Monday, 19 December 2016

Grandma's Toy Hospital Emergency !

Clanger has been rushed into the A+E department of Grandma's Toy Hospital in Mullion this morning .  As in all hospitals right now , Christmas is such a busy time .

                                               Coming apart under his chin !

                                             Worse ! He has become quite bald !

                                                      This is soon fixed .

                                 Then for more delicate "under the chin " surgery .

 Made a better job of it this time round ,stitching all along with stronger wool  .

                   All done ! One happy Clanger = one happy little grandson !

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Autumn Stitching update

Sitting cosily  in the car , at the top of the cliffs , looking towards Gunwalloe , doing a little stitching  , while the rain lashes down .

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Starting the Oast Houses of Kent Countryside crewel embroidery .

 I was so lucky to have the right colours for the oast houses in amongst the vintage crewel wool in my basket .  There was no picture , nor instruction leaflet with the transfer . I did find a picture of the front of the original leaflet , so I can use that as a guide , but there is no list of the colours or stitches or the order in which to do it .

So to begin with I went over some of the more important details with a sharp pencil . I think I,ll do this a little  bit at a time , because it could smudge .Then I,ll stitch a bit around the outlines of things and just see how it goes really .
Once again , like the other vintage embroidery I did , the stitches in these Briggs leaflets are mostly the basic ones .... back stitch, stem stitch , crewel stitch , long and short shading , detatched chain stitch for the leaves and what else can I see ?.....ah ...French knots ..lots of French knots on the cherry blossom ....and it is all very freely and painterly done  , or so it seems to me .
 Actually ,  I am not even sure if this one is a Briggs Embroidery transfer ,  There is no makers name on the transfer  . Maybe someone could let me know ?

 The sun has come out , so I,m off to sit out in my garden and stitch a little more .

Friday, 9 September 2016

Happiness is ......

                             Happiness is a basket of vintage Penelope crewel wool !

Vintage Oast Houses Embroidery Transfer

 I found this old embroidery transfer of the Oast houses in Kent and it tugged at my Kentish heart strings and I just had to buy it ...but sadly when I came to iron it on to my linen , it didn't work ! It seems that it had been used too many times and the ink was used up .

So I sat for about two hours going over all the lines with the horrible pink transfer pencil .

                                                  ...and then ironed it on ......

Its not brilliant , and the next problem is that it didn't come with any instruction leaflet  either ...grrrr . I managed to find a picture of it on the internet and decided to match the colours up as best that I can . I,m not even sure if this is meant to be stitched with wool or cotton threads .  Anyway  , I,ve decided to stitch it with the lovely mellow colours , of the vintage  Penelope crewel wool , that I used on the "Down a Country Lane " embroidery earlier in the year .
 Cant wait to get started now .  Here we go stitching into Autumn  . I love Autumn  !

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Shorleyker Moth

                                   A little Sunday embroidery....I find so relaxing.
 I ,m stitching another moth from " A Schole-house for the Needle " published in 1624 by Richard Shorleyker .

                 I,m using buttonhole stitch around the edge of the moth's wings .

I just did  backstiches for the moth's body , I ,m going to whip those green back stitches over and over for a nicer and ever so slightly raised finish .

The sun came out and I took my needlework out into the garden . I have been delighted by the appearance of some wild strawberries , I suppose a bird must have brought in .
I thought I would put these photos on here, useful I thought , to use in another Elizabethan embroidery ..sometimes I think that the patterns in modern embroidery books have become too stylised . I want my strawberries to be more botanically correct  .
 I put them on here that you too can look closer !
  Strawberries were a much loved subject of embroidery all through the medieval  times , especially loved by the Elizabethans  as a symbol of love and righteousness , the three leaves , symbolising the Holy Trinity .

                        ...and the tiny fruits much loved by the Cornish Piskies  !

       I stitched the tiny whipping stitches , over and over , around his green body  .

  Then begin the wings by putting in some directional guide line stitches , which will be worked in to my long and short shading , from the outside edge to the centre .
 This is not a tutorial do not have to do your butterfly wings like can stitch them..upwards , downwards , in french knots , however makes you smile ..for that is the most important thing and also not worry about the mess on the back if you are a beginner.......just relax and enjoy being creative .

Saturday, 25 June 2016


                                               I just love to stitch with wool .

                                                  Have a peaceful Sunday .

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Elsa Williams Small Tree of Life Finished

 Finished .....and I,m reasonably happy with it .. there are a couple of things...such as the pistils on the large blue flower stamens , the bullion knots not covering the printed lines of the pattern ... but its time to move on  .  Which brings me to the very long , tediously boring , instructions for blocking ........ yawn !    I have never had to block any piece of  my hand surface embroidery ever .
          I also didn't use an embroidery hoop and it is perfectly fine and straight  .

I gave it a little press , face down on a double layer of thick towel and a very slightly damp flannel . This way , the iron does not flatten ,but rather plumps up the crewel wool embroidery on the under side .

I think that tapestry , such as the above cushion , can get out of shape whilst working  , even when done in a frame ......and would definitely need blocking .
  Then again  , I have made up slightly wonky tapestries into cushions  for my own use and I think they're fine .
 I think there are way too many  finished tapestries just lying around out there !  They should be made up into cushions or lovely shopping bags  , loved and used !
  The lovely toadstool cushion above was one that I bought from a nice lady on Ebay  ..she told me  , that her husband had said that they had too many cushions and not enough chairs for them all , so some of them just had to go !
                                  Lol ! Glad to have been able to help her out .

I have another Elsa Williams Kit waiting in the wings  , but I might do something else first.
 I need to finish a piece that I designed myself ....a much larger piece ...I had taken a break from it .
      I need to tidy my workroom .   You want to see my work room ?  O.K. Well , maybe next time .

 Remember those little pieces I embroidered  ?
 I ,ve prepared some linen with few more patterns  from " A Scholehouse for the Needle " by Richard Shorleyker published in 1624 .  I love these early English patterns .
 I,ll gather some more pretty crewel wool , my new cute scissors , a fresh needle , put all into my embroidery travel bag along with a good book and I,m ready for our next trip . Fun little pieces of history to pull out and work on , as and when I have a few minutes to spare . I,ll make them up into little things later on .
                       I cant wait to embroider that sweet clove scented Gillyflower .

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Elsa Williams Small Tree of Life Crewel kit , nearly finished

Having saved the best bits till last , I,m now really enjoying this crewel kit . I,m working all the " Bittersweet " flowers and berries now . There are three shades of this colour , which are so subtle that it is very hard to distinguish between them ...but not impossible and the shading does make a difference . At last the picture begins to sparkle .
On the large blue flower ,F on the instruction leaflet , it says to do the stamens in gold  stem stitches and the pistils in gold bullion stitches ....however if you look at the picture of the completed  project on the front of the leaflet , it interestingly shows the stamens worked in medium light citron gold with a little bit of Bittersweet at the base of the stamens , which  I have done and think looks really nice . I just need to perfect the centre of this flower where the two upper petals meet .
 I,m going into some detail about this lovely vintage kit , in case anyone else should be thinking of doing it .
      A few more French knots to the flower centres and we should be done .

Monday, 13 June 2016

Weekend Progress Elsa Williams Crewel Kit

I dont know about where you are , but we are having a very long spell of hot weather here and only a sprinkling of rain which really didn't count . It has become too hot to do anymore gardening , my arms are tired from carrying a heavy watering can back and forth from the outside tap  , up to the veg garden  .
 This weekend I have been putting my feet up with a good book and also doing a bit more of my vintage Elsa Williams crewel kit .
                                 I,m reading Hovel in the Hills by Elizabeth West .

It was the picture  of the cottage on the front cover that caught my eye , it looks remarkably like ours ! Only ours is in Cornwall ...theirs is in Wales .
   I,ve only read the first two pages  ,  but I can tell you it is already drawing me in .

Anyway sitting in the summer house , being serenaded by our male blackbird up in the cherry tree , I have been making some progress on my little Elsa Williams crewel kit .
I work from the most boring bits first , all the green leaves and stems, then as I begin to tire of it , so I reward myself by doing a lovely bit , such as the cream flower, then the even more lovely blue flowers.

The wool is not as thick as tapestry wool , but thicker than my usual Appletons  crewel wool and the elements of the design are quite small , for the amount of long and short shading with such thick wool . Shame the design was not printed onto the linen , just a little bit bigger .
I,m managing to do it , but it might be a bit fiddly for a beginner .

I am getting some good practice on all the different embroidery stitches ..such as long and short shading , french knots , buttonhole stitch , chain stitch and stem stitch  .

                                                             Chain Stitch

  Stem stitch ..only I have always thought this to be crewel stitch with the thread over the needle ..stem stitch I thought to be with the tread  under the needle .
 So I ,ve found a couple of little confusing puzzles on the instruction leaflet .

For example , it says there should be guide lines for working buttonhole stitch , but there was no guide line printed on the linen .

                            So I lightly drew a guide line in a soft leaded  pencil .

                                            ...... and all seems to be going well .

I,m packing it all away now ,  into my handbag , with my needle threaded up all ready to go with this gorgeous Bittersweet  colour crewel wool ..... it will help calm my nerves in the dentist's waiting room .

Friday, 3 June 2016

Little Elsa Williams Crewel Kit

I love Elsa Williams books on Crewel embroidery and thought I might try one of her kits .
 So I bought this sweet little kit ..and then discover that this was actually designed by another lady ,  Louise Chrimes . I would really like to know more about Louise Chrimes but can find nothing on the internet . Why is her name not in bigger letters on the packet ?
  It is a charming design . At first I was worried about there not being enough crewel wool in the kit, but it seems I,ll be o.k .
The crewel wool is smoother , but  thicker than the Appletons crewel wool that I usually use ..... not as thick as tapestry wool but definitely thicker .
 Also the colours have names and not numbers , which makes it a bit difficult to see which colours are which , especially when one is gold brown and another brown gold on the instructions and the little skeins of wool themselves are not labelled . I,ve had to refer to the picture and hope for the best .
 I,m going at a much slower pace on this than I normally do , because I keep having to read the instruction leaflet ...and the instructions are on the reverse side of the picture which I also keep needing to refer to .

I seem to be settling down into it now , preparing the next bit to do and having the colours sorted and needle threaded before I go out anywhere . It is slipped into my handbag , to do a little more , whenever I have a few minutes .

Saturday, 28 May 2016

A Schole-house for the Needle 1632 Richard Shorleyker

Hallo again , here are some of the little pieces that I embroidered whilst on our travels around Tewkesbury .
   The patterns that I have chosen come from my favourite historical embroidery pattern book -
            A Schole-house for the Needle  by Richard Shorleyker published in 1632
            It is said that some of these patterns may be from an even earlier date .

Before we left home ,  I gathered my embroidery supplies and plucked a small assortment of crewel wool , which I hoped would work for the little subjects chosen .

I particularly love the moth and enjoyed slowly working on him , deciding on colours and how to embroider him as I went along .

     I,m going to make these up into little etui and note books ...pretty Christmas gifts ... with a little flavour of Shakespeare maybe ?

Today I will be putting my feet up and relaxing with my needlework in the Summerhouse

                                     I wish you a happy and peaceful Sunday .