stitching for martinmas

don't want it to end

Ah the best laid plans and all, huh!  I am in the throes of writing a tutorial on pinwheels and squares within squares.  It was to be all done and dusted by the end of the weekend and posted here for my mum, for any of you dear readers who are interested, and for me to check back on when the need arises.

But those best laid plans are sometimes so easily lost .  There I was on Saturday, beautiful weather, all my sewing things set up on the table outside – even my machine and iron, under the umbrella, sun, gentle breeze – such good spring jolliness – stitching and writing and photo-taking – having a blast!  And then I got stung by a bee.  I’m a little bit allergic to bees (my father is SUPER allergic to bees) and so we do take bee stings a little bit seriously – 25 mg of Phenergan and constant supervision from a reliable adult seriously.  So my outdoor sewing fun came to an abrupt stop.  I took my tablet, and spent the rest of the afternoon traipsing around after Julian (he had things to do and I needed to stay close just in case I began to puff up) and dozing on the banana lounge.  Hmm.  So much for the patchwork tutorial.

Sunday – dreadful weather so no more outside sewing.  Besides, I had the worst Phenergan hangover and spent the day in a bit of a fog.  The patchwork tutorial – nope.  Monday – lovely stay at home day for everyone (funny old Melbourne with its extra long weekend for a HORSE RACE).  Abby visited friends, we did some shoppings.  The plan was to finish the tutorial …. but …. see, I bought a lovely red velvet cushion cover at Ikea and I had this idea …

A special felt appliqued cushion for Martinmas!  It had been fluttering around my imagination for a while, and you know, with those best laid plans scattered from one end of the house to another, it just seemed this was the perfect time to settle down to a good bit of stitching.  I know I’ve said this before … I love making pictures with felt and embroidery.  Love, love, love.  I’ve discovered I’m especially fond of saints – maybe I was an iconographer in a former life?

So, I settled down at the kitchen table with my tracing paper, suitcase of felt, and google for some pointers on just what St. Martin looked like and off I went.  Such.  Bliss.  Did I say I WANT to be an iconographer?  One who works with felt and embroidery.  Yes please.  Sign me up now.

Today … why more of the same loveliness.  And thankfully, the beautiful weather was back, we all headed outside and there were no more bee stings.  Phew!  Instead there was sooo much stitching, game playing, breakfast, lunch and cocktails, reading, drawing, angle grinding … the rabbits cut the grass, the chickens dug dirt holes and sunbathed in them, the dog danced on her back legs trying to catch flies … perfection.

As for St. Martin – so close to being finished.  I just have to add the other cross to his lapel thingy.  And finish his book.  And then stitch him onto the red velvet and bob’s your uncle.  And it’s not even Martinmas until next Tuesday!

drawing smile felt suitcase putting the pieces together setting up outside favourite inspiration a tangle of thread part of the story dappled light game

If I had to choose one thing I love best about my St. Martin, it would have to be his wrinkles.  I was a bit unsure about stitching them in, but he just looked too smooth and young as he was so I took a deep breath and began stitching.  I think they really worked out well!  Will certainly be using wrinkles in future works.

And all the colour.  I love colour.  I love reading about how churches and statues in medieval and renaissance times were chock full of colour – every little thing brilliantly illuminated in glorious colour.  Why not, I say.  Wouldn’t it an absolute wonder to restore all that colour to the ancient churches of England and Europe.  Woot!  That’s why my St. Martin is a richly coloured dear.

ageing him the back

I’m always a bit partial to the back of my work.  It’s like a puzzle – sometimes you can almost see it, other times you can’t.

finally the book inside

Now – thinking ahead – I’ve already done St. Lucia.  Definitely need to do St. Nicholas.  Perhaps the Three Wise Kings?  Mary?  Absolutely!  And Wencelas?  Definitely need to do Wencelas!  Thank goodness I had a Catholic schooling – it’s given me so many to choose from!

10 thoughts on “stitching for martinmas

  1. What a shame your outdoor sewing got disrupted. I remember having that exact same embroidery stitch guide when I was younger. I think my sister has it now. St Martin is looking great – almost like a felt icon.

  2. Tricia says:

    After looking at your truly lovely St. Martin, I just can’t berate you for not dishing out the quilty goodness. I am in awe–how did your pencil sketches turn into a real, honest-to-goodness Saint?! Talk about a miracle! I could sketch all day and stitch all night and never be so creative. Ah, well. That is why I track YOU like a hawk!
    By the way, what ever became of your “slow Sundays”? Are you still focusing on those?
    Will be waiting for the tutorial,
    Tricia

  3. Littlebit says:

    I am so sorry about that bee sting! OUCH! You are so inspiring and creative, Lily, I think you deserve your own TV show! :)

  4. susan hall says:

    You are so bloomin’ clever !
    Love your inspiring blog, your cheerfulness, your home, your family and of course your clever craftiness.
    Thank you.
    Susan.

  5. Oh Lily, He is amazing! Yeah, not like embroidery needed improving upon, but adding felt just takes it to a whole other wonderful level.
    You are as inspiring as ever! I want to see your Lucia! I want to make some!
    You could do St. Nicholas and then be on your way to a whole advent season collection. And just imagine what you could do for St. Francis… I’m envisioning an entire set! Birds!
    You are very good at getting me overexcited about stitching!!!
    Renee :)

    • Thank you Renee! Wouldn’t an Advent collection be lovely! Just what I was thinking :-) And I thought of St. Francis too – I was standing at the kitchen window this morning and listening to the birds and thought of him with a bird sitting on his shoulder. We must be kindred spirits! I’m also quite keen on the idea of John the Baptist – he always has such a wild look!

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