I was both surprised and thrilled to be on the list of needlework blogs worth exploring posted on Mary Corbet's blog today. A great big, warm welcome to anyone who has followed the link from that list to visit today. I hope you enjoy what you see here and there are a number of ways you can follow, if you'd like to, including the Bloglovin' widget and the subscribe by e-mail one if you scroll down a little on the sidebar. If you *do* join the e-mail sub list, please make sure that you complete the validation of your e-mail address process or else you won't get the updates.=( I also have an Instagram stream at
I'm nowhere near finishing the Paradise Island cross stitch yet, but I'd like to get some freestyle work going again and have been thinking about which projects to do. As you probably know if you've been following my work for some time, I don't like to have too many projects on the go at once, but just one WIP feels a bit constrained, esp. as it's quite large and unwieldy at times.
I've been wanting to get back to needle painting for a while (although the recent butterflies finish might qualify to some degree), so getting the Trish Burr 'Beginners' book out again was the obvious choice.
I love purples, so I thought of having a stab at this violets study, especially as it's still in the first of the three graded sections of the book.
To be honest, I like this rose design from the second section better, but this is where my thinking about the oval hoops that I mentioned on Sunday came from. Of course, this piece would fit fine into a regular, circular hoop, but I'm thinking that an oval one would enable one to be more economical with fabric. Don't you think so? I want to look at the hoops before buying one though, rather than mail ordering. The reason for this is that the normal hoops we get here in the UK are lovely. The edges are well smoothed off and the whole thing has some kind of varnish on to make it pleasant and safe to use without needing to bind them (unless you want to). Some of the hoops I've seen from elsewhere aren't anything like as well finished with rough, square edges that can even splinter damaging fabric and fingers. The oval hoops I saw on-line looked unfinished, so I want to see one to check first. I'll see what there is at the Show next month so, in the meantime, I'll be able to tackle the violets.
As you can see, it's a much looser style than detailed needle painting, but I think it would enable me to really get some use out of the 'alternative' threads I have, such as 2 gauges of Coton à Broder and 3 of Pearl Cotton. There may also be room to use some of the stranded silks and rayons to see how useful they really are to me (as both of those sets are in my 'wait and see if you use them, else sell them' category).
This book also features things like creating flowers on soluble fabric and I've had some of that for a while and never known what to use if for. Now's my chance. Hopefully I'll be able to create something that will stand a chance in next year's summer show(s).
I need all the help I can get in developing my own style. I'm always so afraid of goofing it up and producing rubbish that I rarely break too far out of other peoples' designs. I'd like to though, so this looks like a good first step to take.
I also want to have a go at the Rowandean £3 stitch-a-sample activity at their booth at the Harrogate Show next month.
So, those should keep me occupied stitchwise for the rest of the year.
Sorry about the quality of these photos, by the way. Many of you will know how hard it can be to take decent photos of embroidery. Taking good photos of photos of embroidery is far worse!!!
Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2015