Greenhills 2

Greenhills kangaroos

As promised, here is the second instalment on the fun and creativity at our annual stitching weekend.  The mother kangaroo and her joey were spotted on the lawns while we were outside at afternoon tea.


Blackwork by Christine Bailey

Blackwork by Christine Bailey

 Deceptively simple, Christine Bailey says small blackwork samplers are quick and easy to do.

 Susan Douds brought her Blue Wren, designed by Lesley Turpin-Delport, which Susan had started in a workshop at Beating Around the Bush in Adelaide.  In these photos Susan had just finished the ribbon embroidery and had started inserting some real “whispy” feathers.

Blue wren 1 by Susan Douds

Blue wren 1 by Susan Douds


Blue wren 2 by Susan Douds

Blue wren 2 by Susan Douds









And here is the finished result, a spectacular example of mixed-media, dimensional embroidery.

Blue Wren worked by Susan Douds

Blue Wren worked by Susan Douds


Sadly I didn’t manage to get a photo of the real blue wren (also known here as fairy wren) family that was playing in the bushes outside, so here is a picture from the CSIRO.  The girl is the dull brown, and the boy gets the fancy plumage!

blue wrens

Jillian Bath had brought in another Lesley Turpin-Delport design, Nesting Weaver.  If you’d like to find out more about this designer and her designs, click here.

Nesting Weaver 1 by Jillian Bath

Nesting Weaver 1 by Jillian Bath

Nesting Weaver 2 by Jillian Bath

Nesting Weaver 2 by Jillian Bath








Jillian always seems to have a selection of lovely accessories with her whenever I see her.   Just how many do you have, Jillian?  Never mind, don’t confess anything…

Jillian Bath accessories 1Jillian Bath accessories 2






Smocking by Liz Bell

Smocking by Liz Bell



Liz Bell had moved on to some smocking






Robin by Libby Williams

Robin by Libby Williams




And Libby Williams was working on this Nicola Jarvis Studio design, a Morris-inspired crewel work




Towel with roses by Alice Keeley

Towel with roses by Alice Keeley



Then Alice Keeley was busy working on small towels to become Christmas gifts.  Isn’t it lovely that ready-made rosettes combined with simple stitches create something so effective?




There was also plenty of Hardanger happening around the tables…

Lel Whitbread and Susan Coates were working on a project from Hardanger for the Horrified (great name!) by Jane Greenoff

Hardanger by Lel Whitbread

Hardanger by Lel Whitbread

Hardanger by Susan Coates

Hardanger by Susan Coates









Hardanger by Lesley Jenesen

Hardanger by Lesley Jenesen

Hardanger by Tina Korda

Hardanger by Tina Korda


And some more Hardanger by Lesley Jenesen, Tina Korda, and Brenda Phillips






Hardanger cloth by Brenda Phillips

Hardanger cloth by Brenda Phillips


Margaret O’Beirne was working on a canvaswork kit Tuscan Midnight by Kathy Rees of Needlelights Originals.

Canvaswork 1 by Margaret OBeirne

Canvaswork by Margaret O”Beirne

Canvaswork by Margaret O"Beirne

Canvaswork by Margaret O”Beirne








Kay Reid had brought in a canvaswork begun on her latest cruise.

Canvaswork by Kay Reid

Canvaswork by Kay Reid

There was just so much going on at Greenhills, I think I’ll have to go on to a third blog, but finally for this one, just another taste of Ruth Ellis‘s fabric baskets.

Basket by Ruth Ellis

Basket by Ruth Ellis

Basket by Ruth Ellis

Basket by Ruth Ellis











Have a great stitching weekend.





Happy New Year!

Hi everyone

Wishing you all a Happy New Year.

As a treat for the start of the New Year here’s an update of the following galleries for you.



Contemporary Creative Embroidery

Crewel & Surface Stitchery

Cross Stitch

Fibre & Yarn






Counting Threads

Hi everyone

I hope you’re having a great weekend. In this post I’m going to share two works that use different counted thread techniques.


The first uses Blackwork which is an embroidery technique that dates back to at least the 16th century. It’s also called Spanish Blackwork because it’s thought that it was first brought to England by Catherine of Aragon. It became very popular during the reigns of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I as a decorative element on clothing but gradually lost ground in the 17th century.

If you’ve read The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer you might recall that he describes the clothing of the miller’s wife in this way:

“Of white, too, was the dainty smock she wore, embroidered at the collar all about with coal-black silk, alike within and out.”

The stitches that are characteristic of this geometric technique are Double Running Stitch (also called Holbein Stitch) and Back Stitch. It’s usually stitched on an evenweave fabric.

Flight of a Butterfly

Flight of a Butterfly  is a beautiful Blackwork and Goldwork design stitched by Sharon Burrell. Sharon began this piece as part of a class with Tanja Berlin at the 2013 Koala Conventions. She says that it was the first time she’d done any Blackwork and she absolutely loved the experience because Tanja was such a fantastic teacher. Sharon also found Tanja’s class notes really helpful for finishing the embroidery after the class.

Here’s some awesome eye candy of Sharon’s lovely stitching:

Flight of a Butterfly stitched by Sharon Burrell

Detail 1 of Flight of a Butterfly stitched by Sharon Burrell

Detail 2 of Flight of a Butterfly stitched by Sharon Burrell


Now to the  second counted thread technique……

Wessex Stitching 

When I first came across this technique I thought it looked a bit medieval and assumed it must be very old. The ‘Wessex’ name also adds to the aura of history because during the Anglo Saxon period it was a centre for embroidery and illuminating.

But no it’s actually a more recent style that was created by Mrs Margaret Foster (1843-1936) who lived in Bath, England. Very little is known about her life but her technique, Wessex Stitching, has endured because after her death her sister donated all her notes and the 300 pieces she developed for an exhibition to Gawthorpe Hall.

Gawthorpe Hall has an awesome collection of lace, embroidery and other textiles. It is absolutely on my bucket list. You can read more here.

Wessex Stitching combines a limited number of stitches in a wide variety of patterns and colours to create a decorative effect. It’s also usually stitched on evenweave fabric.

The Broken Window

We’ve been progressively sharing with you the postcards made for 2014 Creative Challenge  Stitching Love and Hope. The postcard we’re sharing in the post is a wonderful modern re-interpretation of the WW1 Silks.

It was created by Catherine Fetherston and is called  The Broken Window. It was inspired by photos of church ruins in France in WW1. The embroidery technique used is Wessex Stitching.

I find this postcard very moving and profound in its understated elegance. The colours and design Catherine has chosen are very evocative of a stained glass window fragmented and yet still splendid in its beauty.

Here are some photos:

2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Catherine Fetherston

Detail 1 of 2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Catherine Fetherston

Detail 2 of 2014 Creative Challenge Postcard by Catherine Fetherston

What do you think?



Susan’s Beautiful Blackwork Lady

Hi again everyone

Here’s another beautiful piece of embroidery that’s going to be in the Guild’s Annual Exhibition at the Albert Hall, Canberra this coming weekend. If you’re going to be in town come and see us and say hi. We’d love to catch up with you.

This Blackwork piece has been stitched by Susan Coates and has a real Art Nouveau feel to the design and is very elegant….

Blackwork stitched by Susan Coates

Detail 1 of Blackwork stitched by Susan Coates

Detail 2 of Blackwork stitched by Susan Coates

and now for some of the delightful and intricate details of the stitching

Detail 4 of Blackwork stitched by Susan Coates

Detail 5 of Blackwork stitched by Susan Coates and my favourite close-up….

Detail 3 of Blackwork stitched by Susan Coates

The hare is just awesome but there’s also the detail of those shoes!!!

Thank you so much Susan for sharing your work and Stewart Bath for the great photos.

I just love it and hope you do too!


Blackwork Beauties 2

Hi again

We had some lovely feedback from readers about Marjorie’s Blackwork cushion. So here are another two wonderful embroideries by Marjorie Gilby that include blackwork.

The first is a historic house ‘Ashgrove’ done in an elegant Blackwork style:

Ashgrove Blackwork by Marjorie Gilby

Close-up of Ashgrove Blackwork by Marjorie Gilby

The second is an equally elegant piece but with a hint of mystery. This portrait includes Cross Stitch, Blackwork and Beading:

Lady in Blackwork Coat by Marjorie Gilby

X stitch and Blackwork Woman in Coat by Marjorie Gilby

X stitch and Blackwork Lady by Marjorie Gilby

and here’s a closer look at the Blackwork panel

Xstitch and Blackwork Woman by Marjorie Gilby

Close-up of Blackwork Panel on Woman in Coat by Marjorie Gilby

If you want a more detailed look just click on the photos.

Thank you again Marjorie for so generously sharing your work with us.



Looking over Shoulders 8

Hi everyone

Here I am back in Canberra which is amazingly mild for this time of the year.

The trip to Central Australia was a blast but I did feel a twinge at missing the Greenhills stitching weekend. By all accounts it was fantastic fun – lots of stitching, friendship, laughter, chat and good food.

Our wonderful Jillian Bath took lots of great photos for you……..if you want a closer look just click on the photo

Ruth was working on this bright appliqué

Ruth Applique

and Kathy Pascoe on this Canvaswork

Kathy Pascoe Canvas work

Pat Bootland was making progress on this Alison Cole Goldwork design

Goldwork by Pay Bootland

Tina Korda worked on her stitchery

Stitchery by Tina Korda

Stitchery 2 by Tina Korda

She also made this wool flower brooch in the special workshop

Wool Flower Brroch by Tina Korda

This delicate Brazilian embroidery was in Mercia Needham’s hoop

Brazilian Embroidery by Mercia Needham

and this one in Kay Reid’s hoop

Brazilian Embroidery by Kay Reid

Kay also found time to work on this stitchery

Stitchery by Kay Reid

Hazel Hunt was also working on a lovely piece of surface stitching

Hazel Hunt tablecloth

Hazel Hunt tablecloth 2

Gail Haidon is almost there with her wool embroidery project

Wool Embroidery by Gail Haidon

Anne Dowling had a couple of projects on the go – this Canvaswork with a real pop of colour

Canvaswork by Anne Dowling

Close up of Canvaswork by Anne Dowling

and this cute Christmas appliqué

Anne Dowling Applique

Diana Churchill was also working on a Christmas hanging

Diana Churchill Xmas hanging

A couple of people were stitching away on Crewel work – Pam Hynd on this softly coloured but complex pattern

Crewel work by Pam Hynd

and Claire Westley on this detailed design

Crewel work by Claire Westley

Antoinette Stojadinovic had her feet up knitting a scarf – look at those cool red shoes!

Antoinette knitting scarfand this funky cat being stitched by Lel Whitbread

Lel Whitbreads Cat

Liz Bell was cross stitching this elegant alphabet

Cross Stitch by Liz Bellwhile Margaret O’Beirne was working on this super cute owl and friends

Cross Stitch by Margaret OBeirne

Sarah Kimmorley was making progress on her postcard

Stitchery by Sarah Kimmorley

This retro Blackwork project of Susan Coates is very striking

Susan Blackwork

as is this quilt that Lynn Burgess was working on

Lynn Burgess Quilt

A traditional Deerfield design was emerging from Fran Novitski’s hoop

Deerfield by Fran Novitski

While Sue McLean was tatting

Tatting by Sue McLean

and Lesley Jemesen was doing Hardanger

Hardanger by Lesley Jemesen

as was Rosemary Daniels

Hardanger 2 by Rosemary Daniels

A mystery person had finished this pile of crochet squares – if someone can let me know a name I’ll add it to this post

Crochet squares

Workshop on Paper Folding

As well as doing an awesome job of organising this stitching weekend Brenda Phillips also taught a Paper Folding workshop. Here’s a quick peek

paper folding 3


paper folding 2

Paper folding 1

Paper folding 4

A big thanks to Brenda and Jillian for all their hard work.



Looking Over Shoulders 6

Hello everyone

Just in case some of you are feeling withdrawal symptoms because there are no Guild meetings this week here’s a ‘looking over shoulders’ post. These are photos I took with my iPad at the last couple of evening meetings.

Monica Andrew had us all laughing as she declared that she loved to torture fabric aka this biscornu in progress – it’s been needlefelted, embellished and machine embroidered

Red Biscornu in progress by Monica Andrew   Lili Bradley really caught everyone’s attention with this barbed wire made out of twine. She gave it a modern twist  when she arranged it with the crochet hearts she was making ….

Barbed wire  crochet hearts by Lili Bradley

Janet Pearce was also doing crochet – a baby’s shawl

Crochet in progress by Janet Pearce

Elvi McCann was racing to finish this Hardanger music box cover – she’s making it for one of her grandsons to give to his Mum for Mother’s Day.

Hardanger Music Box Lid in progress by Elvi McCann

Next to her Sharon Burrell was stitching this Hardanger angel

Finished Hardanger Angel by Sharon Burrell

When Sharon finished the angel she picked up her cross stitch panel showing a retro day at the races. The panel’s too big to capture in one photo so here it is in segments:

Races x stitch 5 by Sharon BurrellRaces x stitch 4 by Sharon BurrellRaces x stitch 3 by Sharon BurrellRace x stitch 2 by Sharon BurrellRaces X stitch panel 1 by Sharon Burrell

On another table Cathy Fetherston had two pieces on the go……

this Hardanger and Blackwork combo

Hardanger and Blackwork in progress by Cathy Fetherston

and this Blackwork piece

Blackwork in progress by Cathy Fetherston

I was tempted to run away with Cathy’s biscornu pincushion

Blackwork Biscornu stitched by Catherine Fetherston

Meanwhile Kerry Neale was stitching this blackwork leaf….

Blackwork Leaf in progress by Kerry Neale

While next to her Eleni Holloway was creating a cute sheep in the same technique…

Blackwork Sheep in progress by Eleni Holloway

In contrast Susan Douds was embroidering this stitchery with a real pop of colour

Surface stitchery by Suzanne

You’ve seen Pat Bootland’s piper in an earlier Looking over Shoulders so here’s another peep at the progress she’s making

Piper in progress by Pat Bootland

Ditto Jenny Balderson’s crewel work…….here’s the design element she was working on last time

Crewel work in progess 2 by Jenny Balderson

and here’s the bit she’s working on now

crewel work in progress by Jenny Balderson

Robyn Duncan was busy developing a knot garden design for the more advanced Young Stitchers to do

Knot garden in progress by Robyn Duncan

and Hazel Hunt was working away at this lovely surface stitching

Surface stitch in progress by Hazel Hunt

Beside her Jillian Farrer was also stitching a burst of colour

Surface Stitching in progress by Jillian Farrer

Leonie Hunt’s delicate Australian wildflower cross stitch is emerging from her hoop

Wildflower x stitch in progress by Leonie Hunt

Susan Lelbach is learning blackwork and was practising Holbein (or Double Running Stitch) – one of the foundation stitches for Blackwork.

Blackwork in progress by Susan Lelbach

Not too far away Susan Coates was also doing Blackwork

Blackwork in progress by Susan Coates

and so was Sarah Kimmorley

Blackwork Heart in progress by Sarah Kimmorley

After patiently working away at the Diana Lampe design that her Mum had started Rosie Collis was just adding the last couple of stitches!

Diane Lampe design in progress by Rosie



Blackwork Beauties

Hello again

Well  here’s a quick post with some more of Marjorie Gilby’s beautiful embroidery work. This time two pieces of Blackwork.

The first is a cushion where the Blackwork is embellished with sequins:

Blackwork Cushion stitched by Marjorie Gilby

Corner of Blackwork Cushion stitched by Marjorie Gilby

Detail 1 of Blackwork Cushion stitched by Marjorie Gilby

Detail 2 of Blackwork Cushion stitched by Marjorie Gilby

Detail 3 of Blackwork Cushion stitched by Marjorie Gilby

And then there’s this delicate pouch which is a blend of Blackwork and beading:

Blackwork Pouch stitched by Marjorie Gilby

Detail 1 of Blackwork Pouch stitched by Marjorie Gilby

Detail 2 of Blackwork Pouch stitched by Marjorie Gilby

Detail 3 of Blackwork Pouch stitched by Marjorie Gilby

Enjoy the eye candy!


News Update

Just a quick note to say I’ve updated the following galleries. The new work is at the top of the each gallery:

Bags and Purses





Contemporary Embroidery

Crewel and Surface Stitchery

Cross Stitch






News Update

Hi everyone

Well about an hour ago I managed to erase the whole Cross Stitch Gallery and it’s taken me all this time to figure out how to restore it! WordPress is seriously scary at times….Anyway it’s back & updated to boot.

Here’s the list of all the galleries that have been updated:



Contemporary Creative

Crewel & Surface Stitching

Cross Stitch



Landscapes & Scenes

Stumpwork & Textured Stitching


All the new photos are at the top of the galleries.


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