Now is not the time for getting to grips with the garden, no matter how much I long to get out there it’s far too wet. This means I can order yet more seeds…done….Read gardening magazines….just too frustrating. What better then than doing some sewing…

Well last weekend it was the RSPB’s bird watch count and as we all know lots of birds are facing problems what with loss of habitat and the use of chemicals to name a couple. So Monday morning I couldn’t believe my eyes when outside my workroom window were 20 + Goldfinches. We have had Goldfinches now for quite a number of years but I’ve never seen so many at one time. Sparrows use to be the most seen bird in many gardens, even when we lived as children in the built up areas of our city you would always see sparrows. Now they are becoming much rarer. After seeing the Goldfinches I had to get something down in stitch.

You may remember me making a journal that I was going to fill with painted and stitched images, well I have managed to fill a few pages as I have posted in the past. So here is my latest page…..


Using scraps of fabric and dyed silk, I first made shapes and bonded them to a backing fabric. With my old Bernina I free machined over the shapes building up a texture with more and more stitching, adding an eye with a tiny bronze sequin and bead. Once I was happy with this I cut the shape out, padded it slightly under the body and glued this to one of the pages.


The back ground is made up of paint and torn painted paper glued to the page.


I am quite happy with the image. So now I’ve managed to filled another page. I started the journal in 2009 and this is only my 4th image so it will take me a while yet to fill it.

Now looking for more inspiration……….. Sue




Filed under Machine Embroidery, Sewing Room, Textiles

Revamp..Part 1

My long overdue revamp of the garden has started, albeit slowly. One tree, my medlar has gone plus a few overgrown, well passed their ‘sell by date’  shrubs. This has opened up an area to much more light giving my favourite roses more breathing space. Over the last few years the arch holding up the wisteria has looked decidedly skew, so Mr Malc took it down, leaving the climbers looking a bit perilous. In the coming few days, weather permitting we will be erecting a new arch then moving on to another task…the slow leak in the pond….


The garden looks so sad too.


But just to cheer me and maybe you, here is what I am looking forward to this coming summer.


Also looking forward to a new spot in the garden are the chickens I made years ago, Charlie and Nora.

Oh and a Happy New Year to you all. Hope your new gardening year is as eventful as mine looks like it’s going to be….


Filed under wisteria chickens pond

Winter Wreath

Here I am back in my workroom. It’s cold today and damp under foot, much nicer and warmer indoors. It’s also that time of the year when I make my Christmas wreath but having had a new front door this year there’s no way of hanging one without damaging it. So I’ve opted for something different, I’ve made one from recycled magazine pages and I’ve hung it from the stairs. We could hang lights in the porch but that’s for another day.

After making paper templates of different leaves, I’ve cut loads out of the magazine papers. These I’ve been saving because of interesting images or colours. One was of a ‘snowyscape’, the others were autumnal scenes.Folding creasing and scoring the shapes makes them resemble leaves a bit more.


The base ring is made from wound up trimmings from my Virginia creeper. The leaves are glued on using a low melt glue gun.


Finishing off with some coloured wooden beads.


All hung up to set.


Now in situ…..


As for lights in the porch …that can wait


Filed under Christmas Wreath

Cold Nights Warm Hands

It’s that time of year when my thoughts are of trying to keep my tender plants safe and keeping my hands warm. For a couple of years now I’ve collected woollen sweaters that are past their best, some shrunk, some too bobbly and tired. Now is the right time for a new lease of life…. a pair of fingerless mitts.

Choosing a grey fair isle sweater that matched my winter coat I cut two squares out of it using the rib for the cuff and extending up the body of the sweater for the main part of the mitts. I have decided to needle felt* a design on to the fabric using my embellishing machine. This machine is used only for the purpose of needle felting, there are no sewing threads and it has 5 barbed needles. This makes needle felting quicker and I am able to make a more precise design.


The machine I use is a Husqvarna Viking ER10. The coloured yarns are dyed sheep’s wool bought off the internet.


Using the design of the fairisle as a guide I’ve needle felted the coloured yarns as if I were colouring in a book.


Here you can see the 5 needles and the safety guard. The yarn is laid on top of the grey fabric and the needles quickly mesh and needle felt the fabric.


After marking where I need the thumbs to go I have edged these in green.


Cutting the fabric down to size.


More edging along the top and a lot more needle felting all over the fabric . This firms the fabric up. Now for some hand stitching and beading.


Once this was finished I blanket stitched the seams.


And there you have it, 2 hours work and a cosy pair of mitts.

Now I really need to leave my warm workroom and finish putting those tender plants in the greenhouse….may be tomorrow……

* Needle Felting. Is a process where a barbed needle or needles are repeatedly punched into woollen materials to take on a felted appearance. As opposed to : Wet Felting.

** Wet Felting. Is a process of matting together wool fibers using moisture friction and heat.


Filed under Needle felting

The Bride

It’s not very often that I champion a plant but today I feel this needs a star. Verbascum Chaixii ‘The Bride’ isn’t the sort of flower where you would go ‘WOW’, it’s the plant that is there as a filler quite unassuming, it’s just there. On closer inspection though it is quite lovely.

I love the reverse of these flowers, after opening from deep pink buds they keep a trace of the pink ,looking like strawberry ripple ice cream. The centres are also the same shade as the buds.Growing to around 90 cms tall, easily grown from seed, hardy and is still flowering now. Grown en masse they are making a welcome addition to my rose bed alongside asters, astrantia and verbena bonariensis.

Enjoy your garden before the frosts get hold….


Filed under Champion Flowers