Catch up 1

This will be the first of several catch up posts, as I realised I have completed quite a lot over the last year that I have not told you about.

The first “finish” to tell you about is the Saxophone. I finally finished it exactly two years after it was started. This has to be the longest length of time between starting a project and getting it finished and on the wall.










This first photo shows it finished and stretched – the stretching was a test in itself! This was the first piece of work I had stretched that could not be layed flat upside down. It had to rest on its little ring of bubble wrap whilst I was tugging away at the back. I ended up with a blister on my little finger, where I was using it to brace my hand whilst do in the lacing.

Saxophone framed 2









The above photo of it framed is not very clear as I had difficulties taking the photo and trying to avoid reflections in the glass. It took Paul and myself quite a while to pick out the mount colours and frame that we wanted but I think Adrian at Wealden Framing Service in Hawkshurst has done a wonderful job building up the mounts to make a box frame for the Saxophone. The whole piece is now up on the wall in our lounge.

Apology number 2!!

All I seem to do at the moment is apologise, but I must do it again!

Due to a very slow recovery after a recent procedure on my back I am unable to attend  the Lacemakers and Needlecraft Fair at the Havant Leisure Centre on Saturday 21st November. I am sorry that I will not be here to meet up with all of you who have become “stitching friends” over the years, but I am doing my best to be back to normal as soon as possible.

I am finding that doing any one thing, whether sitting or standing, for any length of time causes me problems, so at the moment I am flitting between different things and basically getting nowhere fast!! I do think things are getting better slowly. My husband is proving to be a very good taxi service as I am still unable to drive.

In the meantime I have been able to do a little bit of sewing. I have completed some of the background music on my Goldwork Saxophone.

saxophone oct









Those of you who can read music should now be able to work out the etching on the bell of the Saxophone.

I have also completed another colourway of Southwark – this time it is in Peach and Cream threads on cream Mono canvas. Hopefully an alternative for those of you that do not like stitching on black canvas.

Peaches and cream










This now means that Southwark is available in four colourways – two stitched on black canvas and two on a light canvas.

For my next project I have gone completely mad!! I have wanted to stitch Nova, a design by Genny Morrow, for several years, but have always taken it out of the “to do” pile, had a look at the thread list and size and then put it back in the pile for another day. The design uses nearly 120 colours of stranded floss and is made up of 396 different squares – a big project. I recently had the oportunity to do some minature stitching with my Goldwork tutor Shelley and thought – Why don’t I stitch Nova in minature?

So —— Nova is being stitched on 40 count silk gauze instead of the 18 count listed in the design, with one strand of floss instead of four, and using a ball-point beading needle (the only one that will go through the gauze). It is fun and, surprisingly, I am not finding it too difficult to work on such a small scale. Sometimes you have to complete the stitches in an unusual order, especially when couching threads – the holes in the canvas are difficult to find when the thread to be couched has been put in place, but on the other hand I do not have to lay multiple strands in place. I also have to think again when the instruction ask for two different colours of floss to be blended in the needle – not exactly possible if you are only using one strand to start with! To get some idea of the size, each square in the photo below is about 0.25 inches wide!! I find that on a good night I can complete between 3 and 4 squares.

Nova 1






Time – where does it go?

I have come to realise that there really are not enough hours in the day at the moment!! As a result of this some things have to wait – one of these is to not worry about frequent blog entries – the less time I spend on the computer the more time I have to stitch.

So what have I been up to for the last few months? Well when I looked back at my stitching pile the answer is quite a bit.

First of all – a big thank you for all the wonderful comments I received at the Weald Lace show back in March. It really gives me a big boost getting so much positive feedback. As a designer I tend to stitch what I like especially when choosing colours and it is nice to know that others like my designs too. It was also nice to see those pieces of work that some of you had finished.

For those that commented that trying to stitch with black threads on a black canvas at a show was hard work – you were right. Once I got home I realised the days’ stitching was all wrong by one canvas thread – so out it all had to come. “Unstitching” black was almost as hard as stitching black – however it only took me an hour to correctly stitch it that evening. The piece is now finished and I am working on its instructions. It is a companion piece to Storm at Sea – slightly smaller and uses less threads so will be slightly cheaper to stitch. I have stitched it in two colourways – Peaches and Cream and Black and White, but it can also be stitched in the two colours of Storm at Sea. I have also worked the thread list so that Storm at Sea can be stitched in these two new colours. If you have bought the instructions for Storm at Sea and would like the threadlist for these new colours then send me a message via the contact button on my website and I will email them to you.

Peaches and Cream

Peaches and Cream

Black and White

Black and White













At the moment I am stitching an older design in two new colours. Many people love the design, but hate the idea of stitching on black canvas. This can be tough on the eyes if you don’t have good light to stitch in as I have recently rediscovered with the black on black I was stitching. The new versions will be stitched on Sandstone and Ecru canvas – more details to follow.

The Saxophone I am stitching in my Goldwork workshop is progressing – slowly!! The laid work is now finished – but oh boy! This was very tough on the fingers!! In the end I had to frequently resort to using a pair of pliers to pull the needle though the several layers of felt padding at the bell – my fingers would be too tired to grip the needle. I was given a choice at the design stage of having padding to make it more 3D or to stitch it flat. Having finished this section although it was hard work I think I made the right choice. It is not obvious from the photos but there were 6 layers of carpet felt used in the padding.

Saxophone - April

Saxophone – April

Saxophone - May

Saxophone – May













The next stage is to work out the music which will “flow” behind the Saxophone – the etching on the bell should give some idea of the music I have chosen. I also have all the buttons to stitch. These are all going to be completed separately and added later.

I have also completed several pieces of stitching for my branch of the Embroiderers’ Guild for our entry to the Regional Day in July, but I will not be able to show photos of that until after the event.