Blackwork embroidery designs

Blackwork doesnt have to be black!


Cross Stitch

A Little Roundup

Happy New Year! To close out the old year and ring in the new, here is a little roundup of my crafty doings over the last while.

Coffee or tea as you read? You can put your cup and a cookie on these mug rugs. I made some for me…


And some as a gift.

moms mug rugs in progress.jpg

The fabrics are from my stash of fat quarters – I pick up a couple – or five or six – every time I’m in the local quilt shop. I matched floss to the fabric, only need two colours so that’s easy and a great use of the stash of floss and fabric.


I decided to make something pretty to protect the top of my vintage sewing machine, which still works but is doing duty as decorative plant stand these days. Hmmm, need to re-pot that African Violet, I think.

table runner on sewing machine.jpg

A friend bought a new house, which got me thinking about housewarming gifts, which led to a new blackwork design – Home Sweet Castle. The towers are covered in pink trumpet vines – castle, trumpets – see what I did there? 😉

castle image.jpg


More sewing! It’s becoming a habit 😉  I’m sewing a quilt from a kit that was given to me for Christmas – lucky girl I am! It will be a twin size when the last two rows are added. I’d like it to be king size though, so will be buying more material and adding some rows. I don’t think my machine will handle the quilting, but I’ll try it to see and if not, then I’ll take it to a local quilter for finishing. That feels like cheating though!

Quilt in progress.JPG

And last but definitely not least, the cross stitch project that I’m working on is Pretty Little Sydney, by Satsuma Street. I love her designs. As I’m stitching, I’m remembering riding in a little boat across the Sydney Harbour to the Opera House, bringing smiles and happy thoughts.

Pretty Little Sydney.jpg

Til next time, happy stitching everyone 🙂




Welcome – Kia Ora

Aren’t these gingham Kiwi adorable!?  My latest stitching finish, the pattern is designed by Jenny of Home-Stitch-Ness.


I love her designs, and this one brings back memories of our visit to New Zealand a couple of years ago.

When I think of New Zealand I think of bubbling mud and steam vents that give the feeling that you are travelling atop an active volcano. I think of tropical vegetation, and steep green hills dotted with cows and sheep.  I think of tidy front yards, with an orange tree, a lemon tree and … a grazing cow. I think of a narrow, winding, sea-side road with huge mirrors on the corners, and telephone poles planted out in the tide. I think of yummy pumpkin soup, and the scarcity of brewed coffee.

These little Kiwi birds bring those memories and more.

The raspberry-gingham Kiwi is  now in the entrance-way, warmly welcoming guests – Kia Ora!


For the past few weeks we’ve been under evacuation alert because of a forest fire, now finally contained, that was burning out of control and way too close to our home. I had to pack up and be ready to go at a moment’s notice. The truck was hooked to our trailer, and loaded with crates for our five dogs, and a freezer full of food – mostly for the dogs, as they are fed raw. 🙂 Our horses were moved to a friend’s property for safety.

Smoke over the farm
Smoke over the farm
Little Bobtail Fire up close
Little Bobtail Fire up close – photo taken about 10 kms from home

Unable to take everything, I had the very emotional task of choosing the most important things to pack. So many times I would find myself with my hands full of things that I knew I could not take, and would have to put them down and pack only the most precious items. Difficult choices, and I am so happy to be able to unpack now that the fire is under control. And yes, of course my stitching supplies were among the first things that I packed!

Packed to evacuate
Packed to evacuate

We were lucky and most days the smoke was not too bad, but some days the thick black and orange smoke overhead, raining down crispy, partially burned pine needles was very unnerving.

Smokey Sky
Smokey Sky
Smokey pasture
Smokey pasture

We’ve had some wild thunderstorms and the rain has helped the firefighters gain control of the fire. The storms brought hail too; some piles took a couple of days to melt and the Corgis thought that was a most awesome way to cool off after a walk.

Finnegan on a pile of hail
Finnegan on a pile of hail
Corgi on Ice
Corgi on Ice

Very little stitching has been accomplished lately. I’ve been working on a the first block of Shannon Wasilieff’s Fantasy Stitch-Along. I am slowly adding the many, many beads to my princess in this lovely design.

Fantasy SAL
Fantasy SAL

I’ve not made any progress on my own designs, as my computer with my design software was packed away and has not yet been unpacked. I am working on a cute little scuba diver in blackwork, and hope to be able to show you some progress on that design soon!


Cats & Quilts for Charity

Yay! I’ve finally finished the first of the “Cats and Quilts” patterns by Kitty and Me Designs!

Cats & Quilts January - Kitty & Me Designs
Cats & Quilts January – Kitty & Me Designs

I started this pattern last year, but then it got buried in my workbasket as I got busy with a totally awesome trip to Australia and New Zealand, which included a wedding:

Ring Pillow
Ring Pillow

The kitty and quilt stitching has been added to the stash that is destined for Pause 2 Help Pawsa group of crafters that donates hand-stitched items to raise funds to aid animal shelters.

Pause 2 Help Paws Stash

If you’d like to stitch a little something for charity, don’t forget Canada Stitches – an international group of crafty volunteers that stitch premature infant quilts and cuddle cushions to be donated to children’s hospitals. Canada Stitches is hosting a Small Square Challenge – submit a small, 3 to 4 inch stitched square and be entered in their prize draw. The squares will be made into pillows, wall hangings and lap quilts to brighten someone’s day 🙂

New Year, New Start

It is a stitcher’s tradition to start a new project for the new year. For my New Year’s Day project, I chose this absolutely adorable pattern by Seba Designs. There are charts for three window scenes, and I’ve finished the first one so far:

Seba Designs Cat in Window framed

These cute patterns are a mix of cross-stitch and blackwork. I especially love the lacy curtain, and the bicycle plant stand is charming.

I have used completely different colours than what the pattern calls for, of course!  I had a bit of a lovely variegated gold silk floss, from Silks4U that I used for the window frame, and for the lace curtain I used a gorgeous pink and yellow cotton floss called Jaffa by Dinky Dyes, also from Silks4U. The plant pots were stitched in a variegated DMC floss, a blend of browns and rusts, and the leaves in variegated greens.

In the Nick of Time

St. Nick that is!  I’ve just finished an adorable Tropical Christmas ornament by Stoney Creek and as I wondered what I was going to do with it, Claire93 shared an idea for stitched Christmas ornaments. Perfect timing!  I decided to try the felt backing trimmed with pinking shears. Perhaps not the easiest finish for a round ornament, I had to fuss a little to get the fringe even, but eventually it worked and I love the result!

Tropical xmas
Tropical Christmas

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