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Have you noticed how in fashion embroidery is at the moment? I have been doing a little bit of trend spotting recently and there are some fab garments out there. These pics were taken in Asda yesterday – we were out for the day in Doncaster visiting an exhibition (of dinosaur models not stitching!) and popped in to get some lunch and I was amazed by the amount of beautiful stitchery on garments.

At the risk of embaressing Jake (hey what are parents for!) I took these of just a few of the clothes on display.

A peasant style top

A peasant style top

 

Beautiful embroidery on a shirt

Beautiful embroidery on a shirt

Embroidery round a collar

Embroidery round a collar

A real back to the sixties ethnic look

A real back to the sixties ethnic look

Unfortunately I did not buy any of these as none of them were really what I wanted in terms of the garment style – lots of short puffy sleeves and loose tunics which do not suit me- but loved the fact that there was so much stitching around. Obviously this is all machine stitched but still very pretty and may inspire more people to take up the needle and create for themselves!

I can now post pics of the Valentine’s card that I made for Stefon since it is no longer a secret. The design comes from the sampler ‘ I still do’ by Inkcircles and I attached a little heart charm as well. It is stitched on sparkly white Aida with Silk Mill dark blue thread.

Valentine's card

Valentine's card

Wonderful daughter Ellie has just come back from a short trip to Bruges with two friends for the friend’s 18th birthday. She had a great time and was very impressed by the lace work there and as a present bought me this very cute little wine waiter outfit for my wine bottles made of Brussels lace.
Wine bottle cover

Wine bottle cover

I think that it just so cute and hopefully we can all go to Bruges one day and admire more lace (there is also beer and lots of chocolate so sounds like a fun place!).

I travel a lot for work which is lovely – nowhere glamorous on first class flights but just round Yorkshire on the train (I don’t drive) which gives me lots of chance to read and think and look out the window. I love trains (which is good considering how long I spend on them these days!) and really enjoy meeting new people and the excitement of going somewhere. I will eventually get my own car – finances permitting but will still travel by train as you never know who you will meet!

Today I went to Northern College to see one of my students. The college is in a historic house which has the most lovely grounds and it is still very snowy there.

This picture was taken en route.

Fields and fields of undisturbed snow

Fields and fields of undisturbed snow

The following pics were taken at the college – I love the letter box which looks particularly good in contrast with the snow – all we need is a robin and that could be next year’s Xmas card sorted!

The main building at Northern College

The main building at Northern College

Ivy on the stable block

Ivy on the stable block

The arch near the stables

The arch near the stables

Post box near one of the cottages

Post box near one of the cottages

I am off again tomorrow to see Stefon to have a lovely Valentine’s Day. Hope that you enjoy yourselves as well whatever you are doing.

The snow is thank goodness – I know it’s pretty but everything round here stops when it snows as it is so hilly so I am glad we are coming to the end of it.

The path is clear!

The path is clear!

The cat still isn't keen to go out - cold on the paws!

The cat still isn't keen to go out - cold on the paws!

I have had a very textileicious day (if that isn’t a word it should be!). I would have been at Embroiderers’ Guild today if it hadn’t been cancelled as more snow was forecast (it did snow a bit last night but stopped quickly) so I decided that I would spend the day doing textiles anyway. Not what was planned as that was a crazy patchwork day led by Barbara but work on some other projects.

I wanted to do some quilting – I have so much fabric in my stash that I thought it would be good to use some of it this way so have been working today on an Xmas hanging. I plan to work on this at the Quilters’ Guild I  am joining which is one evening a month so it should be finished in time.

The inspiration comes from this book Passion for Patchwork by Lisa Bergere which I treated myself to recently as I had lots of points on my Waterstones’  card from buying Xmas presents.

Here is some of the Xmas stash that I was choosing from.

My Xmas stash and the lovely book!

My Xmas stash and the lovely book!

There are so many lovely ideas in this book which is very much folk art based with some really cute hanging ideas. I took my inspiration from this design for a tablecloth.

Trees tablecloth

Trees tablecloth

After a bit of playing around this is what I ended up with – I just kept combining fabrics and shape ideas till I got what I liked. Not very scientific but it works!

My xmas hanging in layout

My xmas hanging in layout

I am going to applique these little pieces in the pictures below on to the trees with some padding and put some little charms and stitching on it as well. Maybe even an embroidered  saying – who knows ?

Detail of the tree with the stocking

Detail of the tree with the stocking

Detail of the tree with the presents

Detail of the tree with the presents

I have also made Stefon a new tunic today from red brocade . Last week I cut it out and today I did all the machine stitching . I shall wait until it is hemmed and braided then post another episode on the medieval costume pages showing you the process for that.

So far a fab day and it’s not over yet – a still have a whole evening of stitching to come – bliss!

Today Ellie and I have been to the Stitch and Creative Crafts Show in Manchester. I have not been before to this one but missed my usual Harrogate Knitting and Stitching show fix in Nov as I was in Nepal.

It is much smaller than the Harrogate show with much more emphasis on card making and supplies for that but there were lots of lovely stalls and some of my favourite suppliers were there so we had a lovely time.

One of my all time must go and see stalls at any show is Golden Hinde – Sue does the most amazing goldwork and she was there stitching today and she showed me how to make chrysanthemums out of wire thread.

She has really taken modern goldwork to the next level and her work is wonderful as well as her stall selling some very practical (and very cheap!) goldwork supplies. The thing that I like about Golden Hinde is that you can buy little bags of all sorts of gold thread really cheaply – the things I got today were 8Op or £1.50 which means you can soon build up a great stash.

Go and visit their web site or better still see if you can get along to a show and meet them in person – well worth it!

Here are a few pics from the show – one of the quilting displays, a cross stitch stall and one of the crewel work pieces on display.

A beautiful quilt display

A beautiful quilt display

Completed cross stitch kits

Completed cross stitch kits

Lovely crewel work

Lovely crewel work

I have bought two new publications recently which I thought I would share with you – they are in the pic below.

Stitching books

Stitching books

Of course I know I don’t really need any new books, patterns etc as I have enough stitching to keep me going till 2087 as it is but I am going to start doing some quilting and patchwork. Some friends from Embroiderers’ Guild are also members of the Quilters’ Guild so am going to join them. Therefore I thought the book on quilting patterns would be useful. It is called The Essential Quilter by Barbara Chainey and was a huge bargain at nearly a third of the new price on Amazon.

The other purchase I bought last week from my local WH Smith. It is a stitching mag called Inspirations published in Australia by Country Bumpkin and has the most amazing work in it.One piece that I really want to make from it is this goldwork pomegranate below.

Pomegranate illustration from Inspirations magazine

Pomegranate illustration from Inspirations magazine

A couple of years ago I did this Tudor Rose piece below from a magazine and thought that the pomegranate would be a good companion on the mantel shelf.

Tudor Rose goldwork

Tudor Rose goldwork

Have not set myself a timescale for completion as have loads of other projects on the go but would be lovely. Will post again soon – meanwhile happy stitching!

I love snowflakes – don’t know why but I love them as stitching designs, particularly blackwork designs and have spent most of this year stitching snowflake ornaments to give as my Xmas cards to close friends.

Last Xmas I bought some stick on snowflake motifs for my windows and managed to keep them on despite the kid’s protests that they should come down in 12th night! I maintain they are winter not Xmas decorations and can stay up till Spring. This year I added to the stock and now have lots of pretty snowflakes on the doors leading out into the garden. Very appropriate for this type of weather!

This week we have of course had real snow so I thought I would add to my snow pictures with these taken on Tuesday. This was a much nicer day than Monday as it had stopped snowing by then and the sun was out and everything was looking very Xmas card scenery . Even had a little robin stop by the bird table but didn’t get the camera out quick enough to capture that.

The doors out to the garden with snowflake motifs

The doors out to the garden with snowflake motifs

Beautiful winter scene

Beautiful winter scene

A close up of one of the snowflake motifs

A close up of one of the snowflake motifs

Despite the fact that I do have lots and lots of snowflake patterns already in my files that I haven’t stitched I could not resist two more sets that I have just bought from the wonderful Seba Designs site – scroll halfway down the page to see not one but two sets of snowflakes. Snowflake heaven and all for a very bargainsome £7!

In between other stitching I have been working on a series of designs I first saw last year – the wonderful Helga Mandl’s Xmas trees - each tree spells out a word if you look at it on its side – the pic below shows my first attempts at the Noel (on white sparkly Aida) and Joy (on red and gold fleck Aida). These are very easy to do and will make fab ornaments for next year’s round of Xmas gifts backed with some of the fabric from my stash.

Helga Mandl trees

Helga Mandl trees

Pics taken with new camera which is working out very well so far – seems to be much better at close up pics and has a nice wide viewing screen at the back – always useful.

Well tomorrow will be day 4 of wearing wellies to go out here at snow central – more is forecast at some point – it is slowly melting on major roads but we are still in a little white world of our own!

Am off to the Stitch and Creative Crafts show in Manchester on Sunday with Ellie – little girlie day out for a couple of textile junkies so am really looking forward to that.

Have had a lovely quiet day today courtesy of the very heavy snow fall that started last night. The kids were off school because of it , what I was planning to do was cancelled and I have spent a large part of the afternoon stitching and watching the Tudors Series 2 .Can’t show you any stitching pics as the item is a surprise gift but it is blackwork appropriate for my TV viewing.

I love the series and wish I could go and see the costumes for real – if anyone ever hears of an exhibition please post and let me know.

Meanwhile here are some pics of our snow – it has not stopped yet and we now have about 6 inches – the first one was taken last night.

Snow in the garden at night

Snow in the garden at night

We  had just come back from seeing Valkyrie at the cinema and having Pizza Hut and this pic is taken with my new camera (hurrah will try not to break this one!).

Here are some more that were taken from Jake’s attic bedroom this morning.

Snowy roofs

Snowy roofs

Snow on the hills

Snow on the hills

We have had a busy weekend sewing and cutting out new costumes for the coming season. Am now making a lovely stew for tea to stave off the cold. A very domesticated day!

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