Tuesday, December 19, 2006


My version of the embroiderer's equivalent of doodling with pen or pencil during meetings and telephone conversations. You thread a needle, select a stitch and sew till the thread runs out. Then you take another thread . . . . and sew on and so on. Sorry! Occasionally I've used it to try out a new stitch, but that is not the main purpose, unlike similarly named 'doodle cloths'. I've used up ends of thread left from something else. Waste not want not, which anyone brought up during rationing will know something about. But mostly it is simply a means of satisfying that urge just to be stitching, but without having to work out a design first, or, in fact having to make any preparations at all. Don't work it out, just do it.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Fabric book of stitch samples

A very simple way I made a stitch sample book during City and Guilds some years ago was by making pages, then simply stitching them together down one side, then onto a soft cover that folded over them.

Each stitch type was done on a piece of fabric which was then either sewn to a background piece of roughly appropriate size, or was extended by adding strips. The book was added to over a period of time, and each 'page' was simply sewn to the existing ones when finished. A couple of bits were even sewn in just as they were. I like the rough look of it, its the sort of thing that appeals to me. I can't do neat!

Shells from St. Andrew's.

I don't know the names, except for the long ones, which are razor shells. And one of the barnacle-encrusted bits is a mussel.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Back to the seaside . . .

. . .but 500 or so miles away from Nov 6th blog entry! St Andrews, in Fife, Scotland has this amazing beach, seems like miles long, a broad band of pale sand with sparkles in it. Last Saturday the sun shone on a visit with the part of our family that lives in Dundee, as we braved the wind to stroll on the beach. One of us, age 7, paddled, in his wellies. We all picked up white shells and watched the waves come in and loose sand blowing, leaving layers on the surface.

I think this makes an interesting composition!

And this would make a good textile or mixed media landscape, with layers of fabric or paper and some stitching in the foreground.

Seaweed postcard

Trying a different approach from the crazyq-type pc's I've been doing - couching lumpy threads plus lots of small beads onto a painted background. And instead of buttonhole round the edge, a couched thread.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Chatsworth visit

We've lived here just the Cheshire side of the boundary with Derbyshire 12 years and never been to see Chatsworth House, the home of the late Duke of Devonshire, just 20 miles away. Isn't it often the way, you live somewhere, you don't get to see the sights. We're going to be moving back to our roots in Dorset this year, so we'd better catch up!
So here's an internal window, a lovely patchwork of sheets of blue john, a famous Peak District mineral; a quarter of a precision display of seashells; a marble tabletop.