Half way through the year already! Since the weather began to warm up, it seems as if time is flying.
Milady's Blossom Garden, a Drawn-Thread Sampler, is now available to buy on the website. This one started out as a Stitch-A-Long for members of The Stitch Specialists and it was hugely popular with those wanting to learn the technique, and those with more experience who enjoy the technique already. Milady's Blossom Garden is finished framed or as a bell-pull, with the option of finishing with a pretty drawn-thread hem.
I am very excited to be receiving my new Aristo lap stand by Needle Needs very soon. I've been on their waiting list for both the lap and floor stand for some time; all the stands and frames are hand-made and it's worth the wait. I'm really looking forward to trying out the Aristo for the first time!
The current Stitch A Long on The Stitch Specialists, Seasons Sampler SAL, is now into 'Summer' and seems to be a hit with those stitching it. I chose roses and fuchsias as my summer flowers - along with buzzing bees of course! Why not join us? It is still being offered at a special, reduced price to members of The Stitch Specialists, until the end of August. Click on the 'forum' link above to find out about our online community.
It's been a long, hard winter for me - and for many other Fibro sufferers, or those with arthritis or similar pain conditions affected by weather, I don't doubt! I have been busy with the new Stitch-A-Long for The Stitch Specialists, Seasons Sampler, which is now up and running, although there is still time to join in if you'd like! You can find out a little more about it here.
I am so happy to be seeing signs of spring popping up here in Gloucestershire - daffodils are being followed by the first bluebells, baby wild rabbits are appearing in my garden (much to the delight of my dogs!) and buds are appearing on trees. It's great to see a bit of sun now and again, too!
I have a new design on the website for you to see - The Mojo Sampler has a whopping 34 different stitches for you to learn, each one with carefully drawn diagrams and clear instructions. Originally a Stitch-A-Long, you are taken on a step-by-step journey through the sampler. I have mine finished as a tin-topper but I thought it would make a wonderful thread-sorter, if you added dowels top and bottom and then hung another dowel beneath for looping threads. If you have other finishing ideas, why not share them on The Stitch Specialists? Click on the forum page to discover how to join either the Yahoo group or the Facebook group - or both!
Hi everyone, sorry I've been so quiet - but I have been busy!
We have a new Facebook group for you to join! You don't need to be a member of the Yahoo Group, although if you ever want to join in with the S-A-Ls, these will still be run on a Yahoo Group so you'll still need a Yahoogroups account. If you'd like to join the Facebook Group, click here!
I've also started a Youtube Channel, and although it's very early days yet, I've posted my very first video - please be kind, LOL! I've chosen to talk to you about some of my favourite Stitch Dictionaries, so if you're in the market for one of these essential books, do have a look.
What a year 2014 has been!
In the Spring, DH and I decided to indulge ourselves with a brand new 4-berth caravan. Now we could leave beds made up all the time, and even take our adult children away with us (previous holidays had forced them to sleep in the awning, and on one occassion, it rained so hard they woke 'floating' on their airbeds!).
On The Stitch Specialists Yahoo Group, I released the SAL for 2014, the 'Mojo Sampler' - a learning piece that has thirty different speciality stitches to learn! Phew!
My wonderful, clever son became ill, and had to come home from his University where he was doing his Ph.D. Life was put on hold while we cared for him. We were very worried indeed for some considerable time, but to our enormous relief, a correct diagnosis was finally found and I am delighted to say he is back at University, none the worse for his adventure!
My equally wonderful and clever daughter got a 1st in her degree, and within a couple of months, had found a job. She is now a fully-functioning, qualified, Occupational Therapist - I am so proud of her! The last few weeks have been a whirl, finding her accommodation and getting her settled in. Her little house is so tiny it has been affectionately named "The Wendy House", but it suits her perfectly.
With all of this going on, I've had very little time to stitch OR design! I do have a new piece to show you all - the Fireworks Stitcher's Companion that was last year's freebie on The Stitch Specialists forum is now up for sale, so if you missed it as a freebie, you can now buy it!
There are lots of 'irons in the fire' with regards to upcoming designs, however - I am putting together the 2015 SAL for The Stitch Specialists as we speak.
Happy stitching everyone!
We have just celebrated our 3rd Birthday on The Stitch Specialists Yahoo Group! I can hardly believe it - where did the time go?
To help celebrate, I created a design called the Fireworks Stitcher's Companion, and given it FREE to all members - you can see it on the Forum page. This beautiful and practical case has a pocket for your precious embroidery scissors, and places for all the different sizes of needle used in counted stitch work. You can use one, two or even three different colours of fabric (provided they are the same type and count). It uses only 2 colours of stranded floss, one metallic, and beads, so it's very easy on your budget, too! The PDF comes with detailed instructions to work the stitches and to make up the case.
In addition, I am offering 50% off to all members of The Stitch Specialists, from now until 23rd December - perfect for those last-minute Christmas gifts! If you are not a member yet, now is the perfect time to come and join us!
It has been a long, hard winter in the UK, and also for me. Many of you know I have Fibromyalgia Syndrome along with other health issues, and the extended winter put me into flare which proved to be very stubborn! Everything suffered, from my own stitching, to designing, and even trips away in my much loved 2-berth tourer caravan, William, were put on hold.
However - Spring is FINALLY starting to put in an appearance. Daffodils (somewhat stunted, poor things!) have bravely stuck they cheerful little faces out in the garden, and the birds are proclaiming that the winter is over!
I have a new Hardanger design to offer you,
A Confetti of Hardanger
Well, I say 'design' - it's more of a book! The PDF has over 70 pages!! It was designed as a learning piece from those new to the technique, to those wishing to expand on their knowledge. It took a lot of hard work to put together and I know it took a lot of hard work on the part of those TSS Members who got to try it out as a SAL, first! But the results speak for themselves - I'm always delighted and amazed at what stitchers can produce with my designs, but this time I was left speechless with admiration! Go and have a look at the Gallery to get an idea of what I mean!
The Stitch Specialists is revving itself up for another year of stitching. The new SAL has just been announced - why not go to the forum page to get a sneak peak?
And in the pipeline there are a host of designs waiting to be stitched up, the final touches to be made, and finally shared with you all, so do please keep coming along to see if there's anything new.
Where has the year gone? I have been so buzzzzzy working on new designs, and chatting on The Stitch Specialists. Such as lot has been going on that two designs I hoped to offer much earlier in the year have been delayed, but I am happy to announce they are now ready!
The Great Escape
Each Sweet Stitch
Both of these designs were created to be worked on hand-dyed fabrics! I adore hand-dyed fabrics - they add such dimension to a design, and used correctly can really 'add' to a design rather than detract from it. Not enough information is 'out there' about how to use these stunning fabrics and frequently stitchers are put off, disappointed with results, because they don't understand how to choose or alter thread-colour choices in order to make the most of the colours in the fabric.
If you are just starting out with hand-dyed fabrics for the first time, I recommend Each Sweet Stitch which comes with details information on how to select thread colours for a multi-coloured hand-dyed fabric.
The Great Escape is another teaching piece, perfect for those ready to move on from Tree of Stitches. Far more 'looped' stitches are used in this one, helping the stitcher to increase her skills with tension. Although, as always, I encourage you to use your own colour choices, I do give a little 'extra' help in making those choices in this one, to help you create a piece that is pleasing to your eyes. This one was run as a Stitch-A-Long on The Stitch Specialists - why not join us? You can find out more about the group by clicking on Forum.
November is the Birthday Month for The Stitch Specialists and this year something a little special is being given to the members! Then we will be looking forward to Christmas - I give a Christmas design away every year as my 'gift' to TSS members, so if you'd like to learn lots of new stitching skills, chat to like-minded stitchers, be given exclusive designs, and show off your own stitch progress/stitching, please do come along and join in the fun!
Just added: Kate's Butterflies Sewing Set!
This set was created just for Kate R, who was my partner in the spring scissor-case exchange on The Stitch Specialists. The exchange was a big success and some truly awesome cases were created - not just in counted stitch work, either! At least one other lady created her own design and there were cases ranging from simple folded pockets to ones with clasps, from whitework to silk-surface embroidery, and everything in between. It was such a treat to see pics of them all!
Nearly ready to show you is Each Sweet Stitch, a small sampler absolutely crammed with speciality stitches, yet retaining a delicate feel. It's small enough to be made into a needleroll or used to cover the front of a notebook, but large enough to make an impact if framed. This one is perfect for stitching up on one of those 9x12 cuts of hand-dyed fabrics that many dyers offer!
I am away for a holiday for the last half of this month; my son is very kindly looking after things for me on the website and at home; but please be patient, it may take a bit longer to fulfill orders between 18th-30th June.
Those of you waiting for Confetti of Hardanger, I will be sorting out sign-ups after I return from holiday.
The Stitch Specialists will be left in the more than capable hands of Marguerite and Nancy - thank you both, ladies, for your continued hard work!
I wish you all a very happy June and I'll be back in July to chat to you about my latest designs.
May has been a buzzzzy month for me! My first month in business and lots of designing and stitching!
A big thank you to all my lovely customers!
On The Stitch Specialists forum, there have been some more finishes and progress photos shown of The Tree of Stitches, one of which is being worked entirely in metallics - wow!! Well done ladies! The Great Escape SAL has now closed and stitchers are busy working on their finishing touches - I hope to have this one for sale on the website in July, and (crossed fingers) a new Gallery to show off all those wonderful 'Wols' :-)
The new Hardanger Stitch-A-Long "A Confetti of Hardanger" has been shown off - take a look under the forum page for a 'sneak peak' - and this will be starting in July, available for a small fee to members of The Stitch Specialists ONLY.
Sadly I have already become a victim of Copyright theft. I ask you all to PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE shun sites that encourage the sharing of designs! They are ILLEGAL, whatever country you live in, and they are killing the needlework business. Every day, talented designers are being forced out of business, and in turn, pubiishers, on-line needlework shops and local needleworks shops, thread and fabric dyers and manufacturers, are following suit. If you love to stitch, but you're on a tight budget - take a look at the huge number of freebies that many designers provide.
Bee's Needleworks is finally up and running!
April has lived up to it's reputation of sunshine and showers in the UK this year! I have seen all four seasons in one day, more than once this month! The fruit trees in my garden have come into blossom, the bluebells are just starting to bloom, but they are all being blasted by strong winds, hail, and driving rain at the moment!
I am buzzzy working on a number of new designs, including a needleroll, pulled thread sampler, mixed-speciality stitch sampler, needlework accessories set, and a new Hardanger SAL which will be available exclusively to TSS Members (click on the 'Forum' button to find out about The Stitch Specialists).
I'm also working on a second Tree of Stitches which will have more of a summer theme - keep watching for new announcements!