postcard Our new postcards have just arrived, and I am pleased with them. I try to give a postcard with every sale, by mail order or at shows. After 1000 postcards I change the design, partly because people start saying to me that they already have one of my postcards and partly because I like a change. So here we are, I hope you like it as much as I do!

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New Year and New Ideas

I love new year (not the weather, which, down here in Cornwall I can frankly do without) – but the whole new sheet, starting over thing. There is nothing nicer than sorting through one’s thoughts and ideas and saying OK, I will start afresh and address these ideas.

Obviously with new ideas I need new supplies….. So I have been looking at linen fabrics. Really good threads deserve really good fabrics which is why I have been looking at linen. It’s beautiful and it comes in all sorts of weights and finishes. Yes, it is expensive – but good things are, and really, you get what you pay for.  Also, if I am going to spend my time stitching I want it to be a real pleasure and for me pleasure comes from lovely quality materials, the feel of them, the way the needle slides through the fabric….

When finished, I want my work to last – after all, I have spent plenty of time making it, good quality materials stay looking good for a long time.

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Craft4Crafters, Westpoint Arena, Exeter. Thu 30th Jan – Sat 1st Feb 2014

We have just signed up for our stand at Craft4Crafters.

We will be in the Designer Village with our Hand Dyed Embroidery Threads and Fabrics.

3 great days of crafting delights, packed full with traders, displays, features, live demos, talks, workshops and much more.

The show brings together a massive selection of local and national craft companies and continues to be one of the largest crafting supply shows in the South-West!

If you are passionate about either or both Hobby and Needle craft, then come along, as you will get the chance to pick up loads of supplies, many great bargins and see the latest must haves from the crafting world. Giving you the perfect opportunity to stock up for the winter months. Supplies include Card Making, Papercrafts, Stamping, Scrapbooking, Sewing, Cross Stitch, Embroidery, Beading, Painting, Patchwork, Quilting, Knitting, and many others.

Westpoint Arena, Exeter. EX5 1DJ
Thursday 30th January – Saturday 1st February 2014
Open 10am – 5pm each day
Tickets: £7.50 Adult £6.60 concession.”

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Design Transfer

Transfering a design onto fabric often seems to cause problems – I spend ages working out the best way to transfer a particular design to a particular fabric – what I really want is one easy technique that works with everything – sadly this doesn’t really exist in practice.
Every embroiderer I know has their own favourite transfer technique or pen or pencil which works for them most of the time – but not invariably.

My latest problem of this sort was transfering my design for the embroidery on melton I showed you last week. The melton is too thick to put it on the light box and trace (my favourite transfer method), and as it is black a hb pencil line wouldn’t show up on it. In the end I drew the design on the fabric freehand, initially with an ordinary french chalk pencil – within a couple of hours of stitching the french chalk had all rubbed away, so I used a Sewline pencil in white to redraw the design. This was a lot more successful, the Sewline pencil gave a lovely clean fine line which lasted reasonaby well on the melton – but I did have to do a little redrawing as I went along. I got the Sewline pencil from Ruth and Hannah of Puddleducks of Wellswood.

I am still looking for the ideal solution – I suspect I always will be, if the perfect product existed new products wouldn’t keep appearing on the market for me to try out.


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Stitching Ideas

 Embroidery on Melton Sometimes two or three ideas for embroidery run up against each other and I just have to try them out, this little piece of embroidery came about that way.
I have some melton in my stash, I have had it for some years and from the point I got it I have KNOWN that it was going to be great for embroidery – but I just haven’t had the foggiest idea what embroidery would suit it. (If you haven’t come across melton, it is a lovely woollen fabric, a little like felt in finish but woven, it used to be used to make uniforms.)
A couple of other vague notions that have been rumbling about in the back of my mind are Elizabethan scrolling stem embroidery designs and the way that colours sing out in peasant embroidery designs worked on black backgrounds, as you know, I do love colour – particularly bright colour!
So here we are, I combined the three ideas and worked this little design in reverse chain stitch, lazy daisy stitch and french knots using our mercerised cotton thread, and I have loved every moment of stitching it – I think I might do some more….

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Etsy Local

We have an Etsy shop, for anyone who hasn’t discovered Etsy yet it is really worth a look, lots of yummy hand crafted and vintage products in individual makers shops. Etsy has just brought out Etsy Local where you can look up shows and events where your favourite Etsy sellers will be trading in person. We are now listing the shows we are attending on Etsy Local as well as on the Shows and Exhibitions section of our website.

Links:  – Etsy Local – Tamar Embroideries Shop on Etsy

If you make craft items for sale join etsy using the link below and both you and Tamar Embroideries will get 40 free listings on etsy!

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Cotehele Embroidery Update

With the first Cotehele embroidery ready to be framed, and the embroidery team waiting for me, I have spent the last week completing the transfer of my design for the second embroidery onto fabric.

Cotehele Panel 2 I put the design sheet onto a board and covered it with a clear plastic sheet. I then laced cotton lawn over the board. Using Stewart Gill colourise paint and a very fine paint brush I traced the design outlines onto the cotton lawn. This is horribly time consuming – but it works and I shall be painting the design in with the same paints.
We (the embroidery team and me) usually work at Cotehele House on Fridays but since the completion of the first embroidery, I have been working at home, slipping in hours on design transfer as and when I can. The sudden flurry to finish this week was caused by a deadline – a visit to Cotehele by Harrowbarrow WI to see the completed first embroidery and progress on the second design. My next deadline is 10th January when we are due to return to working at Cotehele, with all painting complete – I better get on with it…

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A Changing Name – Cotton Twist

Combed Cotton I’m in the process of changing the name of one of our threads, Combed Cotton is being renamed Cotton Twist. It is the same thread, so why are we doing this? Well, it sometimes takes me a long time to come up with good appropriate names for things – (my childrens toys have always been called things like ‘teddy’ and ‘doll’ – I think they regard themselves as fairly lucky that they didn’t end up being called girl 1 and girl 2!)
Combed Cotton is the name of the undyed thread as we buy it. To my mind it doesn’t tell you anything. But if we look at the thread, it is about the same weight as a perle 5, but it has quite a tight Z twist and is nice and firm. So at last I have managed to think of an appropriate name and it is going to be called ‘Cotton Twist’ in future.
The whole renaming process takes quite a time as I gradually change the skein bands as I dye more of the thread, so for a little while we will be using both names.

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Herringbone Stitch

Herringbone Stitch Last week I was working on instructions for Herringbone stitch for the website. For me Herringbone is one of those basic stitches that I use again and again. It is straight forward and once you get going you can stitch good and fast. You can also decorate it with lacing or adding extra stitches over the top of it – so really it can be as plain or fancy as you like. I often use it as a border or edging, but it also works well as a filling stitch when worked close together. Herringbone Stitch Book This lovely little book cover was worked in herringbone stitch by Anne Crozier, she used our mercerized (brodery) cotton on our hand dyed cotton fabric.

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Embroiderers Guild Regional AGM

GuildRegionalAGM We were at the Embroiderers’ Guild Regional AGM on Saturday. It was hosted by the Plymouth Branch and the venue was the Bishop Cornish CofE Primary School in Saltash. I expected a fairly standard school building – I was wrong – it was one of those ecologically friendly buildings, you know the sort, walls built round straw bales, insulated with sheeps wool, a green roof and rain water to flush the loo – it was also beautiful. There was a fountain outside made out of recycled brass instruments.There were also squashed trumpets and trombones etc. on the walls as decorations, they were funny and beautiful. I do hope the children got to squash them – it must have been great fun.
I had a ‘proper’ painting on the wall behind my stand and really it couldn’t have worked better with my stock! A big thank you to Marilyn of Torbay Textiles who kindly lent me her camera to take the photo and then emailed it to me.

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