Category : Blog
9 years, 11 months ago 0
Posted in: Blog, Cross stitch

First up: apologies to any commenters who were wondering why their comments weren’t approved. I generally tryto grab all the real comments as they come through and approve them immediately, but sometimes I miss a few. I’ve just spent an hour going through the hundreds and hundreds of spam comments that built up and found a few real ones that slipped by me the first time. Hopefully I didn’t inadvertantly delete any now while I was lost in the mind-numbing repetition of enhancements, registry cleaners and comments starting with NiksLove. If you’ve commented and it was lost, please feel free to comment again!

Secondly, I’m going to be playing around with this site in the next few days, so expect things to be a bit odd for a bit. I’m a long way from being any kind of web designer, so it may take a few false starts to get it all running again. It’ll look quite a bit different soon and hopefully a number of the annoying bugs I haven’t had the time or energy to straighten out before will be taken care of.

And with all that, I wish you (as the Germans say) a good slide into the New Year!

Or Nué Portrait Project
9 years, 11 months ago 0

It’s done! This work-in-progress has been preying on me for months and months and months, but last night I sat down and finished off the final couching and framed it. Just to remind you: this is what it looked like back in February, when I’d finally solved the problem of running out of string. Admittedly, it probably wasn’t that many hours of stitching that still needed to be done (I’m going to guess I put another 20 hours or so into it to finish it), but it was a just for fun project and not running on any deadlines.


The finished piece has a fantastic texture to it, that you can’t fully see from the frontal photo. The two types of strings I used are dramatically different in texture and size, with the lighter, yellower one being significantly thicker and higher.


The greyish string was much softer and more thread-like, which meant it acted quite differently when I couched it down. It was easier to squeeze into the sharp corners than the other string, but also was harder to keep in smooth lines when couching it down, and had a tendency to get squashed or come a little unravelled. As you can see below, some corners were a little tricky and it was difficult to get perfect coverage. From a distance you can’t see these imperfections, but it still annoys me a little that they’re there. I used two different coloured threads to couch down the respective string, and a dark brown to create the portrait. I only used stranded cotton on this project, figuring silk was far to fine and shiny for the effect I was after.


Now for the final conclusion: did I achieve the effect I was after? This whole project began as a vague idea in the back of my mind as to whether I could use the inherent characteristics of Or Nué (the flowing couched lines) to become an integral part of the design itself. The idea formed further when I saw a beautiful photo in a book several years ago of an elderly woman with a face full of laugh lines and wrinkles. The two ideas merged at some point and coalesced into a serious project when I took a photo of my husband’s eighty year old uncle at a family wedding last year.

In the end, I didn’t find a way to fully create what I had in mind: because you need to couch over the string at mostly right angles and I didn’t want to create monstrously thick lines by fully covering the string, I couldn’t quite get the string to create the flow of wrinkles I was after, and still allow me to couch the outline of his face. However, I’m still really happy with how it worked out, slightly different though it is from my original plan, and think it became quite a unique portrait.

10 years ago 0
Posted in: Blog, Projects

Check it out!

I’m so excited to finally announce that seekrit project codenamed Velvet Mocassins (okay, that’s a bit of an in-joke – you really should join the Stitchalicious facebook page ;) ) is out…

(drumroll, please)

A brand new Stitchalicious grafitti design featured on Urban Threads!

urban threads stitched atrocity grafitti

It’s my latest greatest tagging work. Atrocity – something I always wanted to be as a teenager, but I was waaay too much of a book geek at the time. I’m doing my best to catch up now.

Get the design as a machine embroidery pattern and stitch it on, well, anything.

Ahh, embroidered grafitti, I love you just so much.

10 years ago 0
Posted in: Blog, Courses, Events

Big News!

I’m offering a monthly embroidery workshop (in English and German)!


Every first Thursday in the month, I’ll be hosting an embroidery workshop at La Bastellerie from 7pm. It’s 15€ per person (not including materials) and is a freeform workshop, meaning you can come in with your own stuff and some questions, you can grab one of my kits and follow a specific project, or you can just pick up some thread and a scrap of fabric and start stitching! I’ll teach you how to do the kind of embroidery that interests you – from beginner projects like counted cross stitch, to surface work such as crewel, to more advanced techniques like goldwork and stumpwork.

Currently I’m limiting it to 5 people and last month we booked out. So please sign up by emailing La Bastellerie (labastellerie at googlemail dot com) and if you do sign up, please show up or cancel by the day before so that we can offer the place to someone else.

Speaking of the day before… the first Wednesday of each month is the open Bastel Lounge, a Stitch-n-Bitch styled event for hanging out with folk and doing crafty stuff. No cost involved, just bring along your projects and join us (go on, you know you want to).

10 years ago 0
Posted in: Blog, Stumpwork

I just picked up my contributors copy of Indie Craft from the post office and have been doing a rather embarrassing sort of happy dance around the flat ever since. Don’t worry, I made sure the shutters were closed first. That poor teenager across the street has suffered enough of my antics in the last few years, I really don’t have to torment him further.

So here it is, in my hot little hands. Or would be if it wasn’t 4°C outside and I just had to spend twenty minutes outside the post office waiting for a bus to get home. Without gloves. But even with frozen fingertips it is a beautiful book, and so amazing to see my pieces in print (beautifully photographed by foto di matti).  And the other contributors? WOW.

indie craft jacinta lodgeintroduction indie craft jacinta lodge

10 years, 1 month ago Comments Off
Posted in: Blog, Miscellaneous

There’s really no need for me to ever say anything about knitting. Firstly because there are uncountable excellent knitting resources out there, and secondly because I can’t knit. I had a brief, nightmarish foray into scarf creation at the age of six with some monstrous yellow knitting needles and baby-poo coloured wool and I’ve never gone back.

Until recently, when I bit the bullet and did a knitting workshop. There I was convinced to try my hand at Stulpen (aka arm warmers, aka gaiters, apparently) and told immediately to try some fancy knot work. Because, I was told, it’s just knitting stitches. And she was right, that wasn’t that much more difficult than regular knit stitch.

Except that I have fifteen thumbs and apparently six toes involved in knitting. I don’t think I’m ever going to love it the way I do embroidery.

But I got there in the end, so here it is. My first knitting attempt since the age of six. Please ignore the dropped stitches, the wonky lines, the terrible tension and all that. I’ve got an arm warmer now and I think it’ll stay singular.

10 years, 1 month ago 0
Posted in: Blog, Cross stitch

You know how it is, right? Sometimes you just want to pick up a needle and do something small and quick. Something that didn’t require too much creative energy, but just fills in a bit of time with some relaxing, repetitive motion. Where it doesn’t really matter if you miss a stitch, or screw up your counting because it’s only a small piece of playing around.

About six months ago I visited MrXStitch without, wouldyoubelieve, taking any stitching with me. So on a rainy afternoon we visited a craft shop and I picked out two wee kits to tide me over and he challenged me to try and make them my own.

The first, a cutesy little mouse, I finished that weekend and it has found a home at MrXStitch Towers.

mouse before

mouse after

The second I didn’t get around to finishing until I threw my back this week and found myself admiring the ceiling for a few days.

helicopter beforehelicopter after

What about you? What patterns have you modded for your own purposes?

10 years, 1 month ago 0

indie craft

It’s out! Jo Waterhouse‘s book Indie Craft features artists and crafters who do something slightly different with handwork. There are some amazing artists in there and I must admit I’m squeeing in delight to be included in this august company. Check out the publishers site to see more of what’s in the book, or just look at this list of the crafters to see that you really. want. this. book.

Featuring work from:

Diem Chau
Angela Chick
Craft Guerrilla
Phil Davison
Erin Dollar
Marloes Duyker
Jenny Hart
Kate Jenkins
Knit the City
Knitta Please
Kup Kup Land
Jacinta Lodge
Joetta Maue
Eva Monleón
Sarah Neuburger
Tania Patritti
Emily Peacock
Shauna Richardson
Amy Rue
Naomi Ryder
William Schaff
Matte Stephens
Vivienne Strauss
Tada’s Revolution
Patricia Waller
Kate Westerholt
Howie Woo

10 years, 3 months ago 0
Posted in: Blog, Crewel, Projects

Am I alone in disliking samplers? I don’t dislike the idea of a sampler – in the end a lot of what I stitch is just because I’d like to try some new techniques out. But most of the samplers out there… well historical stitching has never been my thing. I’m really glad there are people who love examining, preserving and recreating historical embroideries, but it’s not what flips my switch.

And just doing the alphabet again? I can already count to nine thanks.

But the concept of a sampler – using it as a way of gathering and practising techniques – is a great one. So to give myself other sampler-type options, I’ve spent a bit of time recently trying to work on my graffiti tagging technique. Mainly because I adore typography and find a lot of the good graffiti out there simply amazing, not because I’ve got the sudden urge to start sneaking into train yards in the wee hours of the morn, hoodie up and scarf wound tight. But considering that my draftmanship skills are almost nonexistent (you should try and decipher my handwriting sometime) this has been somewhat of a challenge.

First of all: what on earth makes a cool tag? I’ve already used “stitch”, and although I’m happy to try and perfect my style with that, I’d like to mix it up a little at least.

So when a friend suggested a few slightly more wanton, albeit literary, words, well I went with it. Now I know I’m a long, long way from any tagging talent, but I liked my initial bubble styled sketch enough to use that without trying to really work it I up into something a real graffiti artist would be happy with. But it’s a start, right?

So here’s an early sketch of it. I cheated a bit with using tracing paper (because I’m lazy like that) to plan a few different colourways and stitch techniques before I settled on giving crewel a shot in wool. You’ve seen a couple of letters already, and I’ll get more up as I get closer to finishing it.

Anyone else feeling lascivious?


10 years, 3 months ago 0


I love Wonder Cabinets. I love the original Victorian ones, full of fossils and bones and other curiosities. The things that kind of freak you out with the horrid fascination of someones toenail collection or dried umbilical cord. Why, just, why would you store that?

Now Berlin is getting one of its own – but this is of a more handmade nature. Curated by Leah Buckareff of Cold Snap Bindery and hosted by La Bastellerie, you can come admire, goggle at and even buy the curiosities on display.

I’mJane Nicholas’s amazing book

Now because it isn’t a design of my own, I’m offering it for sale, but all proceeds will be put straight into Kiva, a micro lending organisation helping individuals around the world achieve great things by giving them a starting boost into self-sufficiency. I’ve been lending through them for a few years now (here’s my lending page ) and encourage everyone to do it. There’s even a Stitchalicious group for lenders I’d you’d like to take part in that.

So that’s my part in the Wunderkabinett, for now at least. Pop by the website if you can’t come and see it in person – Leah will be showcasing all that is going in there.