Monday, November 28, 2011


Life's completeness and richness depends on the things we share
with our loved ones and friends
Helen Steiner Rice
My thanks for all the messages I have received, I will try and reply  to them shortly but although I am much improved, I am still not comfortable sitting for too long at a time. That should improve now as Paul has bought me a new computor chair......... a really delux executive one,

Among the emails received have been two exciting ones
and I am thrilled to be able to share photos of two finished quadrielles, both from America.
The first is from Annette Navarro, you may have read all Annette's comments on the SAL postings as she kept me informed of all her progress as she stitched it.

and this one below is from Antonina Batalova,  her blog is
Well done both of you. I hope you both enjoyed your stitching, now I would like you to email me your postal addresses as I said I would stitch and send a little something to anyone who sent me photo of their finished quadrielle.

On Thursday December 1st, Paul and I will go across to Napier to spend a few days with my sister and her husband and I am looking forward to visiting my favourite Embroidery Shop Heirlooms. This time of the year Sherelyn has a special Christmas display in her lovely old home where her Gallery/shop is situated. Tell you more when I return next week.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


I cannot count my day complete
'Til needle, thread and fabric meet.
~Author Unknown

I have thought for many years that this summed up my day, my needle has given me much pleasure and stitching is a very relaxing pastime.... till just over a week ago when I found myself not able to do the simplest thing... it seems I must have put something out in my lower back. Enough said, I now have even more sympathy for those who suffer pain and hope by tomorrow to pick up my needle again.
No stitching of mine to share at the moment, but I wanted you to see and enjoy these lovely piece I have received in the last two Stitching Friends exchanges.

This delightful pincushion was made for me by my friend Ann in our Stitching Friends recent pin cushion exchange. It is quite petite only 4cm high, stitched on 40 count linen and the cross stitching of all the little animals is  over one thread.  Its  just too lovely to use .... a real treasure.

The pin keep exchange asked everyone to chose 1 shade of DMC Thread and the challenge was any form of stitching using just that one colour.( beads and extras allowed) I chose 3726 a lovely old world pink and here is what Heather produced for me. Its stump work and all so perfect and the suprise is how well the bronze butterfly blends in. The pinkeep is quite tiny only 6cm across. Her finishing method was different to what I have seen before, inside is layers of wool felt to keep pins from rusting and round the edge she has sewn on narrow ribbon using coral knot stitch.

Back again soon and hopefully stitching

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Now to the exciting part of making up the Quadrielle.... extra care and time here will make the finish look so much better.

If you have used a backing fabric, pin the layers together before you move on to the next step. The red lines shown here are where you now cut, remember there is no seam allowance at the top or the bottom.

Turn the extra material back behind the points do not cut it off, leaving it makes the finish stronger
Now tack round all the edges to hold every thing in place.
Next step in the fold and iron firmly all the lines that form the sides of the boxes, this pressing makes quite a difference to how the finished piece will look.
Join all the points at the top by whip stitching through your backstitches, adding a loop of narrow ribbon at the top for hanging , dont make this too small as you will be attaching  ribbons to it later

Join the points at the bottom the same way, this time adding a length of the same narrow ribbon you will use to finish. Finally before sewing up the side stuff your quadrielle, (avoid overstuffing as that will make the sides bulge.)

Take two lengths of narrow ribbon , dont cut, but make two large loops and two tails, stitch together at the top  to hold in place then stitch them to the tail on your quadrielle near the base.

Next take 2 lengths of organza ribbon and tie them on just above (or on top ) of where you stitched the narrow ribbon on, finish with a generous bow, turn the quadrielle round and tie on 2 further organza ribbons... this make two bows back to back.

Posted by PicasaFinish by adding to small bows at the top. Feel free to change the ribbons if there is something you like better.

.I look forward to hearing when you have completed your piece and I will stitch a small reward for anyone who sends me a photo of their finished quadrielle.

 If this has been fun, then we might do another SAL next year.

Monday, November 7, 2011

SAL Part 5

The stages  of stitching the centre designs.

1: the circle drawn in the centre form a guideline for the three rows of gold thread that are twined round to represent a willow wreath add one row at a time couching down as you go.

2: Chain stitch (Daisy stitch) leaves in dark green these represent holly leaves.  I work with 3 larger groups with 1 or 2 small groups in between I avoid using 4 large groups as this tends to make the design look square.
Also I dont try and make each of the wreaths inside the 4 squares exactly the same, I like a more natural look, and it makes placing the stitches easier.

3: Next add groups of red beads to represent the berries. I stitch each bead on twice, it does take more time but  it is worth while as they do sit so much better... and use red thread to stitch them on with.
 On my first one I added a few gold beads but there are none on this present one I hope to find more when we shop this friday.

4: groups of straight stitches using one strand of blue green floss is now added to finish the wreaths... these hopefully look like sprays of pine needle.

Finish by adding some gold paillettes or tiny sequins.

Now all that is left is the construction to finish........ Posting again soon.

Friday, November 4, 2011

SAL Part 4

The next stage is to add the heavier Gold thread to create the circle for the christmas wreath design in the centre of each square.  A few couching stitches are used to hold it in place. This is done in 3 stages. the first time round use, the pencil drawn circle as a guide line and try to cover it.

 Dont worry if at this stage it does not look like a perfect circle as the shape will alter as you add two more rows. let these rows twist a little rather than have 3 straight row. Don't try and make all four circles the same,  the thread often has a mind of its own and this can add to your design. I think it adds  to the look if all the circles look quite natural and not to stiff and exact.

I hope this will be enough to keep you working, as tomorrow we go quite some distance to collect son after he finishes a mountain bike race and bring him back here, we will then have just under 24 hours of his company..... so after he leaves on sunday I will post the rest of the stitching instructions.

Annette, I am enjoying your comments that are keeping me up to date with your progress, can you email me as I would love to send a private message in return.
 Happy stitching

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 3, 2011

SAL Part 3

We now come to the exciting part of adding the design. Stitch the motifs on the top and bottom sections first.

These motif are form by first stitching four long armed chain stitch
 also known as Daisy stitch. (my choice was a soft green thread as I did not want the motifs to dominate and catch the eye.)

 Make the centre of these stitches 1cm from the centre square. 
 The straight stitches are added using a fine gold thread, then add  a gold bead in the centre and a few paillettes or small sequins to finish. Stitch all these parts the same.

Before moving on the the centre squares add a backing of calico or light cotton fabric, this is to support the weight of the beads, a few invisible tacking stitch will hold this in place.  To make the stitches, invisible use sewing thread the same colour as your fabric and stitch and slide your stitches under the back stitch lines. It does not take a lot of stitches to hold the backing fabric in place and it will be anchored further as you stitch the centre design

I will be back tomorrow  to continue, meanwhile happy stitching

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


All the lines shown here in green need to be backstitched. I backed stitched over 4 threads using the same colour for all of this and when it came to the second inner row on the squares I left a space of 4 threads.... but remember the choice is yours.
I am now stitching one that has deep yellow for the main outlining and then the inner squares are stitched in red and green alternating. the colours, will look very festive I think finished.. will keep you posted on the result.

Here is the easy method I used to make the points top and bottom,  
I found the centre of each by counting my back stitches and then carefully drew pencil lines which I stitched over- try to make the stitches  an even size as it is not possible to count threads here.
Don't make these stitches too big,  smaller stitches will make the construction finish neater.
 In the centre of each square I   drew a circle approx 2.5cm or 1inch across.  I found an empty plastic spool that DMC Perle 8 threads come on excellent to trace arround these pencil lines will be covered later.

 Will be back tomorrow with the next part  till then happy stitching

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


You may use any count fabric you wish, it does  need to be an even weave to make stitching the outlines neater.
My sample is worked on 40 count permin  linen but it would work equally as well on 28, 32, or 36 count.

 The finished size of the stitching before it is made up is- 22 x 12cm (approx 9 x 5 inches) but it is easier to work on a slightly larger piece of fabric. The same size piece is needed which ever count you decide to use.

You will also need-
Threads colour of your own choice for all the outlines.
(I used some scraps I had of DMC  Flower thread 2725)
2 shades of green dark and light bluegreen.
gold thread in 2 thicknesses-
fine for adding paillettes   and beads and couching the heavier thread.
gold and red beads.
gold paillettes (flat sequins) or tiny sequins.( here in NZ I can buy tiny ones on a long thread.)
calico or cotton for backing and a selection of ribbons.
Tacking thread.

Do feel free to make changes to colours of threads, ribbons and beads, you may have something you would rather use.

Select your material and tack up ready as shown here.
There is 1cm  seam allowance at each end (none top and bottom)
The centre squares are 5 x5 cm ( 2x2 inches) and the top and bottom ones are 5 x 3.5cm (2 x1 1/2 inches)

I will continue to post the parts of the SAL at intervals over the week, it is quite quick to make once the preparation is done.