The flower stitcher foot

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is something which Valerie Campbell-Harding rated highly, and it sounded really interesting. A lot of people seem to have tried to fit one to their machines, and those who have succeeded like them. Bernina do not make these feet, and although when I asked about them at the Knitting & Stitching show, the advisor was obviously not very keen, she sold me a low shank adaptor, which she said should work.
Looking on e-bay, I found one advertised as suitable for a Bernina for a reasonable price, although more expensive than for other makes. (I decided later that the extra cost covered another low shank adaptor as it arrived with one fitted). It came from sewing-machines-on-line, was made in Taiwan, and had completely unintelligible directions for fitting to the machine. I didn’t bother with the instructions for use, as they were also in very peculiar English; you’ll see why later.
I tried and tried to fit the foot onto my Bernina B380, it just wouldn’t go under the presser foot lever attached to either of the (identical – did they buy them from Bernina?) shanks. Then my husband, a very practical bloke, suggested that as it could be unscrewed from the shank, perhaps it could be screwed back on with the shank in situ on the machine. Why didn’t I think of that, because of course, it worked perfectly.
In the meantime I had looked on the net for help and found a youtube video showing how to use it (on a non-Bernina) and another website: which had a section on the Flower Stitcher foot, and saying that the best instructions for use are contained in Valerie Campbell-Harding’s book Edges and Finishes in Machine Embroidery. This is out of print, but, bless her, Linda has uploaded the instructions onto her web page. I have a copy of the book, and so, instead of the instructions enclosed with the foot, I used those instead.

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The sample at the top is just the flower stitcher foot in its various widths; the bottom one is a hand-stitched piece from Sandra Hurll’s Wednesday workshop, on which I thought I might put some machining.

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Certified photos.

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These are the same photos as in Chapter 1, but Sandra has signed them as being me.

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Chapter 8. Taking a line for a walk.

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I’m afraid that some of the worked samples are not necessarily in the right place, as I did the mark-making etc. before I did any stitching. Big Mistake! as I didn’t always leave enough blank page in the right place. Page 54 has some free stitching as an example of the doodle on page 60. Also, and I have had this trouble before, I don’t think the bleach I use in the house can be quite as strong as some of the others on the market, as I struggle to get any response from the surface after bleaching it.

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Chapter 7. Free Embroidery

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Lines picture 1
This is a leaflet a friend gave me some time ago. To my shame, I have never been north of Hadrian’s Wall, let alone to Glasgow.
Lines picture 2
Our younger daughter has an M.Mus. in Renaissance music, I love it too, and the top image reminded me of the early music notation. Her godmother (a schoolfriend) lives in Melbourne, and sent us some coasters with very similar pictures.
Chapter 7 p 47Chapter 7 p 48Chapter 7 p 49Chapter 7 p 50

When I was stewarding at the Branch Exhibition

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last week, I mentioned to my companion, Carole Waddle, that I was working on mark-making and ‘Taking a line for a walk’, and she reminded me that Margaret Rivers, who was a member of Kingston Branch, had taken the original ‘Line’ and that there was a photo of it in ‘Embroidery School’, so I had a look to refresh my memory when I got home. We were talking about doodling on computers, (Carole is much more capable on them than I am), and she told me about something called ‘Zentangle‘, which I looked at and searched on Amazon for a book.
It certainly has enormous possibilities, and when the book arrived, I had a go and have included the result so far.Zentangle patterns  1
I went to the Knitting and Stitching Show with my daughter and 10-year-old grand daughter who had an inset day. (We were going to take her anyway, but were able to go on Friday: it was still heaving). We all enjoyed it, but because neither of them had been before, and I wanted to make sure that they bought what they needed (Daughter) and wanted (Grand Daughter), I didn’t see everything I should have liked, but I enjoyed it because they did.

Chapter 6 Prairie Points with a purpose

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Here we go with the Prairie points. (We nearly got next week’s menu as well then, I’m not sure how).

This is Page 35. (I thought it might be clearer in print than handwriting.)

This looked interesting, I don’t do much Patchwork and Quilting, it isn’t one of my ‘things’, but everywhere I looked this summer there were points!
Obviously a lot of them were architectural, and the gardens at Villandry, being geometrical in design, were inspirational in many ways.
I had a number of ideas of things to do: adding a lace trimming on the edge, zig-zag over a narrow ribbon, stitching a bought trimming on, possibly making a point with a design on it worked in free machining; somehow rendering the kitchen roof from Fontevraud Abbey (probably not!); but the doorways from Le Mans cathedral and Le Pin de la Garenne church, or the roof in Les Halles in Clisson are possibilities, as is the Benedictine Abbey at Quarr on the Isle of Wight.
I have a lot of photos, some of which I will download, and some sketches from them.

I chose several fabrics to try – 2 colours of ticking, 2 types of gingham and calico;
Initially I used: grey ticking, black and white gingham and calico.
Threads: Madeira Blue viscose; Madeira Orange viscose; Lilac (top) Purple (bobbin) polyester; Natesh Rayon Jade/White (top) Jade (bobbin); Anon. Red Rayon; Superior Variegated 851 (top) Yellow (bobbin).

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Patterns: 60; 92; 98; 87; 27; 55.
Some work better than others: 60 & 55 are particularly effective; 27 is the least good – a bit ‘thin’ and too long
Some colours also work better than others, especially on the striped ticking fabrics -you need bright contrasting colours.

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The black and white strip looks nice, I think.  I did one on calico and for the base I used the Superior thread Red/Yellow mix throughout: Pattern 55; zig-zag over a narrow ribbon; Pattern 35, which would probably be lost on a striped fabric as the result is a bit ‘thin’; and Pattern 61 over a 1.5cm ribbon – very good on the ribbon and (when the ribbon ran out) the calico.

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Tried using organza in a narrow strip and making small points – that worked OK.  Assembled it alternating the organza and calico – difficult to get straight even when tacked, and reminded me of a bag of boiled sweets – probably the colour!

Digimax A50 / KENOX Q2

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Top to Bottom: Roof of Les Halles, Clisson, Carvings on West Door of church Le Pin de la Garenne.

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Carvings on Le Mans Cathedral

Chapter 6 part 2

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These are the rest of the samples:

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Left – Green gingham with flower trimming and zig-zag – very pretty for a child

Right – Grey ticking

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Left – Red ticking

Right – Calico using variegated thread, and cabin lace edge

(idea from wimpergs on Evreux Cathedral)

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Bits left over (plus other side of ‘wimperg’)

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This is the purple/yellow strip from p. 38

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Finished sample based on Rafters in Les Halles, Clisson