William Morris: finished stitching

This project has been all over the place – mostly coffee shops if I’m honest. But the stitching is finally finished..

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The hard work doesn’t stop here though

I need to mount the piece..

I’m turn between mounting it in a frame as I have my Royal School of Needlework pieces, or mounting it in a hoop.. The circular design might lend itself quiet nicely to being mounted in a round hoop.

What do you think??

Busy busy week: RSN exhibition and By hand London party

On Thursday I spent the day at Hampton Court, stewarding the RSN Certificate & Diploma exhibition.

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Unfortunately photography was not allowed in the exhibition, but I took some of the beautiful gardens..

I had a lovely day meeting some great people and showing off some amazing work.

Spending pretty much a whole day in the room with all that embroidery was amazing. It gave me a real opportunity to see the detail in the work. To spot the tiny amount of silver thread in the blackwork badger, and the tiny ball on a stumpwork golfer that was actually needle lace.

I took my William Morris piece with me so I had something to be working on when it was a bit slow ( I didn’t get very much done!). I got some lovely compliments on it and hopefully will be able to share the finished piece soon!!

This was followed by a party on Friday night. A while ago I contributed to a kickstarter project that my husband spotted. The lovely girls of By hand London were looking for funds to set up a print studio for printing your own design on fabric.

Friday night was a thank you to all the people who had supported the project. We descended on a quiet Street in Peckham, the locals kept looking out of their windows and the police kept driving by to see what was going on. Most of the women there were clothing sewers so there was a great array of colourful dresses on display. I was wearing a shop bought skirt which I was asked for the pattern for several times :)

Being a bad blogger I didn’t take any photos, but I’ve spotted a couple of posts from some of the lovely people I met, so linky love goes here and here

it has totally inspired me to have a go at making clothes for myself. I spotted this circle skirt this morning.. Just need to look for some fabric.  All of mine is 100% cotton quilting fabric.. Just don’t tell my husband!

More William Morris embroidery

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Yesterday I had a busy day stitching on my William Morris embroidery.

It started the day looking like this:

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I’ve done a lot of the stitching on this one in my local coffee shop! I spent an hour doing French knots on one of the flowers.

I spent the afternoon finishing that flower by outlining the petals in stem stitch.

The final flower I kept simple, the leaves are feather stitch, the centre is cream satin stitch and the outlines are stem stitch.

Here’s a close up of all 4 flowers.

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I just have 3 leaves to go to finish it up! Then comes the mounting..

Embroidery health & safety

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When I worked in an office we had a dedicated health & safety nurse.
When I hurt my arm she came to assess my work station, gave me RSI protection software that forced me to take a break after 30 mins of typing. She got me a new mouse & speech recognition software.

Now I’m on my own.

Embroidery & quilting and blogging about embroidery & quilting. All of which has very repetitive actions, all of which could easily cause problems with my health.

So I’m very careful with my work set up. I use trestles to support my embroidery frame and make sure it’s at a good height so I’m not bending over too much.

This sounds silly but I watch TV while I stitch so that I keep looking up & stretching my neck and eyes.

I try to take the dog out in the middle of the day so that again I get a decent stretch.

I have a few different projects on the go at once so if I am finding my arm’s beginning to ache or that my eyes are getting tired I can get the machine out and do some quilting or write blog post.

The lighting in our kitchen is amazing, we have a glass pyramid in the ceiling – I think it’s officially called a roof lantern !? – glass doors and a big window.

Finally I keep up with my eye tests so I can be sure I’m not damaging my eyes with such close work. That’s where I was this morning and, despite spending the hour before my eye test doing French knots, I got the all clear for another couple of years!

Does anyone have any tips? Or do you roll your eyes at the thought?!!

Royal School of Needlework exhibition

It seems a bit surreal, but a year after I subunits my last piece I get my Certificate from the RSN on Monday.

Part of this involves exhibiting my work at Hampton Court Palace, which I am very excited about!

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On Monday I lugged a heavy bag of my work chocked with bubble wrap ( it was only when I got off the train at Hampton Court that I thought I could have taken it in a suitcase!).

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I think the silk shading was the hardest one!

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The canvas was my favourite – I’ll try and get a photo of it framed as it looks brilliant!

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And finally the Gold..

I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone’s work all finished..

If you’re around or heading to the flower show, the exhibition runs from the 8th – 13th July 2014. I’ll be there on the 10th.

I love comments so don’t be shy, let me know what you think…

Day o’ fun & the V & A wedding dress exhibition

A very good friend of mine come over from States once in a blue moon and we get together for a day o’ fun.
This year we started with the Wedding dress exhibition at the V& A and it was well worth a visit.

Unfortunately there was no photography allowed, however I found this article on Paperblog which is just chocked full of photos. It works it’s way through from historical dresses (1775 onwards) downstairs. From the older dresses made to be worn again and with amazing tiny embroidery stitches as decoration. To the big society weddings of the 1930s – check out Margaret Whigham’s gown by Norman Hartnell – to the austerity of the war years. Then going upstairs you get the more modern dresses. The amazing purple worn by Rita Von Teese, Kate Moss’s gown which is just stunning – the photos do not do the detail on this dress justice! – to the Duchess of Cornwall’s wedding outfit – again so great to see this one up close.

My favourites were the flower bomb by Jan Stuart which is pretty wild and for the embroidery, which apparently took 6months, a dress by Anna Lin Xiaojing.

I so wish I had photos to share here, but do check out that article or if you can get to the V &A before May 2015 go see they exhibition.

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I do have a photo of my friend Jo and I in the V & A courtyard cafe.

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Erin & Angela with pre afternoon tea cocktails.

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The tea service at The Sanderson Hotel where we had our fancy lady tea.

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… and the amazing Alice In Wonderland themed afternoon tea we shared ( this stand was for 2 of us..).

The little bottles had drink me labels and were layered smoothie, compot and foam..

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I love comments so don’t be shy, let me know what you think…