Thursday, December 31, 2009


To all who visit my blog.
 Best Wishes for the New Year,
 may 2010 be a rewarding
and relaxing year.
and do remember to
 " take time to smell the daisies."

Monday, December 28, 2009


We are home again after a wonderful 11day holiday at Napier with my sister, Joan and Denis her husband. It was great sharing all that time with them, and being very spoilt, relaxing and all meals prepared for us along with good weather and I even managed to do some stitching.

I took over Joan's birthday sampler and as it is now hanging on her wall I can share it with everyone. . Stitched on 40 count permin linen, mainly with Maderia Silk threads and some DMC stranded, it is the largest sampler I have done.

The pattern at the top and the bottom of the sampler are original, designed specially for the sampler and
I stitches bands from some of my favourite designs and embroidery techniques making it a one only sampler

Sister's share childhood memories and grown up dreams

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


The lights have been found and we redid the tree today,  also our plans for Christmas have changed and we will be going away earlier. Hopefully I might be able to add a posting while at Napier, meanwhile to all my friends ........May you have a wonderful Christmas, and my very best Wishes to you all.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Our tree is decorated here at Groatieburn Cottage with white, cranberry,gold and silver decorations, no lights this year they have been packed away at daughter's house and not found this year!. The living room at the cottage is in pink tonings hence the colour choice for the decorations.
This afternoon I put the tree up in the little house. "Summerlee" is the lovely doll's house we built, and completed 11 years ago.

 We designed it to look like one of the old homes in Hawkes Bay NZ and have furnished it as at the 1890's

Here is the resident dolls, Henry and Sarah Barker view the christmas tree this afternoon. The children Emma , Caroline and baby John are still upstairs with Nanny. I will add their photos later.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Here is another   Wessex Stitchery  stitch., again from an old embroidery magazine and simply described as fly and detached chain. Note the fly stitches have quite small tails while the chain stitches have long ones.

Ann has allowed me to  copy her Wessex pin Cushion Chart that is based on this stitch.
The original was stitched on 32 count Belfast material so if you use a different fabric you will need to adjust the fabric size.

Fabric 18cm square Belfast Linen.
4 Colours of no 8 Perle thread. 1 dark, 1 med, 1 gold, 1 green.
Each square of the graph represents one fabric thread.
Stitch 1 Dark colour - 4 fly stitches
         2. med colour - 4 fly stitches
         3. gold centre  - cross stitch
         4. green          - 4 detached chain stitches.
repeat to make a square 5x5, joining the design at the straight stitches.
Finish by using one of the border patterns supplied or make up your own.
 Adjust corners as required.
 Thank you Ann, I hope someone might enjoy stitching this.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


This is the piece I stitched for a Sampler Exchange, the challenge was to stitch a sampler that included the alphabet and at least 5 specialty stitches, and was between 4-6 inches in size.
I stitch this on 40 count permin linen, and used Jane Van Kuelin's wonderful hand dyed threads.
To finish, I mounted at on the front cover of a needlebook, using cotton print of William Morris' Honeysuckle design as the background fabric.
It went to The Netherlands and I have just learnt of its safe arrival.
Unfortunatly my earlier exchange of a Christmas ornament has been 5 weeks in the mail, so it looks like I will need to stitch another one.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


I will add some Wessex patterns with charts over the next week as I have friends in England keen to see these and I hope others might enjoy stitching this work too
These are the samples from a Wessex Mystery sampler I designs about 10 years . Mrs Foster who created Wessex Stitchery used a variety of threads and colours in her stitching.

This pattern is taken from one of Mrs Foster's samplers that is shown in the book "Making Samplers" pg 113 If you are able to study the book you will see although she has stitched it in blue, more than one shade of the colour has been used as have different thicknesses of threads. I am sure she would have enjoyed all the varigated threads we have today.

Mrs Foster named this stitch Steepholm and the illustration above comes from an old Embroidery magazine. It is a favoutite stitch of mine.

Stitch it in stages, Lay and couch the outline threads first,
then Rice Stitch with additional straight stitches
lastly lay threads across and couch with up right cross stitches and an eyelet in the centre.