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The Leeds Tapestry

Today's post will be one of two, maybe three on the Leeds Tapestry.  What's that?  Well, I didn't know either until recently, and I know more about it now due to an event on Wednesday.  First things first, it's not a tapestry.  In the same way the Bayeux Tapestry is an embroidery, so is the Leeds Tapestry.  It's a textile work made in sixteen panels, and they're about 2 and a half metres by 1 and a half metres, all framed and under glass.  (You can just about make out a panel in the photo above.  No idea why there's a CID sign too!)  The panels took hundreds of volunteers ten years to complete, and were a labour of love, the initial idea coming from artist Kate Russell who must've despaired that it'd ever get finished.  Made between 1992 and 2002, this was assembled before our online saturated days, before everyone could be instantly messaged on their mobile, or log on to Facebook and Instagram to catch up on everyone else's progress.  Hundreds o
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Pink blossom and a robin

  There are lots of these beautiful blossom laden trees around, and the gusty winds we've had lately have been scattering pink petals across grass verges and pavements like confetti.  I've still got a garden full of tulips, joined now by bluebells and anemones in their jewel-like colours.  There are even flowers beginning to appear on my strawberry plants, so lets hope for a bumper crop of berries this year.   I nipped into a couple of charity shops today.  Two interesting looking historical novels for 50p each, plus three crochet magazines for a quid each.  I don't crochet, but my niece does and these will be going to her.  The magazines are good quality and full of patterns to try, but if you really really peer at the small print on the cover you'll see their original price.  £7.99 each.  Yikes!  That's why I don't buy glossy magazines any more, the prices are way too high for my taste.  I'd rather spend on craft books.  No adverts, plus you can pick up no

Something to keep your pennies in

  I made a little triangular coin purse today, after seeing a tutorial on YouTube.  My version's slightly different to the original, but only slightly.  If you'd like to know how to make a purse then view the video, found via this link.   But I'll also run you through how I made mine.   I drew a rectangle of calico, 17cm x 16cm.  Then turned it into an L shape, as per the measurements below, shown by my highly technical super-de-luxe artist's quality diagram.   Bet you're impressed, aren't you?  Anyway, moving on ...  I chose a plain cotton fabric for the purse's inside and a patterned one for the outside.  I placed those fabrics right sides together, then my calico went on top.  I pinned around the edges of the calico, using red pins to indicated where I'd leave a gap of about 5cm or so.    (Basically I'm using the calico as a kind of interfacing.  Otherwise the thin cotton outer and inner fabrics would be too floppy to give the coin purse its shape

Odds and ends and charity shop buys

Here are odds & ends I've been making, and a few charity shops purchases.  First up, this is a proudly taken picture of a slow stitched square, and in particular my French knots!  I used lengths of the crochet cotton that I'd previously dyed using Inktense.  I love the range of colours from my homemade variegated thread.  I won't show the whole square as it's going to be swapped with someone on a Facebook group.  It's unlikely they'll wander by my blog, but you never know.   I'm also making a couple more owls that are for swapping.  I varied the embroidery from the previous ones I'd made, and prefer these.  (Though the owl on the right does have his wing applied back to front.  Why do I only notice mistakes like this after I've completed something?  Every time.  Every single time!) These are my charity shop buys.  A dressmaker must've had a clean-out as there were lots of fabric remnants, though most weren't suitable for me as they were s

A little embroidered bird

  I finished a little embroidered bird this morning, and overall was pretty pleased with it.  I'd tried to cover all of the calico with stitching, and in particular to get the markings on the head and the eye position correct.   This started out as calico with a pencil drawing of a bird's outline drawn on it.  I didn't want the threads to be all one shade of blue, one shade of yellow, one shade of green and so on.  Instead I used a mix of colours to add interest to the body and wing.   It definitely helps to have this in a hoop.  There's a little puckering with the calico, but not much.   When I finished the embroidery I took the material out of the hoop, selected my pale blue felt for the backing, then put them both into the hoop, the embroidery face down on the felt.  Then I sewed around the bird's outline, leaving a gap of about two inches so I could turn the blue tit right side out.   I inserted light padding in the form of fabric scraps, then sewed up the gap a