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Oh my! Its been ages since I wrote anything here. The main site has been taking all my attention.

Anyway I wanted to share a wonderful surprise I was given the other day. My husband had been chatting with a couple over the pub, and had mentioned to them that I do embroidery.Well, they are moving house very soon and wanted to find a new home for a special little box.

When he came home and told me what had been kept in the box for many, many years my face must have lit up like a Christmas tree! Waiting for a week until they met again was like torture.

This is what turned up…

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The box contained Marie’s grandmother’s embroidery transfers. Tons of them! Of all sizes, subjects and S’s. My guess is that Marie’s grandmother’s name began with S, or maybe one of her children. Quite handily my mother’s name also begins with S, so she may well get something personalized for Christmas.

Do you want to peep inside the box? OK, as you asked so nicely, here you go….

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There is enough in there to keep me busy for years! Of course I will share my results with you either here or on the site…

http://www.needlework-tips-and-techniques.com

I will try not to leave it so long before I write next time.

Carol

Budgie cross stitching story

Every now and then a link will catch my eye when I am checking my web site stats. This morning I had to go look and see why a budgie forum had linked to me. After all I run a sewing site not one about budgies!

Imagine my surprise when I read the message as below…

Spike the Budgie wins Young Cross Stitcher of the Year.

Spike, a three year old budgie was named Young Cross Stitcher of the Year in 2005 by British Cross Stitcher magazine.

Spike, owned by Sandra, was nursed back to health after suffering from a food allergy. He would sit on her shoulder for hours while she cross stitched. One day when Sandra put her needle down for a while the bird seemed to get frustrated with the lack of progress and flew down onto the fabric, picked up the needle and pushed it through the fabric! Soon he was stitching away, with no regard for the pattern or colour but obviously enjoying it thoroughly.

Well I never! I have designed cross stitch patterns of budgies but never expected a bird to be able to stitch itself.

Girl’s day out

Last month I taught Crazy Quilting at a local shop to a group of 4 students. We all had great fun and some lovely work was produced. I took my camera but unfortunately left the😄 in my card reader at home so was unable to take any pictures on the day.

One of the students, Maggie, e-mailed me afterwards to ask where I had bought some of the embellisments we used on our blocks. We agreed to meet for a Girl’s Day Out to go shopping for bits and pieces.

Today was the day! Maggie arrived at 10.30am and was kissed and cuddled by the dogs while we waited for my son to get ready for work. (I am chief chauffeur around here!)

While we waited, Maggie produced her (almost) finished block, so I grabbed the opportunity to take a shot of it to share with you. 

Maggie's 1st Crazy Quilt Block

Maggie's 1st Crazy Quilt Block

Then we headed off to the local craft and garden centre. We browsed the complete craft section, often falling in love with the same colors and products. Maggie is a keen card maker as well as a needlewoman and she found plenty to stock up with.

In the photo below she is showing me some cute little bees that would look great on her block.

 

Bee happy! These little bees will look right at home on Maggie's block

After filling our basket we stopped for some light refreshments in the cafe and then headed for the fabric shop in town. Having cleared them out of calico (muslin) to use for her next blocks, we eventually headed home.

I don’t think this will be the only day we spend together! In fact I know that I will see Maggie again on the 29th November when she is attending my Hardanger class at the same shop. See you soon Maggie…

Stitched hermit crab

For my next contribution to Connie’s Under the Sea crazy quilt block I stitched a little hermit crab.

Just four stitches are used in this little hermit crab.

Just four stitches are used in this little hermit crab.

I picked a salmon coloured perle 5 for his body and front claws. Then I added two lazy daisy stitches for his eyes. Chain stitched was used for his other legs.

I then picked a variegated thread for his shell. This I worked in blanket stitch, making each row shorter until I got to the top.

No pattern, just made him up as I went along. I love seeing how things turn out, and it isn’t always what I saw in my mind’s eye before I started.

Now to get this off in the post, I’m already a little late, oops.

I am participating in a Crazy Quilt round robin with a theme of Under the Sea. I have Connie’s block to work on at the moment, and a particular deep turquoise patch was crying out for a fish to swim into it.

I decided to tat a fish from a free pattern I found online at tat man’s site. The original was an Icthus symbol but I left out row 2 in the centre.

I used one of the thread’s I received in my Christmas in July parcel, a size 40 Olympus in soft blues and lavenders.

When the fish was finished I stitched it onto the block and added embroidered fins, scales and an eye using the same thread.

Simple but effective don’t you think?

Can you remember your very first piece of embroidery? Have you just completed it or did you stitch it many years ago?

Mine has been hiding in a drawer for over 40 years and it came to light yesterday so I thought I would share it with you.

I made this little huck embroidered needlecase when I was at junior school.

The fabric is backed with iron on interfacing (I see that I didn’t even cut off the printed words!) and has a piece of flannel sewn down the centre to make the pages for my needles. It even had five needles still in it, all of which are still useable with no sign of rust after all those years.

I used perle threads to darn in and out of the “floats” on the huck fabric, creating wavy coloured lines. My initials were drawn on in pencil (which is still visible and then stitched over.

Yes it is a very crude piece of needlework but even back then I enjoyed sewing, not knowing that I would end up running my own design business!

Christmas in July!

I belong to a wonderful group of tatters and our list mum kindly organised a swap which we all opened today. My box has been here waiting for me for quite some time, and it was terribly difficult not to cheat and open it early!

However I resisted the temptation and left it intact until today.

So what was in this early Christmas present?

Ginny had tatted two wonderful pieces for me, complete with tiny beads, in my favourite colour, purple. She even typed up the instructions so that I could make one of my own. Thank you Ginny. In the centre of the snowflake is a lovely silver coloured metal charm and she kindly included a whole pack of these charms also.

I had listed my favourite colour as Purple and Ginny took that to heart. She popped in a lovely purple bag, just the right size for carrying my projects around in. All these goodies were packed inside a sweet wooden box with a bamboo effect handle.

So what else was in there, Lots more yet!

Next was the cutest glass heart-shaped ornament that Ginny says she covers with tatting. I am amazed it arrived intact all the way from America, testament to her careful packing.

I also discovered a box of beads wit 7 different compartments. Six were filled to the brim with different pretty coloured seed beads. I think the loose beads in the bottom of my wooden box started out in the 7th compartment.

Ginny had popped in a tiny metal crochet hook to help with joins, I needed one of these so thank you dear lady. My smallest before this package was a 1.25 now I have a 0.4mm. Fantastic!

Now we come to the tatting threads. There was a ball of Oren Bayan no. 50 in tones of mauve and fuchsia, really luscious. And another ball Olympus size 40 in soft pinks, blues and lavenders. Absolutely gorgeous.

It doesn’t stop there! There were three thread bobs containing lengths of other threads to try out. Guess what colours?

First a bluey lavender Aida thread (colour 120) in a size 20.

Then another size 20 thread, this time Flora in purple and white.

Lastly there was a pale lilac Fincrochet thread, size 50 (colour 2687). I am really spoilt for choice now!

Tucked in the bottom of the box were two pretty notepads and a pen. And last but not least was a lovely pewter charm (?) featuring a gorgeous angel.

Ginny you certainly were my Christmas in July angel. Thank you so much.

In case you would like to see what I received I took a photo for you.