Double sided Tape

Hello everyone

Just a quickie to follow up on the use of double sided tape for Stretcher frames.  Many of you have asked which type of tape to use and will the tape leave residue on the fabric.

I use Yarn Tree Stitchery, acid free tape for both mounting my embroidery and for the stretcher frames.  It is made specifically for use with fabric and does not leave any residue when you remove the fabric from the frame, in fact you can lift it and re-position it as often as needed.  The tape that I use for mounting is 1 1/2 inches wide which is a bit too wide for the stretcher frames, but I see that it is also available in a 3/4″ (19mm) width at Framing yourself.


If you cannot source this tape I should think any Acid Free archival, double sided tape will do.  Do a test sample with the fabric and make sure that it comes off clean.

Have a wonderful weekend.






Needlepainting Tutorial

Hello everyone

I am pleased to let you know that the long awaited Needlepainting Tutorial, Kingfisher & Flower is now available in the Embroidery shop.  This is the first intensive embroidery tutorial and will be followed by others in the next few months.

PDF Tutorial in Needlepainting Embroidery

kingfisher & flower 9

This gorgeous little kingfisher on a flowery branch gazes down into the water below.  This is a step by step tutorial, designed to help you master the art of Needlepainting embroidery, including both regular and irregular long & short stitch in the bird’s feathers.

kingfisher & flower 8

The design is suitable for ALL levels including beginner. The Tutorial is divided into three modules as follows:

Module One
Introduction, Materials and Preparation

Module Two
Easy to follow Stitching Instructions

kingfisher & flower 2

Module Three

kingfisher & flower 5

PDF Patterns

Create your own beautiful piece of embroidery from the comfort of your own home.  PDF patterns are a quick and easy way of gaining access to a new embroidery project without waiting for it to be shipped. Download to your PC, tablet or phone in minutes and you are ready to stitch!

A bunch of flowers

The digital store has closed and all digital patterns can now be found in the Embroidery Shop.  There are over 85 PDF patterns available and you can now purchase the  fabric, iron on transfer and needles for each pattern in the same store.

Iron on Transfers

Tracing your own outlines is a thing of the past –  simple to use, crisp, clear, iron on transfers for each PDF pattern and all the projects in my last 4 books can now be purchased in the online shop.    The transfers work well with the recommended cotton muslin and linen fabric  for sale in the shop or can be used successfully with your own fabric as long as it is not silk.  Iron on transfers do not work with silk of any description, but the freezer paper method does work successfully.

The iron on transfer for the Kingfisher & flower an be found here. 

kingfisher 8

On the subject of iron on transfers I am excited to let you know (and can reveal) that the new book will include iron on transfers for each project in the book.

Till next time, wherever you are in the world, keep smiling and happy stitching.



Stretcher Frames

Hello everyone

Hope this finds you well?  This week I want to chat to you about stretcher frames versus hoops.

While stitching the projects for the new book I have become increasingly frustrated with trying to remove hoop marks.  It is fine if one is using DMC stranded cotton and the piece of embroidery can be washed,  but in some pieces I have used silk threads which cannot be washed.  Despite binding the inner and outer hoop and using a hoop cover to keep it clean there is always a faint line left by the hoop which I cant seem to remove and it just spoils the overall appearance of the stitching.

Many years ago I would often use stretcher frames but found the use of thumb tacks not only tedious but very sore on my fingers, so reverted to using hoops only.  I knew stretcher frames to be the answer to preventing those pesky hoop marks so racked my brains to think of an easier way to use them and it came to me!  In the middle of the night, as is so often the case, I got this brilliant idea to use two sided tape.  I have tried it out a few times and it works – so much easier then hammering in thumb tacks, far kinder to your fingers, less noisy and much quicker to assemble.  If like me you are fed up with hoop marks and want to try stretcher frames, here is my method below:

You will need

  • Siesta bar frames – these are as light as a feather and come in different lengths. They can be purchased here from Siesta or from any good online needlework store.  You will need to google them and find a store nearest you. They are made in the UK so you might find it difficult to source in the USA but you can always order online and they will ship to you.  I suggest you purchase a pair of 8, 9 & 10 inch frames these will do for most projects.

frame 6

  • If you cannot source Siesta bar frames you can try using an artist’s stretcher frame from an art shop- the kind that you buy with canvas on – you will need to remove the canvas.  They are slightly heavier so make sure it is as slim and lightweight as possible.



  • Two sided tape – the acid free kind is good but any narrow tape with a medium – strong adhesive, about 2cm (0.7 inches) wide will do.



  • Thumb tacks – you will need a couple of these to fasten the corners.



  1.  Assemble the frame by interlocking the bars.

frame 52.   One one side of the frame only apply pieces of two sided tape to each bar as shown.  You can tuck the excess onto the inside of the bar.

frame 43.  Remove the tape to reveal the adhesive.

4.  Place the non sticky side of the frame onto the back of your fabric.  Make sure that your design is centered in the frame.

5.  Pull one side of the fabric on to the bar and stick down on to the tape.  Repeat on the other side.  Make sure you stretch the fabric as far as it will go so it is drum tight.

frame 36.   Now pull the fabric on the other two sides of the frame and stick in place.  Check to see that there are no weak areas – the fabric should be pulled taut.  If necessary you can remove the fabric from the tape and adjust to make it tighter.

7.   Fold the corners in and apply a thumb tack to hold the fabric on each corner where there is no tape.

frame 28.  Turn your frame over – your fabric is beautifully stretched over the frame and ready to stitch.  Make sure you keep it clean in a cotton project bag whilst stitching.

frame 19.   To remove after stitching, just peel the fabric off the two sided tape.  If the tape is intact you can use it for another project, if not peel off the tape and re-apply new pieces for the next project.

And there it is, we learn something new every day isn’t it wonderful!

Till next time, wherever you are in the world, keep smiling and happy stitching.





PDF Patterns

Hello everyone

Hope this finds you well and enjoying your summer holidays?  It has been freezing cold and raining with snow on the mountains here in the Cape, lovely weather for stitching!

Digital Store Closed

The big news is that the digital store has closed.   All PDF patterns can now be accessed from the Embroidery Store – there will now be one main store, with two sections, which will be a lot more convenient for you in the future.  For those customers who had a registered account in the Digital Store, your accounts have been moved across to the Embroidery store for your convenience and you will be able to log in as before.  If for any reason you experience problems logging in please contact us and we will resolve this for you asap.


Access to previous files

Orders placed in the last 3 months will be available till the end of September, thereafter they will no longer be in the system and we cannot re-send or access them.  For Help with PDF files please see here.

Download Limits

The download period has been increased from 30 – 60 days for each PDF pattern.  Please download your pattern when you receive it, and save it to a folder on your computer or tablet so that you can access it in the future.  Find more information on downloading your PDF file.  We have experienced illegal re-selling and sharing of our patterns online and this is a necessary, preventative measure to stop this occurring in the future.

New Patterns

There are 5 new PDF patterns available in the store – some of them are previous patterns from my DVD which is shortly to be discontinued.  The DVD was filmed many years ago before the advent of HD and unfortunately, there is no way to upgrade the quality of the video to meet the current day standards.  Click on each picture to access the pattern:

Nature’s Delight
Bluebird & Blossoms
icelandic poppy
Icelandic poppy
victorian pansy2
Victorian Pansy

colouring book new

Cotton Project Bags

Sadly,  we are no longer able to manufacture the cotton project bags so these have been  discontinued.

DMC Cotton Floche

There are very limited stocks left, as it is no longer available in Europe and the price of importing it from the USA has proved cost prohibitive.  It has been replaced with the gorgeous DMC Coton A Broder from France which can be used successfully in place of Floche in all Whitework with colour projects.

Donations to Victoria Falls

Thank you once again for your overwhelming generosity.  Donations are now closed and I will report back at the end of September as to the total donations and what they have been used for.

Till next time, wherever you are in the world, keep smiling and happy stitching.



Shop South Africa

Hello everyone hope this finds you well?

This week I would like to address South African customer’s and clarify the order process for you.  The prices are listed in US$ because the site can only process orders in one currency, it is the same for Etsy and all other online marketing platforms, but your payment will be converted to South African Rand on your bank statement.  There is nothing to be nervous of, it is very simple and totally secure.   All orders are shipped nationwide by Fedex courier overnight.  There are two ways of placing an order:


The easiest way to pay for anything online is with Paypal.  Paypal has a relationship with FNB so you can link your bank account to Paypal.   Even if you are not an FNB customer you can still make use of the FNB Paypal service – read about it here.


  • Access the online shop here.
  • Use the currency converter at the top of the home page – choose ZAR to see the prices in SA Rand.
  • Add your items to the cart and go to View cart where you can see the Subtotal amount in SA Rand.
  • Go to checkout.  Choose checkout with Paypal.   Your order will be processed in US$ (the total amount stated) but will reflect in SA Rand on your bank statement.
  • If you have ordered tangible items they will be shipped by Fedex Courier to your door.
  • If you have ordered digital items (PDF patterns) you will receive an email confirmation with a link to download the files.  They will be instantly available.





  • Access the online shop here.
  • Use the currency converter at the top of the home page – choose ZAR to see the prices in SA Rand.
  • Email us using the contact form on the site.  Send a list of the products you would like to order and we will create a manual order for you.  Please include your Full name, street address for courier delivery plus your phone number
  • You will be sent a confirmation with the total amount to pay by EFT.
  • If you have ordered tangible items they will be shipped by Fedex Courier to your door.
  • If you have ordered digital items (PDF patterns) you will receive an email confirmation with a link to download the files.  They will be instantly available.


  • You will be given the option to register a customer account and this will make it much simpler for you to shop in future.  We will also save your details in Fedex for shipping in future.  For future orders all you need to do is send us a list of your requirements and we will create an EFT order for you.

If you require any other information on ordering, products or details on Embroidery please visit our Help Centre here.

Till next time have a wonderful week, keep smiling and happy stitching.







Embroidery from Ireland

Hello everyone

Hope you are all doing well and enjoying your summer holidays?

It never fails to amaze me how small the world has become through the inception of the internet, and how it allows us to share our love of embroidery from different parts of the world.  Recently, I received an email from the beautiful County Leitrim in Ireland and would love to share it with you.  This embroidery group call themselves the “Sexy Sewers” and I can see why, not only is their embroidery very sexy but the ladies who stitch it are not bad themselves!!

Here is the message from Valerie Elsegood:

“We thought you may like to see just some of the Whitework With Colour projects that the Rassaun Craft Group (otherwise known as the Sexy Sewers!!) have  been working on for the past few months.

Ireland 1

I think we have all (the 7 of us) completed at least 2 of your fabulous designs.  We have so enjoyed them – and haven’t finished yet!  The Doodlebug I made for my daughter in law, she has a VW Beetle that is the love of her life.  The framer has done a fantastic job and even included her car registration number!  A big thank you from all of us for these wonderful designs – please keep them coming…

Ireland 2

I loved seeing the picture of your happy group and your BEAUTIFUL framed embroidery designs from the book Whitework With Colour, it looks as though you have a lot of fun.  Thanks so much for sharing Val, hopefully it will inspire others to do something similar.  Meeting like this not only provides companionship but also allows us to share ideas and help others with their embroidery.  I am busy with the Kew book at present but the good news is that there will be some new Whitework With Colour patterns available before the end of the year so keep a look out!

For more information on the book Whitework With Colour  you can find it here.            Till next time, wherever you are in the world, keep smiling and happy stitching.



Inspirations Magazine

Hello everyone

Hope this finds you well and you are enjoying your summer holidays?

It always gives me a little thrill when I receive the email that tells me my new issue of Inspirations magazine has arrived!  As you probably know this is the world’s premier embroidery magazine from Australia and they are about to celebrate their 100th issue!  I have been subscribing to and contributing projects to Inspirations for about 20 years now and it just keeps getting better and better.


Although I have loved receiving the print copy in the past, our postal system to South Africa has become so unreliable that I opted for the digital subscription instead.   The digital subscription means I don’t have to wait for it to arrive in the post and I can download it to my Ipad and read it from the comfort of my armchair.  (sometimes I sneak a read on my computer when I am supposed to be working)…….. Reading it this way allows me to browse through the pages easily and to zoom in on the little details.

inspirations 2

There is a printable PDF provided for each project so you can print out the pattern and trace the outline, so clever!  Each issue is packed full of inspiring articles and there are so many beautiful projects to choose from, something for everyone.  I especially love reading the feature article and being kept informed on what is going on in the embroidery world, both past and present.  I feel privileged to be included in some of their editions and was especially honoured to be asked to contribute to their 100th anniversary edition which promises to be an exceptional issue – so look out for it.

You can find details on subscribing or purchasing a single copy here, and you can also purchase back issues and kits from the magazines while you are there.

Till next time, wherever you are in the world, keep smiling and happy stitching.