Drawn to the Valley Open Studios


Drawn to the Valley Open Studios
29th August 2015 to 6th September 2015

Visit Katy  and Melissa at home and see them at work.

Studio numbers: 23 and 24
Studio address: Little Honeycombe, Tamar Way, Gunnislake, Cornwall PL18 9DH
Studio phone number: 01822 833 690

Opening times: 11.00 am to 5.00 pm daily
Sorry, no wheelchair access

Directions: A390 to Gunnislake. Opposite Cornish Inn turn into Calstock Road, then first left into Under Road and immediately right into Tamar Way. Little Honeycombe is the first cottage on the left.


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Cornish Garden Sketchbook – Winter Flowering Jasmine

Winter Flowering Jasmine

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Shade Card

Hand Dyed Threads

I have been meaning to make a shade card for my threads for ages, and I am often asked for one at shows – but it has always somehow slipped to the bottom of my ‘to do’ heap. At last I have got round to it – with a great deal of help from Mike who put the basic format together and put in a ‘drag and drop’ facility so I could arrange the colours in the order I wanted – this actually led to no end of confusion as he was telling me to ‘drag and drop’ the pictures and I was hearing ‘dragon drop’ and wondering what on earth he could possibly be talking about…
You can find the shade card here, and print it off. There are neat little boxes so that you can tick off the type of thread you have in each shade, thank you Mike.

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Tambour Work

Tambour work bird

I have been experimenting with tambour hooked chain stitch recently.
It has taken me some time to to feel at home with the tambour hook – that really is an understatement to the point of downright fib, as anyone who has seen me struggling will know – it has taken ages, severely frayed temper and dogged determination not to be beaten by any needlework tool…. However, once I got the hang of it I really love it. I have used it to make this little bird using fine perle shade 266.
If you would like to give tambour work a go, the online tutorial I used was by Mary Corbett, it is really good and clear (I paused it at regular intervals to swear and start again).
You can buy tambour hooks and holders from Silken Strands, Jo Firth and Mainly Lace.

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Gunnislake Festival

Gunnislake Festival 2014

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Makit LQ&N Fair

On Sunday we had a stand at the Makit LQ&N Fair at the East of England Showground near Peterborough. It was the sort of show I really love with good general organization, lots of interesting stands and plenty of visitors. It also gave me a chance to visit my Mum in Ely!

It is odd which bits of a show stick in my mind after I get home. This time there were three people –

The first was the girl pouring much needed coffee from a flask for me and chatting cheerfully about her job and making me smile.

The second was Henry at K & K machines – his company makes long arm quilting machines. They set up 3 different models to demonstrate, I do love seeing machines in use!

The last was a lady called Isabel who showed me a really good method of making cord which I hadn’t come across before – when I have practiced a bit I will write the instructions up and post them on the How Tos and Methods section of the website.

So thank you – to everyone at the show for being themselves!

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Mola – Jonah and the Whale

Jonah and the Whale Here is my new Mola ‘Jonah and the Whale’.

I really enjoyed stitching it. You can see that I used Kantha stitching for the background. Kantha consists of rows an rows of running stitch, I work them in closely spaced contours round the mothifs. I prefer this to the traditional Mola background of slashes of bright coloured reverse applique, it seems to suit my designs better, and it is good ‘sitting in front of the tv’ stitching – something I do quite a bit of in the evenings at this time of year.

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Primrose Spring

Primrose Spring Stranded Cotton Pack With the endless rain we have been having here in Cornwall I have been cheering myself up by dreaming of spring, specifically banks of pale yellow primroses under clear blue Cornish skies. Here is the result, a lovely pack of 5 stranded cottons in spring colours. It has just gone up on our Etsy shop and will be appearing on our main website soon. Look out for more packs like this in the future…

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Craft 4 Crafters

We are getting ready for Craft 4 Crafters at Westpoint, Exeter, Thursday 30th January 2014  to Saturday 1st February 2014.  It is the first show of the year – and a big one, although our stand is quite small as part of the ‘Designer Village’.

I am properly prepared for set up day this year – it is always bitterly cold – so I have got myself a pair of fingerless mittens, together with thermals, they should make all the difference! Thankfully once the show is open the heating goes on and it is comfortable for both visitors and exhibitors.

Fran will be helping me on the stand again this year. If you are there, do stop by and say hello!

Westpoint Arena, Exeter. EX5 1DJ
Thursday 30th January – Saturday 1st February 2014
Open 10am – 5pm each day  – Tickets £7.50
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Chain Stitch

I have just added stitch instructions for chain stitch to our How To’s and Stitch Methods. It is a really good basic embroidery stitch and very versatile as it is good for both outlines, where it can be used for lovely smooth curves and curls, and as a solid filling stitch.

Chain Stitch

Chain stitch is totally interchangable with broad chain stitch (also called reverse chain stitch). Mike asked me which I prefer.  When they are worked you really can’t tell the difference between them, so it comes down to a personal preference in working method. I do prefer broad chain stitch myself – I can work it rather faster than chain stitch and when it comes to unpicking, it comes out rather more easily than chain stitch. This makes a big difference to me as I do seem to spend quite alot of time unpicking!

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