Victorian Elegance…Foundation Finished

All the “bits” are attached to the base fabric of “Victorian Elegance” designed by Alison Cole. There will be some finessing going on as I still need to add some ribbon embroidery. Playing with the shapes to get the piece to look nice will be fun…I am not sure why but I guess manipulating the pieces to a nice arrangement is fun to me. I am already seeing some areas I need to snip some fuzzies off of..!! The ribbon embroidery should be added in the next few days hopefully… The background fabric color in the photo really does not do the piece justice…it looks more blue/purple and the photo seems to punch it towards a brown. You can kind of tell that the empty spaces will be filled with ribbon embroidery and there are also some paillettes ( like gold sequins only metal) to be attached to add more bling. Excited about being almost finished. Have started looking for a frame to mount it in! Flowers are so beautiful!

Victorian Elegance “Stumpwork & Goldwork” Putting it all together!

All the “pieces” are stitched and cut out! Putting the whole thing together is next! I have attached the “rose petals” to the foundation. Interestingly, I found because of the “long and short” stitching that the individual petal stitches would twist and look loose. However, when one played with the wire edging you could bring the stitching back in line and have it look very nice. It is a bit hard to describe. I thought for a second that I might of had a mess on my hands. All in all they came out very nice.

Next the gilt rough pearl #6 was used for the centers. Put a lot more in then I thought I would need to cover the centers. I admit it was fun to cut the small pieces and then stitch them down to make loops with waxed thread.

Enjoying putting the bits together.. Up next are the rose leaves.

Memory of sewing an Outfit for Grandchildren

Having really enjoyed sewing some clothing for the grandchildren when they were toddlers (now teenagers!) One pattern and outfit I absolutely loved came from a magazine called “Ottobre”. They still publish more than a decade later a few times a year and it is available in the states through The Wooly Thread . The magazine comes out a few times a year with a children’s editions, women’s editions and sometimes other special editions.

This particular pattern was just so cute and I enjoyed every minute of the challenge of sewing it and I can still remember seeing myself making it! I am so glad I have pictures of it. (Well, actually I made “two”!) Just wanted to share….since my stitching has been waylaid for a bit again. I was ever so thankful I had a “digital camera” when they were fairly new..I really like having these memories at my fingertips!! The last photo is a closeup picture of the bottom of the “other outfit” that was made.

The Back of Stumpwork…Alison Cole Victorian Elegance

The back of a stumpwork piece can be fairly important! When stitching these petals for the “Victorian Elegance” piece by Allison Cole …I decided that I would “try” to pay more attention to my process of stitching with the hope that I would get a more finished back that resembled the front. For me a bit daunting as at times I was surprised myself in the past with some great looking backs! So this said, with the stumpwork pieces these really need to be neat as they might be seen from the front! They can get twisted and out of sorts just like me! Soooo…..I am “trying” and that is the operative word!

Here is the front of two of these petals…and below is the back. So I still have a long way to go to get nice backs. There are 15 of these things. So I am thinking maybe, just maybe, I will have a few really nice ones that will be used in the most relevant places when finally assembled. I am working on a plan of stitching to have consistence and if I find one I hope after doing 15 of these things the process will be “cemented” in my brain! Since I have done some stumpwork but still definitely in need of more experience I am enjoying the challenge!

Chloe the Cat with Bird and Finish!!!

Makes me feel great to have another embroidery finished! Trish Burrs “Chloe the Cat” is finished! You can find the pattern here if anyone is interested in this challenge Chloe the Cat Digital Download …. the kit is available also in her shop.

First the bird…

Real cute… the bird was fun to do yet I think I am going to have to invest in some better lighting “old eyes” as usual. I kept having to adjust the light so I could see better. The lamp I am using is getting old also and has had “a lot” of use.

Wanting to share a design problem that the bird had. I ended up using a very sharp pencil to draw in two missing lines on the wing of the bird as you can see below in the photo. Thankful my hands are still steady….! These lines were to deliniate between the upper and lower wing with some padded satin stitching. They just were not there, but was an easy fix. These kind of things do happen once in awhile with all kinds of designs. Paying attention to the detail when stitching helps one to catch these.

Now for the finished embroidery! I will be blocking and stretching this for a frame eventually. Would really like to come up with a way to put both “Katerina and Chloe” in the same frame. Just not sure with the color differences. Also a possibility of a wall hanging (think mini quilt) with the two of them. It takes me forever to think on what I will do with a finished embroidery but when the idea hits I usually am off and getting it finished! Onto another “unfinished” project. Right now there are three of them….Hmmmmm…we shall see.

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Whewww! A Tail of a Finish…Chloe the Cat

After taking a few weeks off of stitching ….I finished the tail!!!! This part was very tedious….my thumb hurts! It is sooo…worth it!… I am still a little befuddled by my satin stitching on this one. I do know my eyes are getting worse, plus I need more light! All that said I only have the little bird to stitch and I will be done. I have an idea to combine both Chloe and Katerina in a frame together, maybe facing one another we shall see. I will post about that when the framing actually happens..(which might be awhile). I so would like to show you “Chloe” (just the cat) but I’ve decided to wait until the bird is finished so the whole effect is there. Enjoy!

A Little Christmas Past

I have been taking a break from stitching these past weeks so thought I would share some more of my heirloom sewing. Actually almost 13 years ago…I sewed a Christmas Dress for our first born grandchild. (Now I am officially what I call ancient.) Being that “lace” was the “in” thing for me then. I proceeded to “semi design” a dress for our granddaughter and I thought I would share. As you can see “bold color” was my goal. I took ideas from all of my books on heirloom sewing and cobbled together this outfit.

The main material is batiste with cotton lace inserts with machine embroidered “holly” motifs. Also beading insertion around the sleeves and in the main skirt with 1/4 inch red silk satin ribbon. Tons of “pintucks” for the bodice and at the hemline. I think my eyes must have been very tired keeping track of sewing all of them. As you can see there is also an slip that was sewn with a lace hem. Lots of work but very enjoyable at the time.

So here she is with it on in all her glory! What wonderful memories!

Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas!

Years ago….A Smocking Commission…Ring Bearers Outfit and Pillow

   Many, many years ago a friend asked if I would take on a commission to make a “Baseball Themed” Ring Bearers Outfit and Pillow…I used a smocking pattern from a Martha Pullen book and changed it for an insert in a cute little boys outfit. The pillow was just pleating with the lines of a baseball stitched and a baseball button inserted in the middle with fake rings and ribbon. All in all it was a challenge but came out rather nice in the end. Guess what….. “I found the pictures I took!” What a blast to look back at what was made so many years ago. My heirloom sewing days brought much joy! I really enjoyed doing smocking at the time and hope someday to get back to it. (psst…I found more smocking project pictures…what fun!)


   Above is the picture smocking motifs some mini baseballs and bats. (had to repeat for two of them)

   Now here is the final outfit when finished. Acck! all that piping! Buttonholes and snaps were also a challenge. I forget what the material was but I do remember it being expensive. I am sure the wedding was a “hit”!!


   The ring bearers pillow was different…I had to come up with the baseball design and I hoped they would like it!! Never really heard how it all turned out but it was worth it just for the experience and the challenge.

These photos were taken with my Olympus Camera….(considered ancient nowadays) There were no cell phones etc. to just point and shoot. This camera was one of the early ones that had a card so one could move them to a computer via a special cable that worked with the camera and the software on my computer. My mind stills reels with all the technology! 

Chloe the Cat ..Steps 22~26

    Whewwww!!!!!!…. this section was a lot of different stitching. Padded Satin, Laidwork, Split Stitch, Eyelets, Long and Short Shading. I think that about covers it. The design on the fabric only had “2” eyelets printed on it and the one on the cover of the directions has 10! Five large and 5 small. I decided to draw two more large ones in and 4 small. They came out fine. I freehanded the small ones and the bigger ones I traced what was there and used a bright light to trace them again on the fabric. So am happy with the result. I just love poking holes in fabric for some odd reason. 

See that area there to the left? That is the last part of the Cat!!!! The Tail!! I probably will finish the whole tail (there are two sections) before I share that and then on to the bird on the tail…..! Getting there.. I will have had plenty of experience with Padded Satin Stitch by the time I am finished! I will have to show both cats together it should be interesting!

Padded Satin Stitch….A back view of the padding  ooops!

    Working on Chloe the Cat …there is a lot of “Padded Satin Stitch”. So much so it may become overwhelming at times. I have this thing where I just want to do satin stitch and details of how to do this stitch become “moot”. That said there are many ways to pad your satin stitch. Trish Burr has a wonderful “Needlepainting & Whitework Handbook” that goes through descriptive ways of all the ways she works her designs. Great reference! 

     The “Padded Satin Stitch” is in there of course. You would think one would look it up and refresh the memory at my age. (Just to much stuff up there now.) Okay I was stuck because of the design here with some sharp corners etc. Sooooo…I looked it up and realized I could of done this padding differently. As I said I am a satin stitcher so would take the floss even while padding and go in the opposite direction of the final stitching and do just satin stitching in the needed direction. That said …uses up a lot of floss!

Below is a picture of the back of how I padded my satin stitch.


    Now this picture is actually how Trish shows how it should be done.


    Gee..what’s missing….all that extra floss! One can just come up “next to” the previous stitch and go back to the front to take the next stitch. Now a picture of the front of this with the “padding” done ready for the satin stitch to put on top. (tommorow…I’m tired).


I will be doing the “satin stitch” over the running stitch which helps to give it a nice edge. I did most of my padded satin stitching the other way. I need to remember to do it this way because I like it. Just wanted to share what can be done and it does come out pretty much the same. You would really only be saving floss. It could affect the final product by making it thicker. Just not sure about that. So it really depends on what one likes of course and each one of us has different approaches to how we do our stitching!