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

a new house

The hand-embroidered colourful house (4″x 3″) was begun last summer and then put aside for months. I recently went back to it as something to keep me awake whilst watching television in the evenings and I finished it yesterday. The tudor-type house (7″ x 10.5″) is free-motion machine embroidery, made this weekend just because I was in the mood to thread paint. I know that there is a lot that’s wrong with this piece but it was fun to stitch and my sewing machine appreciated not having to stitch through nylon rope and several layers of fabric for a change!



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!





yet another mug rug

Two pieces of free-motion machine embroidery made many months ago, now finally put to good use as both sides of a mug rug. Funny how photographing something immediately shows the errors in my work!




new case, new foot

More free-motion machine embroidery, intended for use as the front of a new soft case for my reading specs but I was unhappy with the amount of puckering on the first (I was distracted by Colin Firth!) so did the second one with thinner padding and that was better. Or so I thought. I used an old specs case as my template but didn’t cut my fabric to the same size. I used it today but I don’t think there’s enough padding to protect the specs adequately when they sink to the bottom of my bag under the usual detritus, it’s a tad big and I didn’t like the quality of my hand stitching round the sides so I’m going to unpick the whole thing (apart fromt the embroidery which I quite like), put more padding between the embroidered fabric and the lining and make the whole thing smaller.

Not all sighing and harumphing today though, as I collected a new foot for my sewing machine which, after a test run this afternoon, promises to be better for free-motion embroidery than the one I currently use. The foot height is adjustable so it will sit closer to the fabric and be less bouncy than the other foot. That’s what I’m hoping for anyway …



through the woods



Through The Woods9″ x 7″. Scraps of fabric painted with diluted fabric stiffener then appliquéd by machine onto silk. Hand embroidery for the trunks to add definition. As usual, my photography doesn’t do the actual colours justice!

latest doodles

Lots of experimenting this week.


These leaves and ‘discs’ were an idea for jewellery or clothes embellishment. These were fun to do and I think I’ll take this idea further.

machine doodles on felt


Free motion machining on two layers of organza then burning out the shapes with a soldering iron. organza

Mixed media in an organza sandwich on a muslin background.organza and paper twist

May flowers

We’re only four days into May and I’ve already completed the sewing challenge for the month – twice! When I spoke to big sis earlier this afternoon, she admitted that she had also already completed two pieces!

I coloured the background fabric and the daisies with oil pastels before machine stitching the daisies but I can’t decide whether to quilt around the daisies or not – whatdya all think?



Yellow buttercups were the basis for the second piece on silk tinted with water soluble wax pastels.  The fabric around the flowers was puckered after machining them so I bit the bullet and quilted the whole thing but I think it’s ok.

yellow flowers



A couple of pleasant hours spent doodling with my sewing machine this afternoon resulted in these. I stitched them onto the machine cover to join a few other embroidery doodles, some of which are hand sewn.

DSCF4071 DSCF4075 DSCF4070







creative block

I finished the crochet throw in time for Ms P’s birthday which was last week and since then I’ve been lacking inspiration (or motivation – I can’t decide which) for a new project. I’ve been doing a lot of tidying and sorting which is all good but hasn’t led to anything craftwise.

When I was working, I always seemed to have loads of ideas for things I wanted to make and finding the time to do them was the difficulty. Now it’s the other way round. Is this creative block?  If so, how to deal with it? Lots of advice out there on the web no doubt. Perhaps I need to think out of the box. Make a list. Do something completely different. Make another list. Visit a craft shop or two. Don’t do anything remotely craft related for a week. (No, can’t quite see that one working.) Get the Bernina repaired and then if quilting or machine embroidery becomes the project of choice, I’ll be able to start on it right away. (The 6th months old Bernina has been making knocking noises for a while so it’s going back to the shop this week.)

The trick about having a creative block I suppose is not to let it worry me and just ‘go with the flow’ until that leads me somewhere more productive. Until then, or until I find something else to post about, the following photographs are of Ms P’s throw, the sunrise a few days ago, and an animal hair brush which I use to gather thread ends and woolly strands, and dislodge tiny runaway beads from my workroom carpet when I can’t be bothered to drag that smug-faced vacuum cleaner out of the cupboard. I wouldn’t be without this little brush these days – it’s a brilliant piece of kit.