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Candy Mini Hangings 3rd October 2016

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Back At Last -Sampler- Goldwork. Candy's 20th September 2016

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We’re back, at last

At last I am back on the Blog after a series of computer disasters that resulted in having to change computers twice and change a number of crucial systems.

The Goldwork Sampler becomes a decorative panel on silk dupion. It has been on sale for some time and has finally made it on to the website after all our problems and so have the canvaswork mini hangings Candy 1, 2, 3 & 4, HOORAY; I began to think it would never happen.

The Sampler is worked on cream silk dupion, and has 8 pages of comprehensive instructions to introduce you to the variety of Goldwork Threads and Wires included in the pack:-

 Jap Gold,                             Rococco,                              Pearl Purl,                           Bright Check,                     

Gilt Plate,                            Rough Purl and                  Smooth Purl

and uses them in nine squares using different techniques for each square together with Beads and Spangles.

 The techniques used include padded leather, couching, couching over string, basketweave, beading and chipping.


Harry's Quilt 12th March 2015

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Harry’s quilt finished at last!!  I really am very pleased with it, although it has taken so long.  All the applique is by hand using blanket stitch – that is why it has taken so long.  I hope he likes it.

Scarab Beetle 12th March 2015

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Beetle also finished!   I am having a good week this week!!

Previously- I can always think of new things to stitch – it is just getting down to the actual stitching.  I am in the middle of stitching a Goldwork scarab beetle for a page in a Travelling Journal.  I belong to a group called Inspire.  There are 20+ of us, embroiderers, artists, patchworkers, felters, beadworkers, who get together every Thursday.  Sometimes more tea and cake is consumed than work done.  But the others seem to produce vast amounts of wonderful work.  Anyway, to cut a long story short, most of us are working on Travelling Journals, which in theory move on every month to the next person.  Producing a small piece of embroidery every month has proved quite a challenge for me.  So I am at least a couple of months behind!!  But I have stitched several Goldwork pieces to go in different books.  So non-work Goldwork on machined or painted backgrounds.  Fun for a change.  So far I have done a silverwork fish, a gold Jacobean flower, a canvaswork mini-tile and part of the beetle, together with about 6 pages in other techniques.  So I have been practising my metal thread techniques.  Some people have worked variations of the same design for each book.  What a great idea.  I wish I had thought of that last March when we started!!

I am using one of the unusual leathers that I stock on the beetle.  It looks like a gold snakeskin.  I have cut out lots of tiny pieces of it – the finished design only needs to be about 6” square.  I think it is going to work really well.  I will put a photograph up when I have done a bit more.  At the moment there is just a tacked outline and a number of small bumps of layers of felt.  I have already added “Sew leather on beetle” to a list!!

Clematis Design 2nd March 2015

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I think I have settled on a clematis design for Summer, as a follow up to the Springs Tulips that I produced some time ago.  Once again I will be bonding sheer fabric onto the silk background and then adding the goldwork, although in this case it may be silver.  I haven’t done the samples yet.  But I am thinking of a white or very pale cream or even very pale mauve background with mauve sheer and lots and lots of beads for the centre.  Watch this space – but not for a few weeks.  I will add it to a list!!   First things first, I need to draw up the design.  I can see it perfectly in my head but transferring it to paper in a form that can be stitched is another thing.  Add it to a list!!

I took lots of photographs last year of our clematis and this is the one that I am going to use as inspiration.  Beautiful colours!!!

Candies & Sampler Update 14th February 2015

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New Year Resolutions have failed!! And I didn’t even get started.  So the resolution to write at least one blog a week has failed.  Again!!  However, it has been on my list of things to do since the 1st January!!  I live by lists, stock lists, things to order lists, shopping lists, you name them I make them.  Every day I start off with a new list and with a bit of luck I cross off maybe half of the items.  But the Blog has been transferred to a new list every day, getting closer and closer to the top.  In fact, I have stitched very little by way of goldwork since Christmas.  But I have done a lot of different displacement activities, from cleaning the house (I must be mad) to knitting, patchwork and even nearly completing Harry’s quilt.  He is now two and if I don’t finish it soon he will be too old for trains and circus animals.

Back to work, I have packed what seems like an enormous amount of kits. 




Although the Candies are not yet on the website – another thing to sort out! – the adverts in the magazines have proved very popular and we have been sending them all over the world. Candies can be ordered even if not on the website:

Price:- 1 x Candy - £8.95,  4 x Candies - £33.25

a) UK & Export orders - order by email and we will send a PayPal invoice with your items listed and priced. You can then pay SECURLY via PayPal by clicking on the "button" provided and entering your details.

b) UK orders - order by telephone on 0121 705 3031 




Needless to say, I have not yet finished writing the instructions for the Goldwork Sampler.  Must add that to a list!   Stopping writing instructions in the middle is not ideal.

But I have tacked up a Beadwork Sampler in the same format as the Goldwork Sampler, so three squares by three squares.  And I even ordered two frames the same, when I chose the frame for the Goldwork Sampler.  So they should work as a pair.  And then I had to buy lots of beautiful gold and bronze beads in different sizes and shapes.  What a chore!!  I have also stitched a few samples of the threads that I will be using.  The blank canvas (cream silk dupion) now awaits.  I will need to add that to a list.




Ereader cover 11th February 2014

I am not sure whether I have mentioned this before, but I have been stitching an ereader cover, for my Kindle, for some time.   It is intended as a kit – if all goes well.  It is worked on silver canvas in vibrant purple pinks, deep turquoises and silvers.  Well, last week I finally stitched all the little squares of silver and turquoise leather onto the panel for the front so the embroidery is complete.  I have found a deep plum coloured silk for the outside of the cover and a wonderful vibrant pink for the lining.  I just need to make it up in a way that everyone can understand and follow.  I have consulted a friend who has made a number of these covers and sold them in her etsy shop, and she has given me some tips.  So I just have to be brave and cut it all out and make up the cover.  So another project nearly finished – apart from the chart!!


Beadwork Sampler 3rd February 2014

Although this is not strictly Goldwork, I have decided to stitch a Beadwork Sampler to go with the goldwork sampler.  Once again I will be using cream silk dupion for the background and a wide variety of gold beads for the beadwork.  I have decided to copy the format of the goldwork sampler and go for 3 squares by 3 squares.  I have done a practice sampler in pink beads and I think it will work in gold.  So I need to tack it all out, plan the squares and get going – there might be a small problem in finding a square frame that is not in use – I seem to have a lot of work in progress – not just goldwork but all kinds of embroidery.  Perhaps this year’s resolution should be to finish a few things off.  To digress, I must have at least 8 if not more unfinished quilts – I am a patchworker as well.  Obviously, I need to sleep less, do less housework (great!) and stitch more.

Goldwork Sampler 20th January 2014

I have been doing more stitching on the Goldwork Sampler that I have been writing about for so long.  Have now completed six squares!!  Yes, six of the nine.  Hurrah!  On the seventh, I have started adding spangles (like little tiny sequins) around the circular design and only have about five more to add – so a matter of a few minutes.  On the eighth, I have to add some plate and some long stitches in passing thread to the already stitched square of gold leather and that will be finished.  And so on to square nine – the final decision has not yet been taken on the technique or the design, although I have a few ideas.  Watch this space.  I then have to sew a braid or something like a Grecian thread along the straight lines and then it is off to the framer.  I always spend hours looking at frames and mounts, as the right presentation can make such a difference.  It is very tempting to put a gold frame around every goldwork piece, but sometimes another colour will work better.  Fortunately, my framer seems to have endless patience. Oh dear, I have forgotten that I have to do the diagrams and write the instructions!!  I will be very disappointed if this does not all come together soon and the Sampler is not ready for the Knitting and Stitching Show in March.

New Year Resolutions !!! 13th January 2014


New Year Resolution – More New Kits

Happy New Year – rather belatedly. I have decided that I really must write more blogs and stitch more kits.  Help – I really need more hours in the day and more days in the week.  We were so busy before Christmas that we have taken the decision that for the next few months we will do less shows and spend more time updating the website and (in my case) stitching more new kits.  So it’s head down over the embroidery frame and hours in front of the computer drawing the charts and writing the instructions.  I must also make more of an effort to write the instructions as I go along, rather than having to stitch the project twice to check the instructions or relying on kind friends to test out the instructions!  Have lots of ideas for new kits and some are work in progress.  Keep watching this space.  I might have to put the stitching on hold for a couple of days this week, as I need to dye lots of pink and purple velvet!!

Goldwork Sampler 2 17th June 2013

Sampler started!  I have started with the not very exciting part – stitching on the areas of padded felt.  So I have several small bumps of yellow felt.  Now to the much more exciting part when things really start to happen.  I have used gold leather for two of the raised areas (bumps) and am covering the third with small bead-

sized chips of rough purl and bright check.  Just like beads, you always need lots more little chips than you first thought.  So have cut up what seems like hundreds of little bits of wire – after I managed to track down my goldwork scissors, which I had put somewhere safe in case they were used (for paper or card!) by husband or small grandchildren.  It took so long to find them I was beginning to think that I would have to help myself to some out of stock (i.e. the garage) and write an IOU.  Husband is an accountant and frowns upon anyone (me) helping themselves to stock without AN EXPLANATION.  

New Projects 30th April 2013

Still not started stitching the Goldwork Sampler,  I have moved onto the planning and drawing stage of the other new kits I have in mind – a series – Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter.  I have only drawn up the Spring embroidery so far – Tulips.  However, I have chosen some beautiful new silks from Hilary at the Silk Route.  So far I have gone for a pale custardy yellow for the Tulips, pale rose pink for the Summer (I never used to “do” pink but since the arrival of three little granddaughters I have become much more of a pink person), a kind of gingery gold shot silk for Autumn and either grey or dark green for Winter.  That was the fun part.  Should I do leaves or blackberries for Autumn, something Christmassy for Winter and the choice of flowers for Summer is mind-blowing.  So while I try to come to some sort of decision I can at least tack the design onto the silk for the Tulips.  Or should I tackle the ironing?