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Guest blog: Lock down Up-cycle

I bought my first embroidery machine secondhand approximately 16 years ago but never really used the machine for embroidery.  I bought my current machine when I retired 4 years ago and thoroughly enjoy machine embroidery in my spare time. I currently own a Pfaff creative 4.5

We decorated the bedroom during the first lock down and I wanted a picture to replace our faded print picture, which had always been the perfect size for above the bed. The project cost me nothing as everything was from fabric, stabiliser and threads, Madeira Rayon 40, I already had.  The frame for the picture was also sprayed silver from a can of spray I found in the garage and the finished embroidery mounted over the previous picture with the edges slightly trimmed.

In planning this project I did some test stitch outs to determine my choice of colours. The majority of the designs came from the Summer Meadows Collection.  Hummingbirds were added from Renaissance Fuchsias collection and Dandelion clocks from Hazel’s Graceful Silk Sampler.


I used white even weave fabric, stabilized with medium weight woven iron on interfacing. Tear away stabilizer was used for hoopings. I found my inspiration in Hazel’s Summer Meadows Collection. I wanted something bright and cheerful but also something I could complete from my existing materials.

I originally planned to make a sampler but quickly realised I did not have sufficient embroidery threads for blending colours. 

I therefore looked through designs for something bright and cheerful.  The summer meadows collection was perfect and I felt I had enough threads to make this work. 

I separated and grouped mainly single flower designs from the collection and printed the separate flower designs off. 

Printed designs were arranged into the picture frame until I was happy with the lay out, with hummingbirds and dandelion clocks added to the top of the designs for balance.  I then replicated the layout into hoopings through my software.

Getting the layout right in the first place was the greatest challenge for me.

The project was relatively easy to accomplish, but upon reflection I would have preferred a couple of different greens for the flower leaves and stems, but due to lock down this wasn’t an option.

If did the sampler again, I would probably emphasize the metallic grass area more, but overall I love my picture and more than pleased with the results.

I learnt that planning, practice and preparation give the best results. The whole project took me a week to complete and it now hangs in pride of place in my newly decorated bedroom.

Hazel’s comment:

“I think you will all agree with me that this was an amazing project, especially as this lady used only what was available in her home. Well done!! She won second prize in the 2020 annual competition at Graceful Embroidery. Thank you for sharing it with us all.”

Happy embroidering from Hazel

3 thoughts on “Guest blog: Lock down Up-cycle

  1. Beautiful results and an absolute treasure. I love the Summer Meadows designs too. My friend made me a lovely mug rug for my birthday last year with the same design and I keep that in mt bedroom. Thank you for the inspiration.

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