Chapter 10: Final Port of Call



Books Consulted & Exhibitions Visited


Course recommendations in my collection

Layers of stitch                                               Campbell-Harding & Grey             Batsford

Edges and finishes in machine…                 Campbell-Harding            Quilters’ Resource Publications

Fabric painting for embroidery                   Campbell-Harding            Batsford

Flowers & plants in embroidery                 Campbell-Harding            Batsford

Machine embroidery: stitch patterns       Campbell-Harding           Batsford

Stitch, dissolve, distort                                 Campbell-Harding & Grey             Batsford

Machine embroidery                                     Harker                                 Merehurst

Sketchbooks and journal quilts                   Berlyn                                  self published


Books from my own collection

Embroidery: a history                                   Warner                               Batsford

The textile book                                             Gale & Kaur                       Berg

Conquest & overlord                                     Jewell                                  Midas Books

Art Nouveau designs in color                     Mucha et al.                      Dover

Embroidered pictures                                   Tucker                                 Black

Contemporary embroidery                          Morrell                                Studio Vista

Machine embroidery: inspirations from…              Dibbs                    Sally Milner publishing

Lettering for embroidery                              Russell                                 Batsford

Cindy Hickok: with thread in needle…      Hickok                                ISBN 978-0-615-


On form: a stitcher’s workbook…              Fibrefusion                         Art Van Go

Transfer painting                                            Gamester                           ISBN 978-0-


Encyclopedia of embroidery techniques  Brown                                 Headline

Needlework school                                       Practical Study Group     Windward

Design for embroidery                                  Springall                              Pelham

Design for embroidery                                  Howard                               Batsford

From image to stitch                                     Grey                                     Batsford

Applique                                                           Brown                                 Merehurst

Embellish and stitch                                      Campbell-Harding & Grey             d4daisy

Magic of machine embroidery                    Curran                                 Batsford

Layered cloth                                                  Small                                   Search Press

‘this lustr’ed cloth…’                                     Midgelow-Marsden         Art Van Go

Strip patchwork                                              Campbell-Harding            Batsford

Quilting                                                             Osler                                    Merehurst

Fragile fabrics                                                 Beaney & Littlejohn         double trouble

Layer, paint and stitch                                  Dolan                                  Search Press

Stitch, cloth, paper & paint                         Hughes                                Search Press

Surfaces for stitch                                          Hedley                                 Batsford

Fabulous surfaces                                          Monk                                   d4daisy

Exploring creative surfaces                         Monk                                   d4daisy

Smocking                                                          Andrew                               Merehurst

Spun-bonded textile and stitch                  Cottrell                               Batsford

Country diary of an Edwardian Lady         Holden                                Book Club Associates

Embroidery & architecture                          Messent                              Batsford

England is a garden                                       Hamilton                            Select Editions

West country is a garden                             Hamilton                            Select Editions

Staffordshire hoard                                       Leahy & Bland                   British Museum

Sutton Hoo ship burial                                  Evans                                   British Museum

Early medieval designs                                 Watson                               British Museum

Green Man                                                      Basford                               Boydel

The kingdom of the ice bear                       Miles & Salisbury              Book Club Associates

Henri Matisse: the cut-outs                        Buchberg et al.                 Tate Gallery

Life & works of Gustav Klimt                       Harris                                  Paragon

Eric Ravilious                                                   Binyon                                 Lutterworth PressEric Ravilious                                                   Powers                                Imperial War Museum                                                                                                                                  /Wilson

Antoni Gaudi: complete works                   Cuito & Montes                Feiraband, Berlin

Gaudi: modernism in Barcelona                Postcard book                   Taschen, Cologne

50 favourite houses by Frank Lloyd Wright            Maddix                 Thames & Hudson


Golden Spider silk                                                         V&A

Alexander McQueen: savage beauty                       V&A

Balenciaga                                                                      V&A

Shoes: pleasure & pain                                                V&A

Henri Matisse: the cut-outs                                       Tate Modern

Fabrications Group                                                       Riverhouse, Walton; Lightbox, Woking

Kingston & District EG Exhibitions 2013, ‘15, ‘17 Kingston Museum

Why the trees are blue                                                Knole House

Jewish Embroidery                                                        Waddesdon Manor

Wendy Dolan                                                                 Standen House

Ramster House, 2013, ’15, ‘17

Internet resources

Pinterest websites

Embroiderers’ Guild website

Individual embroiderers’ websites

Part of my workspace (in the spare room)

The business end

Time & Costs

I have individual time logs and costs for each Module (see below).  The costs do not include servicing my sewing machine, which I have done every two years, and most of the outlay has been for threads, which it is difficult to apportion.

Health and Safety

This is covered in the individual Module paperwork (see below)


Also covered in the individual Modules.

Module 1

Total time for Module 1: 129.00 hours     Costs:  £62.35

Digimax A50 / KENOX Q2

Module 2

Total time for Module 2: 197.00     Costs:  Nil


Module 3

Total time for Module 3: 225.75     Costs:  £89.36

Chapter 8 086

Module 4

Total time for Module 4: 177.25     Costs:  £38.48

Module 5

Total time for Module 5: 137.75      Costs:  £108.17


Module 6

Total time for Module 6:  203.75      Costs:  £147.09 


Overview of the Course

 1.  Yes, I am much more confident in my use of the machine, and much more aware of what it can do.  My ability to produce the effect I have wanted has also increased.  My previous C&G courses had already greatly improved my design skills, which were not good, and I have been able to build on them to further improve

Design for reverse of cushion for Assessment Piece 2


Chapter 05066

‘Nene’ neck

Finished sample

2.  I’m not sure what my expectations were: the Adult Ed embroidery class I was attending was closing, and the C&G Machine Embroidery course I had started had become un-viable due to lack of numbers, which had been disappointing.  I wanted to increase my skills to include proficiency in Machine Embroidery as arthritis was making hand embroidery difficult.  Although it seemed counter-intuitive to take a practical course on a distance learning basis, I have an Open University Degree which had surprising parts to it, so I thought it likely this course would be the same.  The only thing which I might (and I emphasize might) have wanted was some way work a solid stitch piece (like Carol Naylor) without puckering the surrounding fabric.  Perhaps the design part has shown me that maybe this is not wholly desirable?


I think it is the best piece of work I have ever done, certainly from a design point of view.

I like the effect of all the different stitches.

Digimax A50 / KENOX Q2

Just to prove I can do Cable stitch and get a really good effect.

I love this, too.


Digimax A50 / KENOX Q2

And this: Markal Oil sticks do work, after all.


I must learn how use moulding felt, ie. choose a more suitable design source.  I couldn’t get my head round Frank Lloyd Wright although I really like his work.  Moving it on into something else seems outside my capabilities.

Sometimes you can over-complicate things, so knowing when to stop is a good idea.

Or even when never to start is a better one. (See Moulding felt above)

This is the design for ‘Mad Bird’.  For some reason I can’t remember now, I didn’t want to do this at all, so I had a tantrum and threw everything I could find at it.  This produced the obvious result: it was horrible and I hated it.


Use of machine patterns in a decorative panel.

Not actually for the course (a birthday present) but I would not have achieved this level of free machining without the course.

Digimax A50 / KENOX Q2

Probably the best results I have ever had on Romeo

Digimax A50 / KENOX Q2

I actually think I might become a machine embroiderer!

And now…

What next?

I have a list as long as my arm (quite literally):

Shorten the sleeves on a T-shirt, mend the hem on the sitting room curtains…

Start on the pieces for the Kingston Branch Exhibition in October

Digimax A50 / KENOX Q2


A piece based on this method: Sticky paper and Romeo and the Flower-stitcher foot.

Module 4

Something similar, using these shapes and techniques, plus some motifs from C’a d’Oro palazzo in Venice, using a turquoise dyed background and gold applique.

This is my contribution to the Branch Exibition of 2009: the Branch Project above (now in the Education Centre at Hampton Court).  Somehow I have to work out how to do a face in machine stitches to portray the Patron Saint of Embroidery: Constance Howard, green hair and all.


Chapter 9: Arrival


18th January

Back, right side with Black vinyl stitched down

Back, wrong side

20th January

Finished back, right side

Close-up 1

Close-up 2

Close-up 3

Back wrong side



24th January

Front – wrong side with map pieces added

Front – right side with gondolas added

Numbered from the top, I have added some stitching to 5 & 6, but I feel that 4 needs some as well as it is a shiny rayon fabric – the same as the right hand shape on the back – and your eye goes straight to it.  It may be that stitching on the map shapes will do, but if not, what colour would be best?

Photocopy with suggested stitching:

Red vermicelli in the Red/Blue cotton

Yellow vermicelli in the plain Lemon, Brown vermicelli in the variegated shade, just round the edge of the map/the gondola/both/or neither

Due to the appalling light (and I waited until this morning to take the photos) you can’t see the straight stitching inside the green and large blue shapes.  I intended to use the Green/Blue variegated, but could use a green or blue ombre respectively instead.

Braid for edging.

There is indeed a vermicelli machine stitch.  I don’t want to make the braid any wider, so I think the top one would work as it is.

28th January

Finished Cushion front – right side

I think this is as good as I can get it, I like it, but I still prefer the back!

Wrong side


Right side Close-up 1

Close-up 2

Close-up 3

Close-up 4

Finished braid


Despite having been serviced before I started on the cushion, for some reason best known to itself, the Bernina would not sew 100% evenly on the curved bits, as you can see.  Hopefully, this should not detract from the overall look.

30th January

Braid added

Finished cushion front

Close-up front




I can’t say I am thrilled with the cushion now it is finished.  I quite like it, but what I had in mind was something more sumptuous and thrilling.  The back is more what I had in mind, but does not go with the curtains.

Back before making up.

I also found making up the cushion less easy than I hoped.  Possibly someone with better dressmaking skills might have been tidier than I am.

However, I think of using a similar design to the back for a panel for the branch exhibition in October.


Chapter 8: Along the Way





I won’t do a paper mock-up of the whole cushion, as I need a cushion pad, so will need a lining/toile anyway.   I am making full colour cartoons for the front and back, so will include them.  (Some of the photos are not as good as they could be due to the lack of natural light).

Digimax A50 / KENOX Q2

Paper mock-up/pattern

Digimax A50 / KENOX Q2


This is a map of the sestrieri (districts) of Venice, plus the Arsenale (Naval yard – pale blue) and the Isola San Georgio Maggiore (orange).  I resized the pattern, as it was too small.


These are outlines of ferri (the metal pieces on the bows of gondolas) in different fabrics, sizes and colours: 1 Silver leather, 2 Black PVC; 3 White organza; 4 & 8 Black organza; 5 Silver rayon; 6 & 7 Grey organza.  (Supposedly, a gondola mooring in the mist).

I actually like this design better than the one for the front, but it works better in monochrome than colours, and would not work as well with the curtains.


Dye & Fabric

Dyed fabric (actually dark green)

Applique fabrics

Janet stuffing the cushion pad

Blurred photo of half-stuffed cushion pad

Cushion pad in the chair


Depending on how you look at it, I was lucky enough to be meeting a group of fellow embroiderers for coffee at this point, so I took the whole lot with me to get some opinions.  They thought the yellow was too bright, I thought the reds were the wrong colours, and we all thought the prairie points didn’t look connected.  There is enough of the dyed fabric to make prairie points and the colours of the stitching will show up better.

Prairie Points 1

Prairie Points 2

Bondawebbed back

Pinned to curtain

Front 1

Front 2

The result was that I bought some more dye, went home and microwaved some more fabric.  I mixed a sunflower yellow and a beige to tone down the yellow, and used a ‘Rosewood red’ for the red.  I also juggled the colours about, and prefer the second one.


Stitch samples

Free machining: feather and granite stitches.

Gondola mooring post


I think the prairie points will have to be green, and the machine patterns chosen very carefully, with the second one down, the joined circles are too wide apart.  Also, the idea of making the points look like the Arsenale wall don’t really work, so may have to be rethought.


All the shapes will be reinforced using matching threads and zig-zag stitching,  and straight stitching as further shadows echoing the applied shapes.

Front with applied shapes

Photocopy of front

Digimax A50 / KENOX Q2

The backward ‘S’ shape is the Grand Canal: Granite stitch in metallic and random cotton

Free machining: Feather stitch and straight stitching in analogous colours.

Free Machining samples


Machine Pattern samples

Braid samples

Braid Sample


Paper and fabric shapes