Tag Archives: hand embroidery

Dot: Memories and a Doll

Yesterday was four years to the day since my maternal grandmother, Nan, passed away. She is sorely missed. Nan was an amazing woman, who was always at the centre of family gatherings, keeping everyone in tears of laughter with the tales she told. She was the most wonderful cook – her Yorkshire Puddings were legendary, and her cakes and biscuits were always mouthwateringly delicious. Nan was also an extremely accomplished seamstress and, although she was always proud of her grandchildren, I think she lamented the fact that none of us could so much as sew a button on. Sadly, I only started to learn to sew in March 2009, just a month before she died, so she never got to see how much my sewing progressed or to see what pleasure it has brought to me. I think she would be thrilled and proud to know that finally one of her grandchildren has taken up needle and thread!

I finished making this doll yesterday, on the anniversary of Nan’s death, and so I felt that it would be fitting to name the doll in her memory. So, let me introduce you to Dot (short for Doris). Dot is a bit more glamorous than Flo, I think. Perhaps it’s the darker lips, or the fact that she isn’t blushing coyly. In any case, Nan never left the house without her lipstick, so I think she would approve 🙂

Dot final

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Fleur Becomes Flo

I finished off my doll this weekend!

Although she is based on Fleur from the book We Make Dolls, she isn’t quite the same in as much as she doesn’t have a bird on her head, or her name embroidered on her body. In view of that, she is no longer Fleur but has the new name of Flo. I love her. Is it ok to say that?!

Here she is basking in the sunlight (yes the sun shone for all of 20 minutes today!)

Flo basks in sunlight

And here’s some more detailed close ups:

Flo's face
Flo's flower
Flo's flower and leaves

I think I may have to make a bunch more of these dolls so I can experiment with different facial expressions, different colours, different embroidered bodies…

If you are on my Pay it Forward list, you may well end up being the recipient of one of these :-). Best let me know if you want something more useful!

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A Life Unplugged in Pictures

A stack of lovely library books:

library book loving

Getting to grips with French knots:

french knot blushesfrench knots at sea

Some daily paper prompts:

stripyfun with circles DPP #43textures collage

Another entry in the EDM Challenge. This one is #143 Draw a herb or spice.

EDM #143 Draw a herb or spice

Starting an illustrated journal (inspired by Danny Gregory):

first page

Four days staying in a cottage by the seaside. No wi-fi (eek!) but plenty of strange nick-nacks to practice my drawing:


Ah, all this time away from the computer has given me plenty of time to create things to blog about 😉

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Quilts, Mums & Sisters

Did I ever tell you what a star my mum is? Machine quilting is not really my thing – call it a combination of back troubles, limited space, and erm…just lack of love for it. My mum, on the other hand, is an ace at machine quilting, and even enjoys it. So I was overjoyed when she offered to quilt and bind the pink quilt I have been making for a friend’s little girl. I’ve been waiting for a sunny day to get a picture of it, and here it is:

pink quilt on the line

I will admit I didn’t really enjoy making this quilt as much as previous ones. It’s just a bit too conventional. And a bit too pink. But I think the recipient will love it, and that’s the main thing, right?

Moving on from my mum to my sister, H. H does stuff like sending a bundle of quilting fabrics over from the US (where she lives) just because she happens to be passing the Stitching Post :-). A bundle she recently sent included a fabulous map panel “What a World” by Jill McDonald. I have made it into a quilt sandwich and am having fun hand quilting with perle cottons:

what a world in progress

I’m even using different embroidery stitches to quilt, like this buttonhole stitch:

buttonhole mask

and herringbone:

herringbone boat

straight stitches:

russian federation

And – look! – there’s even a little Buddha on there:

even a buddha

What a World indeed!

what a world

And what a mum! And what a sister!

I am very lucky to have such wonderful family members 🙂

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For today’s May Flower Challenge post, I am cheating! I haven’t managed any flower related creativity, so I am sharing with you this journal quilt I made last May. Looking at the Flickr stats, it was on this very day in May 2011 that I photographed it!

It’s 8.5 x 11 inches and is made using collaged fabrics, machine quilting and hand embroidery.


Don’t forget to check out all the other flowery loveliness over on Lori’s blog!

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Last year, I promised to make a quilt for a friend’s litte girl, and I thought it was about time I made a start on it. I have been gathering fabrics for it for a while but couldn’t decide what to do with them. In the end I have decided to keep it simple and make a disappearing nine patch design. Here’s the first four blocks made:

Disappearing Pink Patch - First Four Blocks

I think it will work!

Still on a pink theme, I have done a little more on my first crazy quilt block for the CQJP2012 challenge. I used the first two stitches from Sharon’s Take a Stitch Tuesday challenge – fly stitch and buttonhole stitch:

CQJP January WIP

I am not really convinced I will stick with either challenge, for the reasons I mentioned in this post on my old sewing blog. Instead of being inspired by the work shown by other participants, I am feeling that I don’t quite measure up. Plus I am not sure if I was doing it for “me” or to have something to show.

So maybe I’ll just keep crafting along, without participating in challenges – just making things I want to make, at my own pace, in my own style…Fitting in has never been my style!!!

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