Willing Hands Needlework Design

"She seeketh wool and flax and worketh willingly with her hands"
Proverbs 31:13

Welcome to my blog! I created this blog to keep you updated on my teaching schedule, designs, new designs, kit availability,
works in progress and other stitching related activities. From time to time I'll also be adding extra info about goings-on in my life.

To see my current teaching schedule, teaching pieces and retired designs, click on "older posts" at the bottom of each page.

Thank you for visiting!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Stumpwork Ornament

It has been a long time since I designed anything in Stumpwork, but the opportunity to teach a short beginner's level class for my EGA chapter got me back into it. This is a 3 inch in diameter flat disc ornament worked in Gloriana silk flosses and pearl cotton on silk Dupioni fabric. The raspberry is padded with felt and has woven bar sepals. The web is worked in a very fine silver metallic thread. The stitches used in this design are chain, closed fly, French knot, buttonhole, satin, straight, herringbone and lazy daisy.

Napkin Ring Pin Cushions

If you are fortunate enough to have inherited some silver ( or any other kind ) napkin rings and you don't use them, here's something you can do with them.

I don't know who originated this idea but I learned of it from a stitching friend (Thanks, Marty!) who made one from a book by Blackbird Designs. Hers was made with a wooden napkin ring which she had painted. I love silver and collect antique silver British mustard pots so when I saw Marty's pin cushion, I thought a silver napkin ring would make a spectacular pin cushion.

When I was in London in January I went looking for a mustard pot on Portobello Road and found a shop specializing in silver. I did find a mustard pot there but also saw a huge bowl full of napkin rings sitting on the counter. I wish I had bought lots of them instead of just one - it got made into a pin cushion and given to a friend. The two in these photos are from Ebay where napkin ring prices range from $20 up to several hundred dollars.

In designing the stitching for these pin cushions, I used motifs on the napkin rings themselves as inspiration. In one photo you can see the thistle on the ring and also the variation of it that I stitched. The other ring has an ornate leaf which I translated into stitching with a very colorful overdyed floss.

You could also make a pin cushion for just one end of the napkin ring so that the ring would be the base and sit on its flat side. I hope that this inspires you - these would make wonderful gifts for very special stitching friends!

Now I'm off to take another look at Ebay.....

Sunday, March 13, 2011

It's finally finished!

I finished the last of the 'smalls' for the Sampler Casket Etui last night. Above are two views of the complete design. The first photo shows the front of the casket and one side of each of the smalls. The smalls are, left to right, the Quaker scissor fob, the Pattern Darning scissor sheath, the Dutch thimble or button bag, the Spanish/Mexican needle book with Spanish side showing and the Scottish alphabet pin cube. The second photo shows the back of the casket with all of the smalls, except the scissor sheath, flipped over. The second side of the needle book is the Mexican side and features a panel worked in Aztec stitch. The scissor sheath is only stitched on one side - the other side is antique gold silk Dupioni which is also used to line the etui, the needlebook and the thimble bag.

Now comes the really hard part - making the class charts and writing the instructions. This phase will take me almost as long as the stitching did. Anyway, it has been a lot of fun to design and stitch and I'm pleased with the results - it's always a gamble as to whether a design idea is going to actually work. This one has a happy ending. Enjoy!