Merry Christmas

Hello Everyone

This will be the last blog post this year.  The Etsy shop closes on Monday 30th November and I will be back bright and early first week of January 2016 with lots of exciting new products and ideas for the New Year.  The Download store on Etsy will remain open for your convenience throughout the Festive season.

As a thank you to my loyal customers and readers, for your support this year I have a little gift for you.  A set of Christmas gift tags that you can print out and use for your friends and relatives.  You can punch a hole in the corner and thread a little ribbon through as shown or just use them as they are.  You can access the PDF download here.

christmas 5

Christmas tagsWishing you all a very Merry Christmas and once again a big THANK YOU!  See you in 2016, till then wherever you are in the world, remember “Embroidery forever, housework whenever!”  Keep smiling and happy stitching!  Trish


South African Shop Opening Soon

Hello everyone

This week I am thrilled to announce that on 1st January 2016 the new South African online shop will be opening.  No more emailing me for prices, and banking details you will now be able to buy direct and make payment by PAYFAST or EFT.  It is a simple streamlined process which I think you will find a lot more convenient.

All products are listed in local South African Rand currency and there will also be some additional products available in the shop that are not readily obtainable in South Africa such as speciality threads, whitework supplies and fabric etc.

Here is a preview of the shop home page – you can click on it to go direct to the shop.

shop frontInternational Customers can still order as before through the ETSY STORE, and the good news is that in early January when the store re-opens there will be some exciting new products in stock for you.  I will reveal all in my first post of 2016!  Please remember that the store closes on 30th November 2015 and will not re-open till first week of January 2016.

Meantime, wherever you are in the world, remember “Embroidery forever, housework whenever!”  Keep smiling and happy stitching!  Trish


Iron On Pens & Things

Hello everyone

How are you this bright and sunny Monday morning?  It is beautiful weather here in Cape Town, although I know it is probably a little more chilly in your part of the world.

I know I say this every year but cant believe that Christmas is upon us once again!  There are a few things I want to discuss with you before the year end – firstly I have been meaning to do a blog post on our classes in Johannesburg but life has been hectic and just have not had the time.  Please forgive me my lovely  Joburg ladies I will get round to it early in the new year.

Christmas Shut Down

The Etsy shop will close on the 30th November 2015 and re-open first week of January 2016.  There will be some new kits in the store in January along with some exciting new additions to the store in the New Year.

Digital Downloads

The digital download store will remain open throughout the festive season so if you have a yen to do some stitching over Christmas or New Year (or need to take some time out from the hoards of relatives:)) you can download a PDF file of any pattern available in the store.  The digital section in the Etsy store provides access to any of my patterns in digital form.  This means you can instantly download a pattern to your computer/tablet and either print it out or store it.

Also just to let you know that the Provencal Landscape design is now available as a digital download in the Etsy store.



Iron On Transfer Pens

One of the challenges some of you face with a digital pattern is tracing the outline onto your fabric – it can appear wobbly or inaccurate but I have come across a wonderful iron on transfer pen at Sublime Stitching which does the job beautifully, no more wobbly, uneven lines a beautiful crisp print on your fabric.

iron on transfer pen Sublime Stitching

I bought a few for myself and they work perfectly on both linen and cotton fabrics.  It performs better then any pen I have tried in the past because it has a fine line tip so the lines are not too thick.   I recommend the black as it comes out a dark blue on the fabric.  There are clear instructions on how to use it – All you need to do is:

  1.  print out a copy of your outline as provided in the instructions, you will need to reverse the image so that it comes out the right way on the fabric.  It may be helpful to take it to a photocopy store who will do this for you, or if you have an illustration programe you can do it yourself.  Alternatively you can turn the printed page over and trace on the wrong side.
  2. Trace over the all the image lines with the pen.
  3. Place the image face down on the center of your fabric and place a hot iron on top of this.  Don’t move the iron around or it will distort the image, just hold it in place and count to ten slowly.  If you have a heat press this works even better.
  4.   The image will be transferred onto your fabric.

The pens can be purchased from Sublime Stitching online here.

One of the main reasons I am closing slightly earlier this year is that the postal service slows down considerably at this time of year and I know there is no point in posting anything after end November as it will not reach you till the New Year.  I am also taking a bit of time out to complete my new book on Whitework deadline February 2016.

I will be back in the next week or two to give you your Christmas gift, meantime, wherever you are in the world, remember “Embroidery forever, housework whenever!”  Keep smiling and happy stitching!  Trish


Hello everyone

It has been some time since I last spoke to you, hope you are all doing well and enjoying the weekend.

Last week I taught a workshop in Johannesburg, South Africa.  It was a great success, what lovely ladies – will share some photos with you next week.

If you are like me you love to peek inside others’ spaces so this week I am going to share with you my studio where it all happens.  A few weeks ago work began on some overdue renovations to my office/studio space which is located up the stairs (you all know of these stairs, there are 23 of them and I ascend them each time I need to scan a step by step photo for embroidery instructions:)

My business was starting to outgrow this space and I was encroaching into the spare room next door, which meant I generally discouraged guests coming to stay as it meant clearing a space for them to sleep!  The next step was either to find new and larger premises or make some much needed changes so that we could once again welcome guests into our home.  My ever patient husband agreed that I could make the changes as long as I did not knock out too many internal walls!

office 7

My aim was to make the space as clean, uncluttered and organized as possible – is this not something that we all aspire to but generally can’t manage to achieve?  Let me put your mind at rest that my home in general is very “lived in” – (“embroidery forever, housework whenever”), but it was essential that this space be orderly so that I can in turn be efficient when it comes to dispatching orders, keeping stock of materials,  and of course designing, designing designing – which is just my very favorite thing to do.  I chose to keep the colour scheme very neutral and opted for a pale grey for the walls with accents of black and white.

office 3The last 3 weeks have been a flurry of activity upstairs with painters, carpenters, and workmen which has made it very difficult to get any work done, in fact I had to close the shop for a few days as it was nigh impossible to ship orders.  But finally it is all completed and I am so thrilled,  it is my little haven away from the rest of the world where I can revel in everything embroidery related.

office 5The acrylic drawer units that you see here house all my embroidery threads – they are not new I had them made some years back by a kitchen company.  Each drawer holds a colour and because I can see through them it is easy to find what I am looking for.

office 1

I had a huge cleaning spree and got rid of so much “stuff”, I can recommend it – it really is very freeing.  One of the things that I had a huge stash of was books – as with all of us embroiderers we collect them over the years.  They have been a wonderful source of inspiration, research and knowledge to me, but the interesting thing is that with the advent of the internet (and of course Pinterest) I find I don’t refer to these books as often as I used to, so I was quiet brutal with getting rid of those that no longer had a use.  I plan to donate them to the guild library where members can make use of them.  Now I have a nice little bookshelf unit on the wall.

office 4I have a huge stash of Inspirations Magazines spanning over a period of about 14 years, many of which I have contributed to over the years and would, could not part with – so they have been given their own special shelves.  They are a wonderful source of reference and inspiration and keep me up to date with whats going on in the embroidery world.  If you are thinking of what you would like for Christmas treat yourself and get a subscription!

Some of my Inspirations magazine collection.

Some of the Inspirations magazine collection.

The other thing of course which we don’t really need anymore is files?  All my files are now stored in folders on my computer so I was able to free up a ton of space by parting with those and of course that means no more punching and filing which was my worst job anyway!  Things have come a long way since I first moved into my office 11 years ago – I now have little helpers for everything – a label printer for printing postage labels, a scanner, printer, computer, ipad, projector, photo tent, daylight magnifying lamps, online banking and so much more – it really does make life much easier, what would we do without technology?

All the stock for the Etsy shop is now housed in neat plastic drawers with labels on so I can see at a glance what I am looking for when packing orders ready to ship.

office 6One of my main problems was storing large bolts of fabric, boxes of packaging, envelopes, thread etc.  This was overcome by converting an area of passageway outside the office into a walk in storeroom.

office 2

I have some of my favorite pieces framed in the house but I wanted a way to display finished pieces of embroidery without having to frame every single one!  I covered my old memo board,  courtesy of lovely Pinterest ideas,  but am still looking for an efficient way to display these.  If any of you have ideas on this would be grateful if you could let me know.

office 8

Christmas is fast approaching, and I have re-stocked the Etsy shop in preparation as last shipping will be end of next month.  I have not forgotten your second Provencal embroidery landscape that so many of you have emailed me about – working on the whitework book at present but hope to get going on it really soon.

Meantime, wherever you are in the world, remember “Embroidery forever, housework whenever!”  Keep smiling and happy stitching!  Trish


A Complete Lesson in whitework

Hello Everyone

Hope you have had a good week and enjoying the weekend?  This week I am pleased to announce that the new Complete Lesson In Whitework is available in the Etsy store for sale here.

Traditionally whitework was done with white thread on a white ground fabric but as you know I have added touches of colour and called it Shades Of Whitework to distinguish from pure whitework embroidery.  It is simple to do and VERY addictive.

Complete Lesson in whitework:  Flower Basket

Complete Lesson in whitework: Flower Basket

Flower basket kit

Flower basket kit

Thread Diagram

Thread Diagram

This project will teach you all you need to know and I have revamped the tutorials for each stitch to include text explanation, a diagram and a “Looks Like This” picture, to guide you easily through the process.

Example of stitch tutorial

Example of stitch tutorial

This is one of the Complete Lesson series – Needlepainting, Miniature Needlepainting and Whitework.  The kits enable you to learn the technique from the comfort of your own home in your own time without attending a workshop.  Once you have grasped the basics you will be able to progress onto any of the beginner or intermediate kits available in the store.

Complete lesson in miniature needlepainting

Complete lesson in miniature needlepainting

Complete Lesson in needlepainting

Complete Lesson in needlepainting

Next week I am heading off to Johannesburg in South Africa to run a two day workshop so the shop will be closed for a few days from 12th – 15th October.  Meantime, wherever you are keep smiling, happy stitching and remember “Embroidery Forever, Housework Whenever”!


Colour Schemes For Embroidery

Hello everyone

Hope you have had a wonderful week and are looking forward to the weekend and some precious stitching time?  Spring has arrived here in Cape Town, the wild flowers are out in profusion and I would like to celebrate the season with colour.  The booklet Traditional Embroidery Colour Schemes is now available for the first time as a digital download.  You can purchase the printed version of the booklet here and the digital version here.  in the Etsy store.

The booklet includes 24 colour schemes based on traditional images/artwork plus the embroidery thread palettes to go with each.  There are some stitched examples and the tracing outlines are provided for each example.  The colour schemes can be used for embroidery, quilting, artwork, sewing, knitting etc.

Traditional Embroidery Colour Schemes Cover

Traditional Embroidery Colour Schemes Cover

New Kit Layout A5New Kit Layout A5To celebrate the season and to thank you my readers,  I have made one of the colour schemes in the book available as a free download.  You can access it here COLOUR SCHEME DOWNLOAD or by clicking on the picture below.   I have personally used a version of this scheme in one of my whitework projects for the new book and it is stunning, so have fun with it!

Free Download

Free Download

Meantime wherever you are in the world remember “Embroidery forever, housework whenever!”  Keep smiling and happy stitching!  Trish



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