Embroidery

Blue Bird – stitching in ‘negative space’

Blue Bird - stitching in 'negative space'

The Blue Bird is almost finished – only the long and short shading to do now! Stitching the design on the bird’s head, chest and throat was really interesting. Usually we stitch to fill in an area with a design or a texture, as you can see below. There are special areas to be filled in […]


Lady Anne’s Needlework Retreat – I’ve been waiting to tell you!!!

Lady Anne's Needlework Retreat - I've been waiting to tell you!!!

Unbelievably, on September 26, I’m flying to England for 5 days to join the Lady Anne’s Needlework Retreat with Phillipa Turnbull! I am the luckiest person in the world! You all know how much I admire Phillipa Turnbull and her work and how much I love her crewelwork designs and kits. She was my very […]


Luzine Happel Exhibition in Eschwege!

Luzine Happel Exhibition in Eschwege!

It was W O N D E R F U L! The holiday flat was wonderful, my walk through the town was wonderful, the cake I ate was wonderful but most especially Luzine Happel’s Exhibition was wonderful. Four large rooms filled with stunning, beautiful stitched white work. Interspersed were items from the region you would find […]


Basket Weave – So Pretty!

Basket Weave - So Pretty!

Once I finished the basket weave laid and couched work, I began to imagine how the finished piece would look. The two curved shapes that are filled with this combination of long laid stitches and short couching stitches are a distinctive part of the design. From an angle it’s easy to see the basket weave of […]


Canvaswork threads and sampler progress!

Canvaswork threads and sampler progress!

I had a few emails asking me to list the color numbers of the Caron treads I purchased at Nordic needle. Below is a photo and the list of threads. Hope this helps all of you who wrote and asked and those of you who didn’t, enjoy the beautiful blues and greens!   1. Caron Wildflowers […]


A better stand – thanks to Dad!

A better stand - thanks to Dad!

When I was home I had a little job for my Dad to do – improving my stitching stand. I love my Needle Needs stand for three reasons: firstly, it’s just beautiful to look at; secondly, I can sit down and get up easily, without moving my chair very much and thirdly it’s adjustable – […]


Registrations open for Bath Textile Summer School 2015!

Registrations open for Bath Textile Summer School 2015!

I like to plan ahead. In fact, because I fly to get to many of the places I want to visit – and I like to get reduced price tickets – I must plan ahead. This time, I’m planning WAY ahead – almost a whole year! When I got the first email from Lynne Roche […]


Nordic Needle bits and bobs

Nordic Needle bits and bobs

It seems like ages since I was in North Dakota at Nordic Needle! Isn’t it funny how our holidays seem somehow separate from “real life”? Now that I’m back at school with my students I’m completely involved with them and their music making. Bringing things home from somewhere special reminds me of that place every time […]


Hello from Nordic Needle in Fargo!

Hello from Nordic Needle in Fargo!

While we were at Valhalla in Minnesota, my husband expressed a wish to visit Fargo, North Dakota. There is a brewery whose beer he wanted to try and (unknown to him !) that is also the home of Nordic Needle! Of course, being a magnanimous wife I said “Of course we can drive over – […]


Home – and Away again!

Home - and Away again!

We’ve really just gotten home, are still feeling the effects of jet lag, missing family and friends and now we’re going away again! Why? To see the Luzine Happel’s exhibition Nobel and White in Eschwege, Germany. I am so lucky to live only 3 ½ hours by car from Eschwege so driving over on Friday afternoon […]


Stitching in Valhalla

Stitching in Valhalla

Valhalla; 1.) a place of honor, glory, or happiness :  heaven 2.) a quiet resort on the shores of a lake in Minnesota For a few days last week I could imagine what it would have been like to be Ma from The Little House in the Big Woods.  For any of you who didn’t […]


Floral Bedcover- second look

Rarely do I go back and look at pieces that I’ve done before. Unless they’re hanging on a huge wall and I see them every day, they are carefully stored away and out of sight until I decide what to do with them. So it was a lovely surprise to get a message from RMW […]


Minneapolis Institue of the Arts

Minneapolis Institue of the Arts

We were having lunch in Minneapolis at a new restaurant called the Copper Hen when we all spontaneously said “Oh! We’re just around the corner from the MIA- shall we go?”  I just love it when that happens! So off we went and, when we got there, I went to look at embroidery and textiles, […]


New Stitchville USA!

New Stitchville USA!

There isn’t much that’s more fun than going to Stitchville USA with a gift certificate! I got the rare chance to walk around, look and touch the different threads, see over 1,000 different finished projects on the walls and pour over various embroidery related accessories. Those of you who live near to any bricks and […]


Shopping for upcoming projects

Shopping for upcoming projects

We’re going to Minneapolis to visit one of my daughters and her husband. For my birthday I received a gift certificate to Stitchville USA which is in the Minneapolis area so, of course,we’re going to visit the store. What will I be looking for? I had such an interesting time – even sometimes enjoyable! – […]


Levens Hall: Basketweave laid and couched work

Levens Hall: Basketweave laid and couched work

Laid and couched work is one of my favorite things about crewel work. The multitude of designs, textures and endless color combinations are fascinating. I’ve tried working out how to recreate laid and couched work that I’ve seen in a photo or an old piece of needlework once. (successfully!) In the Levens Hall Pillow Phillipa […]


Blue Bird’s sweet face

Blue Bird's sweet face

The beautiful Morris inspired design on the bird’s face had been stitched with stem and satin stitch. I was very pleased with myself for getting it done rather quickly due to some seriously concentrated, uninterrupted stitching time. Only the little seeding stitches to go and then his sweet face will be finished. That was the […]


Summer stitching and sightseeing!

Summer stitching and sightseeing!

I just got a text from one of my daughters: “Tomorrow we’ll be in the same time zone!!!!!”. Tomorrow morning we fly out of Berlin, through London to Chicago and on to Des Moines, then by car to Ames, Iowa. We’re going home. Of course Berlin is home but Iowa is Home-Home. We’ll be spending loads […]


Good News from The Crewelwork Company

Good News from The Crewelwork Company

Sometimes on the weekends I like to peruse the web sites of both designers and online shops. I think of it as window shopping! Today I discovered a couple of really interesting tools I didn’t know existed – double eyed needles for example! – and new things happening on The Crewelwork Company’s web site. The […]


Schwalm whitework: First filling pattern

Schwalm whitework: First filling pattern

Although I’ve been absent for a while, I have been stitching in the few snatched moments between the things life throws at you once in a while! The chain stitch is completely finished around every part of the design and I’ve started on the filling work. Embroidering meters of chain stitch was very peaceful and […]


RSN Canvaswork: Mounting

RSN Canvaswork: Mounting

I spent all afternoon on Saturday mounting my RSN Canvaswork piece. Although it was hard work, I will say it went far better than it has on previous course pieces. Kelley Aldrige, my tutor in Bristol with whom I took the last 4 days of the course, kindly allowed me to make a short video […]


Crewel x 2 : Sunny Yellow!

Crewel x 2 : Sunny Yellow!

There’s nothing nicer than stitching with bright yellow thread on a warm sunny day! The spring weather in Germany has been variable to stay the least – as it has been in many parts of the world. Our skies can go from bright blue to dark grey in minutes, followed by rain and hail and […]


RSN Canvaswork: New Umbrella!

RSN Canvaswork: New Umbrella!

Thank you to those of you who suggested – ever so gently – that the paper umbrella on the RSN Canvaswork piece wasn’t quite right. After looking at the piece again I saw the same thing you did – it didn’t fit. I took it to a friend who is very creative and an artist – although not […]


Crewel X 2 = More First Stitches

Crewel X 2 = More First Stitches

Blue, blue, blue, blue! Two shades of blue! I love blue! And I especially love blue feet, stripey blue legs and blue beaks! The first stitches on the Blue Bird project are the legs, feet and beak. All these areas are satin stitch done over an outline done in split stitch. When I first started to […]