meet Jasper

I returned home on Wednesday evening after spending two weeks with Big Sis and this little guy.  Sadly, Dave the dalmation left us for the great hereafter just before I arrived but we’re sure that he must have left secret notes for Jasper as he seems to have already learned some of Dave’s old tricks! As I write this, Jasper is just over ten weeks old. He’s a scruffy labradoodle who’s very bouncy, has a fondness for furry slippers (mine), squeaks a lot, is not quite sure yet what cats and birds are for, loves to tug at labels, and is soooooo adorable that I was almost tempted to sneak him into my case and bring him home with me. He wasn’t quite ready to venture out into the big wide world so days out with Big Sis were limited but Jasper was an excellent distraction and a constant source of entertainment so I didn’t mind and I did succeed in doing lots of embroidery during our time indoors but I’ll save those photos for a future post.



decisions, decisions

Finally, I made a decision about what to stitch on the backing of the felt appliquéd teapot embroidery. I wanted something that was free-motion embroidered and tried some stitchy ideas this morning using cotton backed with fusible batting but nothing was working out satisfactorily so I resorted to my usual go-to for machine embroidery – heavy duty interfacing. I cut a piece approximately 60 x 70 cm and spray-basted the black polycotton fabric to it so that they would remain together without using pins or clips. I’ve seen quilters on YouTube videos use a can of spray basting but I only had Elmer’s repositionable mounting spray (which does not include fabric in the list of recommended uses) at my disposal. It did the trick and kept both layers together while I scrunched and folded and rolled the interfacing and fabric in order to manoeuver it under the needle as I stitched. I take no responsibility for anyone who uses this same spray on fabric and finds that it ruins the fabric! I’ve never free-motion embroidered such a large size of heavy-duty interfacing before and it’s not brilliant but I’m happy with it considering how unwieldy the interfacing was.

teapot backing


Rejected samples stitched on 100% cotton (blue) and a linen blend (black).


Mad Hatter

The Mad Hatter is my current evening stitching piece but I can’t say that I’m enjoying much of it. Not long after I began it I altered the original outline drawing and unpicked several hours worth of black stem stitch in favour of a slightly less severe grey. I don’t like the style of the hand holding the teacup so until I rejig that, it will remain unstitched. To prevent me from discarding the whole thing, I moved on to colouring the trousers and once more unpicked several trials of different filler stitches before settling on the ubiquitous satin stitch. I may end up as mad as the hatter at this rate. He will however serve as a means to while away some of the seven hour long journey on the train next week when I go beyond-up-north to visit Big Sis.

The multi-coloured fabric you can see behind the hoop is a small fabric chest which I am about a third of the way through making. It needs a little oomph of a contrast colour on the yet-to-be-appliquéd panels or on the background fabric itself but the jury’s still out on what that should be.

mad hatter

red poppies

I like poppies and today I sewed two versions. I fused some red cotton to Bondaweb then cut out some poppy shapes, bonded the flowers to black linen then free-motion embroidered them before quilting the background with small circles. The other version is just free-motion machine embroidery on the same red cotton.

I know someone else who likes poppies and the next time I see her, she’ll be offered one of these tissue holders. My poppies may not be considered as authentic but I’m sure she won’t mind.



vines of a sort

This was also made on Wednesday as the backing for the bird box hanging but I decided it was too nice to just face a wall so I think I’ll mount it as an individual piece. Should there be a little bird on a branch or two? Free-motion machine embroidery on red felt.


wonky bird box

I’m in the process of making a little felt box with lots of hand embroidery on it but this afternoon I took a break from it and went back to machine embroidery to stitch a little wall hanging. I sketched my design on the calico with a Pilot Frixion pen then painted it with Pebeo fabric paints before free-motion machining it all.  It’s about 18″ x 6″ or 47 x 15cm for metric fans!






From this quick sketch:DSCF1047

To this embroidery completed about twenty minutes ago: