Friday, December 30, 2011

New Sampler Charts

The days between Christmas and back to work can be an oasis of relaxation but they can also feel a little flat after all the festivities. Hopefully our great new cross stitch sampler charts will inspire you to use the time to put some of your craft skills into action, or tempt you to take advantage of our sales.
I really love the Blackbird Sampler designs especially the small pincushion projects. I've just received about twenty new charts to delve into and they are now all available at
Look under Embroidery Linens and Wool for cross stitch charts, Sajou alphabets and wonderful linens to work on.

Monday, December 19, 2011

I Spy

I spy with my little eye something beginning with R - everything bright Red.
WDW felted wool - Candy Apple
Hand dyed ribbon - Bright Gypsy
Hanah Silk velvet ribbon - Bougainvillea (coming soon)
Primitive Storklettes Scissors
Thread Gatherers Silk Chenille - In The Red
Cottage Garden Threads - Canna Lily
 Happy little Lady Bug Beads
A wonderful festive colour for a happy season and family holidays.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Merry Christmas

A very big Thank You for all your support during 2011. I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a bright New Year.
I always feel December is the beginning of a new year for me as all my work has finished and there's room in my head for all the new ideas to come forward and express themselves. It's quite hard to choose where to start as there are sooo many styles of embroidery that I love. Will I do the wool designs or will I start on the crazy patchwork! Maybe both at once! I hope you have time to stitch too.
It's going to be a great New Year!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Free Christmas Wrapping

We're counting down the days to Christmas - 5 weeks to go!

Don't forget that we have all the little finishing touches for your Christmas giving projects. There's Doctors Flannel for needle cases, Lavender for sachets, Lavender and Walnut shells for pincushions and lots of vintage buttons and trims for those finishing flourishes. Many of my kits, accessories and scissors make wonderful stocking fillers too.
Free gift wrapping will be available with every order until Christmas so just leave a message in the comments box as to which items in your order you would like wrapped.

Scissors for Christmas

I love the imitation Ivory and Mother of Pearl scissors from Sajou ( France) and all the Mother of pearl accessories for your sewing boxes. There is something precious and ladylike about Mother of Pearl that echos a bygone era but is still relevant today.
Scissors make a wonderful gift for a family member or friend. They are an enduring gift that gives joy from the very first snip. If you are like me you can't have too many pairs.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Colour Inspiration

I just thought I'd share with you some of the beautiful colours that arrived in my latest parcels. The Weeks Dye Works felted wools come in the most gorgeous pastel colours and they work so well with the French Scallop braid and the new Hexagonal Mother of Pearl buttons. The Thistle Needle Keep is also new in store. It is nestled on some of Colour Streams 4mm. silk ribbon. Yum!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Hand Dyed Lace Spools

I've just finished dying this lovely lace trim in shades of green, pink and blue. The colour will blend with just about everything and is great for crazy patchwork, trims on pincushions, needlecases and lots more. Combine with Dupion silks, velvets, wool and felt for a wonderful texture and colour play. Why not also add a little sparkle with the Crystal Chantons and Vintage glass buttons.

Each Hand Dyed Lace Spool holds 1.55 mtr. lace. Re-use the wooden spool when the lace is all gone.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Vintage Cabochon Rosebud

When in Paris we visited the Botanical Gardens and I had to take a photo of this little climbing rose as it reminded me of the cabochon roses I used to make. I love ribbons of all kinds and it inspired me to get out my stash again and revisit some of the older works I had stored away.
The cabochon Rose is one of my favourites. I learned this technique from the book "The Artful Ribbon" by Candace Kling.
The rose at the bottom is a piece of mine that was published in The Embroiderers Cookbook in 2001.
I have used Hanah silk ribbon in a 25mm. width because the bias cut enables the petals to fold easier.
Make a loose knot a small length of ribbon and tack it to the fabric. Sometimes I made two knots - one on top of the other.
The petals are cut 50mm. or two ribbon widths each. You may make 3 - 4 or 5 petals. Dampen your fingers and roll the outer edge of the ribbon tightly using up to a third of the ribbon. Pin down the ends to hold the roll in place. Stitch in a half circle beginning in the roll and finishing in the roll. Draw up your stitches softly. Cup the petal around the knot and tack under the edge of the knot on the back. Overlap the petals as you go.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Images of Murano

Design drawings found in a glass blowing factory in Murano, Italy. Murano was wonderfully colourful and exuberant with huge glass flowers, ornaments, jewelery and lights.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Holiday Inspirations

You may be wondering why you haven't heard from me for awhile.
I've just come back from a four week trip which included 9 days in Paris and a Mediterranean Cruise ending in Barcelona.
It was a wonderful time - no cooking or bed making for 4 weeks - heaven.
Every building had motifs and textures in mosaics, tiles and carvings that suggested design ideas. Between my husband and I we took about 700 photos.
I think some of the ones I've posted today will be finding their way into my wool applique. Can't wait to get started.
Hope they inspire you too.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Moody Tones

Just some of the moody colour ideas I gathered together to help me decide on the photos and tones for my new Home Page. The "New Look" and some new products will be ready by 20th September.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Happy Jumping Hare

At last the Happy Jumping Hare has the borders on and I'm ready to baste and quilt.
I thought I would use some overdyed Cottage Garden Perle 8# for quilting around the motifs.
Not being a quilter I'll be working the stitches quite large so you can see the colours in the thread - as long as I get them nice and even I think it will look good. Here goes!
Once the quilting is finished I will be adding some small vine and leaf detail to the outer border. It will be easier to add this last before the binding goes on.
1st - Month - $74.00 Foundation and patchwork fabrics, instructions and pattern for all (12) blocks.
2nd - Month - $95.00 All hand dyed applique wools, felts, velvets, DMC threads, patterns and instructions for centre panel.
3rd - Month - $121.00 Special hand dyed silk perle and chenille threads, beads, needles and braids for the embellishment of centre panel. Plus comprehensive stitch instructions in colour for all blocks.
4th - Month - $60.00 Extra fabrics,threads and pattern instructions for top 3 blocks.
5th - Month - ($85.00 approximately) Extra wool fabrics, threads for bottom 3 blocks and border fabrics and patterns. Final price to be advised when I have finished the quilting and border applique.
                                          A small amount of postage is included.
Please email me at if you are interested. Kits will be ready from the 8th of August and each monthly Statement will be sent as a Paypal Invoice. Parcels will be posted as soon as payment is received.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Lesson in Gathered Ribbon Flowers

I love to use these little flowers in most of my embroidery as they add a touch of nostalgia to your work, especially when they are encrusted with rosemontees, chatons or beads. My favourite ribbons to use are the Mokuba picot edged ombre or metallic 7mm. ribbons. Any ribbon can be used but the wider the ribbon a longer length is required. The ombre ribbons will give a loverly shading if you alternate the gathering along the dark or light edge. See the blue flowers in the main picture.
Cut the Mokuba picot ribbon into 5mm. pieces. This ribbon can fray easily so you may wish to seal the cut ends with a little Fray Check. Fold the two cut ends together and sew a seam, end off. Run a gathering stitch along one edge and gather up tightly, end off. Sew a rosemontee or seed beads to the centre and position on your work. They are very easy!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Happy Jumping Hare

The Happy Jumping Hare is almost finished. I just need to applique the lower edge of the hills and add some embroidery then decide on a border and quilting style. I'm very pleased with the flower motifs and they were a joy to stitch. It has the same wonderful freedom of stitching that you find in crazy patchwork and you can use all your favorite silk threads and trims. You can see the detail in the stitching in the close-up of the flower.
The stitches are basic with interesting combinations and well within the ability of most embroiderers. I have been working hard to produce very comprehensive instructions in colour for better identification of the threads and stitches used.
Email me if you are interested in working this Block of the Month -

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Flowers to Brighten the Day

I'm starting the pattern drawings today for the Hare applique quilt and it's such a grey day outside I felt I needed some colour to add cheer to the day. The Camilla bushes are loaded with flowers at the moment so I picked a small bunch to sit by my easel while I draw. I know they won't last long but they make you feel fresh and inspired.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Ribbons, Trims and Threads

It was great to catch up with so many of you at the Trading Day. It was an exciting day for me to be able to show you first hand all the latest gatherings, plus all the old favourites that we are renowned for. ( I forgot to take my camera so there's no pictures)
We'll do it again before Christmas with lots of new decorating and inspirational gift ideas. I'll have to get busy!
It's my pleasure to announce that Vivienne Clifford from Coffs Harbour is the winner of our Hare Pincushion competition. Congratulations - the little parcel of wool, threads, ribbon and buttons is on it's way. I hope you enjoy making it. (Competition was run through our Newsletter - sign up for all the news on the Home page

Colour Your World
We have the most splendid colour range of ribbons, threads, trims, hand dyed silk velvet, felt, organza and crinkle chiffon to stir your creativity. All these colours make me feel squeeky inside and I just want to play with them.
Next post I hope to have a tutorial for you on my signature Hanah Silk Ribbon Flowers and my applique quilt is almost finished - so keep in touch.
Creative Stitching
Laraine Lord

Monday, May 2, 2011

Trading Day May 21st.

Just a few short weeks until my Trading Day on Saturday May 21st. between 10.00am and 2.00pm. at the Isle of Capri Anglican Church. It's just three hundred metres along Salerno St. from my shop which I closed due to ill health.
There will be a focus on my latest designs and specialist supplies of hand dyed fabrics, silk threads and ribbons and vintage glass buttons plus fabrics from the French General range.
Enjoy appliqué and embroidery demonstrations throughout the day and take part in the lucky door prizes.
Lots of beads, fabrics, books and other items will be reduced on the Sale Table so come and grab a bargain.
Mark it on your calendar as a "must do occasion"
I look forward to seeing you and everyone is welcome - bring a friend.

Unfortunately I don’t have credit card facilities available for the day so it will be Cash Only.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Lesson on using Crinkle Chiffon

A lesson from Robyn Alexander of Colour Streams on how she works with her beautiful crinkle chiffon.

Preparing crinkle silk chiffon for ruching.
Most times I zigzag the edge of the chiffon with a metallic
thread in the bobbin and regular contrasting coloured machine thread on top. Tear a strip of chiffon across the crinkles. Set your machine to '3' stitch width and just under '1' stitch length. Do not set it to satin stitch as it will all go down the hole in the presser plate. Allow the the feed dogs (teeth) of the machine to draw the chiffon out of your fingers. The stitching will entrap the edge in a very fine zigzag and begin to flute the edge. If you want to use the chiffon as in the samples above repeat to the other edge. To apply to your project thread up a crewel needle with a matching colour sewing thread. Bring the thread up through your project gather a little of the edge chiffon onto the needle and take the needle to the back of the project. Bring the needle up again through the project and the chiffon and gather a little more and take the needle back down through your work. Continue in this way meandering across your work. The chiffon should automatically twist and turn creating a fantastic place to nestle those embroidered flowers, beads and more.

Sample pieces by Laraine
 These are some of the pieces I have worked using the Gellato threads ruched on a cord and nestled in and around the gathered chiffon. I have torn the chiffon across the crinkles and left it raw. You can pull out any stray threads from the edges. This sample was worked on Artist Trading Card with a variety of threads in a cross stitch theme then Gellato thread chiffon , beads and sequins. It was then applied to a co-ordinating hand dyed Wool Felt book cover.
The second sample is from a crazy patchwork picture with a similar treatment.
There are lots of beads, pearls and tiny sequins meshing the whole work together.
This chiffon is available in over-dyed colours that match the Colour Streams Silk Velvet, Wool Felt and Organza and bring a marvellous colour play to your work.  Look under Hand Dyed Fabrics for Stitch on my Website                    

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Crazy Patchwork

I like to use plain silks or subtly printed fabrics for the background of my crazy patchwork because I want the embellishments to be the main feature. It is best if the fabrics are of the same density in colour - as too much contrast will draw the eye away from the work as a whole.

The background fabrics in the sample, (in the top picture) were antique dusty beige/pinks and I chose the colours for the embellishments from a Mokuba flower tape. The rich lime, purple, green and magenta colours lifted away from the background and gave more drama to the fabrics and lots of inspiration for the added textures. Hand dyed ribbons and threads can also give you wonderful colour suggestions that you may not have thought of.
I usually work the base stitches (which meander over the seams) in a heavier thread than the decorative stitches, so I like to use Colour Streams Ophir - a hand dyed perle silk thread.

 I then looked again at the colours in the flower tape and chose the threads for the embellishing stitches from the Au Ver A Soie perlee range which is my favourite. On the website I have organized these in colour cominations to help with your sellection. They are French and come on charming little wooden reels.

I love to ruch ribbons to build up the texture so next was the hand dyed silk ribbon. This also echoed the Mokuba flower tape. Sometimes it is best if it doesn't match exactly as that can become boring or too much colour change. You may choose one or two single colour ribbons instead.
Nestle beads, crystals, charms, ribbon flowers and lace into the ruched ribbons to add some zing. 
Ash me any questions and I'll try to help you.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Special Event

                                                   I have great news this month!

Our open day will be Saturday May 21st. at the Anglican Church hall on the Isle of Capri. The Church is just down the road from the old shop (on Salerno St.) so it is easy to find and there is plenty of parking. I'm looking forward to catching up with you all. Bring along a friend - everyone is welcome. There will be lots of your favourite bibs and bobs, many new ideas, demonstrations and sale items. We will open at 10.00am. until 2.00pm. and it will be cash only.

There will be specials on the Website during May for those of you who live too far away to participate.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Fresh, Fragrant Lavender

I have just received a delivery of the most fragrant, fresh lavender - harvested this month. The farm had an amazing crop this year after all the rain and the lavender is plump and bountiful. It's a distinctive and engagingly scented modern lavender with a captivating perfume. I am packaging it into 100gm packs.
The little Lavender Puffs pictured are from my kit range and will have some of the new lavender in each pack. They're made of  lavender/grey dupion silk embellished with silk velvet puffs, beads and French  crinkle ribbon leaves.These little puffs make beautiful gifts and Mothers day is not too far away.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

More Progress

At last the centre block is finished and I've started designing and cutting out the shapes for the smaller blocks. Pictured is the block for the top centre. It's just pinned in place at the moment as I'm still trying out the colours to see how it looks.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Hare - Block of the Month

The flower on the left is still waiting for leaves and maybe a vine and the hare needs more definition so the centre piece is almost finished. I've been a bit slow making stitch decisions as its a bit like crazy patchwork - you'll have an idea but its not until you've actually worked each piece that you're sure its going to be OK. The stitching is quite fast and if I wasn't designing as I go, it would have been finished by now. Its really fun to do and the wool is very forgiving in the way it takes the thread.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Crazy Patchwork Passion.

I thought I would share with you some of my favourite trims, ribbons and threads.
Mokuba trims are of such quality and are so beautiful to use, they are impossible to pass over for cheaper varieties and of course there is nothing as elegant as the French ribbons and braids. I love to work on crazy patchwork just to have an excuse to use little snips.
Along with the trims, ribbons, silk fabrics and bead embellishments are the Au Ver A Soie perlee threads. They have such gorgeous antique colours and they slide through the fabric like butter. They come on little wooden reels and you'll be hooked once you try them.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Exotic Flower Trim

I've just finished the black felted wool pouch and its now available as a kit. It's called Carnivale Flower Pouch after the vibrant Colour Streams felt, organza and thread used. I'm ready to make up the pastel version but my machine is sending me little electrical tingles so I better take notice and get it serviced!
They have been fun, easy and a great pleasure to make. You can see how much I love the different textures. The flowers could be used as a brooch too. They began life as an inspiration from the trims on my Forest Rose bag and they just grew. They are quite dramatic. Hope you like them as much as I do!