look who’s back!

I delivered the sewing machine to my friendly mechanic this morning and late this afternoon I collected it, all fixed and tickety-boo once more. It seems there were a few screws loose in the bobbinfill micro-switch department. I have the same problem in my brain but that can’t be fixed so easily!



an empty space

After filling a bobbin yesterday afternoon, my machine only partially reverted to sewing mode. I could stitch forwards but not backwards and that was about all. Nothing else worked, not even my needle up/down option and the viewing screen continued to show the bobbinfill image. I did all the usual stuff: pushed the bobbinfill spindle back into the fill position and out again, turned the machine off and on, pressed all sorts of buttons rapidly, shouted at it and called it names then pleaded with it to re-set itself, but nothing worked. I even left it switched off for a while but eventually I had to admit defeat and rang my repair man who could only suggest that I bring it to him asap. JP has agreed to ferry the machine and me to the shop on Monday morning for what will hopefully be a speedy but more importantly, not too expensive a repair job. Until then, I have an empty space where my sewing machine normally sits.

empty space

weekend conversations

A new friend joined the workroom yesterday, Gordon Goose. Bunny and Little Ted look mighty surprised at the size of Gordon’s feet.


The pattern for Gordon Goose came from Tone Finnanger’s book ‘Birds’. 

small gifts

Now that my friend M’s birthday has come and gone, I can show the little needlebook that I made for her. I used two layers thick craft felt for the front cover and  a single layer for the middle ‘page’. The inner layer of the back cover was reduced in size to make a pocket for storing a needle gripper.  M’s birthday card was also handmade, using the September flower for decoration.



autumn winter challenge part 2

I drew cheeseplant leaves (Monstera Deliciosa) on my original tulip vase drawing but then didn’t relish the thought of satin stitching lots of near identical leaves so I changed my design – to an even simpler version of what you see below. Extra colours and details were added as I stitched and I’m not sure if it still needs more of either but I’ll leave it as is until the tulips are done and then check the balance.

I placed my original tulip drawings under heavy-weight tracing paper and then pencilled the outlines. When I was finally happy with the floral arrangement I inked over the pencil work, taped the tracing to a sheet of perspex and lightly pencilled it onto the calico using window light. Partly to avoid having to begin stitching and partly for fun, I subsequently coloured in some of the tulips. Too bad that thread painting can’t be as easy!

I also did a couple of practice pieces on a smaller hoop this week to determine how many strands of thread to stitch the petals with in long and short stitch and I’ve decided to stick with my usual choice of one. The practice hoop will also be used for testing and or fine tuning thread colour choices for the flowers. Yesterday I actually took the plunge and began stitching a tulip on the main hoop but I’m not taking bets on how many times I’ll unpick it before I’m happy with it!

tulip vase

tulips tracing

September flower 2

Here’s another free-motion machine-embroidered flower for September, based on the knapweed flower. As a practice piece after testing different machine settings and stitches, it was extremely useful. One layer of thin poly-cotton fabric was backed with medium weight iron-on dressmaker’s interfacing and then hooped before stitching.  Unfortunately, the wrinkles and puckers worsened as I increased the length of the stems and added a couple of leaves so I unpicked the leaves and shortened the stems but it didn’t satisfactorily cure the puckers. It could have been the stitch length or tension or the direction of the fabric weave or stitches, too thin a fabric, or a multitude of other reasons. Time to consult a book or two.

another flower

a September flower

It’s been a while since I did any free-motion machine embroidery and it’s always fun to do so this afternoon I stitched up a little aster, one of my favourite flowers along with daisies, carnations, and lilac blossom. Strictly speaking, the fabric shouldn’t be wrinkled between the petals but I like the effect.

september flower


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