The Colour Wheel exercise


was interesting: my machine is a new one, and I’m still getting used to its habits and preferences. It informs me (by misbehaving) that it definitely doesn’t care for having a different type, weight or even colour of bobbin thread. (First time I’ve met a machine that wasn’t colour blind). It doesn’t seem possible to put the threads either side of the tension disc, I doubt if it makes much difference. I have a double-eyed needle, it didn’t like that very much. I had better results double-threading a single eyed needle eventually, but it sews better with two threads the same weight and colour. I tried using a white bobbin thread (standard polyester machine thread) and it pulled through onto the right side, so I changed onto some odds and ends of colours in suitable weights, ending up with pink as despite having 44 bobbins (I counted) all with something on, most of them were unsuitable.
As far as the second exercise goes, I expected the result I achieved (we tried something similar at a workshop, hand stitching with black, white and grey added, which didn’t look as it should either). Paint is more capable of being mixed and integrated than thread.
I tried the Tonal Value exercise with an ecru thread, it worked a bit better, but still pulled through, so I overlapped the rows.

Having returned from France


I am surprised how many photos I have of things with points on, obviously they won’t all fit the prairie points sample, but one or two are quite promising. I did think I might add a bit of lace to one like the Wimpergs at Evreux Cathedral, but how on earth do you translate the kitchen roof from Fontevraud?Digimax A50 / KENOX Q2

Doorway, Le Pin-la-Garenne

Digimax A50 / KENOX Q2

Digimax A50 / KENOX Q2

Kitchen Roof, Fontevraud Abbey

Digimax A50 / KENOX Q2

Digimax A50 / KENOX Q2

Le Mans Cathedral

Digimax A50 / KENOX Q2

Little Wimperg, Evreux Cathedral

Distant Stitch facebook page


is a source of great pleasure, interesting photos, amazing work and wonderful suggestions. I had never heard of the program Scribbler or Scribbler 2, so I tried them. Scribbler is a bit like Paint, Scribbler 2 is very different.

I can see this being very useful later in the module.

Chapter 4


This chapter caused me more trouble than all the previous ones put together: I have needed to get used to the peculiarities of my new machine (Bernina 380)as it is more temperamental than my old one. Fine with straight stitching and zigzag, but very picky with automatic and free machining, so I have had to learn what it likes.

Exercise 1 was fine, except that I forgot that it was just supposed be width-changing, and changed stitch length as well.
Exercise 1 Zig-zag on acetate satin

Because I did width and length changing on the first exercise, I repeated it on Exercise 2, and discovered another thing the machine doesn’t care for: ‘looping’ to the next row, it prefers cut ends.

Exercise 2 Zig-zag on black felt

I worked Exercise 3 on a poly-cotton twill from Dunelm Mills.  This takes transfer dyes well, and with a felt stabiliser, is very nice to sew on.

Exercise 3 Zig-zag on polycotton twill

Automatic Patterns
These were worked on some man-made brocade which was coloured with a blue Hawaiian patchwork pattern, overprinted with a red and yellow chequer. I had quite a lot of problems with the threads, but the tutor at the Bernina course looked at the samples, and offered some very useful advice. It’s still a bit hit and miss, because some threads like one kind of set up, and others are different again, and some like different settings depending on whether the feed-dog is up or down. (I shall make a list after Chapter 5).

Example 1
Example 1 Automatic patterns 001

Example 2
Example 2 Automatic patterns 002

Examples 3 & 4
Most of my automatic patterns cannot have the width altered, but most can be lengthened.
The lettering cannot be altered, but the hollow one is wider.

Examples 3 + 4 Automatic patterns 003

Lastly and, hopefully, by no means least, another piece to go in the exhibition in October, it’s called

Granny’s New Machine

Granny's New Machine  001

Guess who’s now the owner of the old one?

Chapter 3


I enjoyed these exercises; they were a salutary reminder that simple can often be as effective as complicated.
Exercise 1. Less is more.
Excercise 1 001
Exercise 2. I hadn’t thought of stitching on black felt before (actually I didn’t have any, but clearing my mother’s house, we found a big piece she had used for backgounds for flower arranging, I’m sure she would approve).
Excercise 2 001
Exercise 3. This one reminded me forcibly of an Ordnance Survey map gone haywire!
Exercise 3 001
Exercise 4. This was the original source: a Mackintosh stained glass window. I make no secret of being a CRM groupie. There is also a little scribble to give me some direction.
Exercise 4 Source  003Exercise 4 Rough sketch 002
This is the result: I liked the general appearance, and the colours, but oddly, the best bit (which may not show) is the puckering between the stitching.
Exercise 4 001