Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Pink Moon Progress


I've been working, on and off, on this piece inspired by the Lewis & Irene Hares fabric. It's such a gorgeous print and I loved the colours which are very unlike my usual go-to palettes. The purplish tint to them made me think of tinged fields and a bright pink moon - I don't know why, the brain works in mysterious ways but I'm so pleased it did because I am loving working on these colours!

Although it's slow going I'm enjoying the process. I started on the moon itself because I didn't want any fraying (I didn't back it with any vilene so it's all my usual raw edges) and because I was just really excited to start that bit! Amazingly, both the moon and the top dark purple layer are the same fabric. It's a beautiful Moda Gradients print which starts at a purple that's so dark it's like an aubergine, then washes through to bright pink and fades out to this gorgeous baby pink at the other end - a totally justified purchase with many different Stitchscape uses to be had!
For the moon I initially just outlined the obvious colour changes with whip stitch but then wanted to add different textures so had a go at the little streaky shading lines in two different colours over the washes of matching colour underneath. There were still areas of the edging that hadn't been secured so I then added little running stitches on the inside of the whip stitch plus then of course it was edged with bullion knots- lots of texture for one little moon. 

As always, there's a long way to go with this one as the first layer hasn't fully gone down yet and then there's all of the extra details and plant life to go over the top. I have some flat pearlescent beads which would work brilliantly with the printed Honesty seed heads and would just add to that moon-like glow. I could maybe use some silky threads as well which have a slight shimmer to them....so many possibilities!! 
Part of the reason for it being a slow burner is because I'm currently not using the bus to get to work and back so my commute has dramatically changed following lockdown. I'm not sure how long it will last as it relies heavily on The Mother driving me there in the morning and both Parents collecting me when I finish. For me it's absolutely great because I get an additional 45 minutes lie in, a whole hour to get ready and eat breakfast, then it only takes half an hour to get delivered straight to the office front door, through which I go and stay until 5.30pm when I'm picked up directly outside and am home half an hour later! My day's outside work are much longer and it's just a fantastic feeling to have my evenings back. 
The magic this brings does mean that because I'm no longer hanging around for the bus, or sitting on the bus for an hour each way, that my stitching progress is slower and I'm instead fitting it into lunch breaks and pockets of quiet at home. 

Now we're more out of lockdown our weekends are filling up again with socially distant social events and trips out with the family which is really lovely. I did mange to sneak some quiet sewing time one Sunday morning a couple of weekends ago though and had half an hour whilst the rest of the house snored to sit in bed in my jim-jams and lose myself in the stitches. 

Because it's a colour palette that I don't work with often, I also had to treat myself to a handful of new threads! It amazes me that although I have my own personal collection of threads (rather a large one), as well as an inherited thread collection and threads specially for workshops and Stitchscape kits - that I still needed to buy so many to try and match to different areas! Just goes to show how many beautifully coloured fabrics you can buy, we really are spoilt for choice!

Monday, 10 August 2020

New Summer 2020 Embroidery Kits


It's all been happening in my Etsy shop! Since I last posted on here, way back on the 7th July, I have released two new kits into the shop!! Two of them! Such productivity is most unlike me, usually I flitter around all over the place and rarely get anything finished but it's nice to see these out and raring to go. 

I realise that the Christmas kit is perhaps a little early and no one wants to even think that far ahead (especially this year!), but if you are making something for Christmas it's best to start around now and then you have a higher chance of it getting finished and ready - especially if you are making lots of different things. Just think of it as Christmas in July (or August as the case may be). 

This kit is very sweet and is the updated version of my original Christmas kit which was released a couple of years ago and has since run out of fabric stocks. There are about three of the original ones left I think so if you are very quick you could pop both into your basket and have a matching pair! The template pieces are the same as I like the challenge of 'recycling' templates and trying them out with new fabrics and new trimmings. The fabrics in this one are really lovely and include a grey batik from Rhinetex, 'Spraytime' in Christmas Red from Makower, a beautiful silver print star on green from John Louden and 'Yuletide Magic' from Paintbrush Studio. Such a treat! They have been paired very simply with a beaded trimming (not individual beads for those sceptics out there), some silver crochet yarn and the lovely stranded cottons and metallics from Anchor and DMC. 

It's an easy little make so if you are just starting out on your embroidery journey then this is a good one to start with to get to know some basic stitches. As always there are full instructions within the booklet, as well as diagrams, and a pull out template page if you wish to use it. I have included the felt backing but rather than include any lace as in the original version, this time I'm letting you decide whether you want to hang it with ribbon or lace - in the photo on the front I have simply tucked it over the branch of a yew tree in my front garden and actually I think it looks rather nice!! A bit like a bizarre berry growing from the branch rather than something that's been hung from it. 

This would also make a lovely gift for someone if you are starting your Christmas shopping early. It includes everything but sewing tools and the aforementioned optional ribbon/lace so can be given at Christmas to be completed in the post-Christmas-lunch flop and over Boxing Day! If you would like to purchase one or a few, please do visit my Etsy shop or click here

The second kit now available to you lovely lot is my Ladybug Valley kit!! I went into a bit of detail about the origins of this kit in a previous blog post which you can find here, but basically this is another re-design job as the original fabrics sold through and I've taken back the template and changed things around, tweaked, improved and generally played a bit more. I think I've flipped the design as well actually if I recall rightly.
The top fabrics are mostly the same as before as they are readily available, but the bottom two are completely new and I've done some different things with the trimming. 

Hopefully the trimming instructions and diagram will prove to be fairly clear as the trimming in the completed piece looks nothing like what it first looks like in the kit (it's the flat green tape you can see). I've cut it in half, stripped the lengths of hessian out and twisted and stitched and pulled and teased them into a whole new thing! Which seemed like a good idea at the time... 

I'm excited for this one though and I hope people will like it. I find that initially new kits can be slow sellers but they gradually gain momentum and I end up permanently behind in the making up more schedule. It's a bit harder to keep on top of all of these kits now I have so many current designs as well - working part time three days a week does get in the way rather when you need to have a serious cutting out session!! Cutting fabrics for these and preparing them for kits can take at least a day to do and that doesn't include combining them or putting together the thread cards. They are a real labour of love!

If you are interested in snapping up a Ladybug Valley kit then again they are in the wonderful world of Etsy, or you can click here to be fast tracked directly to the page!