Sunday, 23 March 2014

Learning to let go and other adventures

I have been brave!

I've been thinking about it for ages, but never quite plucked up the courage...

But finally, after a bit of research in a self-help manual, I managed to relax and let go...

I dropped those feed dogs and had a go at free-motion machine embroidery!

The self-help manual was this one...

...which, needless to say can be found on, amongst other places

I need to read it properly - I tend to look at the pretty, inspirational pictures and read a few key points before succumbing to the temptation to get stuck into a bit of stitch-y action.  It really would be sooo much better to be more attentive to the text, but hey!

I had had these frames sitting around for years, waiting for something to be created to replace the rather lacklustre prints.  I liked the washed-out, rough wooden frame and thought they would be perfect for what I wanted to do.

Some Liberty scraps were Bonda-webbed, cut and ironed on before the machine was set a-whirring.  Needless to say I was much too impatient to take step-by-step pictures of how I built this up, but at the end of session one, I had two pieces similar to this.  

I had discovered Sulky threads (I know I'm a bit late to the party there!) and bought a few to play around with - here see the varied shades in the sea and  sky and the grassy tufts. 

On the Sulky website there are some great looking tutorials which I may well have to dive into to improve my machine embroidery skills. Having stuck to up and down and wavy lines, I'm tempted to try this one out...

Oh for a row of life-size Liberty covered beach huts!

Bunting, either stitched or from impossibly small scraps of lawn, were added later, and a few hand-embroidered flowers...

I don't think I will be stopping at three of those threads and two pictures!

On Saturday I held another workshop.  Ginger biscuits and Cappuccino Cake were made and I waited for my five students.  This time I remembered my camera - I even took photos of my lovely participants,but forgot to ask if they would be okay to feature on my blog!  So instead, here is their fabulous work.  

Lastly, I took part in Very Berry Handmade's third ATC swap.  The theme was either Books or Spring .  My secret partner (now out of the bag as she has received her card) was Sue of Deerey Me! (pop over and have a look at her lovely blog, especially the 'Secret Garden' card she made for her partner).  Sue lives near Bath and as one of my favourite books is 'Pride and Prejudice'...

{Small pause for Mr Darcy dreaming

Er, sorry, no.

That's more like it!}

...I thought I'd try something related to that.  I found a very small scrap of very old fabric that I thought was a near a bit Regency-looking and then cut silhouettes from felt.  I printed off a P & P quote 'Her heart did whisper that he had done it for her' and combined them on the tiny piece of backing (buckram is what I used).  Normally I'd do more stitching, but somehow I didn't feel this would benefit from any more.



  1. Great embroidery pictures and love the card. The first Mr Darcy looks good to me too!

  2. What wonderful work you do, I particularly like the silhouettes.

  3. I love love love those pictures. Very clever. And bonus pic of Colin Firth too, brilliant post!!!!!

  4. Your beach huts are just lovely! (and thanks for Colin Firth too.)

  5. Oh wow, I love these, esp the beach huts, that would look lovely in my bathroom!

  6. Once you let go, there was no stopping you. Great sewing!
    Jacqui x

  7. I've been doing a little bit of freestyle machine embroidery recently, Your Beach Huts are absolutely beautiful
    Thanks for the Darcy pics!
    Julie xxxxxxxxx

  8. Ooh love those beach huts. I have that book but have never yet attempted free machine embroidery. Perhaps I will have to have a go!

  9. Oh to have a delightful pretty Liberty print beach hut ! Yours are totally gorgeous as is Mr D ( Colin Firth )
    Sadly the beach huts on our stretch of the coast took an awful battering on Feb 14th - some completely gone & some wrecked.

  10. Love the beach huts, I can see why you enjoyed making them so much. Your class did very well with their projects too! xx

  11. Love love love the beach huts! Very pretty :)

  12. Lovely beach huts..I like your mix of machine and hand embroidery, right up my street! Now Mr Darcy...Colin Firth of course...oh that moment when he came out of the lake...sigh!!! Thank you so much for visiting my blog! Sarah xo

  13. Ooooooh my oh my ..... your little beach hut embroideries are BeAuTiFuL, I would like to live in the blue Betsy one please ;o)
    Your workshop ladies are amazing ..... they obviously have a fab teacher.
    love Jooles x x x

  14. Wow love your beach huts...must have a go at machine embroidery....looks fun. x

  15. I love your beach hut applique and embroidery and your blog too which I discovered whilst visiting with Eco Ethol!
    bestest wishes
    Daisy j x

  16. Hi Alix, the beach huts are gorgeous. Good job. I'm just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

  17. Just came by to say hi after a super long hiatus myself! I see you're as talented as ever!