I had a fun time teaching needle painting for two days in Montreal and then two days of blackwork and two days of needle painting in Toronto.
It was a little rainy in Montreal but I got to appreciate the humidity and the fun nature of the Quebec embroiderers. They have such a light, fun spirit and are keen learners.
From Montreal I flew to Toronto and got caught at the airport as there was a wind storm in Toronto which shut down the airport for 2 hours. My flight got cancelled and the later flight I managed to get on was delayed by 2 hours so I arrived in Toronto at 1.30 pm, 6 hours after I was scheduled to. But happily I was able to get a flight and arrive in time to teach for the Toronto guild.
The first two days we did blackwork, I allow people to work different designs in the class so that beginner’s and advanced students can attend the same class.
Below are some of the students working on the blackwork Peacock which was the advanced design.
Laura working on her butterfly and Judy working on her peacock.
Progress made on the blackwork butterfly.
Pat and Pia working on their blackwork love birds.
I was lucky enough to celebrate my birthday when I was teaching and both Montreal and Toronto had a chocolate cake to enjoy at the class, which made me happy to no end, celebrating my birthday twice.
I thoroughly enjoyed teaching at both groups. Later I will post pictures from the Toronto needle painting class.
I have all strengths of the magni-clips magnifiers back in stock.
These are great magnifiers that clip onto your glasses and flip up so you can see when you walk around.
I suggest trying reading classes over your regular glasses first to see if magnifiers will work over your glasses as some bifocals don’t focus well with the magni-clips.
I have brought in cotton honeycomb tulle net which is 22 holes to the inch and is an alternative to the polyester net that I sell.
The threads of the honeycomb tulle is slightly thicker in comparison to the polyester tulle so easier to see and to work on.
Both are great for Carrickmacross Lace and Fine White Work and are much nicer quality than standard tulle that is sold for wedding veils.
The blackwork photo gallery page is now set up with pictures of my customers embroideries of my blackwork designs.
If you have stitched one of my blackwork designs from a kit and would like the picture added to the photo gallery page, please email me to let me know.
I will be setting up separate pages for the blackwork on-line class students pictures.
The kit special for March 2018 is the Wild Rose Needle Painting Kit.
This is a great embroidery for learning the foundations of long and short stitch and satin stitch.
In the kit I provide the fabric with the design printed on so that you do not have to transfer the design yourself. The threads come organized on a numbered thread template so that you can immediately start stitching and I provide a detailed instruction booklet with lots of diagrams and tips to guide you through the embroidery.
Visit the following web page to purchase the kit: Wild Rose Kit
For a description of the needle painting technique and to see my designs rated from easy to hard visit the following web page: Needle Painting Information
I now carry John James No. 12 Crewel Embroidery Needles which are the finest surface embroidery needles available.
The needles are slender with a long eye and sharp point and bend less easily in comparison to No. 12 Short Beading needles.
I recommend using the No. 12 Crewel Embroidery Needles for sewing down Purl Metal threads and fine surface embroidery techniques such as Needle Painting embroidery and Fine White Work.
This February I am selling the Hapsburg Lace Sampler Runner at a 25% discount.
This is such a fun project to work and it doesn’t require the power of concentration that some of my other techniques do.
You don’t need an embroidery frame to work the sampler, so it is great to take with you and stitch on when you have a spare minute. The sampler can be rolled small so is easy to transport.
The holes in the canvas are also easy to see so you do not need great lighting to work the piece.
This is my go to technique when I want to relax.
Check out this post by Mary Corbet on the NeedlenThread forum.
I known Mark Harris personally for over a couple of years when he moved with his wife to Canada from Australia and he came around and showed me his beautifully made slate frames.
They have now moved to England and are setting up his workshop there. He is taking pre-orders for slate frames and trestles at a good price, so he can purchase the equipment to make the frames and trestles in England.
I would highly recommend Marks frames and stands.
It may take a while for you to get the slate frame or trestles as he will be busy for a while setting up and making the pre-orders, but it will be well worth the wait.
Russ and I got our new puppy Quincy last June and I had forgotten how much work a new puppy is.
We now have three dogs that need regular grooming and keeping clean which is my job and which takes up several hours of my week.
I love these fluffy boys but it is a life work and eating into my stitching time 🙁
Bathing the two OES took an hour. 6 1/2 Monty is on the left, 10 month old Quincy the puppy is next to Monty and 8 1/2 year old Buster is napping in the kitchen next to the fridge, waiting for it to open and for treats to be popped into his mouth.
I love the Yazzii organizers, they are well made and hold a lot of needlework supplies.
I have used the Yazzii organizer large when I am travelling to teach for many years as the soft case squashes nicely into my suit case.
I have brought in a couple of the larger Yazzii organizers which would be great for taking to classes and meetings or using at home.
It has been a tough start to January 2018 for me, experiencing a heavy cold and cough so sorry for the delay in notification for this months kit of the month.
Calgary is in the middle of a cold winter with lots of snow and I am looking forward to the return of spring but I will take advantage of the snow and still do some kicksledding with Monty.
The kit of the month for January is the Robin on Blossom Branch Needle Painting Kit. This very realistic form of embroidery is worked in DMC embroidery cotton threads on a cotton muslin fabric and is an intermediate to advanced level.
You can see my other needle painting designs on the Needle Painting Information page which are rated from beginners to advanced.
I hope you all had a great holiday season. I have not been active on the blog as I was away visiting my parents with my husband in England, they live in the countryside with very sporadic internet so I took a forced internet break.
It was great to reconnect with my family and to live simply again, chatting lots with my family and husband and resting. No dogs to cater too as they were off having their own fun at dog camp.
Now I am back home and enjoying the cool weather and the dogs again.
I hope you have a happy 2018,
During December I am offering my cross-stitch Meets Blackwork Patterns at $5.00 a PDF Pattern download instead of $15.00 a pattern.
I am also offering my Blackwork Silhouette Patterns at $5.00 for a PDF Pattern download instead of $15.00 a pattern.
The patterns come as easy to read large charts as well as instructions with step by step numbered charts for the blackwork patterns on the embroidery.
All the designs are good for beginners and fun for any level of embroiderer.
Check out Mary Corbets NeedlenThread forum today as she is doing a giveaway for two of my goldwork kits and supplies to work them.
Marys forum is a great resource for hand embroidery information.
Entry for the draw ends on Friday at 5.00 am USA central time.
Berlin Embroidery Designs Cyber Monday Sale!
Enter the following coupon code in the shopping cart for 15% discount off your order.
I have received a new order of metal embroidery threads and I now have the following metal threads back in stock:
Gilt No. 1 Pearl Purl
Gilt No. 3 Pearl Purl
Silver No. 2 Pearl Purl
Gold 2% WM No. 7 Smooth Passing Thread
Gilt No. 6 Smooth Passing Thread
Silver No. 6 Smooth Passing Thread
Copper No. 6 Smooth Passing Thread
Monty and I love the winter, we like it when it snows. When everyone else in the city is longing for a warm day to melt the snow, we are longing for the snow to fall so we can get out in it and have fun
One of the activities we enjoy is kick-sledding.
The kicksled is like a bike but with ski’s, you can stand on the skis and hold onto the handle bars and kick the ground between the skis to push the kicksled forward. Monty also enjoys pulling the kicksled and is a good way for him to run and for me to be with him.
In this video he spots a deer partway into the run. He loves deer and wants to chase them but fortunately I stopped him before he decided to go.
I have added a page to my website with pictures of embroideries that I have stitched of dogs in the needle painting technique.
These embroideries were done as commission pieces or as gifts and are worked from a photograph of the dog.
The kit of the month for November is the floral motif kit reduced by $10.00 Canadian dollars.
The floral motif is a beginners in my surface embroidery kits. Surface embroidery stitches on the design include: trellis patterns, stem stitch, chain stitch, heavy chain stitch, buttonhole stitch, French knots, seeding, spider web filling, herringbone stitch and more.
The embroidery is worked on silk fabric using DMC embroidery cotton threads, metallic threads, organza fabric and silver leather.
The design comes hand drawn on the fabric and the threads are organized on a thread template and numbered. The instructions come with numbered colour guide so you know exactly what colour thread and stitch to work on the embroidery.
I just wanted to show you my two fluffy Old English Sheepdogs, Monty and Quincy the puppy. They bring me much joy and happiness, they are a bit of a distraction at the moment from stitching as I am busy training Monty for agility and the puppy.
Oh and I can’t neglect to mention Buster, my lovely quiet in comparison to the other two, Newfoundland.
I have had not much time to myself over the last two weeks, thanks to the lovely review that Mary Corbet of NeedlenThread wrote about my website with the 10% discount offer and thanks to all my customers who placed orders over the last two weeks.
I still have the 10% discount available on purchases from my website until Friday 27th of October. If you are interested, please visit the NeedlenThread and read the article for the discount code.
I took a couple of days off this past weekend which I spent with Monty my Old English Sheep dog who loves to do agility. This was one of our most fun runs, Monty took an extra jump just before the last tunnel but Monty had fun and this was our smoothest run of the weekend.
I have set up a new webpage where I list my Information PDF files that you can download for free or for a small fee.
The picture opposite is from Mounting an Embroidery Ready for Framing PDF File.
It is much more cost effective to be able to mount your own embroidery ready to go into the frame rather than have the framer do the mounting for you. You are also more in control of how your embroidery is finished.
Take control of all aspects of your embroidery process and you will get a deeper satisfaction of your work. 🙂
Mary Corbet of NeedlenThread wrote a lovely review of my website on Friday, thank you Mary.
With the review she wrote there is a 10% discount code to use on my website until Friday 27th of October, so pop on over to her forum to read the review and to get the code 10% discount code.
Some of you have mentioned to me that it would be nice to have the metal thread information page in a printable file so I have created a PDF file with all the information and pictures that you see on my Metal Thread Information Page.
The PDF file is handy to have as you can easily print of the pages that are of interest to you.
I am charging a small fee for the PDF file to help cover the time it has taken me to create the information page and the PDF file. There are 98 pages in the PDF file with pictures and information and is valuable resource for metal thread embroidery.
Thank you for your support,
I am very proud to announce that four of my stitched hand embroideries are on display at the Glenbow Museum in downtown Calgary from the 7th of October 2017 until the 13th of May 2018 in the Eye of the Needle Exhibition.
The exhibition features needlework from the past and present, traditional and contemporary.
One of the four designs that I have on show is the Blackwork Elephant. This piece took me a year to stitch, over 200 hours of designing and stitching and I am really proud of this piece as I believe it is a true piece of art in technical needlework.
The other three designs are my animal portraits in needle and thread. Each animal is stitched in a single strand of DMC embroidery cotton thread, blending a range of colours to create the realistic fur like effect. This technique of needlework requires hours of stitching experience to get beautiful results.
On Friday night I went to the exhibition opening with my husband Russ and we enjoyed looking around the different exhibitions and taking photos with me and my work. I feel proud to be among over needlework designers from the past and present.
I like to thank Mary-Beth Laviolette the curator for the Eye of the Needle exhibition for giving me this opportunity to display my work.
You can try your own hand at these embroideries as I have written very detailed instructions on how to stitch these pieces of art in needlework. My goal is to pass on my skills to keep these traditional, realistic hand embroidery techniques alive and active among stitchers today and in the future.
I often get asked in my surface embroidery classes such as needle painting what the difference between stem stitch and outline stitch is.
Stem stitch and outline stitch are the most commonly used stitches for lines on surface embroidery. They are worked in a similar method but can have different appearances depending on what thread you use. The main difference being the thickness of the line and the twist of the thread. As I mostly use just one single strand of fine DMC embroidery cotton thread in my designs it is not very noticeable to see the difference so I am not concerned if a stem stitch or an outline stitch is used but it is good to know if you are working on larger designs and using a heavy thread such as perle cotton.
Mary Corbet of NeedlenThread forum wrote this excellent article on stem stitch versus outline stitch which is well worth reading. There are also video instructions on how to work stem stitch and outline stitch if you are not familiar with the stitches.
Enjoy it is a great visual learning experience.
Monday was our first snow day for the fall. My dogs love the cold and it makes them super lively and somewhat obnoxious if they don’t get out and play. Monty is the obnoxious one, barking at imaginary squirrels in the trees or at his brothers 🙂
We all need some playtime in out lives whether it is sitting and stitching or running around a snowy back yard.
I had a very fun time this weekend teaching a needle painting class to a lovely group of enthusiastic stitchers at the Bridge City Needlearts Embroiderers Guild in Saskatoon SK.
Everyone did really well with this challenging technique and some were absolute beginners.
Eileen worked on the Red Fox, this was her first time taking a class in needle painting, her passion is canvas work but wanted to try something different due to having a painful wrist from stitching with heavy threads on stiff canvas. She did very well, surface embroidery comes naturally to her and I hope it will be her new or alternative enjoyment in hand embroidery.
Pat was my host whilst I stayed in Saskatoon, she is so much fun and I am so happy to have stayed with Pat. Pat was also born in the united Kingdom and we have lots to chat about. Pat loves surface embroidery and has stitched embroideries by many different surface embroidery designers and is a very accomplished stitcher.
Susan only just joined the embroiderers guild to take my class and wow she amazed me at her speed and accuracy and almost finished the pansy in the two days class. This is very impressive as I would have a hard time in a classroom setting to complete the pansy in two days. She is also a beautiful stitcher.
Susan’s Clear Purple Pansy embroidery.
I hope that all the Saskatoon ladies continue with the needle painting technique and keep it alive.
If you live in or near Saskatoon and would like to explore the world of hand embroidery, the friendly ladies of the Bridge City Needlearts Embroiderers Guild would love for you to come and join them.
Me with the samples 🙂
For most kits there are some price options.
For example the Blackwork Peacock kit options range from $25.00 – $63.00.
From the Blackwork kits page click on SELECT OPTIONS button to get to the Blackwork Peacock main webpage Blackwork Peacock main page.
When you are on the main page for just the blackwork peacock kit, click on the choose an option box and a drop down list will show the different price options.
Below the Add To Cart button are two sections:
Categories: this shows where blackwork peacock is listed on my website.
Tags: If you click one of the tags it will take you to page with embroidery kits of that subject.
There is a complete description of the blackwork peacock kit below the choose an option drop down list, which lists, the choice of fabrics, size of the embroidery and exactly what’s in the kit.
One of the most excellent resources on the internet for hand embroidery is Mary Corbet’s NeedleNThread If you have not visited her site you must go there and explore all the information that she has to offer. She sends out a daily email newsletter on embroidery tips, reviews on needlework products and things she is working on.
Mary also has some great beginners tutorials in surface hand embroidery, if you are not ready for my surface embroidery kits in the form of ebooks.
I will cover more of her brilliant posts later on.
I have added a really comprehensive webage on metal threads, which has a photograph of the metal thread set up against a ruler so you have a better idea of the size of the metal thread, making it easier for you to choose metal threads for your own embroidery.
I also have included pictures and descriptions of how the metal thread can be used in an embroidery.
You can link from the metal thread information page to the product pages by clicking on the name of the metal thread that is highlighted in blue.
You are now able to purchase supplies from my website in USA dollars as well as in Canadian dollars.
I am based in Canada but a lot of people who love to do embroidery are in the USA and it will be much easier now as you will know how much you are paying when you pay for your order rather than waiting for the bank to convert the charge from Canadian to USA dollars.
Shipping costs is also pretty reasonable from Canada. I do not include shipping in the cost of my kits and supplies as I would have to put the value of my items up to cover costs. I like to be fair and honest with my pricing and charge shipping separately.
Thanks for dropping by,
I am excited to present a new look for my website which should be easier to navigate on all viewing devices.
My old website ran for 17 years which I developed myself. For my new website I am pleased to have worked with Ryan and his team from Digital Lyon in Calgary. He worked with me to develop the new look for my website and then I added all the pictures and information that you see.
I hope you enjoy the new look and as always please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about the products, information on embroidery and placing an order.