It’s inevitable that when I’m looking for something particular online I’ll be sidetracked by something completely unrelated. Recently it was penny rugs that caught my attention and although they’re usually made from wool I used acrylic felt as I didn’t have any wool fabric. My circles were hand cut and my alignment of the smaller circles is less than perfect but I’ve told myself that this only adds to their hand-made charm.

This is roughly eight evenings worth of penny making and I’ve a load more ready for stitching. I haven’t decided what I might use them for but I’ll keep making them until I get sidetracked by something else.

acrylic felt pennies

box of birds tree stuff

After I’d posted the branch samples, Joyce of Little Felt Houses asked if I’d thought about using wrapped wire. I had discounted this method but Joyce’s comment prompted a rethink.  Thank you Joyce! It was quick and easy to do and the wire can easily be manipulated into shape. It needs finessing a little but the method is a definite keeper.


I also made a 4cm long wired leaf this week. Any wired leaf instructions I’ve ever read have not specified a particular fabric to use but I’ve never been entirely happy that it’s virtually impossible to trim the fabric back to the edge of the leaf without leaving a few stray fabric threads which then have to be camouflaged by colouring with a marker pen or glued down. A eureka moment came last week when I watched a YouTube video showing a stumpwork leaf being worked on organza. Naturally, I had to try it for myself. My organza was a cheap polyester variety but it held up quite well and because the organza fibres are fine, it was fairly easy to trim them back. No colouring or gluing required! According to the RSN Stumpwork book which arrived in the post yesterday morning, any fine fabric can be used for wired shapes. Why have I never considered this myself?


I couched the wire in red thread so that it would be easy to see when unpicking it and then realised when I was actually doing so that the couching thread should have been the same as the leaf, since the fabric and the resultant leaf would never be separated. And yes, it was difficult to unpick. Two strands of green DMC embroidery cotton used throughout. Buttonhole stitch around the wire and a row of badly applied split stitch along the inner edge.


The front of the leaf. More un-fabulous stitching, this time satin stitch with overcast stitch for the central vein.


The back of the leaf with even more rubbishy stitching and can you spot a couple of organza fibres? I didn’t see them until after the image was taken with the camera’s macro setting. They show how fine the organza fibres are but now I know they’re there I could easily snip them off.



applique portrait pt2

Gosh, this course module class seems to have taken the longest time to do but I’m happy with the end result. Stitches used were back stitch and straight stitch, with buttonhole stitch only to appliqué the red pinafore because the wool cloth frayed badly.  I re-stitched all the face in a brown thread, finer than the black I’d used when stitching through the tissue paper (see previous post) and the lighter thread colour and closer stitching enabled me to put in more detail. I have to confess that I’ve given my mother brown eyes here instead of the blue that they really were but if I hadn’t told you, you’d never have known. Call it artist licence. Size is approx 12 x 17 cm. I’m off now to write up my notes for this module, put this little portrait with my other samples, and then have a look to see what’s next on Sue Stone’s online course which is almost at an end!

Kardinal garden 3

Roses finished and love-in-a-mist begun.


Kardinal garden 2

After a session of unpicking and two evenings re-stitching them, I think my flowers are now less daisy-like and more like the roses they should be. The addition of lazy daisy stitch greenery helps too.


Kardinal garden 1

My latest embroidery piece is Diana Lampe’s Kardinal rose garden, another one from her Embroidery For All Seasons book. This time I’ve reverted to using my old friend calico which is much better at handling tiny stitches than the Autumn Garden polyester/viscose fabric was. I need a miracle to transform what I’ve stitched so far into things that resemble roses but I have little faith in that happening any time soon. The instructions seemed simple enough – “Mark a circle for the rose with a small circle within. Work each petal from the inside circle with three or four buttonhole stitches forming a scallop shape.  Work five petals around the circle then work three or four inner petals to overlap the first.” Believe it or not, I did plenty of fairly satisfactory test roses on a scrap of fabric first but my scallop shapes on the main piece have ended up with points (why?) and the inner petals on the few rose heads I added them to did nothing to convince me that I was actually stitching roses. Lets face it, my roses are pathetic and not rose-like at all. I think I might be I will be unpicking this lot…



a fox finished

The fox is finished and some of you may recognise him from Johanna Basford’s Enchanted Forest colouring book which I bought purely as a source of inspiration for embroidery projects and not for colouring in – I’d hate to spoil the book! A little bigger than A4 size, my stitched version is roughly twice the size of the book image. As soon as he was finished, I re-hooped the tulips piece and spent a couple of hours in the evening stitching a petal or two.