For centuries women have used cloth as a tool of comfort and as an expression of beauty within their homes. Creating cloth for warmth, cloth for shelter, our female predecessors embellished these linens with hand stitch using laborious and time consuming techniques thereby enhancing the functional beauty of objects which enveloped and protected their families. Inspired by these women I hope my creations pay tribute to and recognise the devotion expressed in cloth by our female ancestors .

''the use of traditional often time consuming process alludes to the devotion of a mother''. c K. A. Ruane 2007

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

a pocket pillow

Today.....a pocket pillow. I love this, love it I tell you. I nearly didn't put it in the shop but I've already got one. How many do I need? I am officially out of gingham now. That has gone on the London shopping list along with Liberty print fabric, lace, cotton seersucker and any other titivated cotton I can clap my eyes on. I may also get some Broderie Anglaise....we shall see. I intend to resist vintage. I have a lot of vintage however I may need more for Alchemy....and as you know I can resist anything but temptation.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

back and forth and back and forth

I'm back....again. I did post this to Typepad but it's gone AWOL again. I won't be beaten. This is a quick look for you at my week so far through images taken with my phone, spontaneous, of the moment. I got new threads, I ate an Easter egg and yes I know that one of my walls is in need of attention....sorry.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Moving back.....and a gingham pocket pillow.

Well, who knew I would be back here? It's temporary, I think. There are issues at my new place and I can't bear to be disconnected. How many people will come here and see this? Haven't a clue. There are no familiar stat records here....I shall just close my eyes and hold on tight, hoping that a few friends will stop by. Perhaps if you leave a comment, just say hi, I will get an idea that way? I'm not sure how long I will stay here, it's bit musty, could do with a good clean, an airing, there's no kettle never mind cake. Everything is over at the new place, the links for classes, the link for the shop, the link for the new Alchemy.
I am consoling myself with gingham, a new pillow pocket thingy. It's almost finished much to my amazement, a few more pointy things, a couple of applique bumps, a back, a pocket, a final this space....or maybe the other space...I'm kind of homeless at the moment.

Alchemy link (because don't forget this is coming out of the shop later this week as I'm off to London, visiting fabric shops, eating cake, generally being very self indulgent!

Monday, July 23, 2012

the lower edge

The lower edge of 'cameos' now has an edge. Lace and scrim have been added and secured with bullion knots. It is so white, so soft but it isn't finished. I have placed these images on my new blog by way of a first post. Nothing is official yet, that will come in my newsletter but meantime you can go have a look over here. Remember I only just moved in so things are a little disorganised...I will get there in the end but for now, the next day or so this is still home.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

the removal men are booked....

I have been a technological sense. I am working on the typepad blog. I have signed up and I have had a good look round my new place. I still can't find where they keep the coffee and I am having trouble deciding which wallpaper I want but that's all part of it isn't it. Actually I am in danger of becoming so confused that I will never recover but I want to do it, I am determined, I will not be beaten. It will be at least two days before I actually say goodbye and don't worry...I will leave a forwarding address....
An Embroiderers Ledger finished today....allegedly. You will not be surprised to hear that one person is holding everything I get so carried away, want to do extra, more complicated stuff so on we go for another few days. I really must learn the art of restraint.
Last night I was on the computer until around 9 pm visiting my new place...I just about lost the will to live. Solution? ....embroidery of course. So I picked up my 'cameo' piece and gave it a little edge which I will show you tomorrow if I manage to get it damp stretched.

***a little update***
To answer a few queries I have been getting...I feel Typepad would give me a better platform in terms of things I may wish to add to my blog. That may not happen at first as it could take me some time to ''feel my way'' but for the long term I think it would be a good move.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

same old same old.....

I showed you this spread the other day with full layout I have so many images on my computer and was going to add others today but you have already seen those had to look back and check. I am on a bit of an organisation, sorting out mission and don't quite know what you have and haven't seen for sure but my best guess is that these actual images are new to you. Again these are practising pictures, getting into the swing of things after a long time away.
(to my ledger girls...I talk a little about these pages in one of tomorrows videos)
I am planning changes...for some time I have wanted a Typepad blog but couldn't seem to export this over there. This blog is now such a part of me that I didn't want to leave it behind but now I'm thinking..''it will always be here'' and it also seems that if I have patience and time a lot of the stuff from here can actually be copied and pasted over there so that's half a plan. I am in the early stages of composing my latest newsletter and any changes will be on there so watch out for that dropping into your inbox over the next few days. If you want to receive my newsletter when it's ready then please just drop me a mail to contemporaryembroidery(at)hotmail(dot)com then you will be certain not to miss anything.

Friday, July 20, 2012


My sofa this morning after a relaxing evening watching back to back NYPD Blue and embroidering. I have added mirrors to cameos and partly created another swatch of bullion knots. I have nearly worked my way through four series.....I need another, I sense withdrawals when I have watched them all.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

lace and strips

Strips of lace and delicate cloth joined together and embellished, white of course. This is quite narrow, perhaps 3 inches wide by 11 inches in length. Obviously I love to embroider on these but equally I love putting them together. I surround myself with boxes of scraps and pick pieces that appeal, often changing my mind, taking pins out and replacing a piece with something else. The process is as exciting as the end result.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


cam·e·o  (km-)
n. pl. cam·e·os
a. A gem or shell carved in relief, especially one in which the raised design and the background consist of layers of contrasting colors.
b. The technique of carving in this way.
c. A medallion with a profile cut in raised relief.

I think I may have been creating Cameos.....unintentionally but that's what this is saying to me...hope you don't mind me indulging my obsession with definitions either, sometimes I just can't help myself. 
All I have done here is edge these surfaces with buttonhole, twice around but in different directions....sort of. You won't be surprised to see a few bullion knots either....another obsession. I'm afraid I can't clam credit for the beautiful coloured areas, they are vintage scraps. I am taking care of them though, respecting them, hopefully enhancing them and transforming them into something contemporary.
I have a question now. Are there any photographic/video geniuses out there? I was thinking of buying some lights to enhance photo and video whilst we live through this rain and storm....I googled, I looked and all I got was confused. I don't have a clue what I need. I don't want to spend a small fortune and I don't want anything bulky or non portable because basically I live in a cupboard.