Jane's Jottings

Together, We Stitch at The Hilton Hotel- Swindon

Class members concentrating hard!

As the Cross Stitch Guild, we hold various stitching events around the UK. Fifty people joined us at the Hilton Hotel and either stitched a project of their own or took on my challenging Hearts and Flowers Needle Roll. The design could be worked as a little band sampler or lined in felt and made in to a little needle roll.

Hearts and Flowers shown here as a sampler with a folded hem

The Needle Roll version

At present, this project is only a class piece but I expect that Andrea will introduce this as a kit later in the year, possibly in time for The Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace in October.

The weekend was a resounding success and I hope that if you are not already part of this event you will consider joining us at either Leeds or Leicester later in the year. Have a look at Classes and Events on the CSG web site

Happy stitching for now!

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Date posted: Monday, March 20, 2017

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A reminder about My Little Linen Book

I am sure that many of you are already familiar with the gorgeous Little Linen Book made for me by Kate Bowles but I found these images this morning and just had to share them with you. Joy Moran, a long time Cross Stitch Guild member has stitched and decorated many of these and I thought you would like to see some pictures. Kate’s books are hand made and you can see the decorative binding from the picture below. Do have a look at her Blogspot when you get a minute!

Our Little Linen Book with a stitched vignette

All of the examples below are from one of Joy’s versions……

The Little Linen Books are still available from www.thecrossstitchguild.com – We would love to see what you do with your copy!

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Date posted: Friday, March 10, 2017

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A Great Stitching and Knitting Show

My portrait by Harriet Riddell drawn on her sewing machine freehand!

Back from the show and in the office at home with some stitching on my lap. We have our first Together We Stitch Weekend in 10 days and I am designing and stitching the project which is certainly not quite ready. I have to complete it by tomorrow as Andrea needs time to make up the material packs – Some late night oil will need to be burnt tonight!

I had such a lovely time at Olympia working for Andrea Thompson on the Cross Stitch Guild stand at the Knitting and Stitching Show – one of the best bits was watching Harriet Riddell drawing portraits of people who popped on to her stand. She drew this picture of me from life in about 40 minutes freehand on her sewing machine! I just love it…….Harriet Riddell is so talented and so nice about it! Do have a look at her web site and see what she has been doing. On tour in India, she stitched pictures of the Taj Mahal sitting in the grounds with her sewing machine! If you look at the picture, I was holding our Elizabethan Sweete Bag and she captured it perfectly and in seconds!

The Spring Knitting and Stitching Show

The Cross Stitch Guild stand was heaving for most of the show and kept us all very busy either teaching or serving customers. This was the first time that I had attended this show without being the boss and it did feel strange at first. I soon got the hang of it…… Nothing to worry about and time to shop for myself! Dress patterns, a cardigan and, of course, my portrait!

Classes at Olympia with one of our teachers, Janet Simpson


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Date posted: Monday, March 6, 2017

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Bead Heaven in Cornwall

I have just returned from a visit to GJ Beads in Hayle, Cornwall where I selected a range of seed beads for designing purposes. I am planning a range of counted beads kits for the Cross Stitch Guild as soon as I can get the designs drawn and charted. Keep an eye on the CSG web site as I will let you have previews on Facebook as soon as I can.

Gill and Jane at GJ Beads

The Warehouse! OMG!

I had to limit myself to the size and type of bead that is suitable for 28-count linen and 14-count Aida otherwise I would have been there all day! Jill takes classes at her studio and also has invited Tutors to come and offer courses. I noticed that Heather Kingsley Heath had a weekend event planned for the end of March so check your diaries!

Bead Soup – What a good idea!

Matsuno size 11 Seed Beads

This is the most likely range of seed beads used in counted embroidery in the UK. The beads are the right size to take the place of a cross stitch when worked on 28-count linen. You can use these beads on 14-count Aida fabric but they will not lie as neatly as the do on linen. This CSG diagram shows how the bead sits on the fabric when worked on linen- there is actually a small dent in the material whereas this does not apply with Aida material. The beads will tend to wobble a bit more on Aida.

Hemstitch Flowers

If you alter the type and thread count of your fabric you will have to reconsider the bead size used unless the beads are added at random as I have in this project – Antique Stitches – Hemstitch Flowers.  This project has individual seed beads added at random using a “sharp” needle and a half cross stitch. This project is available from the CSG Web site……..

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Date posted: Tuesday, February 28, 2017

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A Spring Dog Walk

Our favourite river walk

Monty and I have been enjoying the slightly warmer weather and apart from the mud (there is a lot of that!) we have, at last, seen signs of spring arriving here in the Cotswolds. Monty is a Cockerpoo and will be two this month and is absolutely crazy about water and in any form. Apart from keeping him away from the swans, I do not mind him splashing about although you need to maker a quick retreat when he comes out of the river!

Look – I have a stick!

We are very privileged to live in such a lovely part of the country although our village had two hundred new houses added in the last year! They are very attractive and well planned to fit in with the local stone but can we cope? Fortunately, The Ernest Cook Trust owns most of the remaining land and manages it very carefully preserving the look and feel of the country. I do not think a day passes when I am grateful…….

The first gorse bushes starting to flower

More lovely snowdrops

Now I must get back to work again- I am in the middle of designing part of our Calendar Pockets Series which will be included in the CSG member’s magazine – We are creating a pocket for each month and then combining them in a mammoth sampler. You will not guess where I got the idea for this little snowdrop motif! You can see  examples of the next three in the series below:

The second in the series

The Calendar Pockets are part of an exclusive series featured in our CSG magazine with March, April and May and will be posted to members in early May. Not a CSG member – Go to Become a Member

Made on linen band…….

These little pockets are very simple to make up as there is so little finishing to do…..Stitchers often do not like sewing! You can buy linen band from the CSG web site – the limit is simply your imagination!

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Date posted: Wednesday, February 22, 2017

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