Tag Archives: needlework

Another UFO Finished!

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First published on Woolymoss.comIMG_1481IMG_1366IMG_1484This “Heart of Hearts” felt appliqué cushion has joined the ranks as a finished project. I first purchased this kit by Michaela Smith during my visit to Yarndale last year. The kit was of good quality English Felt. I hand stitched the whole cushion cover using mainly blanket stitch. Most of the individual squares were made whilst I was on a cruise in December. It was an ideal travel project as it was broken down into small manageable pieces.

I wasn’t too pleased with how I worked the Felt squares together at the corners. This is where the buttons come in as I used them to disguise the untidy corners. So onwards we go! Bring on the next project! Maybe I should continue to work through my pile of un finished objects.

Stitch for thought

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With thanks to Inspirations Magazine

ISSUE 104 | AUGUST 25, 2017
Hi Barbara,

Time to Stitch…

Your time is an extremely valuable commodity. Companies invest billions of dollars each year to try and grab your attention and divert your time towards their products and services.

Tech companies have teams of people creating ‘persuasive technology’ that they build into apps, websites, videos, newsfeeds, social media experiences, all designed to draw you in and steal your time.

Then there is your poor needlework. All your needles and threads just sit there waiting, wishing, hoping, that you’ll pick them up and start stitching. No voice, no tricks, no gimmicks, no proactive way of getting your attention.

Yet needlework has the most powerful tool of all – transformation.

One of the richest, rewarding and satisfying activities we can do with our time is stitch. It transforms us in a way few other endeavours can, but it does require something from us in exchange – it requires we give it our time.

So next time someone, or something, is trying to compete for your time ask yourself the question, is it as good as stitching? Our vote is probably not!

Snow Boots and Glad Rags

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One of the great things about cruising is getting dressed up for dinner. On our recent Fred Olsen cruise to Norway there was a choice of casual or smart dining. Mostly I chose dressing for dinner, just to make eating an occasion. The problem with this cruise was the need to take so many warm clothes! Sweaters, thermals and woolly hats don’t blend well with cocktail dresses and high heeled shoes ( In fact I mainly wore snow boots!!). Anyhow a great time was had.

We arrived In Alta, Norway our most Northerly port of call. It was very cloudy and mild (ish) so not too bad underfoot for a walk around the town. The cathedral was the first place that I visited. It was small, modern and peaceful.

In this beautiful building in the photograph above right, I lit a candle for a small person that I had lost and sat for some thoughtful moments in the peaceful pews.

I explored the town. All of the shops are located in “malls”and from the outside don’t look very interesting. Inside I found many shops and coffee places and FREE WIFI!  I felt very clever when I used Google maps for the first time ever. This directed me to what is reputed to be Norway’s largest craft and wool store.

I had been warned of the high prices in Norway. Apparently a beer cost £9 but I didn’t try that! A coffee and cake cost £5 and I did try that! As money was no object(ha ha!) I gave in and purchased some Aida fabric and an embroidery hoop. Hopefully not destined to become another UFO.

img_0989It was interesting to get back onto the ship and compare craft finds with my new crafty friends!

Onward

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imageHere’s Henry Worsley – @shackletonsolo – as I’ll always remember him: stoic, humble, kind-hearted, my friend and someone I looked up more than I ever had the chance to let him know.  This is a tribute and photograph by Ben Saunders on Facebook.

He showed me this cushion a few years ago and his eyes lit up as he told me the story. It had been given to him by an inmate at Wandsworth Prison, where Henry volunteered to teach needlework. He was a serving officer in the Special Air Service at the time, and told me that learning to sew had helped calm his nerves when he first spent time in a war zone, and that he loved teaching it now, decades after his first deployment.

Henry was a hard man of the rarest kind. There’s a superficial toughness a lot of men like to portray – all strut and swagger and aggression; men holding ugly masks up to conceal their fear. And then there’s the serene equanimity that radiated from Henry: a steadfast, resolute solidity that came from not from fear but from love, from a positive human spirt, and from a heart that shone.

Henry usually signed off his messages with a single word.

Onward.

Today I read the tribute above, to Henry Worsley, adventurer, soldier and all round REAL man. This man SEWED. From now on I will carry out my craft classes with that little bit more pride and determination.

He had raised over £100,000 to help injured service men and women. His latest adventure was an attempt to complete Sir Ernest Shackleton’s unfinished journey to the South Pole, solo. Sadly he failed just 30 miles from his target.

THIS MAN SEWED,

RIP Henry Worsley

“Onward”

Wordsmith Wednesday – Petersham Ribbon

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Petersham Ribbon

Petersham ribbon, also called Petersham facing or simply Petersham, is a thick, stiff, flexible corded ribbon usually made out of either cotton, rayon, viscose, or a cotton/ rayon or viscose blend of fibers and used as facing by milliners and tailors. Petersham is frequently watered on both sides and comes with a scalloped edge. It is woven so that once steamed, it will take on and support a particular curve of fabric. This makes it useful for obtaining a smooth edge on the brim of a hat, for example, without forming puckers or wrinkles which would result from the use of traditional flat ribbon or other flat fabric. It is also useful as an alternative to bias tape for making fabric conform closely to the shape of the body wearing it— in a corset, for example, or along the waistline of a pair of trousers or a skirt. Petersham is very similar to grosgrain ribbon in appearance: both have closely spaced horizontal ridges, but Petersham has a flexible picot edge allowing it to be shaped with an iron, whereas grosgrain cannot be shaped this way.

Petersham is named after the eighteenth century English lord Viscount Petersham who invented an overcoat and breeches made of a special heavy woolen cloth with a round nap surface. For this reason, “Petersham” is often (but not always) capitalized.

Cross Stitch Craft and Camping

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Quite a few a few years ago I went through my “Cross Stitch Era”. I find that all craft work ( for myself at least) comes and goes in phases of learning, enthusiasm and creativity. Cross stitch passion lasted quite some time and is one of the most artistic of crafts. This cross stitch bell pull was made for my parents and hung alongside their fireplace until we cleared the house. I stitched the bell pull onto Aida fabric and used a cream linen backing- which covered up many errors! I purchased a manufactured bell pull metal hanger.

I made this cross stitch sampler in 1993 not using any particular pattern. I chose separate nature patterns, from various magazines and books, and interspersed them throughout with little random thought. I sewed three larger butterflies which divided the other pictures. None of the patterns are to size individually but work as a whole. I remember adding the images as I went along but was very pleased with the end result.

In 1993 I spent much of a summer holiday sat outside our tent in Guernsey Channel Islands, cross stitching this sampler. When I look at this craft item I can almost feel the sun on my back as I stitched away, listening to my three children laughing and playing on the camp site. Evocative, happy memories.

Maybe I’ll give cross stitching another go and start another era!

Twin lambs

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Spring has sprung! Walking around the lanes today on a glorious Spring-like day I spied two new born lambs. What made me smile was the attire of the smallest lamb, a designer plastic jacket. Obviously designed to keep the tiny lamb warm it was a plastic bag with leg holes. Extreme up cycling?

Earrings continue to be sorted. I honestly can’t believe how many pairs I have! I’m a little worried as to when I will wear the Christmas ones as the promise was to wear a different pair every day. I am currently up to pair number 27 So will certainly continue through March.

I am delighted to report that I have completed the Goldwork practice piece that I started in the Workshop last Friday..Not only that but I have made it into a needle case. I don’t like the idea of not turning the hard work into something useful.