Saturday, December 31, 2011


I have been away for some time. Life has been hectic with house painting, family obligations and a few health problems around Christmas. I have been following your blogs though as I enjoy nothing more than a cup of tea and catching up.
I have managed to do a little stitching leading up to the Holidays and am also showing some Christmas stitching from previous years.

                                          Prairie Schooler Christmas Strawberry.
                                           St. Nicholas Needle roll.
                                          Cross Stitch Christmas Stocking 2001.
                                          Detail of Crazy Patchwork Stocking
                                          and more detail.

 My Crazy Patchwork Christmas Stocking from a class with J.Rofe in 2000. I think this is my favorite decoration, also a lovely size for filling with Xmas goodies!
And a gift for a special friend. Another Christmas Strawberry and a little tree decoration which was a free pattern from Threadwork Primitives.

I hope your Christmas holiday has been wonderful and that 2012 will be even better, full of lovely stitching and quilting if that is what you enjoy .A garden full of flowers if that is also your favorite occupation, but most of all happiness, good health and peace.

                                                          HAPPY NEW YEAR.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sunny Days.

Red Geranium.

Native Hibiscus.

Cymbidium Orchid

Photos taken on a sunny day in our back garden. Now it is raining and predicted by the weather people to do so for almost the entire week. Oh well, more time to stitch.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Garden Rambling.

It is suppose to be Spring but with the rain during this past weekend I thought I would show you some pics from the previous weekends local Garden Ramble.
This is one special garden of the ten that were open to visit, then my camera batteries went flat. The temp. for the day was a very hot 32c. Not like the past few days at all.

The ramble is held to raise money for the sight impaired and attracts thousands of  visitor's each time it is held.

Monday, September 19, 2011

I am still here!

Hello to everyone in blog land, I am back. No excuses for such a long break, only I will admit I think I lost my blogging Mojo. It really is hard to keep up with all of the other wonderful blogs out there but I least I am willing to have another crack at it.
Now if Blogger will let me show some pics of what I have been up to, they should appear below. I have had issues with this before, so here goes!

 So, though I haven't blogged for a while I have been working with my silver needle and threads. I have finished the first Applique block of the small laptop quilt class I started earlier in the year and have done a lot of work to the other blocks, but have now put them away while other things need to be worked on.
The scissor fob is a Shepeherds Bush design and another little kit which is Keeping the Bees.  I have also finished my major project this year which is The Earth Gatherers. This is another one by my favorite designers, Sherpherds Bush. Yes, I have a slight addiction to their designs, I can't help myself! At least I cause no harm to any living creature with an addiction such as this, however, the homestead does suffer somewhat.
Next time I will show you some Spring pics of my garden or should that be Summer as the temps for the past few days in this area of the planet have been much warmer than normal (30c).
Now I am off to water the Orchids.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Hooked on Applique.

As your can see I have been working on the Applique block from the last post.  Please excuse the wrinkles but I have held this in my hand on and off all day as I start to apply the teeny tiny flowers. These are suppose to be Lilac blossom. Do you like the color?  I had a lot of fun going through my fabric stash to choose the right shade. I am enjoying this immensely and even though these flowers are so small, I think they look very effective when applied as a spray of Lilac.  The leaves have been attached with needle turn applique then the center vein  embroidered. The bow has also been embroidered with French Knots along the edge.
Now I should confess that The Earth Gatherers are having a little rest while I have been busy with the Applique block. I will return to it over the weekend when I have attached all  the Lilac flowers.

Now a confession. At times I have been tempted to look at Ebay, particularly the porcelain/china/glass section. Yes, I have even given in to the temptation. When I saw this sweet little cup and saucer, I had to place a bid and found that I was the lucky winner. It was only a few dollars, the postage cost more as it came from England. But I had to have it, I think it will be wonderful inspiration for an embroidery design. However, this will have to wait until I have completed The Earth Gatherers. Here is the saucer pictured under neath.
Do you think the design would be worthwhile embroidering? I love the Rose Topiary and Hollyhocks.
I would love to know what you think about it.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Favorite Things.

Another busy week here at Silver Needle and Threads and my camera battery was flat when I was about to photograph my latest update on The Earth Gatherers and my Applique class.
So I have sorted through some pictures taken during the last 12 months. The first is of the Applique Baltimore Quilt class that I took several years ago which I am making plans to have machine quilted. This was not what I had originally wanted to do with this quilt but, my Arthritis affected fingers will no longer allow me to hand quilt.
Yes, I am now involved with the same wonderful tutor and redoing  a smaller class of the same design. This can be a small quilt suitable for hanging on the wall or can be made into cushions.I really have enjoyed the whole process of dimensional applique.

The second picture is of some wonderful Hydrangeas that I have growing in a pot, under the shade of a large Camellia. They are the most wonderful shade of pink but changed to this beautiful green as they aged. They survived indoors for almost a month. I feel so at peace when I am near a garden or simply a vase of flowers.

Then we have Molly. She is pictured here after a bath. She really is the dearest little Bischon Frise who came into our lives last year.  She was a rescue dog and we are very grateful for having her as part of our family.
She joined our family three weeks after my dear Miffy passed away after almost 15 years of devoted companionship. He was the first Bischon that I had ever known and has made me a dedicated  Bischon follower forever.
So there we are, some of my favorite things.
Now, a few stitches before lights out.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Another New Start.

Well, do you think I have been a little busy? It certainly seems so to me. I have started a new class at my Embroidery Group, which is a small Applique Baltimore Quilt. This is been taught by one of our members who is a well known Tutor of Embroidery and Patchwork. I won't mention her name as she is unaware of my blog but I hold her in high esteem for her talent and generosity in sharing her skills.  We are truly blessed to have her living and tutoring in our area. This small quilt is in Dimensional Applique and I am enjoying every stitch. I have actually made the larger version several years ago but never finished for many reasons, this is now giving me the incentive to take it to a professional quilter as my poor hands will no longer cope with the many hours of quilting it needs. Please note the teeny tiny flowers. They started life as a 1inch circle, then became a tiny little Suffolk puff before they became little flowers. I will show you when they are attached to the quilt block. I need to make over 60 of these, ouch! my sore fingers. Also the selection of fabrics that I have chosen for flowers and leaves. I found some in Newcastle last week, others I have had for some time. I was very good during this little shopping trip as I only bought three different fabrics but making a choice was difficult as the variety was wonderful.
I have also been working on The Earth Gatherers. You will notice that I am now stitching the vegetable rack which has pink carrots!  I can live with that, if the Ladies of Shepherds Bush decree pink carrots.
Also, during the past week my friend has had her daughter and family visiting. This visit included her very beautiful 4month old grandson Liam. Needless to say we managed to get some cuddles and lots of smiles from Liam. We all went out for dinner last Sunday night and had a wonderful time. Baby Liam was enthralled with the lanterns still hanging for Chinese New Year. Sadly, they are now back in the U.K. but we are hoping for another visit soon.
And before I go,
                                                            ' AOTEAROA'
                                                     God Defend New Zealand.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Another Update.

I have been absent for a while and my excuse is that I have been a little busy with this cross stitch project and the class I am involved with at my embroidery group. Please note the addition of the second Gatherer. He is so cute, dressed in DMC 926 and 927 with touches of 224, 3012 & 712 and some beads.
The class is Needle-turn Applique. I have not stitched anything yet, worthy of a picture. However, when I have, it will certainly make an appearance here. I had taken some lovely fabric to class with me and then decided to change the colour I had chosen for stems. So a trip to our local patchwork shop tomorrow. Whoohoo.
I am also going to gift myself a new Rotary Cutter as the locking mechanism has broken on my 8yr. old cutter. Is that a normal life for a Rotary Cutter? Anyway, I should buy one for the sake of safety, but which one is the question.
I am still working on The Earth Gatherers, not that I have done much tonight as my hands are a little stiff after clipping and weeding the front garden after dinner.  We have had some wonderful rain these past few day's with more predicted tonight. The left over weeds should be a little easier to remove tomorrow and then we will be able top up the mulch.
Well, I think it is time for a lovely cup of Lady Grey tea and may be a few stitches, before calling it a night.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Another WIP and a small selection of completed items.

Funny, since I have become so involved in working on The Earth Gatherers I have pushed another WIP that I should be giving some attention too, out of my mind.  Already I have broken a New Year's Resolution, that's bad considering it is only late January, oh well.  This is an item in Hardanger which is a class piece from last year.
Class?, I have been a member of our local Embroidery Group for over 12yrs. I enjoy my twice monthly meetings very much and have been so fortunate over the years to have taken part in some wonderful classes with fantastic Tutors. Some of the different techniques I have enjoyed learning are Silk Ribbon Embroidery, Trapunto, Crewel Work, Hardanger, Wool embroidery, Deerfield, Wessex Stitchery, Drawn and Pulled Linen work just to name a few.

Every three years we hold an Exhibition and I can say it is stunning. Our group has over 200 members and when you see the combined work of three years on display it is like an Aladdin's Cave full of treasure.

I opened a drawer yesterday and there was the Hardanger project waiting for attention along with past finishes that are waiting to be framed or turned into something but at the moment I am not sure what that will be.

As you can see, I have more Shepherd's bush designs that I have completed. I have also gathered a collection of needle rolls and have featured a selection here. I have others that have been completed over the years and  I will post those another time. The small pansy and crocus designs are from a Jane Greenoff magazine from  several years ago and are delightful designs, very handy for cards.  I have also just remembered another WIP, oh dear, looks like a very busy year ahead.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

More Earth Gathering.

More Earth Gathering, that sounds like a good name for a Gardening blog but this is about Cross-Stitch . I am still working on The Earth Gatherers and have now started the bottom of the coat which is in a lovely shade of pink. I think it is color that first attracted me to Shepherds Bush designs and then the very sweet subject matter.  Who would not like delicate floral motifs and gentle sheep along with the sweetest little rotund figures wearing beautiful patchwork inspired  clothing. Then to complete these designs, there are beautiful charms to add as embellishment.  I have managed to complete  more on this section between some sewing, shopping, gardening and dog wrangling.
I have also been looking after some house-management items for my friend visiting her daughter in New Zealand who gave  birth last week to a beautiful baby girl.  She is such a dear little sweetie, she has been named Gabriella.  My friend once lamented she might never have grandchildren but now has two after her younger daughter had a lovely baby boy last October.  Needless to say I know a very happy grandmother and am looking forward to her return to hear about the latest addition.
Today is Australia Day, which is a country wide public holiday. We are by tradition suppose to have a BBQ of  Lamb Chops and Sausages or visit the closest beach but the temperature is climbing towards 40c and I think it might be an afternoon of stitching with the Air-conditioner for company. So, HAPPY AUSTRALIA DAY, the country we love so much.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Earth Gatherers Progress.

Between last night and tonight I have managed  a little surge ahead with The Earth Gatherer. Not as much as I had hoped for but after bathing and grooming a very messy little Bischon Frise (Miss Molly), I was a little worn out.
  Molly has developed the habit of walking under the Plumbago bush in the back garden, which is not at all compatible with her curly coat.  She looks so sweet when she first comes inside with blue flowers scattered around her body and on her feet and occasionally on top of her head. Then when you try to remove any flowers, you would think that they had been stuck on with glue as they are very sticky. So with the Plumbago and scratching around in the garden, it was time for a bath and a beauty treatment.
I did manage to see Oprah's second T.V. show of her visit to Australia and thoroughly enjoyed it. I hope everyone across the world who has the chance of having a vacation takes our wonderful country into consideration as a holiday destination.  Tomorrow night's episode will show part of my local surrounds which are the vineyards in the Hunter Valley.  Mmm, Sauvignon Blanc, or a Chardonnay.
No, I must be good and do a little more stitching before I am off to rest my weary self. Molly is already snuggled up in her bed, I think the walk she had with DH and her beauty/spa treatment have worn her out as well.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

An up Date on The Earth Gatherers.

For the past few days I have been sitting at my desk where I have all of my embroidery supplies at hand and working on The Earth Gatherers. This is the third of the group of Gatherers by Shepherds Bush that I have worked on with The Herb Gatherer been the first, then I completed The Wool Gatherer in 2009.  Both are photographed and sitting in my flickr account. I haven't worked out the how-toos of transferring the pics across yet. It would probably be easier to just take another pic and post it here. I still have my blogger L plates on.
Today I went on a little shopping trip to the town's largest craft shop which is about 5 klms from home with the intention of purchasing a blouse pattern. But me, been me, came home with  three patterns and two lengths of fabric. Well, it is more cost effective to make your own clothes (that's what I told DH) plus patterns and fabric are on sale. The light was not very good for a pic late this afternoon so hopefully I will show you when I can. If you never hear of the Ivory and Black floral Poplin fabric mentioned again, you will know that it turned into a flop instead of the blouse I am hoping for.
Now back to The Earth Gatherers, I have finished the whole of the surrounding vine, even the back stitch. This  is not something I usually do but I felt I was out by 2 stitches on the right side. After several counting checks and feeling  as though I was wasting so much time, the back stitched trailing vine was a useful way to see if  I had made any slip-ups, which I hadn't. So now onto the dear little boy figure on the left side. Beautiful shades of blue, such peaceful colors. Do you have a favorite embroidery thread shade?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A new week.

Monday, the start of a new week and I thought I would show a few pictures to cheer you and myself as we have had so much devastation in our country recently. Roses from my friends garden and Hippeastrums(Amaryllis) from mine, enough to make anyone smile. Now, back to more stitching on The Earth Gatherers. I will show you an update next time.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Tardy Blogger

I must apologize for been  tardy. I  did not mean to be so late with an update but I have been busy working on a UFO from last year.  It is The Earth Gatherers by Shepherds Bush, and I am enjoying this very much and can't wait to finish.  It will then hang with my Herb Gatherer and Wool Gatherer which I completed in 2009. Will post pictures soon.
The other thing I have been doing intently for the past few days is watching the flood reports from Queensland.
So many people have been affected badly by the floods. To everybody that has volunteered  help in any way and that includes S.E.S, Police and Ambulance personnel, bless you for everything  you do and the risque that is taken when saving lives. Your bravery in such  perilous flood conditions is commendable.  I feel for everyone that has been devastated by these floods as my family was in the same situation in the Hunter Valley, N.S.W. in '55.  My mother never really recovered from loosing her home then, photographs in particular became very precious to our family.  So next time you take a photograph of a loved one, share it with family and friends so that a copy is always available.
May there be sunshine soon for those who desperately need some dry weather.