Sunday, 21 December 2014

Christmas Day is nearly upon us!  How ready are you?  Me?  Almost there, I just have to buy the vegetables for Christmas Day and Boxing Day.  Oh yes, and I have to finish wrapping the presents and writing those last few Christmas cards ....  Will you be spending Christmas with family and friends, or will it just be a quiet celebration?  Perhaps the holidays are inspiring you to be creative, or perhaps you simply need some special time to yourself.  So, just in case you do find that little bit of time, I have included this little Christmas chart for your to stitch.  It won't take long and you can hang it on the tree in time for Christmas Day.  

Christmas Sparkle 2014

You can use any variegated thread, or threads of your choice.
Use 2 strands of thread throughout.
Stitch the Christmas Tree using a Smyrna Cross
Border 1 is stitched in a crossed upright cross stitch
Border 2 is a combination of cross stitches and beads.
Backstitch the outer border in 2 strands of thread over 2 threads.
Then fold corners A and B to the back and slip stitch together.  Do the same for D.  Bring E into the centre and slip stitch together, leaving a small opening in the top.  Fill with wadding, insert a twisted cord or piece of ribbon and slipstitch closed.
Hang on your tree!!!

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Southern Counties Lacemakers Fair 2014 and Jenny Adin-Christie

This is the first time that I have had a stand at this fair and I am so glad I did!  The running of the fair has been taken over by Julie Snowden and hats off to her as I think it was a great success.  About 700 shoppers passed through the doors!  Here are some pictures of what my stand looked like.

However, the highlight of the fair for me was meeting Jenny Adin-Christie having the opportunity to see her work "in real life".  I love Whitework embroidery, so to see Jenny's stitched pieces was a delight.  But, I also love Stumpwork and found the detail in her embroidered pieces quite amazing.  She very kindly allowed me to take photographs so that I could share them on my blog.  I think my favourite piece of embroidery was the book cover that depicted The Owl and the Pussycat, but then the other pieces were just as exquisite. Here are some of the pictures I took, they are not brilliant as the lights in the hall were very large and bright and kept reflecting off the glass in the picture frames.  However, they should give you a taste of what Jenny has created over the years.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Needlework Fairs

I have had a few busy months recently.  I have attended a number of Needlework Fairs and, whilst they have been exhausting, they have also been great fun and have given me the opportunity to meet some extremely talented people.

In October I attended Kirstie Allsop's The Handmade Fair which was held in the grounds of Hampton Court Palace.  What fun that Fair was and in such beautiful surroundings too.  The weather was glorious; warm and sunny, which just seemed to put everyone in a good mood.  It was held over three days and each morning I caught the train from Waterloo Station to Hampton Court Station. I would buy myself a steaming coffee and a warm pastry; walk over the bridge with the River Thames swirling away below; pass through the main gates of the Palace - and imagine I was royalty as I strolled down the long driveway; walk left through the walled rose garden - which is beautiful - and then into the gardens at the back of the Palace. From there I walked across the carefully mown lawns to the large tents of the Fair where people would be eagerly queueing to get in, patiently waiting for the large wrought iron gates to swing open.

During the day there were lots of "have you seen ..." and "did you make ..."  The bunting was flying; the music was playing and there was a hive of activity as people shopped, crafted and chatted over cups of tea and cake.
The path along the back of the Palace

Kirstie's attempt, along with willing members of the public, to make the longest pom pom trail

Hotch Potch vintage tea rooms
My journey home was back along the same route through the grounds and I was often joined by weary stall holders and exhausted shoppers.  At the station I would pick a seat opposite Lucy's Shed and feast my eyes on the beutiful flowers she had standing in tin buckets ... roses, peonies, lavender and in my mind pick out seeds to plant.  Day dreaming ... of summer, the warm sun and the sweet perfume of an English country garden.  This would then be shattered by the arrival of the train, the dash to grab a seat, but then a chance to drift back again into thoughts of the day as the train rythmically jolted its way back to London. 

"Lucy's Shed"

Friday, 29 August 2014

Holiday Stitching - Winter Reflections Hardanger

I have just spent the last 10 days on Ile de Re, a beautiful island off the west coast of France, just over the bridge from la Rochelle.  What a beautiful place, full of sunshine and the most beautiful light in which to stitch.

Last month I designed a little hardanger pincushion ...

Winter Reflections Pincushion
... so over the course of the holiday I decided to design a piece to go with it.  I had origially thought of turning it into a needle book, but when it was finished I decided it would look just perfect mounted on the lid of a hand-painted box.

Winter Reflections Box Top
Now I have a box for my pincushion and other stitching bits and pieces.  Both designs were stitched on 28 count Antique White evenweave using DMC perle #8 no 712.

And here is what I did with the inside of the box - I lined it with some scrummy chocolate coloured silk fabric.

Inside of the box
The Pincushion and Box Top designs (chart only) are available to purchase from my Etsy shop

Monday, 11 August 2014

It's a Dog's Life

Whilst I was photographing my latest piece of work-in-progress this is what Millie, my lovely labrador, was doing:

And here is a sneak peak of what I was photographing - the design will be released at the beginning of September.

Lavender and Daisies .....

Friday, 8 August 2014

The Common Thread

I am on a bit of a roll here!!   The Common Thread is now on Facebook.  You can follow me there on

The Common Thread

My new Etsy Shop

I have finally got my Etsy shop up and running.  I have listed lots of beautiful Chameleon Threads; some counted thread work kits and some silk ribbons.  There is also a beautiful silk ribbon garland called "les Fleurs".  It is fully kitted with full packs of ribbon and all the needles and fabric, plus a very good set of instructions with colour photographs.  If you are interested and would like to visit my shop this is the link

These are some of the Chameleon Thread Collections I have listed for sale:

Cottage Garden - Perle #8 collection

Lilac Border - Perle #8 collection

Vintage Elegance - Perle #8 Collection

... and this is les Fleurs

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Happy New Year to One and All

And so, another year has gone by.  Did you manage to finish all those lovely stitching projects you started and promised yourself you would finish?  Or, on looking back over the year, did you discover you had too many WIPs and not enough finishes?  I can count on one hand the number of stitchers I know who finish one project before they start on another one. The majority of us are like butterflies - we flit from one piece of linen to another, drawn in by the beautiful colours of the threads, or the intricate design.

Each year I promise myself that I will finish every project that I start - and each year I fail miserably. So this year, I am not going to make the same promise, instead I am going to promise myself that I will learn at least one new stitching technique.  This year I am going to master Reticello.  I love the look of this technique and I have signed up to take a distance class with Lee Albrecht I will keep you posted on my progress. I wonder what your new technique will be?

And now, my friends, I leave you with these words of wisdom:

Remember that friends don’t let friends stitch drunk.  Please stitch responsibly this year and may all your stitching dreams come true in 2014.