Summer Sunshine and Cactus Hoops

This summer has been saturated with sunshine – I can’t remember when we last enjoyed such a long run of wonderful golden days, and so very little rain in-between-whiles.  I am old enough to remember the fabled summer of 1976, and though this year hasn’t quite reached those heights, it’s certainly been the most wonderful few months, and of course it’s not over yet!  But in the hedgerows there are blackberries to be found and enjoyed, and in my home, vases of peonies and roses have given way to gladioli and sunflowers…..

Such wonderful, vibrant colours.  And I have been making the most of the warm sunshine by taking my embroidery out into the garden at every possible opportunity.  Most recently I’ve been working on two cactus hoops for the September Magazine, one of which will be our next free embroidery pattern for newsletter readers, though we haven’t quite decided which one yet….

I’ve been stitching on much more vibrant coloured background fabric than usual too.  Rosie has been doing some sorting and organising, and she discovered a stash of lovely linens which she was kind enough to pass in my direction – and I’m putting them to good use!  These little cacti are stitched on 4″ hoops and we’re wondering about offering some new mini-kits, including the hoops, in the run up to Christmas, thinking they’d make lovely little gifts – do you think would be a good idea?

I was also lucky enough to come across a vintage booklet and sewing templates in one of our local charity shops.  I’ve been doing a bit of research and understand these are used for a technique known as “plushwork” or “Amish stumpwork.”  I’m definitely going to try them out and will be sure to let you know how I get on. If anyone’s tried this technique and has any hints and tips for me, then I’d love to hear them!

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