Monday, May 31, 2010


May has been a month of highs............. lows............. and finishing on a high again. The good start to the month can be seen from the entries on my blog. Then a severe chest cold took over and not even any stitching got done. Jan gave me a leave pass to finish the last items for her basket at a later date, so I could at least keep up with what was needed for the junior embroiderers.... must share about this group sometime.
Fortunately I had recovered by the 25th when we went to Coromandel, we were later going up this year and so missed most of the lovely Autumn leaves but there were still some patches of bright colour along the way.
 The reason for the visit was for me to teach my count thread mat, " Threads from Jane"  This mat is stitched on 30 count linen which Jane Van Keulen has dyed with matching threads  see her website-
It was a very enjoyable workshop as I knew everyone taking the class so a reunion with old friends.
We had extra time away so lots of talk about stitching and sharing of ideas with two special friends..

This mat that I taught, this was stitched by my friend Maree in a previous class  the colours are lovely and the photo does not do justice to them

A corner of the mat showing the contrasts between the satin stitching and the fine drawn thread work in the centre.

Came home to find the more snow on the mountain, its now half way down, so although lovely and sunny out, the temperature is quite crisp today so shortly I will be enjoying the fireside and stitching.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


The Brides Tree SAL challenge for• May: Bird or Bird in a nest - happiness and/or joy, confidence in the shelter
 I have chosen one NZ small native birds Yellow Breasted Tit. This tiny bird is found in the forrest on the South Island.The design is from a Maree Garstang leaflet " More NZ Birds and Flowers", I have had the chart for many years and although I have stitched it once before this time it is for me. Stitched on 35 count Permin linen with DMC Threads, I chose not to stitch the blue in the background.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


This week when sorting through a box of odds and ends I came across a piece Jan had stitched several years ago as a sample for me. It was to show how my design a ring of violets would look stitched in a different count fabric.... my pieces were usually stitched on 35 count.

A pity to waste it, when it matched the items for her workbasket so we used it for a new top on her pincushion.


I have been truly spoilt, Jan and her girls arrived with a lovely bouquet of flowers for Mothers day and I had a lovely time arranging them. Lillies, Chrysanthemums,Carnations and Tulips.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


Florence Mabel Williamson (nee Haworth) 1908 -1987
How does one choose a piece of embroidery to represent oneself and the many years of enjoyment in stitching? I resently had to make that choice and when I did select a piece I realised how much my mother had given to me and how it reflected in my work.
We could all write lots about our mothers, but at this point, three things stand out for me, the books she introduced us to and her love of her garden and her skill with the needle. She never met Winnie the Pooh till she was a young adult and she made sure as children we had every oportunity to read great childrens books. These included Cecily Mary Barker's "Flower Fairies" These tiny books were real treasures and from them I learnt the names of many plants. and later introduced my daughter and later still my grand daughters to these book as they are still in print.
Mother's gardens firstly in the very south of NZ and later in Christchurch held many delightful small treasures  and both my sister and myself have the tiny Autumn snowdrops in our garden the bulbs first came from her garden and have mulitplied over the years, and I have taken some from garden to garden when ever we moved. Visits from the south to Christchurch always included a visit to the Rockery at the Christchurch Botanical gardens here I saw my first tiny rock cyclamen  which  I now enjoy in my own garden.
Granny Haworth her mother, was a fine embroiderer who had shared those skills with her daughter and this has continued down through the gererations. I have no memories of when I first stared stitching but it was before High School days but I remember learning from mother, smocking and Bullion Stitch roses.
And in later years although I shared my embroideery with her, sadly Mother did not live to see the piece I had chosen, but it does relect the flowers she loved .

Work box stitched on 32 count Belfast linen with 1 strand DMC threads lined with pink silk. This was not a kit, my husband patiently  worked out the measurements and cut the cardboard for me. Stitched 1992.

On this side Snowdrops, Gentians,  Heather, Common daisy, Violets, and  Buttercups.

Scillas, Aconite, Pasque Flowers, Hares foot clover and Lady's mantle.

Dandelions, Linum (flax flower), Dryas, Heartsease and  Red Campion.

Harebells, Daisies, Violets,  Crocus and Ivy.

Saturday, May 8, 2010


I am now able to show this small Lavender Sachet  as It was an exchange and my partner has now received it. This was my next attempt  at stitching this edging where the two layers of material are stitched at the same time. This photo is not as clear as the one showing it partly finished  and the close up of the butterfly.
I am stitching the same blackwork butterfly on a needle case for Jan's sewing basket.