Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Away with the Fairies

When I was a little girl, one of my aunts delighted in buying me a t shirt which proclaimed that I was "away with the fairies". As an adult who is still very much away with the fairies, I have of late had a hankering for that shirt (though I wager it would have to be scaled up several sizes!)

I decided to commit that beloved (if ruefully worn) phrase to cloth, as an antidote to the serious stitchy business of RSN embroidery. However, some of my training so far has seeped in there, and padded satin (the mushroom caps), bullion (the gills, or frilly bits to you and me), and raised stem band (the stalks) stitches all make an appearance in what I think is quite a pretty, if slightly puckered, little patch.

The background is a donated fabric from the bounty I mentioned in my last post. Here are some more of the glorious 60s quilting cottons which have been bestowed upon me:

It's nice to make something "for me" again, and get a little practise of techniques whilst doing so. I tried not to worry too much about "getting it right" and just go with the flow. This little fairy ring stitch sampler was inspired in no small part by the season, and by the beautiful embroideries of one of my favourite up and 
coming indie designers, Rachel Parent, aka The Old Milk Lake.
Still trying to make the most of Autumn's richness before Winter really sets in
Currently can't resist anything fungi and sewing related... I've got a stash of toadstool print fleecy fabric too, which may become the most adorable needlecase in existence

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Putting one stitch in front of another

Hello all. Where oh where have I been for the past month and a half? Well, I've been feeling under the weather, in many ways quite literally; the storm that huffed and puffed and blew our neighbour opposite's fence down didn't help. This time of year hits me hard, but at long last I seem to be emerging from the big black maelstrom that was gathering above my head.

In the winter months I find solace in posting loved ones little treats, in an effort to raise our collective spirits as the nights draw in and the days grow shorter.

I have also been spring cleaning (so appropriate for November, I know), and my bedroom is finally an approximation of what I've been wishing it to be for years (though there's still bunting to be put up; one can never have too much bunting...). More importantly, however, my room is clean and tidy, which I must say is something of a revelation to me. Who knew this would lead to me actually knowing where things are?! The plan now is to apply my (somewhat idiosyncratic) organisational methods (business cards go in a box with embroidered patches, obviously) to the makeshift "studio" in the loft, which is currently crammed to bursting with fabric, thread and other gubbins.

Noelle the narwhal "helping" me get organised
And yet more gubbins are pouring in; I seem to be becoming a receptacle for all the unloved fabric and needlecraft equipment that has been languishing in the attics of loved ones and acquaintances; not that I'm complaining in the slightest! I've had a surfeit of gorgeous '60s and '70s quilting cottons of late, and other bits and bobs which aren't quite to my taste are taking a little trip to Significant Seams to be turned into all manner of exciting textile-y goodness.

A little peg lady who sat atop a swag bag of fabrics donated to me; I think she looks like a little mini-me, don't you?

Besides gathering a snowball of beautiful fabrics, there is so much else to look forward to right now; mine and Pip's two year (really??) anniversary is coming up on December 1st; Christmas holed up in the Highlands with my family and an almost obscene amount of delicious food; returning to Hampton Court in January invigorated and ready to give my training in the ancient art of hand embroidery my all. Until then, I shall be taking time to look after myself and enjoy the season, and above all simply putting one stitch in front of another.

A rainbow on my window one recent morning reminded me to be grateful for the little things in life

"Working towards normality": the story of my life

Tea, comforting films, Pip, and the spirit of the Suffragettes are helping me power through

Colours of the deep blue (and green and purple and pink and orange and grey) sea

The beginnings of a coral garden

Tarnished jewel-toned seawater cottons and metallics

Jacquard Stitch (Please try to ignore the surrounding spaghetti junction; Canvas Work is like sausages; it's delicious, but you don't want to see how it was made)