Sunday, June 17, 2018

Rose and Pomegranate

I don't know about you but most of us have a favorite designer or two. Their work has such a great look that everyone likes the pieces.
One of my favorite designers is Cynthia Jackson. She lives in Canada so I don't see her very often but have enjoyed taking several classes from her and we have taught at some of the same seminars.
The  pieces are American Ivy and Corinthian Column.
Last year  I was lucky enough to notice that she was going to teach at the national EGA seminar in the fall of 2018 and asked if I could be in the pilot class for one of the classes. She said yes, so I have spent a number of hours working on one of the pieces.  It is called Rose and Pomegranate and was adapted from a design created for Henry VIII and his first wife Katherine of Aragon. It is the Tudor Rose of  England and the Pomegranate from Spain.
The design is wonderful and I enjoyed working with the silk, gold and silver threads and metals.There was a technique that she used that was new to me and gives a fabulous look to the leaves where it was used.  Colored threads are couched over metal plate so that just some of the gold peeks through  the silk.

  I have featured Corinthian Column before on the blog,
This piece is called American Ivy and the technique is English Goldwork.
Some of the leaves are painted green leather and others are colored bullion.

I have finally started putting pencil to paper for my casket project. So as I start stitching, I will post some of the work. I am starting with the smallest bands on the lid and will work my way down to the larger areas. I am so excited to get started.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The TRIKET BOX is Finished!!!!

I finally finished the last of the projects from the Cabinet of Curiosities class from Tricia Wilson Nguyen.
It has been a fabulous journey of learning and discovery. I have always wanted to stitch a seventeenth century needlework casket, and Tricia's class is making that possible. I am not sure how many of us knew what we were getting into when we started but it has been so worth the ride.
My Gold Fish trinket box looks "fabulous" and I can't wait to get started on the big casket. I have ideas galore, a theme and a name. It will be Kathrin's Kist since she is from Scotland and an old term for a  box is a kist.

The gold background silk of my embroidery is on my box is some wonderful heavy gold Scalamandre fabric from a past project. Because it is such a strong color I decided to use a limited number of colors of threads on it.  I used antique Chinese gold thread for the couched lines plus Chinese and French silks and for the embroidery.
The fabric for the top is an ivory Duchesse silk. The green and blue are Chinese silk, the gold and ivory are French Soie de Paris silk. I threw all kinds of gold metallic threads into the design; English gold-work bullion and purls, Chinese gold thread, Japanese gold threads and French paillettes are all used together. The gold fish is padded so that it is raised above the surface of the box.
I was going to use a gold and white paper for the box but ended up using a hand made gold and green marbelized paper with a dark gold silk for the lining.
The gold braid is the perfect shade to match the gold silk and gold leaf feet finish the box.

Here are the flowers on the back of the box. My three daughters have favorite flowers and so I added them to the back of the box. They are a sunflower, a daisy and a columbine.
 This side of the box features pea pods and a potato flower.

I love daffodils and carnations so they are on the front of my box .

The marbled paper lines the lid to finish off the box.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Blackwork Hearts and Students

Sometime ago I designed and wrote the instructions for a couple of small blackwork projects that I donated to the Embroiderers' Guild of American to use as Petite Projects. These projects are small but work really well to introduce stitchers to a new technique or just to work a fun piece of embroidery.
It is fun to  hear from groups that are stitching one of them as a guild project.
The ladies of the Northern Arizona Stitches were kind enough to send some photos of their pieces. They meet in Sedona Arizona - which is one of my favorite places to visit. Kathy and Margaret are holding their work. Congratulations to everyone in the guild.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Finally the "quilt " is finished - the twenty year project

Finally........ I started a quilt in 1997. It was a lovely quilt, the cover quilt on a calendar, but it was soooooo much work that it didn't get finished. At least not while the quilt group was working on it and it got put away. I thought about it quite a few times and even got the flowers and leaves ready to applique, but there it sat until I moved into my new workroom and actually found all of the fabric. Then about six months ago I started finishing the applique border blocks. I changed the corner blocks so the quilt would be square and finished those too. I created a block of my house for the center also.  I still had to cut all of the Irish chain blocks and sew it all together but I did it and now I can share it with you. The quilt that was started in 1997 is finished in 2018!
So take heart of of those out there who have that UFOs (unfinished objects) out there, success can be at the end of a long trail of stitches.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Gold Fish and Trinket box

I want to share my very glittery gold fish with you.  This is for the top of the trinket box that is part of the Cabinet of Curiosities.
I used off white silk fabric for the background. The threads include a blue and a green silk from China. I was able to purchase some threads when we visited the school at Suzhou and I really like using them. I also used Soie de Paris in shades of gold and cream that are the same threads that I used on the sides.
I tried to use gold threads that were not too bright so the fish looked more like the color of a real Koi.
The metal threads include an antique gold couching thread from China,  a rich antique gold #1 Japanese thread, various bullions and pearl purls and paillettes.

All four of the sides and the top are finished so now comes the terrifying challenge of gluing the embroidery to paper and the paper to the wooden box.  I have gold braid for the edges and will gold -leaf the feet. I was able to find some fabulous hand made paper in gold and white for the interior.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Fish and Rabbits and Angels Oh My!

I have been working on a number of very different things in the past few weeks.

Here is the oval outline for the top of the trinket box finished. You can see the outline of the fish that will be in the center. She will feature lots of gold - gold thread, gold bullion and at least one bead.

I went into a knitting store to find some yarn and what did  I see. A row of the most darling sweaters. They were designed for some animals called Little Cotton Rabbits. I just had to visit the site and not only were the sweaters but dresses and animals of all kinds. Rabbits (of course) and bears and elephants and on and on.  So cute. So.... now I have the patterns for the sweaters and dresses and rabbit girl and bear boy. Plus I may have to get at least one other critter.
Here is my first rabbit in her "underdrawers" and  in her dress.

These are some little cloth angels that I made for my quilting group. They were fun to do but much more work than I thought they were going to be. Small and simple was my thought.... not quite but I love how they turned out. Several of the members of the group have been quilting once a month for maybe twenty years.  One day I will gather photos of all the quilt tops that we have created and post them to share.

While Rosy Cheeks is growing. She now has the alphabets finished. I am about a third of the way finished.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Retail Patterns - new blog

Times changes, the world turns and things move on....I know great platitude but true.
For the past 9 years Kelmscott Designs has been distributing my retail patterns. She called be several weeks ago to let me know that they were making some changes and would not be able to take any new patterns. Well.. since I still want to design and sell, I needed to do something else. So I set up new blog with all of the current retail patterns on it and contact information so that they could still be purchased. The blog address is: and the email is

So far I have talked to the Craftcenter of Fine Stitchery and they will have all of the patterns available.  I know that some shops still have patterns in stock and I will be contacting others. If you have a shop and are interested please let me know.

Shops that carry my patterns
Craftcenter of Fine Stitchery
Their contact information is or call 801-944-4994

As I add more stores I will add them to the list on the blog.

A great big THANK YOU to all of those you have and will continue to support that part of my life and business.