The various stages of stitching….

I love visiting Instagram and scrolling through lots of beautiful images of completed embroidery projects – and the Bustle & Sew Instagram account features many of my completed designs.  But this of course isn’t the full story – there’s a lot happening behind the scenes before the finished work is ready to present to the world, and it’s these events I thought I’d share here on the blog today.

The work in question isn’t finished yet – that is to say, the embroidery is complete but it isn’t made up into the finished item – a hot water bottle cosy.  I wanted to produce an item that would look lovely at Christmas and make a great gift, but one that wouldn’t look out of place throughout the colder months.  So I drew out a garland of leaves and berries, with the text “stay warm” at its centre  and printed it onto Sulky Sticky Fabri Solvy, resizing it to ensure it would look right on the front of my cosy.

Then I selected my floss colours.  Again, I wanted colours that would reflect the Christmas season, but wouldn’t be limited to those few weeks.  So rather than the classic red and cool blue-green combo, I used warm greens with a lot of yellow, pinks, purples and golds. I wanted to keep the stitching simple, this piece only uses satin stitch and stem stitch and is embroidered on a lovely thick pure wool natural coloured felt….

Then, because stitching is very thirsty work I made a basic rookie error.  I left my comfortable spot on the sofa to make myself a refreshing cup of tea….

And returned to discover it was now occupied!  Some negotiation was necessary and the following compromise was reached….

Not entirely satisfactory!  Anyway, a few days later the work is finished.  Sulky Sticky Fabri Solvy is great for stitching on thick fabrics, or fabrics where you can only use a cool iron, such as this wool felt, but has to be soaked away very carefully in this case in case of shrinkage.  I kept a close eye on it, and after about 10-15 minutes it was ready.  A quick rinse and it’s now hanging on my washing line to drip dry, after which I will make it up into the cosy….

Without the help of the terrible trio!!

The pattern to make your own hot water bottle cosy will be in the November issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine – to learn more about subscribing just CLICK HERE or you can purchase back issues in our shop.



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