The Unbroken Thread: slideshow photograph 1
The Unbroken Thread: slideshow photograph 2
The Unbroken Thread: slideshow photograph 3
The Unbroken Thread: slideshow photograph 4
The Unbroken Thread: slideshow photograph 5


Pretty, pretty flowers

It seems that everything I’m stitching is full of flowers lately! I love it – so pretty and so spring-like in the midst of a very long, very grey winter here in Berlin.


The pink honeysuckle flowers on Anna Scott’s piece are almost finished – only the little golden stamens to do. They look so lovely with the fat pink buds and pale pink and yellow flowers. The touch of green french knots in the center lifted the pinks and make the flowers come alive!


The threads used for the flowers are variegated, so they’ve come out looking very natural. I don’t think of using variegated thread myself so every time I do use it I am thrilled with the results!


Up to this point in the project I haven’t done anything too “stump work like”. The next parts will be completely new as I learn how to create leaves that float above the fabric and a little bee buzzing around! I can’t wait!


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Loveday tree trunk is growing

The tree trunk on the Loveday crewelwork piece is growing skyward. I needed some time to work out the split in the trunk where the first large branch goes off to the left, but eventually I worked it out.

I wanted the lines of golden browns to flow gently up the trunk and off to the side without any abrupt turns. It was really helpful to have the Loveday print to refer to when stitching!


At the bottom of the trunk I divided the area into equal sections and tapered the streams of color as I stitched upwards. After the introduction of the leaf, I had to stop and look at the print to determine which colors carried on upwards and for how long. Once I felt confident about which colors and where they would be placed in order from left to right, I stitched a guide line of each color before filling in the sections. You can see the beginnings of the guidelines in the photo below. I had quite a few threads going at once and it was fun to see it come together.


The large branch that goes off to the left needed to have 5 different sections of color at the beginning and taper to only one at the end. I first stitched the darkest color along the bottom of the branch but left a little bit of space at the end for two other colors above to go to the very tip. Filling in the other colors along the length of the branch was then relatively straightforward.


Of course, you’ve noticed the pretty green leaf in the photos – I couldn’t resist adding a touch of green and trying something different amid all the stem stitch! Lovely isn’t it?!



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RSN Silk Shading threads safe and ready to go

Traveling to and from one of the RSN courses is always a bit of a production. It’s not like I’ll be able to pop home if I forgot something…Berlin is a long way from Bristol! So I always do a few things to make sure my materials and equipment get to and from England safely.

For the silk shading course my biggest concern is the silk itself. I have 28 different colors of “Au Ver a Soire” silk for the project. This is a large investment and I want to make sure it stays in perfect condition throughout the entire course including the traveling. When I was in London for the first four days of the RSN Canvaswork course, one of the students had a wonderful idea for keeping her threads accessible and safe when the stitching day was finished. She generously allowed me to take a photo.


She’d made a long, narrow pillow which could be laid across the top of the slate frame when she was stitching. The pillow kept the threads from getting tangled since they were resting on fabric and they draped nicely over the pillow. They were visible while she was working and it was easy for her to get the color she needed. At the end of the day – and what you can’t see – is the flap of fabric that folds up to cover the threads keeping the safe.

Yesterday I made my own version of the same thing using slightly different materials* (see note below)


I started with an old, rather thin cotton bath mat. The length was just right for the three thread holders and, folded along with a bit of left over quilt batting, it was the right thickness.


After I had folded it and made sure it was the correct length and width, I pinned it and then stitched it together along the edge using large basting stitches.


Next I took some of the white cotton fabric I bought years ago that’s in my stash. I cut it to the width of the ‘cushion’ plus a bit more so I could have a hem along each side. Then I stitched it up along the ends and at the front edge of the cushion. I hemmed the sides and the bottom and it was done!


The last step was to lay the thread holders with the thread in them along the length of the pillow and stitch them on using button hole thread. I stitch them loosely so I could get a strand of thread off easily. Below you can see the thread snugly wrapped up in the fabric that extends from the pillow. It will be easy to move from place to place and the thread will stay safe. If it looks like it will unroll, I’ll use a couple pieces of ribbon and tie them around to keep it from unrolling.


When I arrive at the studio to stitch, I’ll unroll it and all my threads will be there safe and sound!


I’ll let you know how it works once I start using it!

Have you ever made something like this for your threads when you’re working on a large project? Share your solution with us!


*This year I’ve made a promise to myself the I will not purchase one more thing. I have enough: enough equipment, enough thread, enough fabric, enough of everything, really. Late last year I did order one of the new stands from Just a Thought and I’ll be telling you about that when I go back to Iowa for a visit this summer where I had the stand shipped to my parents. I have signed up for a course with Jenny Adin-Christie in August and I think there may be a materials fee for that. Other than those two things you should NOT be hearing about me buying one more thing. If you’re interested in how I’m doing buying Not One More Thing (the name of my new blog) take a peek at it here.


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