After boredom comes fun

In my last post I moaned about the pile of alterations I had to do for other people, and the good news is, that 2/3rd's of them are now done!

I forced myself to shorten my dad's 2 pairs of trousers on Sunday evening, and let out 3 pairs of trousers for a friend on Monday.

I still have hubby's coat sleeves to shorten, I need to work myself up to that having "finished" them once already. 

To reward myself for tackling the boring jobs, I've been working on a machine embroidered picture for my sisters Christmas present.  I can safely share it here, as she doesn't read this.  In fact she doesn't even know this blog exists!

I came up with the idea of this picture after spotting a handprinted scarf on Etsy featuring a cat peeping through some brambles.   I'll do things a little back to front now and show you the finished embroidery first, then some of the stages I went through to get there.

I started off with composing the picture by tracing the cat face from one photograph and various leaves and berries from another, angling the leaves and berries around the central image. 

Once I was happy with the result I made 2 tracings of it, one of the full image and one of the only the cats face to use as my sewing guides.  These were traced onto pieces of pattern tracing paper.  Fabric shapes for the eyes and nose were then cut from appropriate fabrics in my stash and ironed onto the backing fabric with Bondaweb. 

To get the positioning correct I pinned the pattern tracing paper onto the backing fabric and slid the eyes and nose into position before ironing.   Using my tracing as a guide I stitched the features then tore away the tracing paper once I thought I'd stitched enough.

I then cut up my original drawing (which is why I can't show you a photo of it!) to use as a template for the leaves and berries.  The leaves and berries were cut out from quilting fabrics I found that were printed with leaves and berries, and ironed in place with Bondaweb, using the tracing of the full image as a guide.

I used the outlines and some of the detail of the leaves to start my stitching.

Once I'd got all the outlines stitched I again carefully tore off the tissue paper, and spent the rest of the evening picking tiny slivers of the paper from between the stitches using tweezers!  That took almost as long as all the stitching did.

I'd initially thought that would be it, but when I removed the paper and all the little pieces I wasn't totally happy with what I was seeing, so I cut more berries and added them and also went over the initial black embroidery lines with some colour to give a bit more definition.

The picture below shows the reverse of the embroidery.

I really hope my sister likes it! 

I'm now going to start 2 more slightly smaller and simpler embroideries for Christmas gifts for 2 of my aunties.

Are you crafting for Christmas gifts this year?  If so, I'd love to know what you're making and who it's for.


  1. Amazing! Your machine embroidery pieces are so inspiring!

    1. Thank you Liza Jane, that's lovely of you to say so.

  2. that is really beautiful! I may steal it for my cat-crazed brother. I mean, steal the idea, of course.

    1. Thank you so much. Please do steal the idea if you wish - I stole it from somewhere else anyway!


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