Thanks for calling by. I hope you enjoy what you see, feel free to leave a comment and call again to catch up on my news.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

A trip to London

I'm just back from a trip to London visiting my son and daughter and wanted to share with you a few of the things that inspired me whilst I was there. It was a busy week but great fun. My daughter and I went to the Spring Knitting and Stitching Show at Olympia and of course I had to add to my stash.

Some wooden block stamps from Colouricious and some beautiful pure linen threads - two neutrals and a bright citrus yellow, which just reminded me of the daffodils blooming in my garden.

There were also hand dyed pure silk threads - these feel gorgeous and the sheen on them is incredible. Silk ribbons in shades of lilac and lavender, and a piece of lovely floral printed linen to make cushions for my bed.

My son and I visited the Beyond Dorado exhibition at the British Museum but no photographs of that of course - or of the exhibition of David Bailey's photographs at the National Portrait Gallery which we went to later in the day.

We took a walk through Nunhead Cemetery - a beautifully peaceful place with a little chapel in the centre, now damaged by fire, but still with some stunning architecture.

and another church in the centre of Covent Garden with memorials to lots of actors and other theatre celebrities of the past - more inspiring carvings here, which may one day find themselves translated into stitch.

Yesterday two friends and I visited the studio of a wonderful local textile artist Anne Brooke. Check out her work here if you're not already aware of it. Lots of paper and stitched pieces based on seed pods and dandelion heads. We're joining her workbook workshop in May and really looking forward to that.

No actual stitching to show you this week I'm afraid but I do hope that these few images inspire you too.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Finishing projects

Now that the napkins for my daughter are completed I've moved onto the next big project which needs to be finished - a rather spectacular cross stitch kit which my son bought for my birthday last year. I did start it last summer but then with one thing and another it got put to one side but now the light has improved it's come out of storage to be worked on again.

It is a design by Thea Gouverneur entitled 'Mother of God' and uses 54 different colours of thread!
I saw a stitched sample in a shop in the Yorkshire Dales last year and instantly fell in love with its watermarked, weathered appearance - so reminiscent of some of the beautiful icons I saw in Russian churches.

This is how far I've got. Can you see where this bit fits? Right in the centre.The little piece of blue is the top of the dress. Worked on very fine aida fabric with one single strand of thread it is going to take a while.

I'm taking a trip to London shortly with lots of exciting things planned - a trip to the Spring Knitting and Stitching Show at Olympia, a visit to the British Museum to see the Dorado exhibition, and to the David Bailey photographic exhibition at the National. We're also going to the Country Living Spring Fair and finally a trip to the theatre. I shall be exhausted when I come back! but should have lots of things to show you on my return.

In the meantime I thought I'd share photographs of a favourite peaceful oasis in the centre of the city. This is St Dunstan's in the East - a church which was bombed in the second world war and, instead of rebuilding, it was turned into a public garden. Once inside it's hard to believe that you're in the centre of London as it is so peaceful.

Enjoy your Sunday everyone!

Monday, 3 March 2014

It's beginning to feel like spring

Well the sun is shining at least. In my garden primroses and crocuses ...

... and above my desk, a spring banner

A couple of weeks ago I went to a workshop entitled 'Quilt as you Go', at a new shop which opened last autumn in Halifax (Yorkshire) called Fabbadashery. I didn't really know what to expect but I made this cute little needlebook.

The idea is that you choose fabrics which don't match, team them with embroidery thread which clashes and then embellish to your heart's content. I added a little pocket on the inside of the front cover to hold a needle threader. I shall make little fabric labels to tell me which needles are kept on each page.

I've also been stitching lace - I knew you wouldn't be surprised :-)

Isabella is almost finished. It's difficult to tell from the photo but she and Magda are around 35cm tall so they will make a striking pair mounted on grey fabric in black frames.

I've also been hem stitching napkins for my daughter - for the past few months but they're finally finished. There are six in all, two of each of three colours, a dusky pink, slate blue and a dusty purple. Hope she will be pleased with them!

A group of us (five in all) from my Embroiderers Guild branch have begun a travelling book. Each of us owns an A5 book and we've started our own books off this month by making a cover, a title page and our signature piece. Next Monday at the monthly meeting we will pass our book onto the next person in the group and they too will stitch a piece to fit into the book. The left hand page holds the inspiration for the piece - which might be anything ... a poem, a collage, a piece of embroidery ...
My signature piece had to be needlelace didn't it?

And finally ...

my 1/4" scale stationmaster's cottage is at last beginning to take shape. Lots of furniture to make yet but the exterior is almost finished.