Thursday, December 1, 2016

Pattern covers

I've been working on covers for some of my embroidery patterns. These are the two most popular patterns so this seemed like a good place to start.

Chris Green designed the covers and he also designed the logo that you may already have seen in my Etsy shop Lynlubell.

The logo was inspired by the flower in the pulled thread pattern pictured below.

Full kit for Flower Sprig pulled thread pincushion
When it became difficult to find needlepoint canvas in our local embroidery shops after DMC in South Africa closed down,  Beryl Saunders and I made up partial kits for the more popular canvas work patterns. Beryl is the designer of a number of these much admired canvas work pincushion patterns. 

The partial canvas work kits include full instructions with clear stitch diagrams, a piece of canvas and a tapestry needle, but no threads. It is more cost effective for you to buy the recommended DMC stranded threads yourself and they are generally fairly easy to find.  I now have a small number of these kits available. 
Flower and Cushion Stitch pincushion

Leafy Green pincushion
Blue Eyelet pincushion
These two patterns are available as full kits: 

Flower Sprig pulled thread pincushion

Australian Cross Stitch Pincushions
I also have a limited number of Dresden Lily patterns available. Due to copyright restrictions once the small stock I prepared for teaching earlier in the year runs out, these will no longer be available. The design was adapted with permission of the copyright holder Heather Toomer. The stitches I chose for the lily include some unusual and rarely used Dresden Lace stitches.

Dresden Lily
All the patterns, except the Dresden Lily, are available as digital downloads in my Etsy shop Lynlubell. Please email me with any questions at lynette[dot]warner[at]gmail[dot]com. 

For any graphic design work you'd like done, contact Chris Green directly at while his new website is under construction.

Till next time, happy stitching!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Still Waiting

The postman arrived a few weeks ago with my first quilt fabrics from overseas. The fabric came in an ordinary envelope, not parcel post, and it took 27 days from Bangkok to Cape Town! Letters usually arrive within 14 days so I wondered if it had had to go via customs, but there was no sign of that on the envelope.

I've cut out a fabric square for each quilt and they are pinned onto my board waiting for the other fabric to arrive from Brisbane. (You can see some of the original fabric squares in my previous post here.)

These are the five new fabrics. I just love the zebras - a South African da Gama print that was available a few years ago.

In this family, no quilt is complete without a cat, if not a real one, then a calico cat.

The cute little elephants on the navy and red fabrics are distinctly Thai. Thai elephants are rounder in shape than African elephants. They are smaller too.

And this is the Very Hungry Caterpillar fabric. It's a real favourite with my grandchildren who love the book of the same title. It's great fun for little fingers to poke through the many holes the caterpillars have chewed through the pages in the book.

I have to pack up my sewing room soon to make way for my two grandsons who will be spending Christmas with us. I hope the postman is going to hurry up or I won't be able to finish the quilts in time for the little one to take his quilt home with him to Thailand. When the second quilt is finished it will wing it's way to Brisbane to my granddaughter.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Two More Quilts

My two youngest grandchildren are three and almost four and they want to know when they will have quilts like their older brothers. I've started cutting out squares. So far I have just over thirty for each quilt and I need forty eight.

The first two quilts I made were special because my daughters and I shopped together for some of the fabric. It's rare for us to be together because we live on three different continents.

The latest two quilts will be special not only because they will have some of those fabric that we all chose together, but because there is more fabric on the way. Some from my daughter's precious stash in Thailand including some of her boys' favourite fabrics - like The Hungry Caterpillar fabric which is based on the endpapers of Eric Carle's book.

And some fabric from Brisbane, after a trip to Russell's for the little ones to choose fabric, put it in an envelope with stamps and send it off to Granny in Cape Town.  The prep teacher has just been introducing the children to post and stamps so this is a very good excuse to put that lesson into practice.

I keep looking in the post box to see if the new fabric has arrived yet...

On another note, I had no internet access on my PC for a while last week. As a result this is my first post written on my phone and with a photo uploaded from my phone. It took a lot of googling to work out how to do it and I can see that it will take me a good while yet to get it down pat. Perhaps you can teach an old dog new tricks, it just takes patience.

Till next time, happy stitching!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Brenton Blue Butterfly

I worked on this little butterfly some while ago but couldn't show it to you at the time. It was an interesting change from counted thread embroidery for me. The stitches I chose were simple, beginning with a stem stitch outline, then backstitch, chain stitch, satin stitch, French knots, bullion knots - only 2 little ones! and couching for the trellis. I really am out of practice. Those French knots wobbled all over!

Brenton Blue butterfly - Lyn Warner
Our local embroidery guild was asked to contribute towards the goody bags for the Ighali Embroidery Convention in Knysna held in August. We could choose from a range of photographs associated with Knysna and, with the threads provided, work a small embroidery using a technique of our own choosing. The finished embroideries were made up into little notebook covers. I was enchanted by the blue butterfly.

Image courtesy of Discover Sedgefield
You may wonder why a blue butterfly was included in the range of photos we could choose from?

The Brenton Blue is a critically endangered butterfly found only in a very small Nature Reserve in Knysna, South Africa. Other known populations have disappeared due to the encroachment of housing and the consequent diminishing vegetation that the Brenton Blue depends on for it's survival.

The good news? Careful management of the Brenton Blue Nature Reserve has resulted in an increase in the butterfly population and plans are to re-introduce it eventually to other areas in the southern Cape where it was originally found. Details of the studies conducted into the life cycle of the Brenton Blue and the ecology of it's habitat are on the website here. I found it fascinating that ants play a protective role in the life cycle of the butterfly.

Till next time, happy stitching!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Making up Kits

Long time, no blog post! Winter's unwelcome bugs made themselves felt here and things rather ground to a halt for a while. I have done no stitching for weeks but I did do something embroidery related.

Dresden Lily by Lyn Warner
Unfortunately I had to cancel my Dresden Lily pulled thread class that I was scheduled to teach at Ighali*. Talk about disappointing! I was so looking forward to it. Apologies again to everyone who had booked and who at the last minute had to transfer to other classes. It seems I missed a most wonderful embroidery convention this year. You can see some photos here on the Cape Embroiderers' Guild Facebook page.

Even though I would not be going to Knysna to teach at Ighali, I was very pleasantly surprised when I was asked to send along my kits. I had done some preparation and thought it would be quick to finish assembling them, but somehow kits always take longer to prepare than I expect.

Not feeling my best, I did a little each day and I even had my very sweet cleaning lady to help measure out the thread on the day when she came in to work.

In the end the kits were completed. Linen cut and edged, printing done, envelopes ready, threads labelled and notes tweaked.

Carefully checking the contents for each kit, almost there...

I intended to try and avoid any plastic packaging but in the end I decided that it would keep the materials clean and safe. Better safe than sorry - echoes of my mom and my gran there. The ziplock bags can also be used to store the work in progress.

Happiness is ... finally slipping the printed instructions and the materials into their prepared and labelled envelopes. I was so pleased to have this step completed that I forgot to take a photo of the kits all packed and ready to go. 

The other photo that I missed taking was putting the envelopes into a large Corn Flakes box for the car trip to Knysna!!! Well, maybe not elegant, but everything did arrive safely. I had lots of help, and offers of help along the way, and I thank everyone for the part they played in getting the kits to their recipients! 

By next time, I hope to have tracked down the little project I worked on some time ago but couldn't reveal at the time.

Till then, happy stitching!

*Ighali means 'threads' in one of the 11 official languages in South Africa and is the name of a national embroidery convention held every two years.
Acknowledgement: The Lily was adapted from a photo with permission of owner and author Heather Toomer.

Friday, July 15, 2016

World Embroidery Day

World Embroidery Day is celebrated around the world on the 30th July. Here is a little of what will be happening this year in our neighbourhood to spread the word about embroidery and share our love of embroidery.

From Broderiakademin, the Swedish Embroidery Guild.
One of the Cape Embroiderers' Guild members has been encouraging local schools to participate by scheduling a little time for pupils to spend with needle and thread and explore the creative joy of stitching. It is quite sad that needlework is no longer a part of the curriculum in South Africa. I so enjoyed my needlework classes at school.

A local embroidery shop is hosting a stitch-in and others are gathering groups of friends to bring along a project and enjoy the camaraderie of our passion. There may even be a group stitching at a local shopping centre and letting the public peek over their shoulders and have a look at what treasures can be made with the simple means of fabric, needle and thread.

The CEG are also spreading the word about WED via their Facebook page and hoping that embroiderers everywhere will get together in groups and celebrate the sheer enjoyment of embroidery. Visit the CEG Facebook Page here.

The idea for a World Embroidery Day was born in Sweden and took place on 30th July 2011. You can read more about the intention in the one page manifesto here. It did make me think more broadly about this age-old activity that so many of us enjoy as a relaxing hobby and a creative outlet.

I would love to hear about what you are doing on Saturday 30th July on World Embroidery Day. Do leave a comment in the comment box below.

In the words of the manifesto, may your day on 30th July be filled with creativity for the sake of Peace, Freedom and Equality.

Happy Stitching!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Truro Cathedral Church Embroidery

There are two blogs posts on Hands Across the Sea Samplers that anyone interested in Church embroidery should not miss seeing. You will find the first one by clicking here and the second one here.

These are just a few of the wonderful images captured on a visit to Truro cathedral that appear on the Hands Across the Sea Samplers blog.

Truro Cathedral with altar cloth (Source Hands Across the Sea Samplers)

Burse (Source: Hands across the Sea Samplers)

Stole (Source: Hands Across the Sea Samplers)

Angel wing (Source: Hands Across the Sea Samplers)
There are a number of vestments decorated with silk embroidery and goldwork that were photographed and that are included on the blog.

I love the photo of the needleworkers of the Cathedral Sewing Guild that meet every week and stitch in the cathedral.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Danielle Clough - embroidery, rackets and shoes

Some of you may remember those old wooden tennis rackets. The Cape Town textile artist and photographer Danielle Clough has put them to another use. She embroiders on rackets...

Aloe on a racket by Danielle Clough

Face on a racket by Danielle Clough

and shoes.

Rat on pair of shoes by Danielle Clough
The embroidery is all done with a variety of wool and thread. If, like me, you are interested in what the back of the work looks like, take a peek at the back of the Rat on a racket, by clicking here.

Rat on racket by Danielle Clough
Danielle learned to embroider only three years ago and has embroidered a large number of pieces in that short time. You can see more of her work on both her website and on Instagram
Humming bird by Danielle Clough
'Till next time, happy stitching!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Variegated threads

Variegated threads are fun to work with, especially if choosing colours is not your strong point. Years ago I found Anchor multi-coloured threads on a trip to Bangkok and I happily added some to my stash to try out.

A crazy patch pincushion,

 a mini stitch sampler needlebook,

and a herringbone stitch sampler all enlivened by variegated threads.

On the Create and Stitch website I found this today.

DMC have brought out a new range of variegated threads. I can't wait to see them.

Now to pack for a family get together in Sedgefield, along the Garden Route, a beautiful part of the country.

Till next time, happy stitching!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Stitching In The Garden

The last few days have been glorious typical autumn weather in Cape Town. Perfect for sitting under the tree and stitching. That's where I was this morning.

The shady corner of the garden is full of purple plectranthus, a sure sign that it's autumn. 

The pink hibiscus has put on a splendid show for weeks.

A peek at the mountain from the other end of the garden. It's seldom that it is without it's tablecloth of cloud.

It didn't take long for the sun to creep over and then it was too hot to sit out and stitch.

Enjoy the last of the weekend and happy stitching!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

WWII Sampler

Every now and then I come across a blog that makes for good reading. The blog posts on Hands Across The Sea Samplers is my latest find. The daily posts include the history behind the samplers and there are sometimes video links to the topic of the day that one would normally not come across.

Yesterday's post focuses on a sampler stitched by Major Alexis Casdagli, a WWII prisoner of war. The daring of the man is not immediately apparent in the sampler. Read more about this sampler on Hands Across The Sea Samplers here and more about the Major in the Telegraph here.

Major Casdagli's sampler (Hands Across The Sea Samplers)
And Jane Austen fans will enjoy this post here.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Space Embroidery

Do you remember the photographs the first astronauts took of earth from space? It was the rich blues of our planet that remain imprinted on my mind's eye.

Earth by Navid Baraty
If you would like to capture images of space with needle and thread you will find a small selection of cross stitch patterns by Navid Baraty in the Etsy shop SpaceNavid. I love how the colours pop out against the black background of space.

Mars by Navid Baraty
As a child I had visions of becoming an astronaut and travelling through space, all fueled by the space missions of the great space race between the USA and Russia. We can but dream.