About Me

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Catton, Northumberland, United Kingdom
I love all kinds of stitching and enjoy learning, experimenting with and sharing new techniques. Married with 3 children, 2 daughters and a son, a dog and four cats, I also get involved with my daughters 3 horses.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Algerian Eye Stitch

I made a start on my challenge for half an hour last night and it did make me take a fresh look at Algerian Eye - here it is so far. I've worked the stitches freely on calico rather than working it as a canvas or counted thread stitch as is more usual. I'm tempted now to explore the patterns made by working just part of the star............oh dear what have I started!!

Monday, 21 September 2009

Stitch Challenge

Do you find that you tend to use a small number of stitches that you are comfortable with and forget the huge variety that you could use? I know I do and also that I don't always explore and stretch familiar stitches enough. On the Hand Embroidery Network Blog, Sarah is featuring a different stitch each day with instructions for working it. I have decided to challenge myself to try and work a small sample of each stitch each day using different weights of one colour of thread and aiming to try and use it creatively. E.g perhaps to work it diagonally, or haphazardly, or meandering, etc. If you fancy having a go leave a comment to let me know and from time to time post a link to your blog and photos so we can see how you are getting on. If doing a stitch a day is too much perhaps aim for one or two a week? Anyone interested? Today's featured stitch is Algerian Eye and there is a link to the blog on the right.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Quilt Exhibition

If anyone reading this is a fan of art quilts then I can recommend an exhibition I visited yesterday at Pebbles Art Gallery in Allendale. It is by the 'It Happens' textile group, called Influences and was a beautifully presented display of fabulouse art quilts together with some exciting textile figures (art dolls). I understand that it is this groups first exhibition and I would encourage you to visit if you are in the area. It is on until 30th September and if you need any extra encouragement, the cafe at Pebbles does fabulous cakes!

Fiona's Quilt

At last, here is the promised photo of Fiona's quilt. This was started, over two years ago, after a visit to the Knitting and Stitching Show when she bought a book called A Quilters Ark by Margaret Rolfe and persuaded me to make her a quilt featuring animal blocks. The ones in the book are foundation pieced but that is not one of my favourite techniques so I have done them my own way using freezer paper. The blocks are not all the same size so it took me a little while to decide how to link them and also a while to find a fabric that went with them all. That is always the problem when you let quilts 'evolve' isn't it? Anyway, the top is now finished except for a final border and I am anxious that as she is now 16 she may not want a quilt featuring cute animals for much longer. As I do not want it to end up in cupboard (or the cat's basket!) I have decided to make it reversible and so far have done 4 blocks (it will need 20) using a twisted log cabin block. Each block features 33 different fabrics so it is great for using up small amounts and fat quarters. I am aiming to get it finished in the next two weeks. Each block takes about an hour so I should manage it - only 16 to go!

Does anyone else buy too many fat quarters? I can't resist those beautiful colour themed packs and glorious feature fabrics but then find a problem using them as I never have enough of one fabric. I must resolve to buy half metres instead!!

Tuesday, 15 September 2009


I've just noticed how long it is since my last post - and am ashamed! Lots of excuses. Holiday, trip to London to a Prom concert (daughter singing in choir so very proud) master class work and some stitching too. I have been working hard on my daughters quilt and the front is almost complete (will post pic tomorrow) and have started a new piece on an underwater theme - lots of 3D work and fabric manipulation - and also have a new textile figure on the go for a challenge. More tomorrow.