But - feeling a bit more perky for the last few days - I have been pootling about having fun.
I decided to play about with some pretty variegated thread and practise some stitches. This little button was the result. It was made as a slip and then stitched on to a wool felt backing with a buttonhole bar 'shank'.
Making the button slip gave me the idea to make myself a topiary tree needle case.One of the things I wanted to do this year was make myself a new needle case that held and marked all my needles - plus I've always wanted a bay tree in a huge earthenware pot!
I used some 1970s Laura Ashley fabrics from my very small stash, which seemed to fit in with my design idea.
To make a slip - this is all you do -
First of all mark a circle (mine was around 1 1/4" or 3.5 cm diameter ) or your shape on to your slip fabric. This is just a piece of old sheeting, patchwork weight cotton is fine.
Position your slip onto your main fabric and secure with pins. Then carefully slip stitch it to the main fabric.
Leave an opening and gently push in some stuffing ( polyester toy stuffing seems to work best).
Pad out the stuffing and slip stitch it closed. To make my tree, I left it open so I could apply the stem.
To finish my needle case embroidery I made a wire bound stem using some pretty brown textured yarns, and a felt, stuffed 'pot'*. I applied them to the main fabric to make up my tree.
The needle case is just a really simple 'book' design, main fabric and lining placed right sides together and stitched round, leaving a gap for turning. Turn right way out and press in half. Position the felt centrally and stitch the centre line to make your 'pages'.
Using a favourite font, I printed out a list of each type of needle/size on to a silk sheet using my laser printer, and then fused the labels to my felt 'pages' with Mistyfuse.
If you haven't tried making a slip before, you might want to have a go. It's a fun way to practise texture stitches and you could make a little button or a brooch; add beads or buttons, ribbon embroidery or couching.... the list goes on. Endless possibilities, and also a nice little carry along project if you like to have something in your bag to embroider.
It's also handy for using up spare bits of thread that are not long enough for a project, and too long for your Orts jar!
Enjoy your stitching.x