Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Oh my, I love to embroider...part 1.

I have always sewn since way back as a wee lass learning at primary school.  I was taught 'cooking and crafts' by Mrs M whom I remember enjoyed the sun. As in 'looked like an old leather handbag' liked the sun and wore an incredible amount of ugly gold jewelery and had pillar box red talons.  Not nails, dear readers, t-a-l-o-n-s!! Her hands freaked me out because she she would insist on keeping those rings on when she had her hands in flour.  To this day I hate to see someone baking with rings on and never ever, not on your nelly, do I keep mine on.  Any kind of food under someones rings gives me the boak!  Worse still under those talons.  I blame Mrs M for me never wearing nail varnish either.  Put me off for life. The look of her garish, leathery hands has stayed with me even if she was the person who taught me to sew hexagons together and bake cakes.  *shudder*
But I was hooked (not by her talons which would have held me prisoner, pinned forever) and since then I have always felt at home with a needle in my hand.  Later, in my teens, my mum and dad got me a second hand sewing machine. I used it loads, altering things I got in charity shops and generally playing about with it.  I have never fallen in love with a machine as much as with sewing by hand.  There is something so methodically comforting about hand sewing.  It soothes my soul.
Until recently I feel I have only dabbled in embroidery.  Even back in spring I was waxing lyrical about that. Dabbled because in my head embroidery is quite specifically defined.  That is, what I do, the sewing I usually do, is not embroidery. I suppose, for me, embroidery is prettifying, embellishing with stitches.  I don't know why in my head I think I didn't do it.  I am a loon as it's obvious I do embroider and always have. I was just calling it sewing, which it is, duh!!

A while back I bought Alicia Paulson's Daisychain sampler pattern from her shop because I was going to learn how to embroider properly (right, I know, thicko alert).  Ignoring the fact that I knew how to do quite a lot of the stitches described in it, 'I sew not embroider' was imbedded deep. Oh my it was a revelation, I found the thing I love to do more than anything.  I am all about a needle in hand.  I had started to get that when I was sewing thousands of hexies together by hand.  I enjoyed it way too much even with the pain of aching joints and getting spiked under nails and through fingers.  I felt hardcore folks!  But I had found 'my thing'. The sampler was going to be my way of practicing new stitches with something at the end of it.  I wasn't a fan of alphabet things, well I thought I wasn't.  I am all over breaking assumptions in crafting!  I loved the end result.  'I made that' was a grin plastered to my face!

Here's some shots...

Once finished I put it in a frame and it now hangs in my bedroom reminding me of the joy I had sewing it. My boys and I ask each other what letter is our favourite and before we know it we each have said pretty much all the letters. It is that pretty!

Once this was finished I moved on to a new project called 'Crafty Shelves' which I will save for another day.  Wouldn't want to bombard you with too much gorgeousness at once.  I thought we could spread it out for longer appreciation of the joys of embroidery.  You agree, yes?


Find me on Twitter and Instagram as jammypudding.


  1. I also love sewing by hand. However... I'm nowhere near as neat and careful as you are! Either I'm in too much of a hurry to finish, or I'm plain ham-fisted. Still, it's fun :D xx

  2. Oh my, that is loverly! As you say, pretty much every letter is a favourite, but I am especially taken by Q and R. Look forward to seeing your next embroi- er, sewing project!

  3. What a beautiful piece! I love hand sewing too, I like the slow pace and 'thinking time' it brings. Can't wait to see part 2.
    Glad to see you back, I just read your older post - hope your mojo is coming back! x

  4. It looks great framed up - I'm not surprised you enjoy looking at it, I imagine it's one of those things you can find something different to admire each time. I used to love embroidery (although I ended up doing theatre/costume design, I actually also got into college to do a textile degree, specialising in embroidery) but oddly I mostly work on a machine these days, with hand stitched details. Perhaps I need to start working by hand more. Can't wait to see the next sampler. Beth/thelinencatx

  5. Fantastic! It looks beautiful framed....and I'm so with you on nail varnish....uurgh!

  6. That is just simply stunning - I envy your talent :)

    Also the fact your threads are so neat and tidy - mine are a tangled mess :(

  7. I love to cross stitch but I would love to be able to embroider like yo, your work is so pretty.

  8. Just beautiful x I can't decide which is my fav but I'm quite taken with 'i'! I know exactly what you mean about finding your thing which soothes your soul. For me though tis crochet (big surprise, not!). I've searched for years for my thing and when I finally found it two years ago it was with much joy!!! lol

    Jo x x x

  9. You did such a great job!!! I've had this kit for a good year now but have been too intimidated to try it...

  10. This looks wonderful, you really did an awesome job :) The colours you used are perfect xx


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