Thursday 30 June 2016

Meet Basil and Hilda

A while ago I saw an interesting project in the Stitch magazine for some small beaded embroidery birds, but it was only when I saw a beaded bunny from the same designer worked by Wendy at The Crafter's Apprentice that I followed up the link.

I was delighted to discover that Ann's Orchard Needlework have a whole range of farmyard animals to embroider, and with the news that we will become grandparents for the first time in a few months time, what better incentive could there be to start stitching :)

First up,

Hilda the Duck.

Now joined by

Basil the Cockerel!
Given that we are currently living in France and it will soon be Bastille Day, I thought it was particularly appropriate to tackle him now :)

I was really impressed by the quality of these mini kits, the instructions and charts were very clear and there were ample supplies to complete each embroidery with plenty to spare. That was a real bonus when beads were in danger of scattering all over the floor :)

I ordered the frame at the same time as the bead embroidery kits and it was as good quality as the kits, so I will definitely be ordering more. Especially as I have already completed the next embroidery.

Meet Daisy the Cow!

Who will soon be joined by one of these cute creatures.

So, that's my TGIFF finish now it is your turn to link up and show off your creations. Don't forget to check out some of the other linkers while you do so, and give them a (virtual) clap on the back for finishing up a project too!

Saturday 25 June 2016

Pastures New

It is the 25th of the month so time to celebrate all that is new in your world and mine!

This month my New to Me's have been very different to say the least.

First up,

We have packed our bags and left the NE of England after 25 happy years here. All our worldly goods and chattels (including most importantly my sewing supplies!) headed North and are currently resting, I hope, in a cavernous warehouse somewhere in Scotland!

We on the other hand are resting in the sunny climes of SW France. One day in the not too distant future (!) we will meet up and the next chapter in our lives will begin.

As anyone who has sold a house in England will know, it can be a tortuous process, so our R & R in sunny France has definitely been earned :)

Before we left the NE, I had time to enter this piece for the Capability Brown exhibition at Wallington Hall.

What I didn't mention in my previous post is that the piece is up for sale, definitely a New to Me experience! All exhibitors were given the chance to sell their pieces at the exhibition, with 25% of the asking price being donated to the National Trust. I have never sold any embroidered pieces before, and thought that I might never get the chance to have a piece viewed by so many potential purchasers again, so went for it. I have no idea whether it will sell or not, and I am quite happy whatever the result, but delighted to have the opportunity.

So that is my New to Me this month, now it is your turn.  As ever please help to spread the word by linking back to this post in your post and/or adding the blog button to your sidebar.

Celtic Thistle Stitches

Check out the other links too and, maybe, leave an encouraging comment along the way. The emphasis of this link party is to celebrate the trying so a little encouragement here and there would not go amiss! 
The link will remain open until 23.59GMT on June 30th, so you have some time yet to try something new and link up and join the party :)

If your New to Me involves some Christmas or Holiday crafting don't forget to link it up to this month's Ho, Ho, Ho and on We Sew Link Party here

You could be the lucky winner of these gorgeous screenprinted FQ's

courtesy of the lovely Lu at Summersville

Saturday 18 June 2016

Ho, Ho, Ho'ing all the way home!

Welcome to another month on the yearly quest to have you organised for that big holiday in December, yes it is time for another Ho, Ho, Ho and on We Sew Link Party!

This month my HHHaoWS crafting has necessarily been a bit curtailed as we are in the middle of moving house! Actually by the time you read this we will have moved out and my sewing supplies will be heading North whilst I am heading South. I have no idea when we will meet up again :)

In the midst of the decluttering that moving house after 25 years entails ( I am sure you can imagine it!) I came across this.

I have no idea what it was originally intended for or why with only the embroidery of 4 leaves left that I didn't finish it! However, I knew that it was perfect for something else that I had come across in my rummaging through long-forgotten boxes.

So, after a quick search through my embroidery threads to find a match for the green thread and no more than 15 minutes later, I had a handbag mirror with embroidered back.

Another stocking filler added to the stash, if only all of my Christmas makes were so straightforward! I have been working on and off for a couple of months on a reverse applique cushion but not making much progress. Still it has come South with me so maybe I might have it finished for next month, then again the distractions of a summer in France might just prove to be too attractive :)

So, that's my contribution to the gift stockpile. If you are looking for inspiration for a Christmas/Holiday project head on over to this month's guest host Jen, at Quilter in the Closet, for a fabulous Christmas Wreath mini quilt tutorial. Jen's header says that she is trying to figure out quilting, but if you see the photos of her quilts above that line you will know that it looks pretty much that she has it sussed! Jen hosts a weekly Block Link Party and is looking for guest hosts over the summer, so if you want to dip a toe in the waters of Link Party hosting head on over to Quilter in the Closet and sign up.

As always, it wouldn't be a Ho, Ho, Ho and on We Sew Link Party without a giveaway and this month one lucky linker will receive these fabulous FQ's of screenprinted fabric courtesy of the lovely Lu at Summersville.

Lu prints the most gorgeous fabrics inspired by the countryside around her in her beautiful corner of England, and this month's giveaway would be a great addition to any quilter's stash.

The winner of last month's Clock Making Kit was Sandra who linked up her brilliant robot themed cargo bag, congratulations Sandra!

To be in with a chance of winning this month's giveaway head on over to Jen at Quilter in the Closet and link up your Christmas or Holiday makes from June. As ever the link party closes at 23.59 GMT on June 30th, so you have lots of time to get those projects linked up. No blasts from the past though, we are all about stockpiling throughout the year here so restrict yourself to links to projects you have worked on this month:)

Thanks again to our lovely giveaway sponsors who have been so generous in their support of the link party.

Friday 10 June 2016

Making an exhibition of myself!

Despite the title of this post, I haven't been going around embarrassing myself, well not to my knowledge anyway :)

I have, however, finished and handed over my piece for the forthcoming Capability Brown exhibition to be held at Wallington , a National Trust property in Northumberland near to where Lancelot 'Capability' Brown, the celebrated landscape gardener was born. The exhibition is organised in conjunction with the Northumberland Embroiderers Guild to celebrate the 300th Anniversary of Brown's birth, and is part of a nationwide celebration that includes dance and theatre productions as well as displays of stitch and textile art at venues that have a link to Capability Brown's work.

In my local EG branch, we were invited to create an exhibition piece to be displayed on an A4 canvas that depicted an aspect of Brown's work or legacy.

Having visited Wallington on numerous occasions I hunted through my photos for inspiration and finally settled on this image taken on a walk in the grounds on a winter day.

Inspired by an EG workshop with Beryl Frank, I uploaded this image and another from the walk to Spoonflower and with a bit of tweaking ended up with these two fabrics.

The aim was to use the Spoonflower fabric as a frame for a canvaswork insert. So, armed with some graph paper and colouring pencils the design for the canvas was born.

Of course, I couldn't resist incorporating some gorgeous hand-dyed threads from 21st Century Yarns and a sprinkling of seed beads!

Put that all together and you end up with this.

Still Waters - my entry to Landscapes of Capability Brown

The exhibition runs from June 11th to October 30th so if you are in the area you have plenty of time to enjoy a day out catching the display and ending a wander around the grounds with a coffee and cake in the Clocktower Cafe :)

If you are in the UK, but Northumberland is a bit too far away, do check out the other exhibition venues around the country here there will be lots of wonderful examples of stitch and textile art to inspire you I am sure.

Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts and

Thursday 9 June 2016

Inspiring embellishment

Last month my Embroiderers Guild branch hosted a Felt Work workshop run by a local textile artist, Joanna O'Neill. Joanna is a fascinating character who, in addition to her textile work, is a dog listening practitioner and a published fiction author. You can find out more about her here

Most fascinating of all though for me were the wonderful samples of her felt work that Joanna shared with the group.

This reverse applique piece was probably my favourite, isn't it beautiful?

I loved the colours in this one too.

Joanna's samples demonstrated the many different methods that she used to create her felt and you can see the difference in the density of the two pieces above, which was due to the length of time taken over the felting process and the nature of the original material.

As well as embellishing the felted material with embroidery as shown above, Joanna also uses Shisha mirrors to embellish her work.

This piece was much admired by everyone present, although the other pieces shown below were just as delightful.

Naturally this being an Embroiderers Guild workshop we were given the chance to have a go at creating something similar ourselves!

As you can see some of my fellow embroiderers took to felt embroidery like a duck to water :)

The small purple square in the bottom left hand corner was created by a friend who was struggling to come up with a concept for her piece, then we remembered the recent death of Prince and his hit song "Purple Rain" and realised that she had her concept!

We had been told to bring along scraps of fabric, ribbon and threads as well as our squares of felt, so my attempt to emulate Joanna incorporated a scrap of tweed-like fabric brought back from Latvia, as well as beads and embroidery.

As you can see I didn't get very far on the day, but eventually this piece will represent a seascape taken from our holiday on the west coast of Ireland. I am not accepting any bets though on when eventually will be!

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