Category Archives: Inspiration

New Stitching Class Project

This term in my stitching class I am working on a slow stitch project.

I took a photo of some leaves in Kings Park and had it printed onto cotton by Spoonflower.

I have some linen fabric to which I am going to attach things. I have some beads, an organza flower, fabric I tea dyed, colour catchers that I dyed with green tea.

At this stage I am going to stick with straight stitches and beads, but it might evolve.

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Filed under Applique, Bedazzle, Embroidery, Fabric Stash, Inspiration

Record, Map and Capture – Jordan Cunliffe

My embroidery teacher brought this book to class, and clearly, I had to find a copy. This is like the intersection of two of my great loves; stitching and maths. Not to mention story telling with stitching and maths.

Here’s a bit of a book description …

This stylish and fascinating book from up-and-coming textile art star Jordan Cunliffe shows how raw data, maps and personal experience can be distilled into textile art, producing mesmerising works with deep meaning, whether obvious or hidden, and concentrating on the smaller, quieter moments that make up our lives.

Jordan explores the use of stitched data to tell stories, pinpoint special places on maps, convey secret messages, and record personal detail, for example daily walks or nightly sleep patterns. Her finished work is beautifully precise, including a long strip of fabric containing a stitch for every day of her life, a reimagination of a favourite childhood book in unreadable code, and pleasing beaded representations of secretly important documents.

Almost any aspect of your life can be represented in graph or map form, and here are many practical ways to achieve this, whether it’s recording the colours of flowers on a favourite path to create your own unique palette, or encoding your most private thoughts in beaded morse code. This visually stunning book explores a new way of working and will help you explore a fresh new angle in your embroidery and textile work.

Illustrated with a wealth of examples of the author’s own work as well as pieces from other data focused artists from around the world, Record, Map and Capture in Textile Art proves beyond all doubt that data can be beautiful, and can inspire stunning works of stitched art.

I have so many ideas for my memory/special things project. I can incorporate special pieces of fabric, use evenweave fabric (my preferred choice) maybe even put in a secret code.

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Filed under Book Review, Canvas Work, Cross Stitch, Embroidery, Inspiration

Jacobean Crewel Work Embroidery Kit

RSN Embroidery Kit

After having been lost in the system for a while, my embroidery kit from the Royal School of Needlework arrived. It’s beautifully packaged – I have already started work on the pomegranate.

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Filed under Embroidery, Inspiration

Stitch Dictionary

Samplers of Seduction – Dictionary of Stitches

I finished my Dictionary Stitches. I particularly like the back-stitched word Sampler.

Now I am going to try to finish my Gingerbread House and my Cinnamon Stars cross stitch before my kit from the Royal School of Needlecraft arrives.

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Filed under Embroidery, Inspiration

The Fabric of Civilization – Virginia Postrel

Fabric of civilization – Virginia Postrel

I saw this at my local book shop and had to buy it.

Here’s the blurb…

From Paleolithic flax to 3D knitting, a global history of textiles and the world they made
The story of humanity is the story of textiles — as old as civilization itself. Since the first thread was spun, the need for textiles has driven technology, business, politics, and culture.
In The Fabric of Civilization, Virginia Postrel synthesizes groundbreaking research from archaeology, economics, and science to reveal a surprising history. From Minoans exporting wool colored with precious purple dye to Egypt, to Romans arrayed in costly Chinese silk, the cloth trade paved the crossroads of the ancient world. Textiles funded the Renaissance and the Mughal Empire; they gave us banks and bookkeeping, Michelangelo’s David and the Taj Mahal. The cloth business spread the alphabet and arithmetic, propelled chemical research, and taught people to think in binary code.
Assiduously researched and deftly narrated, The Fabric of Civilization tells the story of the world’s most influential commodity.

This book is fabulous – well written and researched. It made me think about string, banking and weaving in a whole new way. There are chapters on Fiber, Thread, Cloth, Dye, Traders, Consumers and Innovators. Each chapter is a deep-dive into its topic.

If you are at all interested in Textile History (or just History for that matter), then this is the book for you. Easy to read, but very informative.

You can also listen to Virginia Postrel on this Haptic and Hue podcast.

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Filed under Book Review, Inspiration

Spoils of the Trip

Miss A and I had a weekend trip to Melbourne.

We went to the NGV to see the Making the Australian Quilt exhibition.  It is a fabulous exhibition with some amazing pieces – I can’t believe the amount of work involved in some of the quilts. Here’s a review – – it is definitely worth seeing if you’re in Melbourne.

We also went to L’Ucello – no trip to Melbourne would be complete without a trip to L’Ucello! I also discovered the Kimono House – how could I not have known about that?

We purchased kits – this one

Japanese bag

Japanese bag

And this one as a gift for Miss P


I decided to get started on mine straight away

The Loop Bag

The Loop Bag

I had been thinking about making one of these bags in an embroidered silk, so this was a fabulous chance to get a pattern and have a go.


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Filed under Inspiration, Sewing


I’ve always liked a bit of sparkle, so I was super-excited to discover a bedazzler at my local craft fair (more on that later) – it’s not actually called a bedazzler I think it is some chinese rip-off, but it’s pink and it attaches crystals to things! What more could you want.

Miss P practising her bedazzling skills

Miss P practising her bedazzling skills

And in one of those cases of synchronicity I had just read The Bedazzling of the American Gymnast

American Gymnasts at the 2015 World Cup - BEN STANSALL / AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE — GETTY IMAGES

American Gymnasts at the 2015 World Cup – BEN STANSALL / AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE — GETTY IMAGES

“It’s difficult for me to imagine how we could get more crystals on,” said Kelly McKeown, executive vice president for design and corporate relations at GK Elite, the official outfitter of the American national gymnastics team. This Olympics, “we may have hit peak crystal.”

The girls and I went to the WA Craft Show (there is wood as well!). This is a nice craft show because it is a bit more local and less corporate than the Craft and Quilt Fair at the Convention Centre. A lot of the guilds attend this one and everyone is keen to have a chat and show you their latest projects.

We bought some patterns and a snail making kit (I know snails? And I am sure they will be bedalzzled as well – I am aiming to reach ‘peak crystal’).




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Filed under Bedazzle, Inspiration


Bits and Pieces

Bits and Pieces

I went away for the weekend to Melbourne –  very decadent. While there, I visited my favourite shop L’uccello. The fat quarters in the above pictures are from there – I had to include the bag in the photo because it is such fun.

The yarn is from Hawthorn Cottage Yarns – they had a stall at the markets at the art gallery.

I have quite a few ideas – now I just have to get on and make something.

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Filed under Fabric Stash, Inspiration, Yarn Stash


Images from 'Royal School of Needlework - Embroidery Techniques'

Images from ‘Royal School of Needlework – Embroidery Techniques’

I really like textiles and embroidery. I like the look of embroidery and the stories behind the creation of embroidery, but I am too lazy/impatient to do hand embroidery. I do like machine embroidery – both free motion and the digitised version – what I would really like to do is create embroidery that looks like it has been done by hand using my embroidery machine. To this end, I have been trying to improve my digitising. I made this blackwork sampler and now I am trying to learn silk shading. I am discovering a few tips and tricks with my software (which is Embird) and like anything I just need to practise.

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Filed under Digitizing, Inspiration, Machine Embroidery, Software


Progress Being Made on my Rose Rib Socks

Progress Being Made on my Rose Rib Socks

I like stories of all different kinds – novels, plays, movies, TV series – I suspect it is because I am nosy and like to know how people live. This means I usually watch something while knitting, which sometimes means my lace pattern can go a bit awry. At the moment I’m watching the second series of Once Upon the Time. I do like this show mostly because it is so beautiful to look at the costumes are spectacular ….



and I could quite happily move into Mary Margaret’s apartment.

The show itself is an interesting mix of fairy tales, swashbuckling adventure and good versus evil – and the villains are a bit conflicted, so I find it quite compelling.

All this means I look for excuses to watch it and therefore to knit. I should really be cleaning the house/buying food, but I will just watch one more episode! Besides some of the knits on the show are quite inspirational.

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Filed under Inspiration, Knitting, Sock Knitting, Television