Monday, February 25, 2019

Sweet Repose...

... was the kits I was putting together.


Thank you so much to everyone who emailed their guesses and lovely messages to me. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your interest and support in my work!!
Without all of you, I would not be doing what I do and for that I am truly Thankful
💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖

* * * And the winner is * * *

To draw a winner, I counted out all the emails and Random Result to pick email no. 8 a winner.
A kit with border fabric is now winding its way across the seas to Ruth in New Zealand.

Last week was so busy, but having spend yesterday just quietly milling about at home and going for a quick dip in our friends pool, 
I am ready for the next project which is just as well as I have quite a few on my list to be done. First up will be 3 new projects to be ready for classes in Thailand early July and, blow me... I need to have submissions in for Beating Around the Bush 2020 by early May!!!! Gosh, I feel I have not even caught my breath since the 2018 convention.

But today, I am just going to tidy up my work space. I find that is the best way for me to 'reset my head' before starting something new.

I hope you have a wonderful week.
Best Stitches,

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Pillow making & GIVE AWAY

Ever since I started working on the new crewel piece, I knew I wanted to make it into a rectangular pillow using the same pattern I did for Meadow Bloom.

Meadow Bloom 

The difference was that, I embroidered Meadow Bloom using the colours in the border fabric as a guide, but for Sweet Repose, I needed to find just that perfect fabric to complement the embroidery.

After hunting around I finally found it...

The pink and green are an exact match to the colours of the yarn and I quite like the geometric, repeat pattern. It is pretty, without being too busy so I thought it would make a nice backdrop for the embroidery.
I found a bit of left-over green linen in my stash - enough to make piping and was ready to go... if only I didn't need piping cord and a zip...

Do you ever go to the shops, leaving your brain at home? I do. So I managed to buy a length of piping cord, 50cm too short...!!  So irritating...!

A second trip to the shops and I finally got there. Sewing is by no means my favourite part of the process but I must confess I am rather pleased with how it turned out  

Sweet Repose Embroidery Kit  |  Rectangular Pillow link to FREE pillow pattern.

I have plenty of other projects lined up, but there is no prizes for guessing what I will be doing next...
Or perhaps ... 
Yes, there is - I think it is time for a 

My basket of yarns waiting to be kitted up


To WIN a Sweet Repose Kit & Border Fabric pack 
All you need to do is guess what kits am are working on tomorrow.

1) Send me an EMAIL 
2) Write the name of the kit in the subject line.
3) Put your Name and Mailing address in the body of the message
4) Get the email to me by midnight of Saturday 23rd February, ACDT to be considered.

Good Luck

Not only have I finished the pillow, but  the kits are all but ready and are now available in the SHOP.
I don't normally get spare fabric, but this time I did make sure I got enough Border Fabric so that I can included in the kits, for those who would like it. You have the option of ordering Kit Only (AU$69 + P&H) of Kit & Border Fabric (AU$74 + P&H
The kits do not include any other supplied for the pillow, so you will need to get a zip (42cm / 16") , piping (2.5m / 2yd 26.5") and backing fabric. I used my Ecru cotton/linen blend, which has a nice weight to it without being too bulky.

If you have pre-orderd the kit, I will be in touch shortly with a link to your reserved kit, but for now, I'd better get kitting....

Best stitches & good luck,
Anna xx

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Getting the pants on... It's a Juggle WIP

After all the excitement around home lately we took off during the week and spent a couple of days at the beach. Sleeping, walking along along the beach, riding the bikes down for coffee, reading and simply catching our breath. It was just what the doctor ordered.

Although it was busy before we left, I did work a tiny bit on 'It's a Juggle'.
I have started working on the pieces for my jester’s costume. For the most part, I will probably be making little needlelace slips, but apart from that, I haven’t made any plans for how to stitch all the various pieces yet. I am really quite happy for it to simply take shape as I go. 
I am making the pants first and will need two needle lace slips, one for each leg. I draw the shape onto baking paper and then stick it onto very firm vilene with clear contact (plastic film). That gives me a firm ground to work on, and unlike card the vilene doesn't tear.

The thread I am using for these is Colour Streams, Silken Strands (42 Raspberry). I normally don’t use variegated threads much (I like to be charge of which colour goes where), but I love working needle lace with this particular thread. It is sold as a stranded silk but the individual strands are very firmly twisted, almost like a very fine Perle making it perfect for detached stitches. While working  my way, row by row down the leg I was trying to work out how to finish the edge around the calf.  It would be nice with some kind of decorative?, frilly? trim that will hang over the  top of his stripy socks.
I ended up trying to make overlapping rows of little triangles. They were fiddly and the first attempt looked terrible. I realised it was probably partly because the detached blanket stitch wasn't stable enough to hold the shape, so I pulled them out and started again. 
Second attempt is stitched using proper button hole stitch instead. This forms an extra little twist at the top of each stitch giving it more stability. I don’t have much experience with this kind of work, and had to reach for my trusty old stitch directory. 

The term buttonhole stitch is often used for blanket stitches placed really close together, but really they are two quite different stitches. There is a very good article on Nordic Needle that explains the difference between the two.

Getting the tension on these little 'suckers' even and consistent, takes practise and my effort is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but I think they will pass. I was too keen to see how the piece looked on the Jester, so I forgot to take a photo before I put it on, sorry.
One leg down, one to go...

And that is as far as I got before we jumped in the car and headed down the coast.
I am not sure I will get much further this week. I really, really, really want to get the new crewel embroidery kit finished, packed and in the shop, but I do hope to get at least the other trouser leg done while I remember how how did it LOL.

I hope you all have a nice relaxing weekend.
Best Stitches,
Anna xx

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Around here & something new...

It has been busy in the vineyard for the past many weeks, first with summer trimming and then putting on the nets so the birds don't eat and damage all the fruit before it is ripe for the winery. The rows are now all clad in white, the nets gently moving in the breeze. It always reminds me of drifts of snow except of course it is the height of summer.

With the nets on, we were looking forward to a bit of peace of quiet in the vineyard, when… our bore pump broke. Not only did it break, it broke in the middle of (yet another) heat wave. It may not sound like a big deal with a broken pump but where we live, we don’t have mains water. All our water come from the sky and is stored in tanks and we use the ground water as back-up in summer to irrigate if we need to. No need to say than when the temperatures are well above 35C several days in a row, we need to water. A rather stressful situation, but luckily we have loads of water tanks (I sometimes wonder if that many tanks classify as a collection?? LOL ) Anyway, there was enough to see us through and with enough to spare to see us through the rest of summer. 

Although I know I shouldn't and I know I said I wouldn't... 
... I have been busy outside and working on finishing ‘You Know Which Kit Notes’ on the computer. It always ends up taking much longer than I want to but they are almost ready to send to print.  
I started something new. Yes, I know, I said I was going to try not to start new projects until the previous was written and kitted up, but you know how it is…. Itchy fingers.

Jewels of Summer
Since I first stitched ‘Jewels of Summer’ the plan has been to design Spring, Autumn and Winter. Apart from having turned Jewels of Summer into a kit, I use the design as a class project as an introduction to embroidery in my Beyond Back Stitch classes and I have long thought it would be nice to have a few designs for people to choose from. Besides, I suddenly had a wave of inspiration for Stars of Winter.

Stars of Winter - Work in Progress

The intention and the fun challenge for me, is to use the same selection of some of the most commonly used embroidery stitches in both designs. 

I think I have it pretty much worked out, so now I just need to get needle to fabric. My next Beyond Backstitch workshop starts in just less than two weeks and I would really love to have both designs ready. Nothing quite like a self-imposed tight deadline. I wonder why I do this to myself - then again, I do seem to get things done when I really have to. 

Stars of Winter - Work in Progress
If you are in Adelaide and would like to join in, but didn't get the Newsletter, there is still a few places left. I will be running this workshop on Wednesday evenings over 5 weeks. The focus is on these common stitches, how to use them and how to get the best from your embroidery. The course is ideal for beginners, but is also helpful if you have some experience as I like to share as many hints and tips, I possibly can. You can find the details, by clicking HERE.

We are heading to the beach for a few days of R&R this week, but I will be taking this with my. I can't wait to stitch that little bird...

Hope you are having a nice weekend,
Anna x