What are these flights of fancy that Mabel has? Well, they are short snippets about anything that I've been doing, stitching, designing, thinking about, experimenting with, and so on, which I think you may be interested in. They'll tell you about new designs, how I come up with names, changes I'm making in designs I'm working on and so on. I can't promise posts will be regular or terribly frequent, but I'll do my best not to neglect this page for long periods of time! By the way, some of the pictures are thumbnails, so you can click on them for a larger version; if you hover over one and a little magnifying glass with a + appears, it's clickable.

Lacing

My stitching task for today was not stitching as such – I decided to lace the two larger Extravorganzas (the smaller ones have already been mounted in cards). Lacing is a neat finish, convenient for display and ready for framing should I decide to later, but it does take quite a bit of time and effort. However it’s also quite relaxing, in a way, so quite a good activity for a dreary Saturday afternoon.

As the organza backing is so much part of these designs, I decided to play around a bit with them, and for Extravorganza 2 I cut the orange organza into a rough floral shape large enough to cover the cut area, then backed it with yellow felt for extra brilliance. The orange shape very subtly shines through the fabric and forms a sort of ghostly frame around the stitching. It was a bit of a gamble, but I think the effect is quite, well, effective smiley.

Extravorganza 2, laced and with its shaped organza backing

For number one, in purple, I wanted a black background behind the whole thing. In itself not difficult, as I’d just got some black adhesive felt which was easily attached to the foam board (kindly cut to size by my helpful husband, who is much more dextrous with a Stanley knife than I am). Unfortunately, though unsurprisingly considering how diaphanous it is, this made the purple organza look black too. White felt to the rescue! A patch the shape and size of the cut area, covered by the organza, made the holes show up a pretty purple while maintaining a uniform dark background for the rest of the fabric.

If you’ve never laced embroidery before you may wonder what the effort is I was referring to. There are plenty of very good tutorials out there on the web (none of which I have bookmarked to share with you I’m afraid) so I’m not going to write one here, but just jot down a few notes with some pictures.

First cut your board to size; I use foam board for the very simple reason that I was offered a few sheets for free by someone who had some left over. In order to soften the lines I usually cover it with felt first, either adhesive or plain. This also means I can have different coloured backgrounds depending on what I’m lacing. Place the stitching over it and make sure it is centred, then stick a pin in the centre of each edge. Pulling the fabric straight, keep adding pins until the fabric is evenly stretched (left-hand picture). Using a strong sewing thread, lace two opposing sides by zigzagging; stagger the stitches so the fabric doesn’t get pulled apart (right-hand picture). When I’ve laced one direction I go over the threads from the beginning, pulling them taut, and it’s surprising how much slack there is in threads you thought you’d pulled quite tight!

The stitching is pinned to the foam board on all sides Lacing the first two sides together

I hate doing corners, as I can never get them as neat as I would like. Still, they have to be done, so I cut a triangle off each corner and fold them as best I can, then secure them with pins. Lace the other two sides, take the pins out, and secure the corners with a few small stitches (left-hand picture). Check it looks OK at the front (and as undoing everything is a major pain I hardly ever decide it doesn’t…), and remove all the pins (middle and right-hand pictures). And there you have it, one laced piece of needlework and one needleworker glowing with a sense of achievement.

Corners tucked in and secured, and all sides laced Does the front look OK? Pins removed, all neat and tidy

Having finished Extravorganza there was one other thing to do – put the fabric for Orpheus on a frame. I’m looking forward to some more Ukrainian white work (even though in this case it’s orange…)

Orpheus ready to go

Notes on a simplified coaster

Right, so I’ve been doing some coaster stitching (it’s remarkable how much you can get done in a hospital waiting room, on the London Underground, or at an Austin Seven auction!) to try out my various ideas for quick-to-stitch coasters for charity. Definitely stick with the smaller central cut motif – it really is very versatile, and makes for a nice lacy, Hardanger-y look without too much cutting or bar wrapping.

First I tried the design without a coloured border (I also left out the four stitches in the corners of the Hardanger motif). It’s probably a matter of taste, but to me it just doesn’t look quite right; it’s not defined enough. It’s also a little on the small side. Both problems were addressed by adding a simple coloured cross stitch border, and I do think it looks more complete that way, but perhaps a little too big. Also the leaf stitch seems a bit too chunky for the smaller central motif, although their shape, as always, is very pleasing, and the whole thing did actually look OK once I put it in its coaster. I do like the effect of using Caron Wildflowers thread for the wrapped bars and picots; it adds a nice splash of colour to the centre. I’ll keep this design as a possible – not ideal, but definitely usable.

Simplified design without border Simplified design with border

Keep those coloured picots, then, and back to the drawing board for the other bits. Using a smaller corner motif means we can move the border in by a few threads, bringing the whole design down to 60 stitches square while retaining that finished feel of a coloured frame holding the whole design together. But can I do something a bit different from simple crosses? How about a little “bird’s foot” of three stitches? I decided to try it out using some of that stunningly colourful Threadworx perle called Bradley’s Balloons. The chain stitch diamond and the border certainly looked very cheerful, and the smaller heart motifs in the corners worked well too, but I felt the thread was just a little too bright for wrapped bars and picots. Cheerful and bright is good, but we don’t want to produce coasters that are a health hazard to the eyes. So for this one I decided to go with white wrapped bars and coloured sunburst. Future coasters will use slightly more muted threads.

Simplified design with border and hearts

And another thing, not everyone likes hearts. Some people actively dislike hearts. (In designs, that is. I assume they have nothing against them biologically.) Coasters, like bookmarks, are useful presents to give to men, or so I’ve been told by several ladies who confessed it was almost impossible to buy presents for their menfolk; but people might feel coasters with hearts make less suitable man presents. An alternative design was therefore called for, about the size of the hearts but of a different shape. I decided on three small satin stitch leaves. While charting this variation I also lengthened the middle “toe” in the bird’s foot border, just to see what that would look like. Well, it looks like this smiley:

Simplified design with border and small leaves

I like both these designs, and will very likely use them alternately – hearts and small leaves, picots and sunbursts and spider’s webs. Of the borders I have a definite preference for the long-toed one. One day I will also try solid colours, to see if the coasters still look pretty and decorative when using standard, non-variegated threads (but with so many lovely variegated threads to choose from, it may be a while before I get round to the solids…). And, because recently I’ve got kits on the brain, I’m having a look at which design and which threads would work best for a coaster kit, and whether to include one or two coasters. Plus, of course, whether I can put them together for a price people are willing to pay while still making a bit of profit!

Preparing for the Christmas Craft Event

Another November, another Christmas Craft Event – I don’t know how many of these Dunchurch Baptist Church has organised over the years, but this is my ninth. Perhaps I should start recycling craft projects instead of trying to come up with a new one every year! On the other hand, thinking up new projects is fun, so perhaps I’ll wait until I’ve got a back catalogue of at least ten projects before dipping into it for future events.

Bookmarks having featured rather largely in my stitching recently I thought I’d put together another one for this occasion. Not a Hardanger one, obviously, as it needs to be one of a number of crafts the children cram into two hours; and as all the children are under twelve and many of the ones ending up at my table are 7 or 8, it needs to be something relatively easy so they can all complete it (with a little help from mum or dad or gran if necessary).

Rummaging through my stash I found some star sequins and crochet cotton in various shades, as well as scraps of felt both plain and sticky-backed. Cut the felt with pinking shears, put it all together and you get two varieties of bookmark – with a name worked in whipped running stitch, or with a running stitch holly leaf and and whipped berries. The sticky felt is cut smaller and used to cover up the back of the stitching, adding some stiffness in the process. (I need to buy some more of it, and will probably go for black as it’s more neutral than green, so I’ll be able to use it for other things as well.)

2014 Christmas Craft Event - bookmarks 2014 Christmas Craft Event - bookmarks

Aesthetically I suppose the holly version would look nicer with a fly stitch leaf and satin stitch berries, but we simply don’t have the time – I have to remember it’s not a class, and anything they learn has to be picked up on the fly. But the bookmarks are decorative, they’ll make lovely gifts, and they will be something of which they can say proudly, “I made that!”

A pressing problem concerning bookmarks

Well, not really – but as it involves bookmarks and ironing it was too good (or bad, according to your definition and taste) a pun to miss. My two bookmark testers did their worst, and they (the bookmarks, that is) bore it all with fortitude; even the one with the weak spots did not go to pieces under the strain, and the stitching stood up to it all beautifully, without so much as a cut end poking out at the end of the test period. The only mild criticism from both testers was that the bookmarks are relatively chunky, which could be a minor problem when used in very light, thin books.

Far be it from me to suggest that everyone should read only thick, heavy books, and although the felt will probably compact a little with use quite naturally, I wondered whether it might not be encouraged to do so a bit more quickly. In other words, I planned to iron them. Felt being what it is, my theory was that ironing them at a higher heat than wool would normally find comfortable might cause the fibres to fuse, making the bookmark both thinner and stiffer. Time, then, to heat up the iron and put my theory to the test. There would have to be a layer of some sort between the iron and the bookmark or I’d probably end up with a ruined iron (not to mention the bookmark), so I confiscated one of my husband’s older and tattier hankies to sacrifice to this great scientific experiment.

Next was the question of when to iron the bookmark; that is to say, at what stage of production. I chose to try it both at the tasselled-but-otherwise-untouched stage and at the stitching-attached stage. Ideally I would like to use the first method as it means I can pre-iron the bookmarks in the kits; however, if by ironing them they end up so stiff and/or solid that attaching the stitching becomes a problem, I’d have to add a note to the kit instructions about ironing the bookmarks after making them up. Not an insurmountable problem as most people have an iron kicking around the house, but nicer if they don’t have to.

Because the felt I use is handmade, no two bookmarks are the same thickness. For this experiment I chose two of the turquoise bookmarks, which seem to have come out a little thicker than the other colours on average. Here they are pre-ironing, a front view and a side view.

The two bookmarks, one with patch and one without, pre-ironing A pre-ironing side view

Using the handkerchief as a buffer between the iron (set to “Cotton”) and the felt, I got to work. Nothing much happened. The bookmark looked a little smoother, and a little thinner, but there was no fusing. Perhaps this is what I should have expected from pure wool. I tried ironing a bit without the handkerchief. No fusing, no bits of bookmark sticking to the iron. More ironing. The bookmark got a little flatter and smoother still. After a while we seemed to have reached maximum compaction, so I stopped.

So was this experiment a success? Well, the fusing and stiffening I had rather hoped for didn’t happen. On the other hand, the bookmarks are definitely thinner and smoother, and they as they didn’t stiffen it is fine to iron them before attaching the patch. This is a definite plus as the one I ironed with the patch already on it came out looking just a little, well, flat. The stitching looked a bit lifeless and had lost some of its 3D quality. The enhanced smoothness doesn’t show up very well in the picture below, although it will at least give you an idea, but the side view does show the bookmarks to be thinner than they were.

The two bookmarks, one with patch and one without, post-ironing A post-ironing side view

As the bookmarks definitely looked better ironed, as well as being a bit thinner, I decided it would be worth ironing the ones already in kits, as well as the ones I’ve got ready tasselled for my charity stitching. And as I was on a roll, I then did the two small stacks of untasselled ones I have in stock as well. Out of curiosity I decided to measure the stacks; both were 6cm high. Post-ironing one was 4.5cm high, the other 4.8cm – a 20%-25% reduction in thickness! It’s always nice to get confirmation that you’ve done the right thing smiley.

An unexpected gift, and some very thin Vilene

Do you like hand-dyed fabrics? If so you probably already know about Kate at Sparklies, one of my favourite suppliers. But there are others out there, like Sam at Chromatic Alchemy – visit her Facebook page to see some of the lovely colours and patterns she produces. I happen to know her in-laws and when I heard she was thinking of trying out sparkly materials I dug out some 28ct opalescent Lugana for her to try. She dyed it in blues and lilacs in striking swirls (the picture below doesn’t do justice to the colours but at least it shows the pattern) and then gave it to me! I feel I ought to warn her about being too generous and kind, although it seems a shame when there isn’t nearly enough of either going around in the world today.

Fabric by Sam from Chromatic Alchemy

Remember my note to self about getting some more thin black interfacing for the coasters? Well, I found a great bargain on eBay, but it’s a little different from the Vilene I had before – it works perfectly well but it’s so thin it needs to be covered with baking parchment when ironing because otherwise it sometimes crumples and sticks to the iron!

A belated Knitting and Stitching Show report

It’s been a while since my last FoF, but for very pleasant reasons – first there was the Knitting & Stitching Show and my usual two-night stay in London (thank you kind sister-in-law for putting up with me once again), then my mother came to visit for a week which was lovely after her long and difficult treatment, and she was hardly on the plane back to Holland when we were off on a visit to my husband’s parents (stopping on the way to attend an auction). Now we’re back to what passes for normal here and I’ve got a little breathing space to catch up with my posting.

K&S was very enjoyable as usual; the workshop was fully booked, and in fact one lady asked if she could attend as number 13, but unfortunately I’d only brought 12 kits. Also, 12 people is really the most I can do in a workshop – even then it can be a bit of a struggle to make sure everyone gets enough attention. However, one person who’d booked didn’t turn up so the lady was able to join in after all. My favourite bit of the workshop has to be when we do the cutting, and suddenly there are gasps of surprise as the lacy look of the Hardanger almost miraculously emerges when the cut threads are pulled out – it’s always a great moment.

I had time to look around the stands as well, and had an interesting chat with the lady demonstrating goldwork at Golden Hinde where I got the gold and silver kid for Treasure Trove some time ago. I also took the opportunity of trying to find replacement threads for the discontinued Dinky Dyes perles. Stef Francis and Oliver Twists both had lovely threads, but none that would match the three DD ones. The Threadworx perles at West End Embroidery showed some promise, but still weren’t quite the thing. The people there were terribly helpful, though, going through the Weeks Dye Works threads with me and making suggestions. I noticed this at many a stand – needleworkers are quite simply a lovely helpful bunch of people! Nowhere more so than at the Calico Cat, where Carol went through all the Gloriana threads with me, and eventually gave me a skein each of stranded silk and stranded wool in the shade Monet’s Pond! If ever you need Gloriana or Valdani threads, or advice about them, do remember the Calico Cat – they haven’t got a website, but you can email them or call them at 07779 103280.

Another find was a Dutch lady selling Wonderfil threads. Most of them aren’t really suitable for Hardanger, but there was one which drew my attention: a 12wt Egyptian cotton called Fruitti (and yes, there is also a thread called Tutti. And Razzle. And Dazzle. I don’t like the names but you can’t have everything) which is similar in thickness to a perle #12. They had large bobbins which worked out cheaper but I picked a set of five small bobbins so I’d have more colours to experiment with. I’ll let you know how they stitch up. Anything else? Ah yes, five tiny wooden buttons. Remarkably restrained, don’t you think? You can see my entire haul in the picture (except for the delicious Linden Lady chocolates which had mysteriously disappeared by the time I took the photograph). By the way, isn’t the colour difference between Gloriana’s wool and silk enormous? And yet they are both given the same shade name. It makes me wonder what the silk perles of that shade are like; I may have to try them…

My modest stash haul

Kit assembly line (and one more bookmark)

Yay! My bulk purchase of felt tags has arrived, and very colourful it looks too. I’ve checked them all and although there are a few thin bits here and there they’ll probably all be usable; two are a bit doubtful, but if I use them myself for producing bookmarks rather than making them part of a kit I think they’ll be all right.

My bulk purchase of felt tags

As you may have noticed from the picture above, there’s a new shade on the block. I included two Apple Green tags in my order, just to find out what colour it was in real life! It turns out to be a pleasantly bright shade, certainly not mossy like the photograph on Blooming Felt’s website but neither, fortunately, quite so lurid as the soft cotton picture that was said to match it. There is no suitable Anchor Multicolor shade for it though, so I won’t get any more but just stitch these two up for charity using Caron Wildflowers.

Apple Green felt tags with Caron thread

Putting kits together is a time-consuming activity, so the easier it can be made the better I like it. One effective time-saving strategy is to make lots rather than one at a time (“lots” in the context of Mabel’s Fancies meaning about two dozen). So I printed out 24 sets of instructions, attached 24 cover photographs, put 48 gold-plated needles into 24 pieces of felt, cut 24 squares of fabric and all the threads needed and here is my kit assembly line (well, assembly coffee table) before the felt tags had come in – doesn’t it look colourful? As you can see I had just started on cutting the threads for the bookmark tassels. Twelve of these kits are for next year’s Knitting & Stitching Show, the others will go on sale on the website after I’ve returned from this year’s show.

The bookmark kit assembly line

And finally one more felt tag bookmark – the first one with a cross instead of a square motif.

Felt tag bookmark with a cross motif

More charity stitching ideas

One thing you need to consider when stitching for charity is that the materials shouldn’t eat up all the profits. It’s all too easy to go on a stash-buying spree to make beautiful and desirable little items, only to work out afterwards that no one is going to pay what you would need to charge to cover your costs. Buying in bulk is useful in keeping costs down, whether it’s the felt tags I ordered last week or (my latest idea) coasters, so I splashed out and got 100. I’m sure they’ll get used, if not this decade, then the next; after all, it’s not as if they’ve got a best before date!

The next question is what to put in them. Round Dozen is great for coasters, but even though the designs are relatively quick to stitch, they’re still a bit too labour-intensive when trying to get a mini production line going. So let’s see if we can’t simplify the design a bit while keeping its decorative qualities.

First we’ll do it on Hardanger fabric instead of 25ct Lugana so that a smaller design will sufficiently fill the coaster. The originals are a fairly tight fit anyway, and a bit more breathing space may not be a bad thing. Make the central part smaller, keep the coloured diamond – chain stitch, I think, as it’s a bit quicker than double cable stitch – and leaf stitch in the corners for no other reason than that I particularly like leaf stitch. In the first draft I had some coloured surface stitches snugly fitted into the corners of the central motif, but perhaps they’d look better as a coloured border, although that is a bit more work and may make the thing too big. I will have to try out both designs and see which one works best.

Simplified Round Dozen design for charity coasters Simplified Round Dozen design for charity coasters

Ah. I’ve just realised that the border consists of double cross stitches. I like double cross stitch – it’s a quick and easy way of adding some 3D texture to a project, and it looks great in cards. Unfortunately there is only so much 3D texture that a coaster can accommodate, so back to plain old single cross stitches. And now let’s get some models stitched up!

Note to self: get some more thin black Vilene.

Congress cloth Hardanger and freedom to vary

Does Hardanger have to be stitched on Hardanger fabric? If you have ever browsed Mabel’s designs (or those of many other designers), you’ll know that the answer to that is “no”. In fact, when Hardanger embroidery started there was no Hardanger fabric. As long as the fabric is an evenweave, and as long as you can find threads in suitable thicknesses, you can use whatever you like, from 14ct afghan fabric to 55ct linen (I’ve seen the pictures to prove it, but haven’t been brave enough to try it myself). Even so, the fabric of choice of Nordic Needle’s Roz Watnemo has always struck me as unusual – Congress cloth.

Why unusual? It’s not the count; at 24 threads to the inch it’s perfect to use with perle #5 and #8. But it’s not a fabric – it’s a canvas. That means it’s very stiff and also quite open, both of which seemed to me unsympathetic to Hardanger. My main questions were: if the weave of the fabric is relatively open, will there be enough contrast between it and the cut parts? Won’t the stiffness make it harder to cut, and practically impossible to tuck in the cut ends? Will the stiffer threads have enough “give” when working bars, for example when pulled together in a wrapped bar? There was really only one way to find out. Try it.

To my surprise, it worked. Of course it shouldn’t really have surprised me – if an experienced Hardangerista like Roz Watnemo swears by it, it’s unlikely to be impossible. Even so, I hadn’t expected it to stitch up just as quickly as on my usual fabrics.

Hardanger on Congress cloth

So how did the experience differ from my normal stitching? And will I use Congress cloth again? To begin with the first question, for one thing the material is much stiffer. You couldn’t use a hoop if you wanted to, I think. But then, you don’t need it, as tension is not really a problem with such a stable material. With a small snippet of a project like this, not having to use a hoop is quite an advantage, as it saves on material – you can stitch in hand on a little off-cut, rather than having to use a 5″ square to fit a 4″ hoop (note to self: must try a 3″ one to see if it will do; perhaps if I work “in the well”?). Not sure how I’d like to stitch anything big on this canvas, though I suppose a roller frame would work if you didn’t want to stitch a large project in hand.

Cutting was fine, the squissors coped beautifully with the stiffer threads, but as predicted, poking in the cut ends is more difficult on Congress cloth than on Hardanger fabric or Lugana (looking at pictures of Congress cloth Hardanger projects online I didn’t find any without visible cut ends). They do eventually bend back on themselves, but they are more likely to unbend again and poke their annoying little heads through the stitches. Working the bars was much easier than I’d expected: the canvas had enough “give” to allow me to pull the threads together. And finally, the look of it. That is to a great extent a matter of taste, but for me the weave is just too open – too much of the coloured backing shines through, making the contrast with the cut areas less striking.

Congress cloth vs Hardanger fabric

The answer, then, is no, I won’t be using it again; at least not for Hardanger. But it was an interesting experiment to try, and I can see it would be a useful material for building up 3D Hardanger shapes such as Christmas ornaments.

As I was stitching the patch for the last of my sixteen bookmarks yesterday, I suddenly realised that I’ve completed the wrapped bar/sunburst models needed for potential kits (except for the pink and turquoise versions as I had only one tag of each and they’d already been made up with woven bar/dove’s eye patches). This means that I am now free to stitch any future felt-tag-bookmarks-for-charity with whatever backstitch motif & bar & filling combination I’d like to use. To celebrate I finished number sixteen with picots smiley.

A picot felt bookmark

When I’ve ordered some more tags I’d like to try personalising one or two by stitching initials underneath the patch (chain stitch, probably). And stitch a few with the little baptism cross – being rectangular rather than square it would look good on the rectangular bookmark, and both good causes I am stitching for (Dunchurch Baptist Church's new building, and the Elijah Gambia foundation) are Christian, and likely to attract a fair number of fellow Christians to their charity sales. It looks like I’ll have plenty of enjoyable little projects to keep me occupied even if I don’t get round to my larger designs – and of course the annual Christmas Craft Event is looming, so I need to think up a project for that as well!

PS Two of the bookmarks are now in the hands of bibliophile friends who have promised to test-drive them ruthlessly. We’ll see how they stand up to the treatment…

Hand-made felt and the right surroundings for a sunburst

Would you believe it, I found I had six more tags than I thought – so I can do 16 bookmarks before having to think of ordering more! Here are the six different colours all made into bookmarks, and the first three bookmarks to use sunburst stitch instead of dove’s eye.

All six colours made into bookmarks The first three bookmarks with sunbursts

More about the sunburst stitch later, but first the tags. It’s been really enjoyable making these bookmarks, and I’d love to make some more, but there are a few things to consider before I put my order in. First of all, much as I love these bookmarks, will other people love them enough to buy them? After all, they are meant to raise money for charity. Secondly, are all colours equal? Are the pink bookmarks going to appeal as widely as the dark blue or purple ones? And what about that unknown green? Thirdly, am I or am I not going to produce Felt Bookmark Kits? I’m tempted to put together at least one set of twelve, as my project for next year’s Knitting & Stitching Show – it would make a nice change from the needle books, which I will have used twice already by then. Fourthly, how many do I get? The difference between an order of 16 and an order of 60 is 8p per tag. And finally (and rather importantly), are the tags up to the task?

There is a reason for that last question. You may remember that one problem was that the little hole in the tag (or rather, the felt around the hole) wasn’t strong enough to hold the tassel; but that could be got round by trimming the tag and taking the tassel through with a large-eyed needle. A bigger worry is that, being hand-made, the felt isn’t equally thick throughout. In most of the sixteen tags that I have the irregularity isn’t big enough to matter, but in at least one it looks as though over time and with a fair bit of use it may start to come apart.

Thin areas in the hand-made felt

Now this was just one out of sixteen; and it will probably be all right. But if I were using these tags to make up kits, I’d probably choose to discard this one as not being up to scratch, which means the money spent on that tag has been wasted. So here’s what I’ll do: write to Blooming Felt (who have been very helpful in answering my previous questions) and ask whether there is a way of guaranteeing that I’ll get only usable tags, and then place an order for sixteen (the maximum number I can get at their lowest postage) including one Apple Green.

I promised you more about the sunburst stitch and here it is – my experiments with different bars. The easiest one to work is the sunburst in woven bars, and it looks great when the sunburst is worked in colour against white bars (1st picture). White on white it gets a bit cluttered, even though I pulled the woven bars quite tightly so they were thinner than usual (2nd picture). Working a sunburst in wrapped (3rd picture) and double wrapped bars (4th picture) is more fiddly, because the loops around the bars aren’t anchored (with woven bars the loops go through the bars rather than around them, so they stay put). This makes the double wrapped version more effort than it’s worth as it really isn’t any less cluttered than the woven bar version, which is much easier to work. That leaves the wrapped bar version, which is the one I will go for if these do make it into kits – a bit more work, but a nice open, airy look.

Coloured sunburst stitch in woven bars Sunburst stitch in woven bars Sunburst stitch in wrapped bars Sunburst stitch in double wrapped bars