Classes and Creativity

Pat Bootland‘s recent class, Box Construction, was popular for members looking for a way to display small pieces of embroidery.  Of course, Pat came prepared to give us plenty of inspiration in the form of her own sample boxes, plus books and magazines that the Library helpers had kindly found for the class:

PatPootland Box Class

Box 1 Pat Bootland Box 2 Pat Bootland





Box 4 Pat Bootland Box 3 Pat Bootland





Box 6 Pat BootlandBox 7 Pat Bootland







Box 8 Pat Bootland


Class members (especially me) appreciated that in week 2 Pat helped us to sort out any “technical difficulties” we had found since week 1!





Not all boxes were finished by the end of the second class, so here are just a couple:

Box 1 by Dorothy Brann


Dorothy Brann used her lovely Hardanger sample


Box 2 by Dorothy Brann








Box 1 by Sarah Kimmorley



Here is the first of Sarah Kimmorley‘s Canvaswork samples to create Christmas box gifts.

Box 2 by Sarah KimmorleyAnd who wouldn’t want to receive such a lovely gift?

The Creative Group meeting in May was playing with Dorset Buttons with a Difference.  Once again, Library volunteers had produced some books and magazines, Pat Bootland and Fran Novitski had organised supplies and samples, and there was plenty of work in progress:

Dorset buttons with a difference 1

Dorset buttons with a difference 2 Dorset buttons with a difference 3

Dorset buttons with a difference 4Dorset buttons with a difference 5

Last but not least, our School Holiday Program was once again full of fun and stitching activity.  Felties were not the only projects on offer, but I managed to photograph these:

Feltie budgie by Ada Feltie frog by Sam Feltie penguin by Maddy

Sweet budgie was made by Ada, frog with bling by Sam, and stylish penguin by Maddy.  It’s hard to believe, but the next school holidays will be upon us soon, and Lel Whitbread as usual has planning under control.

Don’t forget, you don’t have to be a Guild member to join our classes, although there are Member and Non-member class fees.  You can check for any of our upcoming classes/workshops here, and Special Interest Groups here.  Or check our What’s on at a glance page any time, visitors are always welcome.

Happy, and creative, stitching.


Gallery Updates

There have been a few updates to the Members Galleries, and here is just a small taste.

Glenda Hudson has shared a quilt she made.  In her own words:

“I made this quilt in memory of my mother.  Some of the threads were from her workbox.  Quite without thought, I finished it on her birthday.”

Quilt by Glenda Hudson

Quilt by Glenda Hudson



Thanks, Glenda.  I’m sure many of us sometimes like to incorporate both tangible items and memories of loved ones into our work.





Pat Bootland has stitched this lovely piece:

Girl with doves by Pat Bootland

Girl with doves by Pat Bootland

And another postcard from our 2014 Exhibition Challenge, “Stitching Love and Hope”, inspired by WW1 silk postcards, and created by Carmen Zanetti.

2014 Creative Challenge postcard by Carmen Zanetti

2014 Creative Challenge postcard by Carmen Zanetti


This was entitled “Lark Ascending”, and Carmen tells us it was inspired by her grandfather, Narciso Zanetti, who was an artillery officer in WW1.  He used to speak about hearing the skylarks singing during the lulls in the fighting and the hope they gave him.





For details of new additions, see the updated galleries here, and enjoy!

Quilts @ Wallhangings

Crewel and Surface Stitchery

Dolls and Softies




Pat’s Solvy Landscape

Hi everyone

Today we’re going to share a landscape that Pat Bootland stitched on Solvy water soluble backing. This is the so cool embroidery that emerged when she dissolved the Solvy.

Trees in Landscape by Pat Bootland

Detail 1 of Trees in Landscape by Pat Bootland

I love to watch Pat as she works on these dense, free form areas of stitch such as the tree canopy and the undergrowth. It’s random purposefulness!

Here are some close-ups…..

Detail 2 of Trees in Landscape by Pat Bootland

Detail 3 of Trees in Landscape by Pat Bootland

Detail 4 of Trees in Landscape by Pat Bootland




Looking over Shoulders 11

Hi everyone

Hope you’ve had a good week & have set aside some special time for yourself over the weekend.

Next Monday the Guild’s weekly meetings will start up again so I thought you might like to see the pics I took of people’s work during the last morning meeting for 2014. Believe it or not this is only  a sample of all the stitchy goodness that was going on. The photos were taken with my phone so they’re not up to Stewart Bath’s wonderful standard but hopefully they’ll be good enough to give you an idea of the work.

I’m going to share the work with in the order that I took the photos.

This is an epic post so grab a cuppa or glass of wine and a comfy chair…….and here we go………

In the front room Ann Lond was working on this Hardanger cream square

Hardanger Cream Square in progress stitched by Anne Lond

Maddalena Gustin is trying her hand at Hardanger under Bonnie Crawford‘s careful guidance. Here’s the piece she was working on

Hardanger Diamond in progress stitched by Magda Gustin

Bonnie herself was working on this cream and blue rectangular piece

Hardanger Blue and White Runner stitched by Bonnie Crawford

Avis Gesling’s Hardanger had a pop of colour in aqua and mauve

Hardanger Acqua and Mauve Piece in progress stitched by Avis Gesling

Detail 1 of Hardanger Acqua and Mauve Piece in Progress stitched by Avis Gesling

While Elizabeth Hooper was having fun stitching some purple hearts

Hardanger Purple Heart Piece in progress stitched by Elizabeth Hooper

Detail 1 of Hardnager Purple Heart Piece in Progress stitched by Elizabeth Hooper

Now something completely different – a Goldwork dragon being stitched by Pat Bootland 

Dragon Goldwork in Progress by Pat Bootland

Detail 1 of Dragon Goldwork by Pat Bootland

Across the table Carol Van Gelder was having fun working on this too cute wool blanket with monkeys

Wool Blanket with Monkeys in progress stitched by Carol Van GelderNear her Lesley Fusinato was finishing this Canvaswork Christmassy house

Canvaswork Xmas House in Progress stitched by Lesley Fusinato

and Floriana Basilisco‘s tapestry was also getting some finishing touches

Tapestry Fish in Progress by Floriana Basilisco

Lesley Jemesen had a lovely Hardanger runner in her hoop

Hardanger in Hoop stitched by Lesley Jemesen

While Evelyn Foster was stitching a vintage embroidery

Vintage Embroidery in Progress stitched by Evelyn Fosterand Helen Nastopoulos had a cross stitch underway

Cross Stitch in Progress stiched by Helen Nastopoulos

In the room down the corridor Margaret Cooper was working on this piece

Cross Stitch Horse in Progress stitched by Margaret CooperKathy Pascoe had a bright Janlynn wallhanging underway

Blue Cross Stitch Wallhanging in Progress stitched by Kathy Pascoe

and Gwynyth Peddey had made amazing progress with Harlech Castle since we last saw it

Harlech Castle Cross Stitch in Progress by Gwynyth Peddey

Margaret O’Beirne was working on an intriguing Macedonian style embroidery from a class with Alison Snepp

Macedonian Style Embroidery in Progress stitched by Margaret OBeirne

While Gail Haidon was cross stitching these fun owls that just make you smile

Cross Stitch Owls in Progress by Gail Haidon

and Jan Hure was working on a very different kind of bird – a gorgeous Or Nue Superb Parrot from last year’s class with Pat Bootland

Or Nue Superb Parrot in Progress by Jan Hure

 Libby Williams was hand stitching this quilt with appliqué in felted wool

Quilt with Applique in Progress by Libby Williams

Detail of Applique from Quilt by Libby Williams

Back in the front room Janice Brennan was crocheting

Crochet by Janice Brennan

Janice also showed us a cool granny blanket she’d made during Show & Tell which got a huge response to its awesomeness. This detail doesn’t do it justice but at least it gives you an idea of its beauty

Detail of Crochet Rug by Janice Brennan

Trish Hyland was stitching some elegant Hardanger

Hardanger Diamond in Progress stitched by Trish Hyland This Happiness Quilt by Anne Dowling got lots of oohs and aaahs at Show & Tell

Happiness Quilt made by Anne Dowling

Cecilia Skene was upcycling curtain fabric to create these awesome needlecases for her granddaughters

Needlecase in Progress by Cecilia Skene

Needlecase 2 in Progress by Cecilia Skene

Needlecase 3 in Progress by Cecilia Skene

Needlecases 4 in Progress by Cecilia Skeneand adding a scissors fob for each one

Scissors Fob by Cecilia Skene

This Canvaswork by Judy Barton Browne has a real pop of colour

Canvaswork stitched by Judy Barton Browne

Detail 1 of Canvaswork by Judy Barton Browne

Another vibrant piece was this Book Cover designed by Luba Tomaska. Luba’s doing the Stitch a Month classes and this is her sampler of stitches in progress.

Sampler Book Cover in Progress by Luba Tomaska And last but not least is this amazing Or Nue Zebra design being stitched by Lorna Loveland also from the class with Pat Bootland

Or Nue Zebra in Progess by Lorna Loveland

Detail 1 of Or Nue Zebra in Progress by Lorna Loveland

Would you believe it’s her first Or Nue embroidery!



Some Stitchy Insect Goodness

Hi everyone

Hope you’re having a fun weekend with some time for stitching. Here’s some eye candy for you to enjoy with a cuppa or a glass of your favourite drink.

Pat’s Reverse Applique

In August the Creative Group had a session on reverse appliqué and Pat Bootland had fun creating this piece:

Reverse Applique with Ants by Pat Bootland

Here’s a closer look at the insect embellishments……

Detail 1 of Reverse Applique with Ants by Pat Bootland

Detail 2 of Reverse Applique with Ants by Pat Bootland

Detail 5 of Reverse Applique with Ants by Pat Bootland

Detail 4 of Reverse Applique with Ants by Pat Bootland

Detail 3 of Reverse Applique with Ants by Pat Bootland

Cool aren’t they?

Jennifer’s Elizabethan Panel

Now I’m taking a chance in sharing  this next piece with you.

I’m currently in North Queensland visiting family and I’ve been very lucky to enjoy a wonderful Elizabethan Panel designed and stitched by my sister-in-law Jennifer. It’s done in silk threads on silk and  measures 1.55m by 0.6m so it’s an amazing work. The central design revolves around 14 birds in padded needlelace.

This embroidery is a tour de force and is embellished with an awesome selection of antique beads and gemstones.

I hesitated to show it to you because it’s not yet blocked and stretched and because the photos are taken with my point and shoot camera – so there’s a lot of finessing still to do.

But it’s very doubtful that I’ll ever be able to show you this piece framed and photographed by Stewart Bath as it’s a long way from the Atherton Tableland to Canberra. So I’ve decided to jump in and share some small design elements.

Here’s a small section of the whole:

Section of Elizabethan Panel by Jennifer Zanetti

and here are some stitchy critters and flowers:

Detail 1 of Elizabethan Panel by Jennifer Zanetti

Detail 2 of Elizabethan Panel by Jennifer Zanetti

Detail 5 of Elizabethan Panel by Jennifer Zanetti

Detail 3 of Elizabethan Panel by Jennifer Zanetti

Detail 6 of Elizabethan Panel by Jennifer Zanetti

Detail 7 of Elizabethan Panel by Jennifer Zanetti

Detail 8 of Elizabethan Panel by Jennifer Zanetti

Detail 9 of Elizabethan Panel by Jennifer Zanetti

Detail 10 of Elizabethan Panel by Jennifer Zanetti

Detail 11 from Elizabethan Panel by Jennifer Zanetti

Cross fingers, toes and everything else that we might be able to share the whole piece sometime in the future!

Take care


Looking over Shoulders 10

Hi everyone

You may remember this blog post on an Alison Cole Goldwork class held at the Guild in 2013. Here’s the design the class worked on:

Standing Tall goldwork

Standing Tall Goldwork Embroidery completed by Dorothy Brann

Well Pat Bootland has got out her UFO from this class and started stitching again. In her very creative way she’s decided to change the fabric element at the base of the design into a dragon.

And not just any dragon but a gorgeous medieval dragon.

Goldwork in Progress by Pat Bootland

Dragon Detail from Goldwork in Progress by Pat Bootland

Jenny Balderson was stitching away at another element of her large crewel design

Crewel Flower stitched by Jenny Balderson

While Monica Andrew was creating some crazy quilting from her niece’s wedding dress

Crazy Patchwork by Monica Andrew

Detail 1 of Crazy Patchwork stitched by Monica Andrew

Jacinta Nelligan was back in Canberra visiting us – Yay!!!

……and she was working on this striking piece from a class at Central St Martins in London.

Contemporary Embroidery by Jacinta NelliganWhile Sarah Kimmorley was persevering with this Winnie the Pooh cross stitch…….

Winnie the Pooh cross stitched by Sarah Kimmorley

she can’t wait to finish all the white stitching around the outline!

Elvi McCann was appliquéing these too cute hippos

Applique stitched by Elvi McCann

and Yvonne Kingsley was working on this delightful Jenny McWhinney design

Rabbit Stitchery by Yvonne Kingsley

For something quite different Lel Whitbread was smocking some purple stitchy goodness

Smocking by Lel Whitbread

Tracey Kent had just started this delicate iris

Iris Embroidery stitched by Tracey Kent

While Samantha Benda was cross stitching this elegant piece as a wedding present for some friends

Wedding Hands cross stitched by Samantha Benda

You’ve seen this lazy big cat design being stitched by Joyce Lynch in earlier Looking over Shoulders posts. This is where Margaret Kelemen is up to

lazy Cat cross stitched by Margaret Kellemen

And now for some Canvaswork – here’s the piece just finished by Judy Barton Browne

Canvaswork stitched by Judy Barton Browne

Enjoy! and have a great weekend!


A Path to the Beach

Hi everyone

This post has some awesome eye candy.

From 31 May to 1 June the Guild ran a workshop led by the wonderful Glenys Leske from South Australia.

The aim was to create this delicate and lovely scene called Path to the Beach. It’s a richly layered and textured design.


Over the coming weeks we hope to share some of the finished projects with you. The participants in the workshop have all added their own touch to the design.

We’re going to start today with Pat Bootland’s finished piece. Pat has very generously allowed her work to be photographed before it was framed – you can see the basting around the edges that hold the silk organza to the background  fabrics. This meant that Stewart Bath could photograph the work in all its detail.

Pat’s piece is full of exquisite stitching to create the features of this beachscape.  I love them all but I was especially taken by the simple but effective use of the frayed edges of fabric to evoke the spray of waves as they hit the beach.

Here’s the eye candy:

Walk to the Beach stitched by Pat Bootland

Detail 1 of Walk to the Beach stitched by Pat Bootland

Detail 2 of Walk to the Beach stitched by Pat Bootland

detail 3 of Walk to the Beach stitched by Pat Bootland

Detail 4 of Walk to the beach stitched by Pat Bootland

Detail 5 of Walk to the Beach stitched by Pat Bootland

Detail 6 of Walk to the Beach stitched by Pat Bootland




For Downton Abbey Fans

Hello everyone

Hope you’re having a lovely weekend. Those of you who are fans of Downton Abbey will know that the location used for the series is Highclere Castle in Newbury, West Berkshire.

This historic house also has famous gardens with spectacular beds of perennials and walled gardens. You can see some of the garden’s glory in the gallery on the Highclere Castle website here.

Pat Bootland visited Highclere Castle a few years ago and created a walled garden scene from a composite of two photos. Like all her original pieces it uses an amazing array of stitches densely layered on the fabric to create a sense of profusion and texture. There are also her signature ferns created with needleweaving.

We’ll start with the work in its frame

Walled Garden from Highclere Castle by Pat Bootland

now closer up

Unframed Walled Garden from Highclere Castle by Pat Bootland

The view through the arch – the lawn was created by using very small straight stitches. Pat laid down the straight stitches in one colour green and then repeated the process in four other greens until the whole lawn area was covered and blended.

Archway with Cat from Clereview Castle by Pat Bootland

the wonderful espaliered plum tree with its bullion leaves and padded stem stitch branches. The brickwork of the wall has been created using canvaswork stitches in a range of colours.

Espaliered Fruit Tree from Walled Garden at Clereview Castle by Pat Bootland

and here’s the beading which is so totally cool

Close up of espaliered fruit tree from Walled Garden at Highclere House by Pat Bootland

then there’s this adorable puss

Cat from Walled Garden at Highclere Castle by Pat Bootland

He was based on her daughter’s cat. Pat wanted to show its dark striped coat so that it had definition and presence but without being overpowering. The plant next to it was embroidered by first doing very long straight stitches and then wrapping them in blended threads.

Finally these cute hedgehogs and delicately woven ferns

Hedgehog detail from Walled Garden with Cat by Pat Bootland

Watching Pat at work is an amazing experience. She usually has a rough drawing of what she wants to do but no detailed plan. She starts and decides how she’ll do a particular bit. Then when that’s finished she’ll work out the colours and stitches for the next section and so on. It’s a very open and fluid creative process……and fast, very fast. She flies through pieces while chatting away and telling very funny stories.

We’re trying to persuade her that doing some You Tube videos on her needlewoven ferns would be an awesome idea.

Take care






Hi everyone

There are lots of reasons to feature the piece of embroidery in this blog – looking at it makes you feel cool in the sweltering heat of December, it’s charming and the technique is intriguing. For those of you in the northern hemisphere I hope it feels Christmassy….

There’s also Pat Bootland’s joie de vivre in experimenting with various techniques to create an effect. Her love of embroidery is infectious! She’s also a great fan of the Narnia books and in this piece she wanted to create in stitch the scene at the beginning of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe….

Pat Bootland - Narnia 1

Looking at this piece up close I couldn’t work out how she’d put it all together so I called her in Canberra and she took me through it step by step.

First of all she took the inside ring of an embroidery hoop and wound white fabric around it to create a frame:


You can see this frame under the top layer of organza.

To create the background she decided to use the same technique as that to make a dorset button but on a larger scale. So she used needleweaving to create the two large pine trees in the background and to attach them to the frame:

Pat Bootland - Narnia 3

Next she embroidered the small pine trees on to some white fabric and attached them to the back of the frame behind the large trees. This gives depth and perspective to the scene.

To evoke the atmosphere of the street lamp on a snowy night she embroidered the lamp post onto a piece of organza and added tiny dot and linear stitches to give the sense of snow flakes drifting in the cold air:

Pat Bootland - Narnia 4

If you look closely at this photo and the previous ones you can see that the layer of embroidered organza also creates a shadow which just adds more perspective and authenticity to the scene.

Then Pat came up with a very cool (no pun intended!) trick for a more complex and subtle spatial dimension – she added some textured threads to suggest a foreground with snow on the ground:

Pat Bootland - Narnia 6

The final step was to attach the organza to the front of the frame and add cord around the outside of the frame to finish the piece neatly.

Magic just magic!!!! What do you think?…… and have you found the explanation of Pat’s technique helpful?

Take care if you’re travelling over the Christmas period.

Awesome Modern Take on Casalguidi Stitch

Hi again

The last couple of weeks have been super busy and I haven’t had as much time to post. So hopefully over the next week I’ll get a few extra posts written.

This one is few words and some wonderful embroidery for you.

When I was researching the Casalguidi post I talked to Pat Bootland about her teaching sample and the use of casalguidi stitch. Not long after she brought in a bag and said ‘I’ve got another example of casalguidi stitch to show you.’………and pulled out this beauty….

Casalguidi Garden Avenue in frame by Pat Bootland

It’s an absolutely exquisite piece of textured embroidery and all her own design. If you’d like a closer look just click on the photo to enlarge it.

The pergola is all worked in casalguidi stitch:

Garden Avenue without frame by Pat Bootland

The climbing rose in the foreground has needlelace flowers and needleweaving for the leaves:

Needlelace Flowers by Pat Bootland

The climber behind (is it wisteria?) is all bullions and french knots:

Bullions and French Knots by Pat Bootland

….and then there are the ferns around the base of the pillars:

Needleweaving by Pat Bootland

…..and look at how she’s created the paving stones – it’s padded satin stitch surrounded by french knots. So simple and yet so effective!

Paving stones Pat Bootland

I’m never sure how much detail you’d like about the embroideries so I really really need your input:

Would you like to know what threads Pat used for the various elements in the design?

How she achieved the three dimensional effect in the design?

How to draw the design right from the beginning?

Would some tutorials on creating plants and greenery using needleweaving be useful?

What about a tutorial on stitching the paving stones?

I’d really love to hear what you think if you’ve got the time to leave a comment.