Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Pulled Thread Book - in English

I've been meaning to write this post since my birthday last year. That was when I received this lovely book - a book that I had been looking forward to seeing published in English and which is now simply titled Pulled Thread Embroidery, by Marie-Helene Jeanneau. 

It was originally available only in French. 

And you may have guessed, this copy was my birthday present the previous year, so I now have both. 

My comments about the original French version are in my blog post here and they all apply to the English book too. Besides the different covers, the two books have exactly the same excellent content - the stitches, the photographs, the diagrams and the layout. It's just the language that is different. 

The diagrams are super informative - especially about how to construct the stitch and expertly turn at the end of a row. They also show what the back of the stitch should look like which I find very useful. In essence, it's an in-depth reference book of the essential pulled thread stitches and their variations as well as some unusual stitch combinations too. There are quite a few that I'd like to add to one of my stitch samplers.

If you wish to hone your technical stitch skills, this book well worth considering. My talented friend, Tricia Elvin-Jensen, who is also a most experienced pulled thread teacher, has said that it's without doubt the best pulled thread book that she has seen.

Do I gain in any way from telling you about this book? No. It's just a great book to refer to if pulled thread interests you.

'Till next time, take care in this topsy-turvy Covid world, and happy stitching!

Saturday, January 1, 2022

A Fresh Beginning

Happy New Year! May it be a good year and a better year for all of us than 2021.

New Year and it should be high summer here in Brisbane with long, hot steamy days. Instead the air has been fresh, cool and damp with a brisk breeze blowing in from the Pacific. Walking along the water's edge at Shorncliffe towards the yacht club there were few people around and just a couple of fisherman trying their luck while the tide was in. 

Turning into the wind and looking over towards Brisbane and the distant harbour the cranes quickly became obscured as the clouds rolled in.  And then rain came down and everyone scuttled off home.

With rain drumming on the roof it was perfect weather for stitching. But perhaps you too ushered the new year in by having a quiet day curled up reading instead? 

I wonder what 2022 holds in store for us. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Pulled Thread Needlecase

The little sample of pulled thread that I wrote about here has become a soft needlecase. To put it all together, I trimmed as little off the frayed edges of the linen as possible, and cut patchwork fabric for the back with a plain fabric to place behind the pulled thread work.

The darker backing fabric underneath the linen helps emphasize the holes of the pulled thread.

The thin batting will give body to the needlecase as well as a pleasant soft feel.

Once it was stitched up, I cut a rectangle of felt just smaller than the inside of the needlecase. 

Then folded it all in half and machine stitched through all the layers about 1cm from the fold. I find with this method of construction there is no need to add a button for closure. The needlecase mostly stays closed in my work box or workbag. 

It still needs a gentle press with the iron, but I am pleased that I have finally done something with the tiny sample. Christmas is on the doorstep and the needlecase will make a useful gift.

Enjoy some stitching if you can, and Merry Christmas and happy holidays to everyone! 

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Pulled Thread - A Small Sample

This little pulled thread sample has been in my WIP box for a very long time. It was a test piece for box I made as gift for a wedding anniversary. I'd attached some scraps of unbleached calico around the sides to enlarge it so that I could work with it in an embroidery hoop. 

As you can perhaps see, the tension was too tight and the linen was pulled in towards the centre. The tension for the eventual box top was more relaxed and even. Despite the tension problem of the sample, the eyelets formed a pretty lattice and I wanted to use the embroidery and make it up into something useful, but that's as far as I got. Until now.

First thing to do was stretch it on the cork board and square up the uneven rectangle of pulled eyelets. 

It's a small piece so there wasn't much room between the pins and the embroidery. I kept the calico in place to help support the edges of the linen which would otherwise fray easily under the tension. Each day I stretched it a bit more until it was as squared up as possible. Then I misted it with water and left it to dry overnight.

Because I had to stretch the piece more than I thought was advisable, I thought it might spring back towards its old shape once I removed the drawing pins. We've had record breaking rains over November and lots of very dark, damp days. Taking advantage of the weather, I took it off the cork board and left it to relax in the damp air for almost a week - just in case. But it seems stable. 

What to do with it - a pincushion or a needlebook? Both would need additional fabric for backing and finishing off. Although I'd already picked out a couple of my quilting fabrics that toned in gently with the cream linen, I still need a quick stop at our local fabric shop before I go any further. 

More in my next post.. 

'Till next time, happy stitching!

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Backstitch Around Eyelets

I finished off the small canvas work piece I showed you in my last post here. Although it ended up as a pincushion, I could still attach a loop and hang it on the Christmas tree.

Thanks to the thoughtful suggestions from some of my blog readers, I backstitched around the eyelets to hide the white canvas that was showing through. You can see the difference if you compare the eyelets in the top row to those in the bottom row. After a few trials, the light green thread seemed the best option.

I thought I'd show you the back of the work for no other reason than it was lying upside down ready to stitch on the backing while I had the camera out.

The green quilting fabric was a good colour match and the stars were in keeping with the idea of eyelets representing stars.

Then came the stuffing.

And finally after years in the WIP box, it was done!

Although the colours in the photos look weird, the actual colours are rich and Christmassy.  

I've got another small piece in the WIP box that needs attention. It's pulled thread and I must decide what to do with it...

'Till next time, happy stitching!

Friday, September 10, 2021

Little UFO

This little canvas work piece has been in my Work In Progress box for a couple of years. Before relegating it to the Unfinished Object box, a more final resting place, I took another look.

I started it one Christmas intending to use up the small piece of canvas and make a little Christmas tree hanging. The small eyelets were the stumbling block. 

I tried a few options to cover the bright white canvas that shows through from behind the eyelets. Eventually after trying that silver eyelet I put the put the canvas aside awaiting some other inspiration.

I still haven't decided what to do about those eyelets, but I am adding a few more rows.

Although the days are gloriously sunny, the weather has been changeable and the chilly August winds seemed to linger. In the garden the Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow has burst into bloom so summer must be on the way.

'Till next time, take care and happy stitching!

Monday, August 2, 2021

Buttons and Hats, and a Trip Down Memory Lane

Kaffe Fassett's studio are having a sale of some of his original work. I've been a fan since first seeing the extraordinary way he used colour in his book Glorious Knitting. 

I was fortunate to hear him speak on a trip to the UK. This was before the days of being able to purchase tickets via the internet. My husband had phoned as soon as I heard about the lecture to book me a ticket. It was held at the beautiful Albert Hall in Nottingham. 

I collected the ticket from a local knitting shop when I arrived in Nottingham, assuring the staff that yes, it was was my husband who phoned about the ticket, and yes, it was me, and I had come all the way from Cape Town, South Africa. 

Having arrived early, I queued outside the hall for almost an hour in the chilly grey light as the afternoon faded. I managed to get a seat three rows from the front. You can just see my empty seat on the right.

The atmosphere in the hall was electric - full of anticipation, excitement and happy chatter. The moment Kaffe appeared on the left of the stage checking his watch, a hush fell and the classical guitarist wrapped up his charming performance. The first thing Kaffe did was welcome the audience. And the lady from Cape Town! 

The talk was inspirational. Afterwards I joined the long queue to have my book signed. My accent must have given me away because Kaffe stopped and looked up as he signed my book, had a few words and thanked me for coming. 

But, back to the sale at the Kaffe Fassett Studio. Here's the link. For something different, if you like buttons, make sure you scroll to the end to see the hats.

And finally, the Delta variant of Covid has emerged in Brisbane and unfortunately it has infected a number of school children. We are in lockdown to slow down the spread. Thinking about the lovely trip I had to Nottingham was rather a nice momentary escape.

'Till next time, take care. I hope all is well with you. 

Happy stitching! 

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Lavender Bags and Bookmarks

The local school has an annual Mother's Day stall. Every child in the school has the opportunity to do their shopping in the hall sometime during the week leading up to the big day itself. Most like to buy two or three small items with their pocket money. 

They have a wonderful time shopping - browsing, choosing and counting out their precious coins. 

My daughter asked me to make a few lavender sachets - always a popular item. There are not many lavender flowers around during winter, but I picked what I could from the garden and someone on the local Facebook gardening group offered another bag of cuttings. After oven-drying them there was only enough for filling a few mini sachets.

My granddaughter had great fun choosing the ribbons and the buttons for some of the lavender bags.

As the day drew nearer more small items were needed to make sure everyone had the chance to find a suitable gift. I find it very hard to throw out little pieces of quilt fabric. Bookmarks seemed like a quick item to make that would use up some more of the small pieces I had left over from a colour wash quilt. And they'd provide an inexpensive gift.

The first bookmark I made was too soft and floppy and needed more body. 

Out came the iron-on vilene. I had to cut fabric and vilene pieces out individually because everything was cut from small remnants, mainly narrow strips of fabric and irregular shaped bits of stiffener.

Small oddments of ribbon came in handy too.

In the past I've had a few mishaps when ironing the stiffening onto the fabric, no matter how careful I thought I was being. This time I used baking paper over the vilene. I was pleased it worked well and protected the iron from any stray melted bits of glue. 

Initially I used printed fabric on both the front and back of the bookmarks. But I remembered there were scraps of plain fabric in my cupboard too. Putting plain on the back meant I could make more bookmarks - with a pretty floral on the front and a complementing plain on the back. 

In the end I forgot to take a photo of everything I made. These were just the first few bookmarks.

The market was a great success with most items on the tables completely sold out. And the children were delighted with the little presents they were able to find for mom or gran. To my surprise all the bookmarks and lavender bags were sold too. It's nice to know that bookmarks are still useful; that not everyone does all their reading on an electronic device.

I hope you are well and safe. 'Till next time, happy stitching!

Monday, July 5, 2021

Most Popular Patterns 2

In my post of 25 June, I showed you some of the most popular patterns in my shop Lynlubell on Etsy. Besides those three canvas work pincushion patterns, there are two more patterns that stand out above the rest. 

I was intrigued to find that one of them is this whitework pattern. It's a sampler of pulled thread stitches, simply framed in the embroidery hoop I used for stitching it. 

Embroidery of crazy patch pulled thread sampler
Crazy Patch Pulled Thread Sampler

I enjoy working on little samplers.  I think it's the variety of stitches on a small piece that I really like. It's fun stitching, and it's also something you can easily pick up and put down when you have a little bit of time without forgetting what you were doing and losing your place. 

Embroidery of pulled thread sampler in a crazy patch design

The last pattern I wanted to show you among the favourites in the shop is neither canvas work, nor pulled thread. It's the pattern for Australian Cross Stitch pincushions and it is by far the most popular.

Australian Cross Stitch Pincushions

The pincushions are pretty, simple and quick to stitch. And included with the pattern for these two pincushions is a free extra pincushion pattern. Visit the shop to see all my patterns by clicking here.

'Till next time take care, keep well and happy stitching!


P.S. A reminder to subscribers that my subscriber list has moved to Mailchimp. If you have previously subscribed to my blog, I hope this first post finds it way to you safely.  

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Housekeeping update for Blog subscribers

Embroidered Ukrainian Drawn Thread Sachet
Ukrainian Drawn Thread sachet

Today I couldn't resist a photo of the pelargonium that has been flowering so cheerfully in the garden for the last few weeks. The Ukrainian Drawn Thread sachet was made some time ago and the photos were just for my records. 

As you may know, from 1 July Google is discontinuing its email subscription service on Feedburner. I shall be moving my list of blog subscribers over to Mailchimp. If you no longer wish to receive my blog posts via email as soon as they are published, please let me know and I will remove your email address from the subscriber list. 

Leave a message, with the email address you used to subscribe, in the Comment section at the end of this post. Your email address will not be made public in Comments. That's because the comments are first moderated by me and do not appear automatically.

Or email me directly to unsubscribe. My email address is lynette(dot)warner(at)gmail(dot)com 

It should all be up and running in the next few days, when I'll show you my overall most popular pincushion pattern - and it's not a canvas work pattern. You can see my most popular canvas work patterns in my previous post here.

We are in a short lockdown in Queensland Australia due to the spread of the Covid Delta variant. And it looks like the next few days are going to be cold and wet. Its good weather for staying in and for knitting so I am altering a jersey I knitted years ago for my daughter. She no longer wears it and it's a nice warm wool. My daughter is taller than me so I am pulling out part of the too-long sleeves and reknitting the cuffs.

I do hope you will continue to follow my blog posts and keep in contact either via the Comments section on the blog or via email. It's always lovely to hear from you, read your comments, hear your opinion, and have a chat. 

Till next time, keep safe and happy stitching!