Showing posts from 2017

Golden Rules for perfect needlepoint

The many helpful tips one picks up on class, swapping ideas with groups of fellow stitchers or from the many excellent books on the subject cover a great deal; starting and finishing a thread, clean and dirty holes, using the right ply after stripping it to mention just a few.  I could go on all day however I realised recently that there are some ‘rules’ that are applicable to all needlepoint, Florentine, Stitchery, Shadow stitching and even pieces worked entirely in Basket weave tent stitch. So to share my ‘golden rules’ with you Choose your design with care because you love it because it has good quality materials, even weave canvas, interesting threads and where necessary clear instructions .  because It doesn’t work the design in ‘half cross stitch' which will distort the canvas and not give good weave.   Similarly, should you work areas with basket weave (diagonal tent) there will not be sufficient thread. because, even though you love the design you don’t like

Practical and Decorative Needlepoint

I love sayings and one by William Morris has always been one of my favourites ’Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful’. Another l saw and adapted was ‘Stitching makes a house into a home’ With the start of Autumn, leaves falling, the clock going back at the end of the month (at least in the UK) now is the time to think of needlepoint projects for the winter evenings. For many years I was a consultant decorator mainly working with private clients on their homes so I am very aware that your stitchery should enhance, add character and work best for you.    We all know that beautiful stitchery takes time and when done deserves the best possible making up. Before suggesting an idea I always research a reliable maker up;   Please do the same – I can and do have pieces returned from both the US and European countries but having a finisher that you can discuss ideas with is best. So to go back to William Morris’s quote I have listed (a


I believe that the vast majority of needle pointers have an ever growing stash of threads; at least that is what I am told by all my students. Sometimes it is small quantities left over from a project, sometimes it is a thread that inspired them to buy it but they have never found a place to use it. For this reason I have designed a number of projects where these threads can be used to great advantage.   Just the other day one of my students told me that she was working the painted rug, The Scented Garden (34 x 46 inches) without buying a single thread. One point I should make is the background, on a large project such as this it is important to have sufficient thread of the same dye lot to complete the work – this stitcher has calculated that she does have sufficient. So, what are the other projects that lend themselves to this halo burnishing exercise?   There are really small projects such as spec cases, one kit we do is Kaleidoscope.   Lots have been made as good travel

Our Italian Adventure 2017

Our trip to Tuscany was fabulous, just as much fun stitching as our previous visit and interest in wonderful places that they had organised for us to go. However, before I tell you, and hopefully tempt you to join us next year (we are working on dates around the end of April 2018) I must refer back to my last blog with tips for travel and mention some important items I forgot – When taking a floor frame (the Lowery is my favourite) do take the Allen key to help re-assemble it on arrival.    Before leaving home it is also a good moment to put a little Vaseline on all the screws; (this is recommended and makes swivelling to get to the back for finishing off much easier) When taking any magnification be sure to have some cover for the lens.   Some models have a ‘bag’ or metal disc but these strong magnifiers can easily cause a fire – even for short periods like a quick lunch! So, I do hope you found all these tips useful and I am sure that you have some of your own – please d

A long held dream

January and February are miserable months in England; all the excitement is over, all the rushing around should be done and I hate the cold, damp, grey days. So for a long time I have always hoped to spend at least a month somewhere warm, with sun, swimming and of course stitching and this year, for the first time we managed it and had a great month in Tortola, the British Virgin Islands (the BVIs) However I have always stressed the importance of planning well in advance for any trip but for a whole month it is even more important. Unfortunately planning seemed to go array this time, both my and my daughter’s birthdays to celebrate in December, Christmas and New Year and to finish off a rather nasty chesty cold that laid me low and lingered well into the holiday So, while it is still fresh in my mind I have made this list of needlepoint tools that I took and found really helpful that I managed to throw into my suitcase. First of all my design(s) to work on;   originally I pl