Traditional Stitches...Contemporary Design!

Hey everyone,

Hope you had a Happy Christmas and are enjoying the holiday break.


And then there were two! darling is my new tiny silver shoe pincushion? pressie ever from my hubby and I think it's officially a collection now. 

Hope you had a good Christmas and are ready for some sewing and some new projects for 2016.  I have been a bit sluggish on my blog, I know, but that's because I have been busy scheming and designing and stitching - at least I was until my sewing room got squished into a corner to make room for the Christmas Table Tennis arena!  It's all very well and the daily house competitions are fun, but I do have itchy fingers after a week without a needle and thread.

In the meantime though, I wanted to share with you a lovely project that I completed before christmas, that was a special gift for a dear friend.  I wanted to make her an embroidered scarf and I have done a few of these before, using fairly traditional themes, but always with 100% pure wool fabric and Liberty fabric for the lining. 


This time, I decided to branch out a bit and experiment with both colour and design.  I found some amazing Cashmere fabric from a wonderful online selection at    I picked this bright turquoise from the swatch on the website as I had a sneaking suspicion that it would go just perfectly with my current favourite Liberty print....and it did.

Ann's scarf 11

For the embroidery motifs, I decided to do something alittle different and actually a bit more modern.  I took a couple of diamond templates in different sizes and drew around them with a chalk pencil.  

Ann's Scarf 1

Then I took my delicious heap of perle cotton #8 threads and set to work trying to make each one different.  I have to say that I had in mind some of Lady Edith's beautiful clothes from Downton Abbey and looked for art deco ideas.    One of my very favourite books by Gail Marsh had some wonderful ideas and sort of set the tone for the look of the project.

Ann's scarf 8
Ann's scarf 3

 In no time it started to look so pretty, it was addictive.  Using a variety of very traditional, straight forward stitches like Chain Stitch and Stem Stitch, to a few more complicated ones like Coral Stitch and Feather Stitch and some woven stitches, the texture and colour began to work with each other, to form a more contemporary design  which I found unusual and very easy on the eye.

Ann's Scarf 2

It turned out to be the sort of 'free' piece of work that makes embroidery a joy - just letting the needle take you where it wants to go.  To finish, I made a label using some cotton jersey fabric and the monogramming programme on my Janome.  I was rather surprised at how well this turned out and in fact adding that touch gives it a special feel for me as I felt I had actually produced a professional item with my very own label.  

Ann's scarf 4

I confess I found this rather hard to give away.....but my friend loved it and that is such a great feeling and actually.....I might just have enough fabric left ....

Ann's scarf 7

 See you back here soon, hopefully with news of my new patterns and designs.

Oh and HAPPY NEW YEAR to you all and thank you for taking the time to read my blog.

Love Ruby x