I remember dark winter mornings when Rosie was at school and I was working full time. Townie Husband would leave the house first, clattering down the steps, briefcase in hand, while I was busy packing sandwiches, locating homework and trying to apply mascara all at the same time! Now times have changed and, while I still wake early from habit, during the winter I have the luxury of remaining in bed a little while longer while it’s still dark outside, and often do a little stitching whilst listening to the early morning radio. (This doesn’t happen in the summer as Ben is always keen and eager to start his day with an early morning walk).
I’ve been working on a new hand embroidery project for this month’s magazine and, as it involves stitching fur, I’ve had my camera to hand so I can take photographs of the stitching to show the different steps involved. In a silly mood this morning, I snapped the view from my pillow …
.. my countryside quilt is partly covered by granny’s eiderdown – it’s been very chilly here for the past few nights. There’s my sewing tin, the one that used to belong to my mother’s mother, and my stitching – featuring some lines from Rose Fylman’s lovely poem “I think mice are nice!” And here’s a close-up of the first completed mouse ….
I found a panel of vintage eiderdown fabric on eBay and am stitching onto that – much more interesting than plain white or cream for this design I think, as I have chosen a very limited colour palette for the actual embroidery. Following advice from one of Helen Stevens’ books, I have added a thin line of back stitch in dark brown along the bottom of his tail which really does give it a nice 3D effect. I need to add some shading below his body I think, but plan to do this at the end so I can work out how to place the lines taking the other mice into account.
Finally – I just have to share this photo with you … it’s Daisy making her first expedition into our garden. She looks so serious and determined, and is also growing very fast, having increased her bodyweight by a third from 12 to 18 lbs in just one week!! But then she is eating as much as Ben …..