Wednesday, 27 July 2011


Last week I stumbled across another website for stitched card patterns. It’s run by the same person that does Stitching Cards but he’s using it to sell the Form-a-Lines patterns that he bought copyright for. At least, that’s what I gather. It’s called Pinbroidery and I downloaded one of the free ones to have a go at…
This design is stitched in two different layers and could be completed in two different colours if you liked. It’s very similar to the String Art design that my Year 10s eventually managed to complete last week. It’s not a particularly easy pattern if you’re a beginner because the pattern is not uniform around the whole circle but I do love the effect once complete.
You stitch the second layer over the top of the first and end up with this beautiful effect of a heart within a circle. The pattern has a diameter of about 10.5cm I think but it would take being reduced if you wanted a smaller one.
Please remember that most of the stitched designs that I use are copyright and should be purchased from Stitching Cards if you want to try them out for yourself. They are only £1 each so certainly don’t break the bank!

Once I’ve completed the stitched part of a card I like to add my own stamp, which is almost always layering onto different coloured papers before mounting onto a card. I decided to mount this one at an angle…

Friday, 22 July 2011

String Art by Year 10

Today was the last day of term (whoop whoop) and my wonderful Year 10s requested an Arts and Crafts lesson rather than the far more traditional DVD. I took advantage of their good will and had them make some pieces for my classroom, which is being decorated over the holiday. I had to do a certain amount of preparation beforehand and used the free designs from String Art Fun.

I’d bought a pack of cork bathroom tiles from the internet a year or more ago for just this purpose but I’d never got around to making them. I’d also bought some fabric from Ikea for quilting, but haven’t got around to that yet either so I doubled up the tiles and covered them in my bright fabric.


Next step was to put the design on top of the cork boards and hammer in the nails as carefully as possible. I used 16mm veneer pins and left about 7mm above the boards. I took a couple of hours to hammer in a couple of hundred! Once all of the pins are in place you just lift the paper off and are left with the pins ready to work the design. I worked a very small and simple design to show my students what they were aiming for (in terms of finish and tension).


P1040310 P1040312

I started the girls off with a clove hitch around the first pin and then they were away. They said it made their heads hurt and they couldn’t believe how much patience was required but they did a good job following the instructions and working together to achieve some pleasing pieces of work. I haven’t tidied up the starting or end points yet but see what you think of their work…








I really do love my job, truly. Mind you, six weeks off to do my own crafting will be wonderful. Watch this space!

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Leavers’ Tea Party

One of the very best traditions at Woodford is the Leavers’ Tea Party held in the last week of term. It’s an occasion to celebrate the year’s achievements, the years of contributions made by staff who are leaving and to wish them the very best for the future.


It was a lovely event, as usual, this year and aside from the normal organisation, I had a little crafting to do. I made the table decorations for each of the 10 tables. I went with quite simple tissue paper flowers inspired by a book that I was given by one of my best friends for my birthday. It’s by Minhee & Truman Cho and is called Paper + Craft (click the link to see the book on Book People). I used pipe-cleaners wrapped in floral tape for the stem, make a centre (either ball or tasselled) from black tissue paper and then used four, roughly heart shaped, petals in different sizes for each flower.

P1040294 P1040296

I can’t help thinking people were being kind but there were lots of nice comments about them.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

How do I make a wedding stitched sampler?

I met Bill twelve years ago on a Sutton Trust Summer School at Cambridge and it was a real pleasure to see him marry Melanie yesterday. They’re a wonderful couple and it was a fabulous day in Wimbledon at St. Mary’s Church and Cannizaro House.

As part of their wedding gift from us I made them this stitched sampler to commemorate the day. I think it took between four and five hours to complete but I wasn’t really counting and I did it over a couple of days.

Bill and Melanie

So, this is how I did it…

Step 1

I put the design together on the computer using bits of patterns that I have bought from Stitching Cards, which is my greatest source of inspiration.

Step 2


Put the printed design onto a piece of white A4 card and prick each hole through with a bobbin type needle into a felt mat. This step takes care and precision. It’s really important to keep the needle straight otherwise you can end up with the hole in slightly the wrong place or pricking two holes into one.


Step 3

Begin stitching the design. Tape the thread to the back of the card and then concentrate really hard! It’s devastating to get most of the way through a section and then discover that you miscounted. P1040104

Step 4


Frame it, wrap it up and keep your fingers crossed that the recipients like it!

For more information on how the stitching is done see the tutorial on the Stitching Cards website.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

One little project complete

I guess I work best when I have a deadline but poor David had to cook his own dinner tonight so that I could get this one finished before I head up North after school tomorrow. This is the finished stitched piece. I’ll put it into a fairly plain A4 frame for the special little lady who is 2 tomorrow. As a guide, I think this one has taken me about six hours to complete…
Ena 2

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Fresh new look for Blog

I’ve decided that it’s about time that I took this blogging lark seriously and tried to actually get some followers. It’s almost two years since I set this up and I saw it as a way to show off my work and maybe one day think about selling some of my creations online. Two years on I don’t think I’ve really shared my passion for crafting and now I intend to try harder.

Each piece that I create takes a long time and by only posting the finished articles on here I do not do them or myself any justice. To give you an insight into how I work as a crafter and just how much time and energy my projects take I’ll show you exactly what I’m working on at the moment…

1. Cross-stitch Red Kite

Kite 030711 Kite pattern 030711

My husband bought me this kit for Christmas this year from X-stitch birds. I was a little overwhelmed by the size of this project and decided to time myself. You’re looking at 24 hours and 30 minutes worth of stitching. I’m not even going to begin to estimate how long the whole thing’s going to take! If I was only working on this project I think I’d go mad so…

2. Latch-hook Rug

rug 030711 This is my own piece. I had the canvas and acrylic wools from Tracy’s Craft Shop as a present from my parents in-law for my birthday this year.

I painstakingly designed the rug before beginning and then hooked the first column as my guide. The colours were chosen to match a set of canvases that I painted for our lounge when we first moved into our current flat.

Unfortunately, rug-making really makes my fingers ache so I definitely need more…

3. Naming Ceremony Gift

I usually have something more immediate (and for someone else) on the go. At the moment I’m working on my idea of a birth sampler for the very special Ena who celebrates her second birthday this week and is having a Naming Ceremony next weekend. So, how do I make these stitched creations?

Step 1 – Design the layout and writing on the computer and print it out.

Step 2 – carefully prick each hole that I will need to stitch the design. I do this using a large pin and felt mat.

Step 3 – Start stitching!

This one will probably have taken about three hours by the time it’s complete.

I suppose one of the reasons that I have to have lots of things on the go at any one time is another symptom of my fidgety-ness. I’m just a multi-tasker at heart!

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