Friday, December 4, 2015

Canvas work pincushions

My friend Beryl Saunders has been making these canvas work pincushions for a couple of her customers. Beryl does the embroidery and I finish them off for her.

First step is to lightly steam press the embroidery, face down on a soft towel. Them trim them to size and cut out a backing fabric that Beryl has chosen for each one.

Here they are stitched up and ready to go off to the customers. When the ladies saw the finished pincushions there was some hard bargaining between them because in the end both wanted a blue pincushion and a pink one as well. The result? Beryl has another order. 

I do love that pink one too!

Friday, November 20, 2015

West Coast Wild Flowers

September is a good month for seeing the spring wild flowers on the West Coast. I wrote about the first day of our flower-seeing in a previous post here. The second day of our two day trip saw us up early and having breakfast on the patio in the tranquil garden at Nancy's Tearoom in Clanwilliam.

I couldn't resist stopping to admire the yarn bombing in front of the row of quaint shops in the main street.

The visitor's centre had told us that the best display of the wild flowers in Clanwilliam was over but we had seen wonderful flowers at the Flower Reserve before so we stopped in. A few spots still looked pretty.

It was only 9.30am and the gazanias were still opening.

Along the N7 that goes north to the Namibian border, we encountered numerous stop-go's that added almost an hour to our journey. The road is excellent where it has been completed but there were extensive roadworks around Clanwilliam itself. This is in part due to the planned raising of the dam wall to provide water for the vineyards and the growing agriculture taking place in the area. You can see the dam wall and the roadworks for the new road in photo below. We sat in the car for ages with this view waiting our turn at a 4 way stop-go, all very orderly but slow going.

Leaving Clanwilliam we cut across to the coast and the West Coast National Park. Large trees dotted the fence-line of a sprawling wheat farm.  Trees of this size are an unusual sight in this area. I love their shape.

Posberg forms a small section of the WCNP and is right on the Atlantic coast. It is open to the public for a short period every year during the flower season. The cars were bumper to bumper in places - the flowers spectacular.  I know they look like dots but there really were a few ostriches and zebra in the far distance here. I wonder if they snack on the flowers.

Carpets of flowers covered the ground wherever we looked.

These lucky people were on a guided walk. What heaven!

At Plankiesbaai we had a walk on the beach and a picnic tea.

And finally, a last look back before we headed for Cape Town and home.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

CEG Exhibition 2015

The Cape Embroiderers' Guild Exhibition is over for another 2 years! The embroidery was inspiring and the setting quite idyllic.

My photos were disappointing so there are only a few here, but if you click on the link to the Guild's website here you will find close-ups and lots of inspiration in the Gallery. There are also plenty of excellent photos on the CEG Facebook page here. Just scroll down and click through the photos on the different posts of the exhibition.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Cape Embroiderers' Guild Exhibition 2015

"Marvels from a Needle" the 2015 embroidery exhibition of the Cape Embroiderers' Guild opens next week at Nova Constantia Cellars in Constantia, Cape Town. It runs from October 20 to 24. The details included at the end of this post can also be found on the Guild's website here.

If you visit the exhibition you will see a few of my embroideries that I completed some time ago and that I have just got around to framing. My Dresden Work 'Daffodils' was inspired by a fichu in the collection of the Dresden Museum of Applied Art and the design adapted with kind permission.

Daffodils by Lyn Warner
The Blackwork was embroidered from a kit and I do not remember where it was from. Let me know if you recognize it and I will with pleasure attribute the designer. 

One of the special exhibits at the exhibition will be an installation of "Circles", embroideries mounted in hoops or circular frames. This idea has resulted in great interest among our members and I can't wait to see the result. 

The shadow work Butterfly was a Guild workshop given by Tricia Elvin-Jensen. The idea of mounting embroidery in a hoop inspired me to take it from my UFO box and put it in a hoop so I can at last hang it up and enjoy it.

Here are details of the exhibition. There will be lots of embroidery to see and the setting of the venue in the Cape vineyards is beautiful and well worth a visit.

* * * * * * 

“Marvels from a Needle”
At Nova Constantia Cellars
Tuesday 20 October to Friday 23 October 10h00 to 17h00. 
Saturday 24 October 10h00 to 15h00.
Entry Fee R10 p.p.

Come and see works of yesteryear, including embroidered garments from our archives and articles from the two World War eras. Admire again or for the first time, some of our previously exhibited favourites. View exquisite Suzani cloths, old and new, from Uzbekistan. Be inspired by our latest embroidered works and innovative ‘circles’ project display.

Buy Sales table items, refreshments and/or lunch - make a day of it and linger at this beautiful venue in the vineyards.

Contact Yvonne on 082 4040 927 or Colleen on 072 259 6583 for more information.

* * * * * *

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Eyelet Border in Pulled Thread Embroidery

This little eyelet is my favourite pulled thread stitch at the moment. One row forms a delicate pulled work border.

Two rows are even prettier.

To work the stitch, bring the needle up through the fabric at 1, shown next to the black dot, and follow the numbers in the stitch diagram. Each stitch is over three threads and you always go down into the centre of the eyelet. Work each leg of the eyelet twice.

Pull the thread moderately when you bring your needle up through your work. Take care however when you come up after that long stitch, at 9 and 17. It's rather easy to pull that long stitch too tightly.

Till next time, happy stitching!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Wild flowers at their best

Rod and I took two days off and drove north to Clanwilliam to see the spring wild flowers. Although there were swathes of flowers in places along the roadside, we discovered we had missed the peak of the flower season in Clanwilliam and then went off further north to Niewoudville.

First stop was at the Kokerboom or Quiver Tree Forest. I felt like I had walked into a Steven Spielberg movie.

Then on to the Niewoudville Flower Reserve.

The yellow bulbinella were looking splendid.

The Tourist Information Centre at Niewoudville had recommended a visit to the farm Maatjiesfontein, now given over to wild flowers. We were stopped to pay a fee in the little shop housed in one end of this stone building.

Whizzing by the flower fields in the car is one thing, but stopping to peer into the grass revealed an astounding variety of flowers.

You can see a few yellow bulbinella peeping out above the low growing flora.

I love the red gazanias sprinkled in between the other flowers.

Further on were fields of yellow daisies.

 On the way back to the gate, clouds of pink and purple.

Leaving Matjiesfontein we made a stop off along the dusty road to have a look at the glacial pavement. The tracks scored into the rock were made by boulders trapped under the ice as the glacier slowly inched it's way forward. Hard to imagine this area under glaciers and snow in the last ice age.

We stopped to enjoy the view and a welcome mug of coffee from our flask before descending Vanrhyns Pass, covered in tall yellow daisy bushes, and making our way back to Clanwilliam.  

The irrigation scheme north of Clanwilliam has given rise to a large area under vines and other crops, and it extends for several kilometres along the valley.

The end of a lovely day with the sun on the Cederberg mountains.

This was day one of our little road trip. The next day proved to be just as spectacular. I am still working out how to manage my photos with Windows 10 and a new PC and hope to have more flower photos to show you soon.