class · embroidery · long armed cross stitch

Progress and an Ugly Bunny

I needed a model of something stitched in long armed cross-stitch for a class I’m teaching.  Okay, maybe I didn’t *need* it but it felt wrong to teach a class and not provide an example.  So, here’s the example:

Of course I see all it’s flaws…and it doesn’t lack for them that’s for sure.  I’m kind of proud of the ‘Donnie Darko’ looking bunny though.  It’s a pattern from this book and it’s not too bad.  Sure, it’s off center and kind to chubby, but I think it will do the trick.

Tomorrow I plan on making a short hand out and getting the kits together.  And some sewing.  My child is in desperate need of a chemise.  She really needs to stop growing.

embroidery · Kittens


Over the course of the weekend, I took the kittens to two adoption events.  The kittens were really well behaved and loads of people went nuts over how completely adorable they are.  Apparently, they were not adorable enough for someone to adopt.

The kittens will be spending the next few days in the kitty condo at the Petco where we have adoption events.  In the mean time, we have a new house guest.  Her name is Alouette.  She’s a black short hair, 6 months old and recently spayed.  She’s downstairs right now meeting the other members of little family.  I’ll post pictures as soon as she’s over the shy phase.

Like a lot of folks interested in historical things, my first brush with embroidery was counted cross-stitch.  My Mom taught me how to do it with simple patterns and DMC floss.  I’ve always liked the look of it.  For me, I could turn off my brain and just stitch away…until I had to count of course!

Looking for a way to incorporate what I like into a historical context, I happened upon “Stalking the Wild Assisi“, super research on void work.

Over the years, I’d collected a few books on counted work, had done a few projects, though they were decidedly modern but when I read “Stalking the Wild Assisi”, I was inspired to create my own sampler and really work on making a long armed cross stitch look good.  The picture you see above is the start of that projects.

So far I’ve learned that one should always outline first.  Don’t let excitement get the best of you!  I’ve also learned that I really like using silk and that I’m glad I have bifocals.  No way would I have been able to see any of this without them!

I’m excited about completing this porting of the sampler and choosing a different pattern to try.  I got a couple of great books as a Christmas gift and plan to use them as inspiration.  I’ll share the books with you next time.  Right now, I need to break up a kitty disagreement.

17th. c. · embroidery · John Smith · Kittens · Pocahontas · waistcoat


Our little guests are still with us.  Tomorrow morning I’m taking them to the vet for a check up.  One of them is having some tummy issues and, honestly, I’m tired of dipping cat little every hour.  (And I’m running out of bags!)

I posted an album with my current embroidery projects on my Facebook page, but I thought I’d go into a little detail on them here on my blog.

To celebrate the 400th anniversary of John Smith and Pocahontas’s marriage, Historic Jamestown is creating a 17th c. waistcoat for Pocahontas.  I was so excited to find out about this project!  I fired off an email super quick and, in under a week, had the little sample I’m to stitch up and mail back.  I would love an opportunity to work on this project!!

I’ve made progress since I took this picture.  Basically, this little bird must be stitched in an outline or stem stick and the interior with a seed stitch.  I’m almost half-way done with the outlining and will be heading for the seed stitch as soon as I can.  I was sent grey silk to work the little bird in.  So for, I’m pretty please with my work but I’m being incredibly picky, too.  I’m trying not to let that slow me down!

What projects are y’all working on in the New Year?  I’ll post a few more of mine as well as info on the kittens vet visit.  Y’all stay warm!



Change is good.  Change is especially good if it means getting your shit together to make room for new and better things.  With Spring Break starting this week, it seemed like as good a time as any to redecorate.  To that end we changed up some things in my daughter’s room, ditched a lovely bedroom suit, (it’s sitting at a consignment store hoping for a new owner) so that we can change the guest room into a study and I’ve spent the last couple of days digging out my sewing room.  Before you get all excited, we didn’t do all this stuff over the course of a single weekend.  (Wouldn’t you be super impressed if we had?  I know I would be!)  It’s been a process.  A process that will end with painting.  Lots of painting.  I think the last room on the list will be the study.  Mostly because we still have a queen size mattress to dispose of.  🙂

This is the sewing room before the big dig.  I guess it’s not as bad as I thought, but it made me crazy.  What made me crazier was having everything lying about everywhere while I was putting a couple of new shelves together.  Ahhh!  I’ve moved some things around and it still needs more work, but it looks a whole lot better.  And bigger.

This is last night, mid-dig.  What a hot freakin’ mess we have here, people!  So today it’s better.  Not completely finished, but better.  I’ve gotten four bags of junk out, most of the shelves are organized the way I like and the tables that hold my machines are pretty much cleared off.  And I can see all my books and info I’ve collected!  I want to pick up a bit more before I show you that picture.  Wait until it’s painted!  Even better!

The other thing about this process is coming face to face with the harsh reality of the things I haven’t finished.  There are just enough of them to be frustrating, but only one that makes me feel a little sad.  He’s my oldest project and, oddly enough, my dearest project.  It’s this guy.    I’m embarrassed to say how long ago I started working on him.  I still have the drawing I took him from and the name of the breviary he’s from but that’s about it.

He was intended to be a sort of sampler, composed entirely of split stitch and stem stitch.  The bow is satin stitch and the whites of his eyes are brick stitch.  He’s stitched on Kona cotton with one strand of DMC floss.

I’m not sure why I’ve never finished him.  I take him out and work on him from time to time.  I’ve even entered him in an A&S thing, (unfinished, obviously 😉 ) but I just haven’t made an substantial effort to finish this poor baby up.  Maybe it’s because I could never decide what to do with him.  Maybe it’s because it would mean the end of something.  Whatever the reason was, it’s irrelevant, because this is the year I finish my sweet little lion.  He’s too cute to keep hidden away!


A Project

Before I go any further, I’d like to throw out a *wave* and a thank you to Racaire.  I really appreciate you stopping by my little corner of the blogosphere.  I spent three of the most influential years of my SCA life in Drachenwald.  It was an incredible experience and we hope one day to return!

I thought today I’d share a simple project with you.  I’d planned to show you my first attempt at a Viking apron but I became a bit obsessed with cleaning up my sewing room.  I’d rather have nice pictures of the garment in a passably clean room than nice pictures of it in a sewing that looks like a mad crafter barfed in it.  🙂

This Spring I took a class on appliqué taught at a completely lovely event.  The instructor, Mistress Jadi, provided all the supplies and, after we covered the basic stitches used, we went out into the world, projects in hand.  What you see here are the results of that class.  It’s stitched on wool and I turned the piece into a pouch.  (One of the many little things I desperately needed!)  My stitching is terribly uneven but, on the whole, I’m fairly pleased with the result.  I really enjoyed the project and look forward to doing more appliqué!