You are currently browsing the monthly archive for March 2009.

Hope that you have all had a nice weekend – I have had a lovely one especially a lovely Mothers’ Day today. I spent two hours stitching this morning then we went to Bradford to the National Media Museum this afternoon and for tea at Nandos which was lovely.

Came home for another 3 hours stitching which was very nice. Am working on some gifts for people so do have loads of WIPs but cannot post any pics till end of April when all are finished and with the recipients.

I had  a lovely card made by Ellie and my wonderful children are paying for me to go to the Embroiderers’ Guild Conference for the day in Sheffield in April as my Mothers’ Day present. The day I am attending includes two talks on ecclesiastical embroidery and a trip to see some items at Sheffield Cathedral so I am really looking forward to that. Thanks kids for being so fab!

Regular readers may remember my Mothers’ Day post (at bottom of this link)  last year when I had just arranged to go part -time at work and was really looking forward to a more relaxed, stress free life with more time for family stuff and embroidery!

Well life didn’t quite turn out like that but the stress levels are not too bad despite the fact that I am trying to return to work full time now which hopefully may be sorted soon.

As I have no pics of my work that I can share I will post a couple of useful links with pics that I have found through someone who linked to my blog. She is called Jane and her blog is in my blogroll as Loopy Lou so please go and visit her blog as there some lovely things on there.

The first one is a site called free patterns which as the name suggests gives free patterns for knitting, stitching, crochet etc. There is not a huge selection but there is some very nice stuff – I particularly like these quilting patterns.

Bunny hugs quilt pattern

Bunny hugs quilt pattern

Xmas Nine Patch quilt

Xmas Nine Patch quilt

Another wonderful site is Pintangle which has loads on it – inspiration, stitch a longs and online classes. Fabulous stuff, this woman Sharon is  a real textile guru with loads of useful info and advice on the site. As a taster just look at the pic below from one of her crazy quilts.

Sharon's crazy quilt piece

Sharon's crazy quilt piece

Though I can’t show you any of my WIPs I can tell you that one is a crazy patchwork piece inspired by Barbara from my local Embroiderers’ Guild and that it is coming along really well – I am very pleased with it.

Hope you are all well and happy – bye for now.

Today we have had a day out with the medieval group to Uncle Roger’s – otherwise known as Roger of Lancaster’s Armourie. Roger is the brilliant guy who makes the swords and armour that our group use and he very kindly offered to host a day for us all to go and ‘fettle with the metal’ and make or mend armour. The lads were very happy to  spend the day in his workshop surrounded by so many tools and Bev and I did a bit of embroidery, made cups of tea for everyone and Bev had made a fab chilli for lunch.

Here are some pics of the boys ‘ grand day out!

Paul and Keith all dressed up - mail and padded jacket

Paul and Keith all dressed up - mail and padded jacket

Bev and Dave doing a bit of tent mending

Bev and Dave doing a bit of tent mending

Some of the helmets that Roger makes on display

Some of the helmets that Roger makes on display

Just some of the swords that Roger makes

Just some of the swords that Roger makes

Ye old fashioned way of cleaning mail - in a cement mixer with some sand!

Ye old fashioned way of cleaning mail - in a cement mixer with some sand!

Here's one I made earlier - Dave's lemon squeezer helmet

Here's one I made earlier - Dave's lemon squeezer helmet

Bev with the new group banner

Bev with the new group banner

Paul and Lee with the anvil

Paul and Lee with the anvil

Dave making sparks fly with the grinding wheel

Dave making sparks fly with the grinding wheel

Bev and I looking babelicious in the workshop

Bev and I looking babelicious in the workshop

 We all had a lovely day so big thanks to Roger. We always have a lot to do in the off season during the winter in terms of repairing and making new kit for re-enactment so this was a very useful day.

A few weeks ago I had a textileicious day and this week I have had another one at my Embroiderers’ Guild meeting. The morning was a sewing workshop though as usual it was more talking about stitching than doing any!

In the afternoon we had a speaker, a wonderful woman called Linda Rudkin who does a talk called ‘Colour from Nature’ about using natural plant dyes. She does the most amazing work with her dyed fabric and thread and the colour boards to show the different effects of each dye were textile works of art in themselves let alone all of the beautiful cushions, bowls etc she brought with her. My favourite was the large box pictured below embellished with a wealth of three dimensional leaves that were all dyed from one source.

Linda's amazing 3D leaf box

Linda's amazing 3D leaf box

I was particularly interested in the use of dyes as it fits in very well with the medieval period and she also does something called Flower Pounding which as it sounds involves hitting flowers leaves etc with a hammer to extract the dyes straight onto fabric. She had the most beautiful examples of these flower pictures with her.

Go and have a look at her web site for inspiration – we are all hoping she will come back and do a workshop for us next year.

I bought her book, called Natural Dyes and also some fabric which has been pre-treated with mordant and some dye stuff. Our branch of the Guild has its bi-annual exhibition in September and we are making a rainbow of individual panels to display – each person has chosen a colour. Mine is indigo which of course is a natural dye in itself so I am going to do some experimenting for that piece. Watch this space!

I felt slightly jealous listening to Linda speak she is an ex teacher who now has  a whole new career as a textile artist and speaker after early retirement. This is of course what I should have been doing this year with my little business but due to the domestic hiccup all that has had to be put on hold for the time being as I am trying to return to work full time. I know I will do it at some point in the future but sometimes it is hard not to feel disappointed.

However aside from the business plans going awry and the slight (!) re-adjustment in domestic finances that I have had to undertake since last year life is very, very good. I am engaged to a wonderful man and spend all my time thanking the powers that be for the divine intervention that led to us meeting up. I am very, very lucky!

I am able to share with you now some pics of my very first attempt at a biscornu pincushion. I chose this lovely Celtic laced hearts design from the Gift of Stitching magazine. It was very complicated to stitch as I kept losing track so there was an awful lot of frogging (unpicking) going on but I got there in the end.

 The making up of the biscornu was a lot easier than I expected, I used some gold twist thread that I had in my stash for the edging and tassels which worked well with the gold flecked Aida fabric.

The finished design before adding bead

The finished design before adding bead

Side view before bead and braid edging

Side view before bead and braid edging

The finished article - top view

The finished article - top view

The finished article - side view

The finished article - side view

I am very pleased with the end result . Would love to make more biscornus if I have the time – just need that knitting pattern for making an extra day – if anyone finds it please let me know!

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