Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Book Review: Creative Stitches for Contemporary Embroidery

I received Sharon Boggon's book, Creative Stitches for Contemporary Embroidery, for Christmas. This book is a visual guide of 120 embroidery stitches. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced embroiderer, this book encourages you to create new patterns by playing with the stitches. For example, to manipulate the height and width of a stitch, to overlap and stack stitches, to combine laced and threaded stitches . . . Page 27 has a list of 21 questions to consider when using a particular stitch, such as

  • How does this stitch behave on a curve?
  • Can this stitch be laced with another thread?
  • What happens if I add beads?
Lots of stitch combinations to consider!

You won't be disappointed with the coloured photos throughout the book.


You are probably familiar with Sharon's website, Pintangle. If not, and you are interested in hand embroidery (beginner or experienced), please check it out. 

Another TAST (Take a Stitch Tuesday) challenge started today. So it's time to get your threads and doodle cloth ready for stitching!

More links about hand embroidery:

Enjoy!



Saturday, January 2, 2021

Mittens!

Today the forecast was for 15 - 20 cm of snow. We got about 6cm and then it turned to rain. I'm good with that as I am not a winter person. Give me warm weather. Anyway, my sister sent me a couple pairs of her knitted mittens and asked me to build her a snowman (she's in Tennessee) wearing a pair of the mitts. Didn't happen!! Sorry Joan. But here are the mittens:

The last time she was here, we went to Annapolis Royal to the summer market. One of the vendors was selling the pattern for mitts with the pointed tops. We tried on a pair and were surprised at how comfortable they were as we always had the rounded top ones that our mother made. 

Here are mittens she made for my granddaughter, her great niece. Aren't they gorgeous!

Enjoy!

Friday, January 1, 2021

Day 1, 2021

Our granddaughter did stay up with us to welcome the New Year! We watched a movie and had snacks. She was very pleased with herself.

Today the sun was out, a ham was baked, vegetables cooked and ready for company. It was a good day.

Tonight, I finished up a Christmas puzzle that my sister gave me last year. Physical size wise, it's the biggest I've ever put together. I have no plans to do any more this winter as I want to concentrate more on hand embroidery in the evenings.



  Have you ever done any jig saw puzzles on line?  Get some free ones HERE

Enjoy!


Thursday, December 31, 2020

Happy New Year!!

Isn't it wonderful to finally say good by to 2020! Needless to say, it was one of a kind. We are celebrating with our granddaughter tonight. She is determined to stay awake until midnight. We will see!!!

Shaun the Sheep is sooooo glad the new year is almost here.  He, too, is one of a kind, but in a good way.


Thank you for following my blog posts. You will see a new website in the near future and I will be doing my posts from there with a link to all previous posts. Happy New Year! I wish you health, happiness and hopefully, time with family and friends. Stay safe in 2021!

 

Monday, December 28, 2020

Celtic Christmas Trees: More Christmas Gifts!

In 2017, I finished my Celtic Christmas tree. This is stitched on linen using white Sashiko thread. The pattern is from Indigo Niche Designs. I find this method of stitching very relaxing as I don't have to count stitches and pay close attention to the pattern.


This year, I stitched two more trees using red linen. One went to Tennessee and the other to Newfoundland. Both trees have seed beads randomly stitched over the tree and are stretched on to canvas panels.


Enjoy!

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Have a Cup! Christmas Gifts

I can finally show you some of the Christmas gifts I made this year. These were inspired by Sue Spargo's 90 day Circle Sampler, from last fall's free on-line class. The cup was one of the embroidery patterns of that series. They were hand embroidered on a one inch wool circle, appliqued to a base. My tiny cups have a 5" x 5" white mat (the colours are a bit off, as you can see). Thanks, Sue, for the inspiration.





Enjoy!

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Merry Christmas

My granddaughter decorated her tree here at our place last week. She has put birds on it for the last three years. Some, she picked out at the shop, but for the most part, she got them from our tree. Can't you just hear, ' Grandma, that bird would look so nice on my tree'. Well, here's a sample from that tree:





We are so lucky that our daughter and her family are in our bubble. 

Merry Christmas from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia. Stay safe!

Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

My Studio Has New Shelves!!

This Christmas, I received an early gift - new upper shelves for my studio!!!  My husband asked me (big mistake) what I wanted for Christmas. My studio finished!  Well, he has started, with more storage to come in the new year.

My colourful wall below. I'm not as happy with this colour as I thought I would be. Live and learn. I'm going to redo it with the same paint colour as on the bottom. The wall to the right needs some sanding and is on the 'to do' list.

This is the other side of the shelves shown in the top photo. There is another steel shelve on the other side of the bins (shown below).

The other half of the room holds my office space / library,standalone embroidery machines, storage unit . . . Photos of the rest of the room will have to wait. Needless to say, I'm pleased with the process!

Talking about storage, have a look below:

Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Ready for Christmas

All parcels have been mailed and most have been received, trees are up, floral arrangements done, dark fruitcake is made and wine has been purchased!


This year I opted to leave off the strands of tinsel.

My Charlie Brown tree is in the dining area. It's a skinny one and doesn't take up much room.

Here's a full view of the tree skirt that made my sister made a few years ago.

Our favourite dark fruitcake from an old recipe of mom's.

I have been making a few gifts but cannot show them until after Christmas. Stay tuned!!

Enjoy



Thursday, December 3, 2020

Squash Squad Stitch Along is Finished!!

Nine weeks of stitching with Sue Spargo is over! I have enjoyed this project immensely. For one thing, I got to practise stitches, that under normal circumstances, I would probably not bother with! So thanks Sue!! 

These blocks are not yet stitched together. That will happen after I finish several Christmas presents. I am planning some more wool applique with vines and leaves, for the border. Stay tuned! It will be in the new year.

The squash used in this project are:

Spaghetti Squash           Long Island Cheese Pumpkin                           Queensland Blue Pumpkin

Baby Boo Pumpkin       Blue Hubbard Squash                                        Knuckle Head Pumpkin

Big Moon Pumpk          Mellow Yellow & Painted Purple Pumpkin      Porcelain Princess Pumpkin


 


Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Garden Sewing Box # 2

For the last several months, I have been working on another Garden Sewing Box. This one will be an on-line class for EAC - Embroiderers' Association of Canada. Since the original was completed in 2005, I felt it necessary to create another one. So here it is!

I enjoy teaching about the techniques used in my art work and this project has lots! 

Each photo was taken with the box lying on its side which is why the front feet aren't touching the counter top. Also, the top is not closed.





 As this is a functional sewing box, the inner box comes out.




To read about the first Sewing Box, please check HERE

See the four sides of the original box HERE



Sunday, November 22, 2020

Squash Squad: continued

Squash Squad, the 9 week stitch along with Sue Spargo, is over! Block 9 is finished, but I still have three previous blocks to complete. There were two flowers in the original pattern of this block but I opted not to do them. My bottom stitching isn't exactly straight and it might be taken out before putting the blocks together. Note the fluffy caterpillar embroidered with the Turkey Stitch.

 
Here's Block 6. I do like the vines and flowers in this one.

Enjoy!!


Sunday, November 8, 2020

Happy 99th Birthday, Mom

Mom is 99 years young today and in great health. Thank you to the staff of Chancellor Park, St. John's, Newfoundland, for taking such good care of her. She calls the care givers, her angels. 

Due to COVID-19, I can't be there to celebrate her birthday. Hopefully, I'll be there for her 100th!

Here's mom in her early 20's. 

This next one is a favourite of mine as well as my sister and brother.



Saturday, November 7, 2020

Squash Squad Update

I've been making some progress on the 5 1/2 " wool applique, Squash Squad squares, by Sue Spargo. Monday, we start block 8 of 9. My seven blocks are in various stages of finishing. Here's six and seven:

Block 7 - Big Moon Pumpkin

Working on the vine.  Small buttons have to be added.

Block 6 - Knuckle Head Pumpkin

Couching the background woody vines. Small Detached Chains are to be randomly added for the base of the Bittersweet blossom. A small orange seed bead will be added to the base of each detached chain stitch. I also need to add more Raised Cup Stitches to the rest of the triangles.


Enjoy!!





Saturday, October 31, 2020

Happy Halloween!!

If you know me, you know that Halloween just isn't my thing! After spending 30 years as a primary / elementary teacher, all those Halloween parties over the years, was enough!  However, when you move to another province to be close to a granddaughter, things change.

Thursday, I got a call from my daughter inviting themselves to supper on Friday (grin) to do pumpkin carving and a kid sleepover. So, doing my grandma thing, I bought two large pumpkins (not realizing they were coming with four more), a carving set (not from the $ shop) and decorations to enhance the occasion.

Here's the end result:

I did say six pumpkins, well, one of them was a bit tipsy! It's the middle one below, leaning on its buddy!

 
Gale drew this one for me!
She carved out the mouth, as I was told it was more complicated than the eyes! Was she telling me something! HA!!
 
In any event, a grand time was had by all. These carved pumpkins just left here for another home!
 

Enjoy Halloween wherever you are and remember to stay safe!


Friday, October 16, 2020

Fantastic Fusion Workshop

For the past two Thursday evenings, I have participated in an online workshop, Fantastic Fusion, with Lisa Walton, Textile Artist, from Sydney, Australia. This was organized by the Mahone Bay Quilters' Guild for its members.

19 quilters were eager to learn something new. Many admitted that they were definitely out of their comfort zone. However, you couldn't tell that by the pieces that were created. Lisa was a wonderful teacher, quite prepared with samples, videos, photo gallery and live demos. It was six hours of fun! 

Using Zoom, we were able to see all 20 of us on one screen (thumbnails). We got to see what the other was doing, ask questions, make comments, chat . . . almost the same as been in a physical classroom. The other upside - no packing to go to a classroom, unpack etc. You know the drill. I was in my own space with all my 'stuff' at my fingertips. No, "Oh darn, I forgot to bring . . ." or "I have the perfect piece of fabric for this, but it's home". On that score, I prefer working here in my own studio!

These batik blocks are the result of week one. My colour scheme came from the colours in my back garden and the quilt my sister, Joan, made me for my July birthday, 2018. The blue represents the sky.

Week two

These are the same blocks from above. I chopped them up, cut extra strips and put them together to form this piece. I managed to fuse some of the pieces together but the rest are pinned to my board to do later. It measures approximately 18" x 26" and will be quilted and free-motion stitched.

My colour inspiration:

 


Thanks, Lisa. It was very nice meeting you.

Enjoy!