This week has been a sitting-down-and-stitching sort of week as I have been temporarily incapacitated. That is to say my left knee has been temporarily incapacitated, due to Daisy’s inexpert charging around. Coming at me from behind, and travelling at full speed, instead of swerving to the left to avoid me, she instead swerved to the right – straight into the back of my left knee. 5 1/2 stone (about 77 lbs) of dog going at full speed into your knee hurts – and she has partially torn a tendon. (Mine, not hers!) Ouch! But, as my mum used to say, “every cloud has a silver lining” and for me the silver lining has been the opportunity to sit around resting my knee and indulge in some totally guilt-free stitching.
Putting my blackwork butterfly to one side again for a while, I have been working on a vintage-inspired embroidered mirror frame for the June issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine. In the course of the last week it has gone from this ….
To finished! I wasn’t sure how easy it would be to assemble the mirror, but in fact, with some PVA glue and a nice sharp pair of scissors it proved to be remarkably easy ….
I’m really pleased with how it turned out. The stitching is easy too as it’s just satin stitch, with a little back stitch for the stems that twine between the candy-coloured roses. And, mentioning roses – you may remember from a recent post that Rosie has already reserved this little looking glass (I love this old-fashioned term for mirror) – though it has turned out to be so pretty I am very tempted to keep it for myself!
And finally … you may have noticed a new tab at the top of this page “Instagram” – we now have a Bustle & Sew Instagram feed on the site. New photos of dogs, Devon and sewing are added nearly every day, so if you are a “pictures” sort of person and would like to keep even more up-to-date with happenings here at Bustle & Sew, then please do bookmark our Instagram page – or follow us on Instagram – our handle is bustleandsew.
Yes, really – a little nellifant called Nelly – on a hill against a summer sky – deep dark indigo with silver stars sparkling like diamonds above her head ….
Nelly is all finished! Unlike my blackwork butterfly which is still – and will be for some time yet – a work in progress. I’ll report back on him very soon, but thought you might like to know that his turkey stitch body has worked perfectly – creating a wonderfully tactile contrast to his lacy wings. I’ve shown him to some of my friends and the first thing they’ve done is to stroke his fluffy body with the tip of a finger. I promise I’ll take another photo very soon.
Meanwhile, I’ve been working on another project for next month’s magazine – my Great British Picnic blanket – in anticipation of warmer days to come. I’ve just finished the centre Union Jack panel ….
and I’m planning to surround it with a blue gingham border. It will also have its own integral bag featuring a Great British Picnic applique – if everything goes according to plan that is! Both these projects will be included in the June issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine, and hopefully the picnic blanket will be accompanying us on lots of lovely outings this summer!
I’ve made quite a bit of progress on my blackwork butterfly over the weekend….
And have discovered that once I get into a sort of stitching rhythm, then the work just flows. It’s really very satisfying to see the intricate-looking black and white patterns beginning to cover my butterfly wings. Though being me, there’s just a touch of colour …
Lime green markings in satin stitch on the wings. That’s why I’ve accented the spots on the pattern with marker pen – so that it will show through my patterning and help me position the satin stitch spots correctly. I have revised my plans for this piece slightly – it will still be framed in lime green patchwork, but will be a picture rather than a cushion as I’m planning to experiment with turkey knots for his body – I’d love him to have a solid fluffy body to contrast with the lacy effect of his blackwork wings. Not sure if it will work yet – will keep you posted!
To me blackwork feels like very “grown-up” embroidery, so unusually for me, I have a second project on the go – a real contrast to my butterfly – though also for the June issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine – let me introduce to you – “Nelly in the Sky with Diamonds!”
A little bit of “Simple Stitchery” fun! There’s some simple stitchery in this month’s issue as well – and I’m also giving away my printable birthday bunting to subscribers in honour of Ben’s birthday this week …..
And, as always, the end of the month is a really good time to subscribe as you’ll receive the current issue – and the Stitcher’s Companion – immediately, followed by the May issue and birthday bunting on Thursday when the magazine’s published. To learn more and subscribe, just CLICK HERE – oh, and your first month’s subscription is just $1! Bargain time!
I went out into my garden to take some photographs of my first completed project for the May issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine. I’m trying to get a bit ahead of myself rather than always working up to the last minute, so have been stitching madly in the evenings, while Daisy practises her “knitting” rolling around on the rug with a ball of wool. She loves to unravel wool so I keep a couple of ends of balls for her to play with – but she’s only allowed them during the evening whilst I am supervising her activities to avoid any danger of her choking or becoming entangled in the yarn. Anyway …. between re-winding her ball so she can unravel it once more and removing my slippers from her soggy grasp … I have managed to complete my Terrific Tulip bag …..
It’s a retro, 1970′s style embroidery featuring stylised tulips, daisies and sunflowers (with no regard for the seasons!) stitched onto vintage linen. It’s quite a small messenger, measuring just 12″ across, but is surprisingly roomy inside. I photographed it, as always, in my summerhouse and, although it is still bitterly cold, was surprised to see how many plants were in flower. I snapped just a couple of them to show you … the Hellebores are still doing well ….
And the flowers are opening on my early Camelia – hope they don’t get scorched by the frost…
While these days there is almost always a Daisy to be found in my garden! She’s five months old now and not so little any more – here she is with her long-suffering big brother!
He loves her to pieces – though he tells me that she can be rather a pest sometimes! Sorry they look so scruffy – but they had just been rolling around on my poor bare lawn. Hurry up spring and make the grass grow again!