Catch up!!

I start a blog with three quick entries then nothing for several weeks!! So what have I been up to?

First, as promised, here are some quick photos of Tettara the next design in the Little Ones series. I am in the middle of writing up the instructions for this design, which will hopefully be completed and checked in time for the Weald Lace Fair in March.

Tettara - sunflower seeds

Tettara – sunflower seeds









Tettara - salt and pepper

Tettara – salt and pepper











The names refer to the Caron Collection Watercolors thread used as the basis for thread selection. The same selection of threads can be used for any of the Little One designs – so if anyone has bought the instructions for a previous design in this series but would like to stitch it in either of the above colours let me know via the contact button on my website and I will forward the thread lists.

I also completed my mother’s Christmas present back in November, but have only just received the photos. I usually take photos of all my work for my records, but on this occasion I forgot!! I had to wait until after Christmas before asking my Mum to take photos to send to me. My Mum loves fuchsias and every year I try to find something for her to stitch incorporating a fuchsia. I picked up the fuchsia fabric a couple of years ago at the quilt show at Ardingly and it has sat in my stash waiting for me to do something with it since then. The bag pattern is Raspberry Ripple by Melly and Me. This time I decided to stitch the bag myself rather than give everything to Mum to complete. She thought it was a bag I had bought over in the USA not realising I had made it myself – quite a compliment as it was my first attempt at making a bag!!

Mum's bag

Mum’s bag








Inside the bag

Inside the bag










In November I attended a workshop run by the Tunbridge Wells and District branch of the Embroiderers’ Guild. It was on Beaded Tassels by Libby Smith. I had a great day, but on returning home the brain went into overdrive!! The tassel would have 8 “legs” but I did not want to repeat what I had started 8 times. So I decided to start again!! As I was travelling up to my parents near Leicester by train the next day (family birthday party + Xmas pressie delivery) I packed my beading equipment and took it with me. You get a lot of attention when beading on a train!! This is still a work in progress, but below is a photo of the tassel so far. I have used Peyote stitch to form the toggle at the top and each of the legs is stitched using tubular square stitch using the same pattern but a different combination of beads. It  took from St Pancras to Leicester to complete a leg!!  I hope to finish each leg in a different way using the techniques we were shown by Libby.

Tassel 1

Tassel 1










At the December meeting of the branch we had a members meeting on the subject of Xmas stitching where the members were give a choice of three projects to stitch. The committee of which I am treasurer had met a week earlier to “test stitch” these projects. One of the projects was Doves of Peace which were stitches with white felt. As usual I had to be different – so I stitched Robins!! For further information about what the guild branch gets up to have a look at our blog –

Robins not Doves!!

Robins not Doves!!









At the beginning of December I started a new job – apart from designing needlework I also work as a pharmacist. This new job involves slightly more hours than I have been working for the past few years. I also managed to get a chest infection the day I started – as a pharmacist I should know what to do – but I had to concede defeat and visit the doctor. A long course of antibiotics later – it might have been shorter if I had rested but I continued to work (!!) – and I was nearly back to normal by Xmas. It did mean there was virtually no stitching in December (and the main reason I have not made any entries on this blog). As those that know me – I must have been ill not to stitch!!

Come the New Year and the needle is back out.

At present I am working on a new Needlework by Nikki design. This one is large compared to the Little Ones series and will use a bigger selection of threads and beads than most of my previous designs. It is most definitely a work in progress. I will try to take some photos when light is better – this mornings photographic efforts have not worked.

This afternoon is going to be spent clearing the drive of snow – I should have been at work today but unfortunately my car and I do not do snow!! Once we get the drive clear – our drive is quite long and steep – then we have to think about the road. I can see it being a few days before we can escape by any means other than on foot.

My Stitching Beginnings

I started stitching canvaswork about 20 years ago, having previously stitched a few crosswork charts. The very first design I stitched was Spirit of the Southwest by Susan Portra – not the smallest of designs to start with!! I did not have a clue what many of the threads were and so took the easiest (but not cheapest!!) option of buying it as a kit. By following the instructions carefully I was able to complete it in a few months – I even managed to master tidy French Knots thanks to Susan’s wonderful instructions. Many of the threads were only available from the USA – and in those days there was no internet. I also found a framer who was able to cut a mount to fit the outline.  After a couple of holidays in Florida I discovered another designer – Jean Hilton. I spent the next few years stitching as many patterns from these two designers as I could get my hands on and my holiday spending money would allow!!

With the internet becoming more widely available I was able to find more designers, although most of those I stitched were still from the USA.

I started charting and selling my own designs nearly three years ago, when I was given the opportunity to cut down my working hours and spend more time stitching. Previously due to a very long  and busy working day, I had found it hard to concentrate on my own designs and would spend my evenings following the instructions of other designers to help relax. Although I followed the instructions for the designs I would very often change the colours/threads that were specified, either because I did not like the colour or I could not get hold of the thread here in the UK.

My very first charted design was Seasonal Cross and went on sale in March 2010 and Needlework by Nikki was born.

Seasonal Cross


Welcome to my blog. I will use this to keep you up to date with my stitching adventures – whether they are new designs on my website, new techniques I am trying or designs published by other designers. To see my designs for which the charts are available for sale please go to my website                                                                                                                                                  

My designs are only available online or at the lace/craft fairs I attend, details of which will be updated on the Diary page.