Sketchbooks on the move!

Our sketchbooks at Skipton Embroiderers Guild are about to go travelling again! This will be the third round of travelling sketchbooks I’ve been involved with. For those not familiar with the concept, we all start with an A5 artists sketchbook, cover it to make it pretty, choose a theme, write the first few pages and then send it off on a circuit of members. Each monthย  we swop books and stitch a little embroidery on the theme of whichever book we have, so in about six months time I’ll get my book back with half a dozen flower embroideries, all stitched by my friends. From a personal perspective I found it really helped my confidence with embroidery as I suddenly had to do something on a given subject, it pushed me out of my comfort zone and I discovered I actually could do ‘proper’ embroidery!

We’re starting a new sketchbook this time (our last one did two rounds and was pretty full!) I’ve chosen the theme of flowers. I like to keep a very open theme, rather than limiting it to garden flowers, or wild flowers…and I like flowers!


It’s our meeting on Monday, so I thought I’d better get cracking with it! I remembered I already had a sketchbook cover with flowers on. It’s a little embroidery from the Knitting and Stitching show in Harrogate. Rowandean have a stitching table as part of their stand, you can sit and stitch a little embroidery amongst all the hustle and bustle of the show, it’s a little oasis of tranquility! This is the one I did a couple of years ago.Travelling Sketchbook

I searched through one of my embroidery boxes and found a few finished embroideries I haven’t done anything with including a couple of silk ribbon embroideries from workshops I’d been on. I hesitated slightly on the delphiniums as they will probably get a bit squashed,but realistically it’s not good enough to frame and it;’s been sat in the box for two years, so it may as well go in a flower book!


I also found a piece of unfinished wool embroidery. We had a workshop at Skipton which involved needle felting and wool embroidery on a piece of old blanketing.. Mine never got finished, so last night I decided to change that! This is what it looked like to start with, a few blobs of colour and a bit of wool embroidery.Felt embroidery

The wool I have in my stash was too thick to embroider with, it was more tapestry wool. I decided to use embroidery threads instead. I started with the blue blobs, just using lazy daisy stitch around to make a flower.

I was very restrained and just used embroidery floss I knew I had over-stocked on! The brown blobs are meant to be seed heads, I used pistil stitch which is a bit like french knot on a stalk. They weren’t overly successful, mainly I think because they are just a bit too heavy for the rest of the design.Felt embroidery

I kept embroidering flowers and leaves, using fly-stitch, feather stitch, chain stitch, all pretty basic stitches. Every time I thought I’d finished, I would spot another area that needed stitching! I decided itย look more balanced trimmed to leave out the left hand edge which included one of the heavy seed heads! One advantage of needle-felting , I found, is that it is very easy to undo!

This was my finished piece when I finally went to bed last night, I’m pretty pleased with it! I’ll add a couple of flower photographs from my albums and a bit of blurb and then my sketchbook will be ready to start circulating.

DSC_0022 (1)I’ll be linking up with Kathy’s Quilts for Slow Stitching Sunday, a celebration of hand- quilting and stitching. Why not follow the link and see what everyone else has been stitching.

A pretty little thought to finish with…


About craftycreeky

I live in a busy market town in Yorkshire with my husband, kids, dogs and chickens. I love trying new crafts, rediscovering old ones, gardening, walking...anything creative really I started this blog after my New Year resolution worked so well. My resolution (the first one I've ever kept!) was to post a photograph of my garden on Facebook every day. My hope was that I would then see what was good in the garden and not just weeds and work, which was my tendency. The unexpected side-effect was that I have enjoyed many more hours in the garden. I am hoping that 'The Crafty Creek' will have the same effect. Happy creating!
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30 Responses to Sketchbooks on the move!

  1. Deb says:

    You do a lovely job with those embroidery flowers. The sketchbook is a neat idea.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. MrsCraft says:

    Very pretty! I like the French knots with stalks stitch.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Prue Batten says:

    I love the way you built up that design, Margaret. I actually don’t mind the heavy seedheads because when you see some seedheads in the garden they are actually quite weighty, and with good reason.
    But more than anything, I love the idea of your travelling books and think it has so much merit for so many of us who may belong to social embroidery groups. If it is an A5 sketch book, do you stick your embroideries onto the pages? Or do you embroider through fabric and paper to make the pages (which I have done at different times for artist’s books)?
    Oh how I would love to be a fly on the wall as each sketchbook arrives into your hands to see what others have done and what you will contribute.
    As always, you are an amazing source of inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

    • craftycreeky says:

      I really enjoy doing the travelling sketchbooks and it has pushed me to find my own style with embroidery as invariably if you have to create something on a given topic it is mainly going to be of your won design. I usually stick the embroidery to the page, often I’ll put interfacing behind to give it a bit of stability. Some people stitch the fabric to the page with a big running stitch. It’s great when you get them back at the end ๐Ÿ™‚


  4. katechiconi says:

    Such pretty work. I have no idea why you’d need your confidence with embroidery boosted, you do such exquisite stitchery!

    Liked by 1 person

    • craftycreeky says:

      Thanks Kate, it’s actually only in the last few years that I’ve done what I call ‘proper’ embroidery, I always did cross-stitch before that as someone told you where to put the stitch and there was even holes to keep it neat! I was convinced I couldn’t do ‘proper embroidery’, I’ve just discovered I can ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  5. kathyreeves says:

    Oh Margaret, I was rooting for the delphiniums, but this is gorgeous and will make an exceptional cover. GReat thinking to dig through the UFO box instead of starting from scratch!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Laura says:

    You are very talented…love your embroidery! Your sample stitch book is an inspiration to me, so this project will be fun to follow!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a beautiful piece of wool/cotton embroidery. I would have been pleased with myself as well ๐Ÿ™‚ “An oasis of tranquility” – such a perfect description of time spent doing handwork – it’s like meditation but with needle and thread, right?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. nanacathy2 says:

    What a lovely use for the bits and bobs you had. I think it will be a real joy for people to add their flowers too.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. debrapugh says:

    All so beautiful! !!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Deborah says:

    You do such Lovely stitching.


  11. CathieJ says:

    I really like the variety of your floral needlework. It is all so very pretty. I especially like the delphiniums even if you aren’t real thrilled with them. The cover of your sketchbook is very pretty. The batik fabric complements the embroidered piece.


  12. rosejasm says:

    This is real life treasure! So inspiring- I love seeing so much creativity!


  13. Catherine says:

    I always enjoy watching these notebooks you do in your guild, they are such a wonderful idea. And with the theme of ‘flowers’, I think you will have a lovely book returned to you!


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