is that what breeze looks like, I wonder?

It is ready to go. It doesn't look much yet, or make much sense, I know. There are waves, a blank 'blob' in the middle and some bumpy hills at the bottom.

If you look closely, you will the see the 'blob' is the outline of a figure....

... and here he is 'Drifting on the Breeze'. This is going to be so much fun.

Happy Stitching,
Anna X

Friday, July 22, 2016

Along the Grapevine....

.... yesterday, I promised to show you what I did with 'Along the Grapevine'

... the obvious choice, right? 

Cheers, Anna X

(No, this is not our label. None of our own wine is labelled at the moment and we don't do whites, this is just one that was at hand...)

Thursday, July 21, 2016


I don't know why it is, but many stitchers I know come to a grinding halt with their projects as soon as the embroidery is complete. The stitched piece fare too often ending up in a bag or box for weeks, months or even years before the sewing machine manned and the finished embroidery is turned into something useful.

I have been spending so much time on other things since getting back from Thailand.

With the new Or Nue and Raised embroidery designs finally off to the printers, I dusted off my sewing machine yesterday...  Remember 'Dawn Chorus'?

It is the next design on my list to be turned into kits and patterns, but yesterday, instead of writing, I turned it into a tote bag..

It is not a big bag, perfect for bit of knitting, a trip to the library or a Sunday market perhaps.
I chose to only put a single, longer handle on it instead of two. I find, I always carry these over my shoulder, so a longer strap made more sense. You could, of course have a handle on each side instead.

Having decided on one strap instead of two, meant I was able to put a button and loop at the top to keep it closed. After scratching around in my stash for a decent size button, I found this large vintage pearl button. Rather perfect, don't you think?
I will be putting the pattern for the bag with the other FREE patterns shortly. It is super easy (if I can do it, anyone can) and the size can easily be adjusted to fit whatever piece of embroidery you want.

I was on a bit of a roll. It is like that, once the machine is out, I like to get lots of things done.

'Along the Grapevine' was also made up into something. Any guesses? As you may know, farmer John and I have a small vineyard in the Adelaide hills, so there is your clue......

I will show you tomorrow.
Happy Stitching,

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Meet Spud

... my new shadow.

She is a little baby lamb and sadly her mum died the other day when she was just a day old. 
When I brought her down to the house from the paddock I asked Lucas (our youngest human baby) for suggestions on what to call her. He poked his head out from under the bonnet of his car - grinned and suggested we call her 'Potato'. 
We named her Spud.

She is so super cute but cries constantly if left her own so she has moved in with the chickens for the time being. Not that the chickens are that keen on the idea, especially when she tried to suckle from their feet while they were resting on their perch - but at least she has some company.

It took her a little while to get the hang of feeding from the bottle, but she finally got the hang of it yesterday. So much so, that when she was bouncing about after her last feed, I could her her belly squelch. 

Now all we have to do is get her to grow into a healthy, happy sheep so she can move back into the paddock with the others.

Happy Thursday, everyone.
Anna X

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The Or Nué Poppy...

... is finished.

I have been meaning to share it with you ever since I placed the last stitch. I did share pictures on facebook but have no good reasons why I never got around to the blog. Better late hand never, right?
I had a couple of serious stitching days to complete this piece. Working the shading and colouring of the leaves was a little daunting at first, but as it started to take shape, I really enjoyed it. 

If you read my last post you may have noticed the colour of the centre looks different. I changed the colour of the detached chains over the gold kid leather. 
If you have ever worked with gold kid, or any leather for that matter, you will know that once you have stitched into it, the holes are permanent. Not only was it nerve-wrecking unpicking the original green stitches.. (after all, if I made a mess of it, I would have to stitch the entire piece again, Unpicking the Or Nué is simply not an option)  ..but the brown stitches had to go into the exact same holes. Keeping in mind this circle is less than 2cm (3/4") in diameter - it was worth the effort.

To complete the centre of the flower, a small piece of fine pearl purl is stretched so much the coils have come apart. Several strands of brown silk are wrapped into the coils and the purl is stitched down around the centre.

'Lest We Forget' 

I am really happy with the result and have named it 'Lest We Forget'. I am getting on with the instructions right away, so it won't be long before I will have this project available as a kit.

The most exciting thing is that I will have it ready to teach along with my 'Dainty Pink Daisy' at Nicola Jarvis Studio in August. It is going to be so much fun, sharing this beautiful embroidery technique with the group there. On that note...

... I'd better get on with it.
Have a lovely week,
Anna X