Our last Embroiderers’ Guild meeting was an all day workshop with Brenda Scarman on goldwork. Our aim was to transfer into fabric and then stitch an ornate letter using different goldwork techniques. For me this was an ideal opportunity to use up some of the goldwork threads I’ve accumulated through eBay over the last few years! Just as very small selection…!


I chose the letter O not because it was an easy shape, but  because I hope to stitch this for a birthday card for my mum, whose name is Olwen. And as it was an easy shape I lazily copied it free hand onto this gorgeous hand dyed silk.


Couching some sort of thread I had round the outside of the outline.


And the inside.


Then the silver leather. There is a single layer of felt underneath to give it a slightly raised feel but I wanted it to stay inside the outline.


The next technique we were shown was chip work. That was fun! I started with dense chip work leading away from the leather, and then started to gradually add silvery clear beads and the odd french knot in turquoise.


Gradually I lessened the silver and increased the turquoise, introducing more french knots and bugle beads.


It was my first attempt at goldwork (I don’t count the pearl purl work I did on some of my hand made jewellery a couple of years ago) and I really enjoyed it. Now all I have to do is to get it finished for my mum’s birthday.

Some while ago I planned to upcycle a ring by creating a circular panel of encrusted french knots and eyelets in a variegated blue and rust coloured thread on vilene.

Desert Rose ring 2

When I came to set the panel into the ring, it was too big and I had to start again. However, I didn’t throw out the rejected blue piece – it sat in my tool box along with other assorted odds and ends and when I found a lovely pair of vintage silver plated clip-on earrings with their cabochons long gone, I knew where that encrusted blue circle was going! All I had to do was to stitch another one.

That done, I was able to finish the earrings yesterday. Little encrusted panels of embroidery at the top and dangles finished with hand made ceramic beads and in my Etsy shop here.


So satisfying to find a use for something that wasn’t quite right first time round!

My final offering on the Travelling book round was for Janet whose theme was the seasons. I already had a piece of felt from ages ago onto which I’d lightly felted the outline of a skeleton tree, but it wasn’t very well felted so I decided to turn it into an Autumn tree with a bit of needlefelting.


The branches and trunk were needlefelted into place…



…and then I used all 6 strands of an overdyed thread to embroider fly stitch leaves onto the branches.



I love the autumnal variegations in the thread.

We’ve finished this year’s planned rotations but anybody who wanted to continue on an ad hoc basis has left their books in the system and we’re picking up any that we haven’t worked in before. Architecture or nature are my themes this time.

I’ve just realised that I forgot to show my last month’s effort for our Embroiderers’ Guild travelling books. This was for Lorna, who demonstrated a lovely paper thread technique in my book so I shared one back. Not that it’s my idea. I saw it on the internet several years ago and if I knew where I would credit that person!




In this case I’ve simply added herringbone stitch in Gutermann gold thread to the ribs of the scallop.


It had to be gold with those lovely peacocky blues.

It really is time I started getting some of my lovely beachcombed finds out of boxes and into the light of day and with the discovery of some findings I spent a lovely day the other week sorting through all my sea glass and pottery and choosing pieces not only that would make pretty earrings and pendants but that I could bear to part with!

First the pendants:


I love blue and white pottery anyway, but even more so when it’s been faded by the sea.


And this piece is just fun!


Love the depth and richness of this blue glass.


This piece of old bottle has the letter K embossed on the tip.


And this is my biggest piece of Victorian Seaham glass.


Then earrings, all in frosted white glass:





The nuno felt made a very appropriate background!

I’ve made another section in my Etsy shop for this beachcombed jewellery. The big willow pattern pendant sold the same day as I listed it and is heading for Switzerland!

At our last Embroiderers’ Guild meeting we had a fabulous talk by a local artist,  Vivienne Morpeth, about her work in felting and to really top it off, she followed it with a mini workshop with us all, taking about 45 minutes flat, at the end of which we each had a small piece of nuno felt!

This is my workstation to start – not straying far from my favourite colours…


I was having so much fun (not to mention enjoying the delicious cakes provided for afternoon tea) I forgot to photograph the silk pieces (blue and yellow) laid out first in an over lapping pattern and also forgot to show the long wave shapes of white prefelt I cut out to sandwich between the silk and the fleece. So here is the back, with the wisps of laid out fleece.



And then it was soaked in soapy water and rolled inside a sandwich of bamboo mat and bubble wrap. Fifty rolls then unroll and go the other way, repeating until the wool fibres matted together and worked into the silk. Here it is wet – you can see the silk and the wave shapes:


And dry:


Not sea and sand as I was vaguely planning, but sky and land. And the back is equally as attractive.


Fascinating little workshop and a piece of fabric I love!

The cuff book is finished. But I forgot to take a photo of it! Not that it’s changed much – just had the pages stitched to the spine with a single line of pamphlet stitch, decorated with some seed beads.

So is the leather bracelet. Both flowers completed and three matching quartz bead dangles added.



I finally found the right size drill bit to make setting the cogs easy for the black and white steampunk brooch and once I’d done that, the finishing was easy.


Then the embroidered pendant for a bow shaped pendant brooch, missing its drop, was the next to be sorted. It started like this:


Then I put three pieces of walnut dyed vintage fabric together and secured them with beaded blanket stitch. The back is a damask, the middle canvas and this side is some embroidered net that I always understood was associated with my great-grandmother who died in 1970.


It was a little dull so I went over some of the pattern with silk threads in faded shabby chic tones …


…and then hung it from the brooch.


Rather pleased with myself. And to top all that I’ve even got them listed in my Etsy shop:  Flower bracelet, black and white steampunk brooch and pendant brooch. Wonders will never cease!


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 207 other followers