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What did you stitch in your Christmas break?

Here is a picture of what I thought I would enjoy doing at Christmas.  I carted the threads fabric and pattern to my parents home in Tasmania, … and back without having opened it, other than to look at how yummy it is.

Fabulous contemporary Blackwork Sampler

Thanks Courtney Glau, Black Work Show really is a stand out Blackwork sampler.  I want it up on the walls in the shop, and despite the fact that I have too much to do and not enough time to do it.  I WANT IT!

This is what I actually did in my Christmas break, … when the munchkin was asleep.

The eagle eyed amongst you will notice that these are miniatures from the picture posted in our Christmas message on Facebook.  These lovely designs Red Letter Ornaments from Blue Ribbon Designs can be made in the larger design which we had stitched for the shop.  My fabulous stitcher, Margaret also stitched 5 of the 8 miniatures, but ran out of fabric.  For those of you who missed it, here is the picture.


I did the other three.  Then I fell in love with them and had to have a set for my own tree!  The munchkin is also very keen on the Kreinik corder I purchased to completed the twisted cord around the outside.  In the home stretch now and maybe I will be able to finish a few other stitching projects.  (We stitched ours in the DMC on 32 count.  My lovely Margaret may well have said rude things to me if I sent her 40 count linen to stitch on, I know I would have done if someone sent me 40 count linen.)

Also thanks to Mel from South Arm in Tasmania for reminding me to upload the palette for the Danish Flower Threads with their new colours.  Hope these are all legible, if not download the chart, remember colours may differ on your screens and printers from what I actually scanned in.  Here is their new palette.


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Made in France: Blackwork; Our December Book of the Month

Made in France: Blackwork is truly a beautiful book, I bought it for the shop on the strength of the previous titles in this series Made in France and Made in France: Linen and Thread.  We had to wait a couple of months, I am not disappointed.  If ever there was a book that made needlework sexy, this is it.  This is beautiful.  Clear, crisp images in black and white.  Coco Chanel would swoon!  Where do I start?

Of course there are the homewares projects, embellishment of towels for every room of the house, an apron that is not twee, it is smart and crisp and elegant.  An afghan and a sampler have given me some fantastic ideas for a class next year.  Even your “too cool” teenager will be impressed with the personalisation of the canvas satchel for school stuff or a computer bag.

As for garments and embellishment, I have never been one for embroidered shirts but examples here are stylish.  I really love the flower motif on the pants waist band.   I now understand why it took off in Tudor England after the arrival of Katherine of Aragon.  Made in France: Blackwork also has an incredible reference catalogue of motifs to create interest, variety and shading in your work.

Oh yes, … this is a very sexy book indeed!

27th June 2017, unfortunately we are no longer able to get hold of this fabulous title.  If all of your usual searches are not working try a “Google Alert”. Just type <<google alert>> into your browser and follow the prompts and let the Google crawl spiders do the hard for you.  You will receive quite a bit of rubbish and irrelevant stuff but this will still be the most efficient way of tracking it down.  Good luck.











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Blackwork: A New Approach, Our July Book of the Month

Our July Book of the Month

Yes, I know it was first printed in 2000.  Problem is, new blackwork or mono designs are very scarce.  We have had to up our game recently, we have looked around for more books on Blackwork and there is so little available.  It has proven popular with our customers who have endorsed our re-discovery of this book.  Why is this book regaining a following?

Brenda Day provides a comprehensive step-by-step introduction to a needle craft with Moorish origins, dating prior to the thirteenth century, re-invigorated in England by Katherine of Aragon.  Day’s instructions on traditional techniques give the novice and experienced stitcher alike a solid grounding, then moves to projects with contemporary subjects and design.  The subtle increase in density of stitches gives the contemporary stitcher the tools needed for application of shading and light.  This opens a whole new world in blackwork subjects, no longer limited to samplers, or patterns within a single design, landscapes and less obvious subject choices are now possible.

This is best shown the with the sheep grouping on page 97, the result illustrated on the back cover.  With a gentle push and demonstration of use of backstitch, couching, new colours and embellishment accessories, she sets the stitcher off on their own voyage of creativity in this traditional craft.  Brenda Day has breathed new life into an old style of needlework and given it street cred for the new millenium.  Blackwork: A New Approach is a must have addition to the creative/leisure stitchers library, available online and instore now for $34.99.

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Design and stitch for the Pink Ribbon Foundation

This year we are continuing our support for the Pink Ribbon Foundation and the Cancer Council. We have decided against selling our cupcakes or Pink Ribbon merchandise, we want you to create something beautiful to celebrate the battles won and lost against Cancer by those you love. I am having visions of pink and yellow displays, you pick we don’t mind.

The entry fee will be the fundraiser, which means that 100% will go to the Cancer Council and Pink Ribbon Foundation. There will be 3 $25.00 gift vouchers to be won. These will be for the best entry in crewel embroidery, cross stitch, and tapestry/needlepoint. I am sure you have questions, we are still working out the finer details, and will have them available in store and on our website for May 1st, the beginning of our annual May Sale.
Are you a Blackworker? …. It will be judged in the cross stitch section, maybe you could make it pink or yellow.
Longstitcher? … judged amongst the tapestry/needlepoint entries
…. You get the idea

The competition ends October 15th 2010 and we will exhibit the winning entries instore for 2 weeks. For tips on how we will be judging your work, check out my post “Everyone’s a critic …” on March 16th.

We can’t wait to see what you all come up with.

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