penny snake

I’ve made one hundred and twenty four felt pennies so far and stitched over nine thousand five hundred buttonhole stitches in the process. They will now go in a bag to await a decision on their final use.

replacement pin cushion

Finally got around to making a replacement pin cushion for the one that was stolen

bag revamp

I used this bag pattern twice for the Red Cross Craft Group but this one was very plain and unsurprisingly, no-one is interested in buying it so I brought it home to give it a little embellishment in the hope that it might help it sell.

plain multi-pocket craft bag before embellishing

I made a faux yarn ball and knitting needles, then added a diagonal yarn trim.

bag front after embellishment

I carried the yarn over to the back and lassoed an appliqued heart with it for a touch of whimsy.

bag back with embellishment

Was it worth the effort? Only time will tell.

workbox #10 housefront

After doing nothing on the Home Sweet Home workbox for approximately six months, this morning I think I’ve settled on the look of the housefront although I may change my mind several more times before I put stitch to fabric. For starters, the angle of the image would suggest that the house (inner red border) might be too small to have so many windows so I may ditch one or two.

HSH house front

Red Cross theft

During my weekly visit with the Red Cross upcycling group today, I was handed this teacup which was found on our upcycled shelf on the shop floor:



This is what it should have looked like:


It must have taken some force to separate the pin cushion part from the cup. Why not steal the whole thing? Was it just wanton vandalism or was someone so desperate for a pin cushion (but not a teacup) at that particular moment? Perhaps they thought it was a real cupcake? I’m not often at a loss for words but this mindless act left me speechless. There won’t be a reward posted for its recovery but if you know of its whereabouts you can leave details in a comment (anonomously if necessary).


I always take a piece of embroidery when I’m going on a long train journey and my recent visit to Scotland was no exception. Except that the piece I had planned to stitch was begun and almost completed before I even left home so I prepared a second piece which I’ll show you another day.  I didn’t touch the oystercatcher piece at all on the journey or during my visit but I did finish it this week. The design was from the June/July issue of Stitch magazine and I mainly followed the design but you know me, I just have to add a little wax crayon colour every now and again. I also did the pebbles differently and I added some seaweed too. It’s in the folder now, never to be seen again, well, not for a while anyway.

where I’m at this week

An emery block was the next Home Sweet Home accessory to embroider and I did begin it but wasn’t happy with my stitching so I put it aside for a few days. That was weeks ago and I’m still not enthused enough about it to pick it up again. It’s not nagging at my conscience though since I didn’t set myself any completion deadlines for this project.

So, if I haven’t been embroidering, what have I been doing?

  • Watching YouTube videos and getting ideas for mixed media things (which may or may not come to fruition).
  • Trying not to be ‘precious’ about things I’ve sewn or made in the past and actually toss them if they’re not worth keeping or re-purpose them.
  • Properly reading and not just skimming through the content of books I have on design and colour and drawing, in the forlorn hope that some of it at least will finally stick.
  • Making a start on a fabric book
  • Joining a newly formed up-cycling group at a local charity shop. More on that as it evolves.


I made felt and wired fabric flowers a few years ago for my son and his partner’s coffee lounge but they were looking a tad sorry for themselves by last year so I put them in a bin liner, brought them home and tossed them onto the top of a bookcase. Two weeks ago I finally did something with some of them. Destined to be pages of a kind of reference book made of fabric for finished pieces of work as well as small samples that are currently randomly stored amongst fabric supplies.

Yes, I know that the fabrics in the first piece are not square with each other  – I was after a scrappy random look and yes, the stems are real twigs which will probably snap off in a book but it’s hanging on a wall at the moment, out of snapping danger and we have to experiment don’t we? The background in the second piece was painted a long time ago but why or with what kind of paint I don’t now remember. I free-motion stitched around the edge just to attach it to the stiff interfacing background.