Wednesday, December 31, 2014


This last one is the one I stitched as a Christmas gift for Rachel however I wanted it to be something she could hang in her flat all year round and not just at Christmas time. I am pleased with how it turned out.

 and here is the tree Jan and Rachel made to hang the decorations on.

 Best wishes to everyone for the new year may it have many many hours for stitching.

Sunday, December 14, 2014


I just had to share some results of the Guild workday doing my Christmas decorations.
The first to finish on the day was Caitlin, it was a thrill to work with her  and to see how she followed directions . in finishing she did use a tassel that I had prepared for one of my decoration and after the work session we came back to my place to get some braid to glue round the edges and then went home proudly with her finished piece and yes, her Grandmother was very proud of her. 

Here is her decoration.

 Maree has also posted on her blog her finished one see it here I hope to see Diane's finished one soon, also Jan and Rachel have made a doweling tree to hand the decorations I made for her on will try and get a photo very simple construction but looks good. 

If you have made one send me  a photo so I can share it.


Thursday, December 4, 2014


In answer to requests I am sharing how I make these Christmas decorations.

Below is a collection I have gathered to make one of these Christmas decorations at our Guild work day tomorrow
. The green/gold silk fabric will be backed with Calico to take the weight of the buttons and beads. I have made ready a cord for hanging and a tassel -with 4 gold bells hanging in it. The buttons for this one are 3 Christmas reindeer to which I have added petite gold sequins ,,, gold sequin stars gold and red beads and a heavy thread  to use in the design. I have also some pre-cut cardboard circles mine are 3 inch ones.

I start by cutting a paper template the size of my cardboard circle, pining this onto my fabric and tacking round it. 
This gives me the area in which to stitch my design, & because I am using a very thick Dacron wadding on my front cardboard circle I can stitch right out to the tacking stitches. 
Using a heavy thread I doodle it with in the circle and then couch  to hold it in place this    gives me something to build my design on.

Placing the buttons on first, and stitch them firmly 
into place, I like this type of button best as they sit flat and when stitched down will not move.
However some buttons come with a large shank on the back and I have found the best was of stitching them in place is to have the circle of Dacron wadding not glued to my cardboard circle but place behind  fabric and when stitching the buttons on, to stitch them very tightly pulling them into the padding, fasten off after each button will also help keeping them firm
 I add the large beads first making clusters close to the buttons, then a variety of sequins and small beads to fill the rest of the spaces, and grouping them  rather than spotting them everywhere. 

  When you are finished stitching your design cut it out BUT DO NOT CUT TOO CLOSE TO YOUR TACKING I leave at least an inch outside my tacking. 
Run a gathering thread round your fabric draw it up over the padded cardboard circle and lace to hold firmly in place,  if the padding is thick enough you will get a nice rounded effect. 
Cover a second cardboard circle with the same fabric but do not pad this  making the back flat.
Before stitching the front and back pieces together add a cord or ribbon at the top for a hanger and your tassel at the bottom.
Cover the seam where you have joined to two circles together by glueing a braid in place. and finish off by adding ribbon bows below the hanger and above the tassel.

  These are fun to make and do not take very much time

Monday, May 5, 2014


I have really enjoyed stitching the strawberries  see my blog  notes from under the mountain. for all I have stitched to date. I stitch them on even weave fabric  and find  Joblin or 32 count linen. the best sometime I use a finer linen but it means a lot more stitching specially when it comes to sewing on the beads, however regardless what linen I use its the one size pattern for all . Right click on the pattern below to transfer to word and print, this is the correct finished size just allow some seam allowance. Note this is not a graph but just a pretty paper I used so that the pattern would show up on my blog.
 Having cut round the pattern with seam allowance I draw it onto my fabric with a pencil, this pencil line will be just inside your cutting edge later. I also stitch right out into the seam allowance so that there are no gaps when I stitch it up.

 Stage 1 of the Strawberry is stitched in Smyrna Cross stitch (double cross stitch) worked with one stand of floss over 4 fabric threads and a gap of 4 threads between each stitch in alternating rows. It is important to keep the stitch lying the same way dor all the rows.

Stage 2 come back and fill the spaces between the Smyrna Cross stitches with a bead stitched on using a single metallic thread and a cross stitch over 4 threads. Again it is important to stitch your crosses the same way, this way the beads will all lie the same way.
Stage 3.Cut out the embroidered piece just outside the seam allowance on the side and across the curved top be a little more generous with the seam allowance in case it frays as you gather it up. 
Fold in the side seam, tacking to hold in place while you stitch it up using ladder stitch, start stitching at the point of the strawberry and work towards the open top Keep your stitches small and close together so it will not gape when stuffed.
 Stitch a running stitch across the top, stuff and gather up add a cord or ribbon loop before closing it up.

Stage 4 At the top I stitch 5-6 woven picot stitches  This finishes the strawberry with its nice topping of green and I have used a perle 8 thread for these. I found and excellent demonstration on how to do woven picots here on Susan Whittles blog you may prefer to make these from green felt.

I hope you will enjoy making a strawberry for yourself and maybe some for friends.

Friday, February 14, 2014


Happy Valentines Day, I like to think of this day as being not only for lovers but also a day when one can honour friendship,

There is nothing on earth more prized than true friendship.
Thomas Aquinas

Thank you all for your interest in my Valentine give away, I wish I could send something to you all but sadly there is only one winner. Caitlin was here  yesterday to stitch and all names were put in a bowl for her to make the draw.... and the winner is....

Gracie of Needles Pins and Dragonflies.
The little parcel of Red Rose small will be off in the post to her at the beginning of the week, I wont show here the extra pieces stitched  so that  these will be a surprise. One more surprise about the gift is that  between now and next Valentines Day this set of smalls will be added to at least once.

Annette of California Stitcher has pink roses from me and I keep adding to them. now Gracie will have red roses and suggestions for colour of another roses set? who know I might get inspire from your suggestions to make some more.................... now I am off to stitch some additions to my own set which is violets.

Saturday, February 8, 2014


I have added another rosebud to my Valentine Give away, this time it is on a small heart shaped scissor fob, I hope to add at least   one other piece before the draw on February  14th . Caitlin will do the draw when she comes to stitch that afternoon. If you would like to be included and have not left a message on my last posting you may leave one here and still be included. Here to remind you are the other items in the give away- two thread clips and a tape measure.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


 A useful item for your work box and also an ideal small gift for embroidery friends is this little embroidered clip.

The idea passed on from a class with the Waikato Guild some years ago was the use of hair snap clips to keep balls of perle thread tidy, I started with small plain ones then  we found some pretty covered ones  Needing some more after having shared quite a few in classes and Caitlin claiming these ones with little bunnies on them, I found only the slightly larger ones available locally, however they have served my need and I designed my own cover… its quite easy to do.
The small or medium size snap clips work best and I prefer when I can get them to use the ones with a coating.
The clips I have used are about 5cm (2inches) in length

I used a fine linen and  my fabric size was 3.5cm x 13.5cm. ( approx. 1 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches)          This allowed a .5cm seam allowance. (1/4 inch)
The stitched area was 2.5 x 11.5 cm  (1 x4 1/2 inches) shown in the drawing as a solid line.                Stitch right round the edge of the design area with a small buttonhole stitch  over 2 x 2 threads            using a fine thread, Perle 12 is ideal.  I used DMC Dentelles  80 but that is getting harder to find in NZ now.   There is also a row of buttonhole stitches  across 1.5cm down from the top.
The dotted line further down shows a fold.
A small design is stitched in the centre space and the size for this will be governed by the thread count of your fabric.

Fold in the seam allowance, fold across the top section and again at the dotted line. Place a piece of firm Vilene/pellon fabric behind the front section and sew up the sides by whipping together the buttonhole stitches. Slip the snap clip into the slit at the back,  a couple of stitches to hold the top edge down and the clip will be held firmly in place.
As well as ones with violets for myself to match my needlework accessory set I have  found a tiny pink rose bud adapted from this chart also works well.  Of course you could make the rose bud any colour you like, so with Valentine's Day coming shortly  I have decided to stitch some with red rose buds for some friends  and I will make one with a few matching items as a give to be drawn on Feb 14th leave a message on this posting if you would like to go in the draw,