Thursday, 29 October 2015

Patterns, patterns and heirlooms!

Tina Francis tapestry 2015, block chart available, kit on request

So winter draws on!  I never get sick of saying this and notice it is in my blog often.  At this time of the year its great to start hunkering down of an evening and working on a project, or thinking about a project to give.  We are not at the end of the year yet but it is always a time for reflection this change in season.  
This year I was given a whole collection of fine wool from a member of Birmingyham Embroiderers Guild, it had belonged to her mother and she wanted me to use it if I could.  I am working on a design to use it for display at Fashion, Embroidery and Stitch at NEC next year in March. As well as this work my stand will be awash with plastic canvas mandalas large and small, there will be a section for Ladywood Stitchers so that you can see the work that they have completed since coming to my free stitch session at Springhill Library Birmingham each week.

What all of these sections of the display have in common is that we have used second hand wool, sometimes from charity shops, sometimes from donated stashs and sometimes from our own inherited piles! As you know I am really interested in people using what they already have and a piece of stitching that contains memories is a fantastic gift to give or receive.
See what I did there!
There are lots of patterns on my website which encourage you to use your stash and also canvases where you can use your own colours.
Tina Francis Tapestry - Robot - 2015 copyright
Our Brooch findings are really popular this season with many people using what they already have to create great gifts, they are being featured in the December/January  edition of Stitch Magazine which you will be able to buy at the end of November.

I will be running 4 workshops December in Birmingham for Brooch Making, I've got lots of new patterns and it makes a great group activity before you hit the shops!  Please contact me at to find out more. But if you are going to Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate I will be running workshops there too! All this talk of Christmas is making me feel real warm inside but hey we have to get through Halloween yet!
Image Courtesy Ladywood Stitchers.

Happy Stitching!

Monday, 19 October 2015

The relaxing is over!

Tina Francis Tapestry - Available at Oh Deer

Had a little bit of a relax last week after finishing the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace, by relax I mean not really updating social media I was still doing a lot of "stuff".  I had a great time at the show this year and was please to meet up with so many avid stitchers.  The brooch making workshops went really well and I so looking forward to doing them all again at Harrogate in November - here is a photo from one happy workshop attendee!
Image Courtesy of the maker

I love the colours in this brooch and am so pleased that it turned out so well!

The tartans were a real hit at the show and I will be uploaded them into the shop later in the week.  There really has been a change in how people like to stitch with more and more of you wanting a chart rather than a printed canvas, I am still producing printed kits but as ever you can always have this is chart format! Talking of tartans I have entered four designs into this years Pillow Fight at Oh Deer, each year people are encouraged to send in their designs and for a limited period they can be bought by anyone!  I have put in two tartans, the Gingerbread House and also a patchwork design that I worked on a long time ago (well 3 years ago!) - check them all out here they are real fun!

Having a corner stand at the Knitting and Stitching Show this year allowed me to actually have a seat for the very first time!  But as I was not used to having one it fast started to become redundant until I decided to have a "happening" on my stand! As you will know from my stitched Christmas Tree last year anything that can be stitched will be stitched so here is the chair in all its glory that I stitched in between speaking to and selling to the great people who came to visit!

I really enjoyed stitching the plastic mandalas and will be running workshops in this at my own studio later in the year (not much of it left I know!) and hopefully at a few more venues next year including Knitting and Stitching Show at Olympia!

More news next week once I have caught up a little more!

Happy Stitching!

Monday, 5 October 2015


So I am ready and raring to go to the first large fair of the Autumn, Knitting and Stitching Show Alexandra Palace opens on 7th October and runs for 5 days.  It's a great show and those of you who read this blog reguarly will know that I really enjoy doing it.
This year as well as the larger kits and patterns I am going all out into the tiny world of 15 stitch squares!  These patterns fit perfectly into our brooch findings but why stop there?  4 squares stitched into a larger square gives you a pin cushion sized front, increase the design to 12 by 12 squares and you have got the makings of a lovely cushion front!  Real stash busters!

Whilst developing the small square patterns I have been trying them out using cross stitch on Aida and Binca - yep I'm bringing Binca back, whilst I am pretty new to the cross stitch world I know that there are many talented stitchers out there that will love the brooch findings to add their own designs to or to use with our patterns.  A good pattern translates and fits its space and so take a look at the examples below of how I have used one of the Inca Patterns on different canvas counts and wood!

You can buy the wooden blank from The Bellwether and I just love them, expect to see me sporting this one at the show on stand TGC9!

My experimenting with the brooch finding ends there, as you know I am a lover of the grid and so the brooch kits and findings I sell are always square - but hey there are different shapes in the world and also different techniques.  I am really looking forward to seeing how Golden Hinde will be using these findings in the round and the square.  A regular at all the large shows, educators, demonstrators and innovators in the world of gold work their stand is always shiney and welcoming. They have so many findings, kits, threads and wires that it really would be hard to know where to start if it wasn't for their fantastic demonstrations and really cheerful knowledge.  They have chivvied me along at many a show and I am always happy knowing they are around. Be sure to visit them on stand O5 in the main hall (I know most of you do already!) and bask in the golden glow. I'll put an image up of their brooches during the show.

So whether you like squares or circles, surface embroidery, goldwork or tapestry (go on!) there will be something for all of you at the show please say hi when you pass by!

Happy Stitching