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.
My new book is done! I’m so excited!
Inside you’ll discover some help and advice on topics ranging from the right thread and fabric, hooping up, caring for your work and transferring your design. You’ll also discover a stitch glossary with diagrams, pictures from Jacqui, and clear instructions to help you master some of the most commonly found embroidery stitches.
Please share it as much as you want – that’s if you like it enough to want to share – I do hope you will. I’m also planning on making it available as a “proper” book through Amazon – sadly that can’t be free – and I’ll let you know when it’s available.
You can read it online above – or just CLICK HERE to download the pdf file- it’s absolutely free with love from me to you.
For a long time now I’ve been wanting to put together a guide for new and returning stitchers. I receive quite a few emails with questions about various techniques and I’ve noticed the same subjects seem to recur quite frequently. I was very lucky to be taught to embroider by my Mum and Grandma, but not everybody is as fortunate. So I’ve been working hard behind the scenes, and my new book will be available within the next week or so ….
It has sections on choosing your fabric and thread, tools, transferring your design and caring for your finished work, as well as a stitch directory to help the beginner with 16 of the most commonly used stitches. My friend Jacqui (of Flapdoodle Designs) has contributed some lovely little pictures for the stitch directory … here’s a quick peek at one of her illustrations – can you guess which stitch this is?
(I think Lionel might have been the model!)
“Simple Stitchery” will be published during the early part of April – and the best bit is that it will be completely free to download. I think it’s so much fun to share – and I do hope at least some readers might find it useful. It will also be available as a “proper” printed book on Amazon – but that version won’t be free I’m afraid. I’ll be sure to let you know when it’s ready and where you can find it.
Have a lovely Easter weekend – and don’t eat too much chocolate! Rosie and Dan are visiting over Easter and I’m REALLY hoping she brings some of her amazing Creme Egg brownies with her!
Oh .. and Lionel is of course illustrating Blanket Stitch!
Remember the song from My Fair Lady? “The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain..” Well I think that the rain in England falls mainly here in Devon – this week at least. The garden is knee deep in mud, the skies are grey and Ben and Daisy are bored. But poor old Ben is in the wars again – now he is limping heavily on his left front paw, so he is off once more to his least favourite place. (sshhhh, whisper – the V-E-T) I don’t think Daisy is to blame this time – when he was a youngster he broke a bone in that paw, so he’s had a weakness there ever since.
But today is after all the first day of spring, and there’s a definite spring-like feeling developing in the April issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine. Auriculas have long been a spring favourite, with their myriad of colours and variety of blooms – did you know there are more than 1,500 named varieties in the UK? Many of their flowers are dusted with an icing-sugar like powder – which is very beautiful – but easily washed away by – guess what – RAIN!! So over the centuries the idea of an Auricula theatre developed to display them at their very best – possibly the most famous being at Calke Abbey – a National Trust property in Derbyshire…..
And so I thought it would be fun to create a mini Auricula theatre to enjoy all year round – mine is a combination of freestyle machine embroidery and hand stitching, using a collection of felt and furnishing fabric scraps….
Mounted on an artist’s canvas block. And being me – there had to be some animal life in there too! Can you spot the two little ladybirds?
Here’s one of them (sorry it’s a bit blurry – it’s such a dark grey day for photography). The Auricula Theatre pattern (together with a little more history about how these theatres came to be) will be in the April Issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine – out next Thursday. To learn more and subscribe, please click here to visit the magazine page on this website.