To the final sample then. White threads

They have been treated with a water disolvable plastic and left to dry. They feel quite hard. I have the glimmer of an idea.

And then the piece ran away with me.

And the stitches appeared. Couching, bulllion knots, long stitch, french knots and loopy stitch.

Wouldn’t fancy seeing him coming over the moors towards me.

I adore him! I don’t know how or where to place him on my stitchbook as I have already used up the space on the page for this month’s work. I may order more, or just but him a picture frame.

I had a look at how the sea collage would look against the sampler page from this month and I am quite pleased with how it appears together.

And now I have to wait till October when the next part is delivered , feeling withdrawal symptoms already.

Into the sunset

I have been stitching  from the Texture pack from the Stitchbook project.

Sample 2b involved waiting for some white fibres to dry, so I set to on sample 3. This sample was about trapping yarns behind a piece of tulle and stitching into them. The yarn to be used could come from stash or that which was left over from the previous sample ( my homage to heather). I had used most of it already,

not a lot remained. I wanted to use all of it, but where was inspiration coming from?

I had three pieces of tulle to choose between. I had already decided to not use the black or blue but to go for the beige. However,Helen of Untangled Threads  ( link here) advocated that we take each piece of tulle and see what happens to the fibres, so I did. Oh my goodness, what a big difference. I didn’t use the beige, I opted instead for using both the blue and the black tulle. It was like a penny dropping ! I found the half felt ball I had left and a pinkish piece of felt.

I had been disappointed with my first inclusion sample as I made the stitches too neat and small. Big and bold this time.

Add the yarn and the tulle, I think you can just see that I used the blue and the black. Stitches include, spiders web, fern stitch, running stitch, stab stitch, couching, rice stitch and bullion knots.

And as I stitched, evening drew in, and nature followed stitcher.

Here are my two samples together on the page.


I have enjoyed stitching these two so much. Just got my fluffy white threads sample and that will be it till October. Can’t wait.



Purple, as far as the eye can see.

My brother once described the North York Moors thus -” Purple as far as the eye can see”.

My next sample pack from Untangled Threads included a lot of purple and blue threads. Our task – to create a peice of fabric using a soluble plastic to hold the threads together and let the thread take you.

(The felt was some I had already and I knew would be perfect for what I had in mind).

I was keen not to reproduce a landscape of the moors so much as the feeling of them in August. The smell of honey, the sun our back and the drone of the bees. The sample was to be textural.

I couched the threads in place and then started to stitch with some wool I had.

I used the wool to make bullion knots, I wanted to recall the sensation of walking through heather, with the scratchiness of the bushes. As some of the ends of the fabric were not quite stitched down I encouraged them to protude.

Lots of the Y stitch, straight stitch and seeding/rice stitch,  and then loopy stitch.

Finally a bee.

I really enjoyed stitching this piece, it came from the heart.



Untangled Threads- Texture

My first parcel for the Stitchbook Collective arrived last week. The topic for the month is Texture. Nine small pieces to stitch and mount on a page.

The first three, were quite straightforward. Bullion knots, a kind of arrow head and a spiral with different threads to stitch with or couch down.

The next three were freer to stitch and hence more fun, a chance for self expression. First one is adding layers of fabric and stitching into them, couldn’t resist stitching seed heads and constructing a fence. The next was laying down threads and trapping them with netting, then stitching them. The third was making a hole and filling it with half a felt ball.

The final three are a loopy stitch, which made lovely flowers, spiders web and making a hole and filling it with another piece of fabric.

At this point this was my favourite.

Onto stitching  them onto a single piece of calico before sewing them to the page.

That’s my finished page. I had a problem with the flet ball, as I had made the buttonhole edging too small and you couldn’t see the stitches, so I added more.

And although I love it , this is my favourite now.

A thoroughly enjoyable exercise. If you would like to try this, the pack is available from Helen Birmingham at Untangled Threads

Stitching the collage.

I  moved onto the collage  exercise in the starter pack  for the Stitchbook Collective organised by Helen Birmgham at Untangled Threads. Here is the link to the website.

We were given several pieces of fabric and some yellow/ green embroidery floss. I hoped to use some of all the fabric pieces and all the stitches we had been practising.

One of the fabrics pieces was scrim, a fabric I love, it reminds me of the sea, waves , froth and foam. One of the pieces looked like tiles and I wondered how on earth I could use this.

I thought a lot.

We went to Dorset for a few days, where I did a lot more thinking. And sitting on the rocks at Portland Bill I found my inspiration.

I am not normally given to sketching anything in public, but using  a small notebook I carry in my bag I did a quick doodle to see if my idea could work. I decided it had possibilities.

Back home I began .

Sky , sea and rocks.

Add a boat.

In the samples we made I had really loved the ripples, and so I added some wadding to create ripples as best I could.

The ripples weren’t as good as when  I stitched onto  calico. The boat was attached using blanket stitch , which we didn’t do in the black and white samples, but I felt was best in this instance. The sea is running stitch and diagonal stab stitch.

Then I added scrim for waves, I used  fly stitch to begin with to attach the scrim but it made it too flat, so then I used french knots, rice stitch and seed stitch.

Next I added the woven fabric for a net and used bullion knots for fish. I added yellow back stitch to define the boat better. Running stitch for the moon and seed stitch for stars.

How then to attach it to the page? I decided that I wanted this final bit to be part of the collage  too.

I used pale grey running stitch with the waves, and added the tiny bit of left over scrim to the corner. Stab stitch around the sky to show water splashes and extra yellow seed stitches to take the stars to the page.

So that is my collage. I would really welcome constructive comments please.

My next task was to attach the three samples to the front of the page. I wanted to be able to use all as reference for future work so needed to be able to turn back the pieces, which I can now do by turning them down.

All three here

Top sample turned down so you can see the next one

That turned down so I can see the final one.

I have some fabric left over. I didn’t use  the satin ttitch column, back stitch grids or back stitch loops. Can I make another collage I wonder?  I did do some back stitch on the boat.

I used extra floss which were DMC 318,415, 503,504,519,597, 310 and the yellow thread provided with the pack.

I have absolutely loved every minute of this starter pack, and if you fancy trying your hand at mark making, do check out Helen’s webpage.







Boro Stitching

At the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show in 2018 I attended a workshop on boro stitching. I finally got round to completing the pieces from the class. The first is the one I was working on in Harrogate, the other two I did at home.

I found all the layers hard to stitch through, especially the cotton fabric which was quite dense. Initially it bothered me that I couldn’t stitch in a straight line, but then I relaxed and it no longer mattered.

The brown bit of fabric reminded me of a sail, so I tried to create a sea for my boat. I added the lines of red to lift the piece.

This final piece is what was leftover. I had by now run out of thread from the workshop, but I had some left on a card from a cross stitch kit which were just the perfect colours.

I really enjoyed stitching these little scraps and making some mini art. I love the way the fabric ripples. The exercise was just what I needed to encourage me to work on the Stitchbook project.

Have you tried boro stitching? Did you enjoy it?

More on marks.

I borrowed this rather good book from the library.

It ties in very nicely with the mark making sketchbook I am stitching.

It includes where to find inspiration and examples of stitching. I love these parallel lines.

And spirals. One of the exercises it suggests is to analysise the things which draw you to them when you take photos.

I love the circles too.

This is free machine embroidery.

So I had a look at some of the photos I had taken in the last few weeks.

Look at the petals and how they radiate from the centre.

A simple buttercup

Undoubtably circles are important to me, but then so are lines

Burnt post spotted on a recent walk, I love the texture of the wood

And this jumble of items I walked past- it was the ladder and the fence which caught my attention.

Giving me food for thought. What I wonder gives others food for thought. Do please leave a comment, I would love to hear from you.