Monday, 29 April 2013

Erica Wilson and links to take a peek at

One of the other things I picked up recently at a charity shop was a 1978 paperback book :

Erica on Embroidery - Highlights from the television series

I had never seen the 1973 programme myself and having found some video clips of her on You Tube, I don't recognize her at all and since she has a definate style, I'm sure I would have remembered seeing her.
She's almost quintesentially posh British !


This link may ring a bell or two in your memory and one thing on this particular clip that I thought was really clever, was using voile net to transfer the owl pattern, check it out.
(Erica Wilson stitches an owl ) 

I stumbled on this talented lady Divan Niekerkwho has embroidered the Flower Fairies, which you can view here. 
They look delightful and you too may not have seen them.

And another find in one of the charity shop Embroidery magazines I picked up this past week, was a brief little mention about 
Maria Saunderson, who has also illustrated children's books with her embroidered pictures. 

In fact these two books are her own stories both of which look interesting.

If like me, any of you stitchers out there remember the Beatles from your youth with fondness, 
then one of her books has it all for us!

(Yes, these are both on order as I type here ........... lol)

This below book explains how 2 of Liverpool's ferries the Royal Daffodil and Royal Iris became to be 'Royal'and no it wasn't as a result of Dunkirk but it was to do with a WW1 battle.

The Brave Little Ferryboats

and get this one!! Check out the piccies !

Once Upon A Liverpool

I know ....... there's little hope for me your so right ...

that British Sewing Bee...... and what I made this wknd..

Nip over and see this post showing the opening of the new haberdashery shop that Lauren from the British Sewing Bee tv program and her hubby have opened ........ its a very impressive looking shop and looks as if it may be a runaway success for them.

My grandson tells me his bum gets cold when he sits in his pajamas to eat his breakfast, on his red chair ........... 
well we can't have that can we 

so he now has a bum warmer cushion 

I fancied doing a little crochet and am using some of the garter stitch baby blanket cotton yarns that were left over ........ it may front a cushion, maybe ..

and did you notice the Embroidery magazines in the pictures?

I found a stash of back copies in a charity shop that Jean originally put me onto and I bought almost all of those after 2000 ........... well okay and one or two from the 90's too.
Many will head over in time to Canada for Mary Anne but am thrilled because several of the mags have articles, on even more embroidered illustrations for children's books! 
Who knew!
Did you know for example that Penguin published 3 of the classics  with commissioned embroidery covers?
I certainly didn't and although I have watched the films ........... I have never read the books, well, that's my excuse for if I buy them!

Emma - The Secret Garden - Black Beauty

In the august 2010 Embroidery magazine there was an interesting article about Rachel Griffin who embroidered on fabric and paper to provide the illustrations for 'The Fabrics of Fairytale' book that I'd picked up a while ago.
She had formerly illustrated an Oxfam calender and also 'African Tales' which is worth a look at too.

Having a grandchild is a great excuse for buying yourself embroidery illustrated, children's books and that's going to be my excuse here on in ....... lol 

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Book review link and lucky me whoop whoop


Nip across to the link above and see the book review there ........ I've fallen for the pom pom characters in it..... soooo delightful.
The owl and kitten are especially lovely and its a Lark Books Giveaway 
too ...... 
my fingers are crossed but maybe one of you could win instead!

And here is another link for you to look at

knowing my addiction for textile illustrations, well Tania makes the most glorious stitched pictures that are stories all of their own. 
This is her new website.

But to be fair, I have already been extremely lucky because these arrived in todays mail!

 Exquisitely made and packaged so beautifully and are a gift from Rachel at

Earlier this year I took part in the Grow Your Blog Tour which was great fun and a super way to get to know and visit the blogs of like minded creative folks.

     Rachel kindly said she would send them a gift if they left her a message, although frankly I did not leave a comment for that, I'd been really taken with her delightful designs.
Please take a look!

Thursday, 18 April 2013

More Ebay mail and embroidered illustrations -

This is delightfully illustrated, look closely!
I am completely hooked on this kind of children's book illustration and I seem to have acquired another hobby ........... that of collecting books with them in! 

and another DK book - who knew! DK!

and then this fun one

loving that octopus lol

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

I guess its here! Spring that is ....

The flowering cherry trees are pink and fluffy looking and the daffodils have opened But are bouncing around in very high winds lol.......... 
But can this really be spring or another false start? 
Lets not get too excited yet - I don't trust the weather any more!

Having said that,even if it is spring, this is what I was making at work lol

A tactile activity board at the top with brailled poetry sheets and a 5 little snowmen glove ........ like I said, I don't trust the weather, so we may be needing these before next winter ..

I picked up an Embroidery Magazine in a charity shop the other day and blow me - the March 2003 issue had an article on embroidered childrens book illustrations!
I was happy dancing round the kitchen having become so fascinated with them since it provided me with more names to find out about!
So with named authors/illustrators to hand I hit Ebay lol

I am now on a search for Clare Beaton books with embroidered illustrations - yes, of course they're for me !

I got these in the post today  'How Big is a Pig?'. I just adore it!

Above are clean and dirty geese , great or what?
There are many other delightful pictures in this book, its a joyful story too.

I also sent for 'Silent Night' by Belinda Downes, which is a series of carols with music and an embroidered illustration page for each one.
Joy to the World below

O Little town of Bethlehem below 

and Silent Night below

Belinda Downes also wrote and embroidered
Every Little Angel's Handbook

yes, I bought that too lol

I'm on the hunt for several other books now. 
I just love that embroidery has been used for illustrative purposes, so much fun!
See how easily I am pleased!

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Dawn Cameron-Dick workshop and my 9 double wedding ring sampler !

Eagle eyed amongst you will notice that my 9 double wedding ring
sampler above, which was the project for todays workshop,
isn't at all what it set out to be!
It's going to be a 3 ring hanging, with some additional hand stitching I think too.
( though you know I've mentioned that I can't stick to a pattern right?)
BUT please note its not laying flat, so thats why the top ring looks skew whiff. It's undulating not cut wrong and the rings are all the same size!
I have them glued in position here but not yet blind hemmed.
I'd known I wanted to play around with the stripey fabric and skew the stripes, but in truth, I left another fabric at home so hadn't enough with me to cut all 9 rings from what I had intended.
So I ran with a new idea.

Dawn was superb in the todays workshop.
She was informative, helpful, humorous and keen to enable us all to enjoy our sewing machines and the stitching of her much easier version, of the traditional patchwork design.
My divergence from her excellant pattern instructions, proves how indisciplined I am lol

I learnt a great deal during the day, not least how to faff about confidently with the tension, width and length dials of my sewing machine!
So many of us are timid at changing our machines settings and today, Dawn exuded an infectious confidence, despite us all having different sewing machines.

Mind you now that my Janome is so well set up to invisibly blind hem stitch, it may well remain that way for ever!
I will continue to use the Lidl £69 bargain machine with a double needle and my Brother for all else! lol
Here are some of the other club members colour selections, I find it's interesting to see how one pattern translates into different colour choices.

This above is one of Dawns and she uses it to show how to weave the rings into position.
I didn't take note of who was making the others though.


Saturday, 13 April 2013

Invisible Machine Applique with Dawn Cameron-Dick

It was our club meeting today and we had a really wonderful talk from Dawn Cameron-Dick and if any of you folks are looking for a speaker to make you chuckle, belly laugh and also shed a tear ...........
she's your gal. Sign her up !
Hers was one of the most enjoyable talks we have had in ages.

We struck gold because she's sticking around to run a workshop for us tomorrow, Sunday, and yes, I've signed up for it.
She will be teaching us to IMA, ( invisible machine applique) on a wedding ring piecing, so pop back later to see what a hash I manage to make of it!
Dawn can be found on

She has a couple of books you can buy and a natty little pocket book choc full of information worth keeping to hand.

Here's a taster of the delightful pieces she brought with her.
Her quilts are used and have stories associated with them, they are not art quilts, they are a part of her families history in many different ways.

A Lone Star with additional IMA flowers, thought they complimented the design so well.

I thought these chooks made with vegetable fabric were such fun, each one slightly different and all with flappy wings.

Happy members with hands on appreciation after the talk...

I love what Dawn did in the above quilt, which has a touching story behind its creation. The butterflies are infact beautiful handkerchiefs, how clever is that!

Its that clever IMA again ....... utterly beautiful stitching!

And this duo below is my favourite, in 2 colour ways as you can see. 
Its a triangular log cabin with 3 triangular clocks pieced together 
to form a square.

We had a display of club members patchwork on the stage, so much was brought in that some of them were pinned up on the stage curtains.
Mine included lol and as you can see, I'm not getting far, fast!
Mind you, as a design wall the curtains do very well!

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Must show you......

Must show you what my grandson came up with....
Having announced that he wanted to play with the dolls house frontage-ish, that he uses when he wants to recreate the story, We're Going on a Bear Hunt.

"make me some itty bitty birds Nannie.....lots of itty bitty birds please?"
( his thumbs and fore fingers were held up closely together to stress how small .................. itty bitty really is...)

So I drew 1" ish sized bird shapes.............had to put eyes and a beak shape on each one for him too lol

What will you do with them Jack?

"I need lots of flying birds ................. lots Nannie and I want the tape"
Off he goes and comes back with the roll of selotape from the kitchen drawer ............. whilst I cut birds ..

And this is what he did with them, asking only that I cut itty bits of tape for him! 
I would never have thought of putting them there!
He's priceless lol

Next he uses his felt tip and marks the wall................

"whats that Nannie?" - I dont know Jack, what is it?
"bird poo!" ............... he chuckles away and I did too !

He'd had me cut little yellow bits from some self adhesive paper and he stuck them one by one in front of the front door. 

"whats that Nannie?" - I don't know Jack, what are they?
"It's bread for the birds to eat" .................of course it is, says I !!!

We're Going on a Bear Hunt ............... now has flying birds in the story!

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Lookee what I got!!!

Isn't this below smashing? 
Is it my work? 
Ah - no - if only!!
But it is mine, since I was lucky enough to win it in a draw on
Jackie Bowcutts blog, lucky me!

Jackie has self published a 'Blurb' book, with illustrations highlighting the variety of her work and this piece of work is in fact featured on the back cover!
If you nip over to Jackie's blog, (which is really great to follow anyway, since her work is fascinating in so many ways) ........... there's  a link on there to look at her book .......... 
link should be this below if I've copied it correctly ...
You can preview her book there on Blurb too.
I had no idea that Blurb existed ....... what a great idea to enable folks to self publish!

Now I need to decide how to display this, since its too good to leave unframed or unused ........ it could make a wonderful central feature on maybe a cushion or a book cover I suppose too.
I will have to think on what will suit it best.

I'm still wading thru the de-cluttering and changing the bedroom/workroom round.
It's a common theme I notice on blogs lol its that time of the year!

I have moved the double bed out of my back bedroom into the middle bedroom ............. my back is proof I should have had help, yup it's still aching!
That back bedroom is now the sewing room ..................... yeah!
Who new I had so much fabric!

Not everything would fit in there, so I separated out all the knitty stuff and it's now stashed in my own much larger bedroom, tucked into a corner and far easier to get at.

The middle bedroom has large solid built in shelves and they house boxes of felted woollies so I have hung simple plain nets across them, so they are more pleasing to the eye ............ ie. boxes hidden from view lol

Must take some pics whilst they look reasonably tidy!

I'm stalled in the rooms make over though at the moment.
But that's because I'm wading thru heaps of old magazines and photo copied info sheets, that needs to be either stored in poly folio pages or recycled.
I've got 2 huge bags of bits to drop at our local college textile department in the hope they can make use of them. 

Plus having found my hexi cover WIP at last ................. which was hiding from me for a while ....... I'm back to stitching more hexis together bit by bit.
Okay I'd best get back to the magazines!
Take care all ~