Embroidery

Pausing to play with my needle

Pausing to play with my needle

Sometimes I just need to stitch. Needing to stitch is different from wanting to stitch. And this kind of needing isn’t about having to finish a project for a deadline. This kind of needing is about putting myself into a calm, focused, peaceful place.  Sometimes the color of the thread helps: blue is a calm […]


Loveday Crewelwork: Little brown sparrow!

Loveday Crewelwork: Little brown sparrow!

Every once in a while I notice that what I’ve done just isn’t right. Usually, when doing crewelwork, I work chain stitch, I work from the beginning to the end of the design element. So, in the photos below, I worked the first row and a half of chain stitch from the point where the […]


Loveday crewelwork: Blackbird finished (almost!)

Loveday crewelwork: Blackbird finished (almost!)

The last stitches on the back of the Blackbird body were super quick to embroider! Some stem stitch at the left edge in the photo below and the seeding around the black leaf shapes and I was ready to move to his head. (For some reason this bird is a “he” rather than a “she”. […]


Loveday Crewelwork: Blackbird begun!

Loveday Crewelwork: Blackbird begun!

Now that I’m finished embroidering the trunk, strawberries and leaves of the lower part of the design, I decided to stitch both the blackbird and the sparrow. Nicola is renowned for her bird designs and I’ve stitched the Bluebird crewelwork design before but not the blackbird or the sparrow. I was looking forward to embroidering both […]


RSN Canvaswork assessment – remember this project?

RSN Canvaswork assessment -  remember this project?

Those of you who read The Unbroken Thread will undoubtedly remember how much difficulty I had with my canvaswork project for the RSN Certificate. I was a complete beginner and had no concept of how canvaswork was done, how to use the different stitches and, for that matter, how to DO the different stitches. At the […]


Loveday crewelwork – Tri-color leaf 2

Loveday crewelwork - Tri-color leaf 2

I’ve just finished one of the prettiest crewelwork leaves I’ve ever stitched. The choice of stitches and the combination of colors makes it bright and fresh. It’s one of the leaves on Nicola Jarvis’ Loveday crewelwork design. As you can see in the photo below, each section of the large leaf is divided into three parts, […]


Lady Lever Art Gallery

Lady Lever Art Gallery

On the morning of the day I went to Liverpool Cathedral, I made my way across the Mersey river to an idyllic place called Port Sunlight. Here is an excerpt from an article about Port Sunlight and William Lever, the man responsible for both the village and the collection housed in the Lever Art Gallery. […]


RSN: Silk Shading finished!

RSN: Silk Shading finished!

Below is a photo of my RSN Silk Shading piece before I went to Bristol. I knew there was some tweaking to do but wasn’t sure how to proceed, so I waited until I could talk to Kelley. Once I was in class again I added the greens and, of course, as you all said it would, […]


I love Liverpool!!!

I love Liverpool!!!

On Easter weekend, when we were in England, we drove north to Liverpool to see the city, the embroidery and, for my dear husband, the trains. One of my favourite things about England is a specific road sign you see driving north up the M1. Unlike road signs in the USA where they tell you the […]


RSN Silk Shading: almost there!

RSN Silk Shading: almost there!

When I left for Bristol, the silk shading project of a white cosmos looked like this (see below). I knew there was room for improvement but I didn’t know where stitches should be added, nor did I know how to go about adding just a few, well placed stitches to make it just that little bit […]


Review: The Needlepoint Book by Jo Ippolito Christensen

Review: The Needlepoint Book by Jo Ippolito Christensen

I’m sure many of you remember the articles I wrote about my experience with canvaswork . It was the most challenging course I’d taken at the RSN and the most frustrating technique I had to learn. My tutors were excellent and did their best, but I just couldn’t get my head around the whole concept: […]


Loveday crewelwork – Tri-color leaf 1

Loveday crewelwork - Tri-color leaf 1

After I’d embroidered the ivy leaves, the strawberries and worked up quite far on the trunk and branches, I decided to stitch one of the large leaves. The large leaves are worked in three colors throughout the piece: a dark green, a light apple green and a beautiful teal blue. These colors, in combination with the […]


Loveday crewelwork- sweet strawberries

Loveday crewelwork- sweet strawberries

The two large strawberries at  the bottom of the tree are worked in padded long and short shading. Now, before you ask me what padded long and short shading is, take a deep breath and think about it. It’s a padded satin stitch but shaded, using longer and shorter stitches to blend the colors together. […]


Loveday crewelwork – green ivy

Loveday crewelwork - green ivy

Even before I’d finished all of the tree trunk, I started stitching the ivy. I just couldn’t wait to see what the piece would look like with more color added to it! The ivy uses only two stitches – stem stitch and straight stitch. Stem stitch outlines each leaf, it is used to create the vein […]


RSN Silk Shading – White finished…for now

RSN Silk Shading - White finished...for now

All of the white/grey/violet/green “Mischung’ of white color on my RSN Silk Shading flower project is finished. “What’s a Mischung?”, I hear you ask. Mischung – pronounced “mish-ung” – means mixture in German but it sounds more like what the color of the flower looks like than the word mixture, doesn’t it?  The flower clearly isn’t as white as […]


A turned under petal – silk shading the shade!

A turned under petal - silk shading the shade!

The next petal in my order of work was the turned under petal on the lower right side of the flower. The top of the petal is bright white in the photo, which was relatively straightforward to stitch. However, when I moved onto the underside of the petal that’s in the shade, the colors became […]


RSN Silk Shading: First large petal finished

RSN Silk Shading: First large petal finished

This flower may be “white’ but there are lots of threads in the stitch that are NOT white. I’ve used various greys, violets, a light clay color, and a bit of grey-green to achieve the shading in the largest petal. Here’s a photo of my work in progress – look at all those needles!   Analysing […]


Curly branches!

Curly branches!

The tree is growing beautifully! Stem stitch is one of my favourite stitches and I especially like doing it when I have to either taper the stitches to a thinner point or expand them to get thicker. I like the puzzle of working out where to have one row stop (or begin the additional row). […]


RSN Silk Shading: Keeping the silk clean!

RSN Silk Shading: Keeping the silk clean!

  While working on my RSN Silk Shading piece, I have been super careful to keep all areas of the silk covered except the tiny part I’m embroidering at one time. You can see from the photo below that I have acid free tissue paper carefully secured all around the petal. However, I wasn’t careful […]


Miniature Cap Class Offered on “With Threaded Needle”

Miniature Cap Class Offered on "With Threaded Needle"

After many requests, I’ve decided to offer an online course to my readers who would like to make their own miniature copy of a cap design by Thomas Trevelyon. The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C. has graciously granted permission for the use of the Trevelyon cap pattern under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. […]


RSN Silk Shading: Four petals done

Before I left Bristol and the care and guidance of my teacher, I stitched the four small petals you see completed in the photo below. I can hear you thinking “That’s all?” Yep, that was as far as I got. But I learned a lot! I now understand the importance of both the order of work […]


Loveday crewelwork piece is begun!

Loveday crewelwork piece is begun!

I woke up early last weekend to frame up the linen for the Loveday crewelwork piece from Nicola Jarvis. I was so excited! Whenever I am beginning a new piece I have mixed feelings: I know it will take a while to frame it up and what I really want to do is get stitching, so […]


Here’s an idea: Morgan Lap Stand

Here's an idea: Morgan Lap Stand

One of our loyal readers, RMW, asked the other day for advice about what kind of a frame or stand she could get. She mentioned a “lap/table/sit-on stand”. She said she prefers hoops, but was also considering trying q-snaps. She would prefer NOT to have to lace or tack that fabric onto the frame or fussing with scroll and other […]


Happy New Year and what’s ahead!

Happy New Year and what's ahead!

Happy New Year to all of you! We had the most wonderful time with our friends over Christmas and came home refreshed and feeling very lucky to have two such delightful people in our lives. After receiving many, many Happy Christmas wishes from you, I feel very lucky to have all of you as part […]