"The ordinary acts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest."

Thomas Moore

Friday, August 31, 2018

Week One - alphabet pincushions...



Okay, we're kicking off this stitch-a-long with, you guessed it - A! 

I'll tell you a secret, even the tiniest designs can be made to look special when you use a few different embroidery stitches, so I hope to inspire you to try a few during our journey from A to Z.

Can you see the ring of French knots in the centre of my flower?



And right inside that ring of French knots is one pink Colonial knot. Colonial knots are slightly bigger than French knots and using it right in that spot helped a wee touch of pink to be noticed. 

With any new design I choose my fabric first and then hold it beside my rather large stash of embroidery threads in order to pick the best blend of colours to stitch with. 

The "A" pattern was stitched onto a scrap of 4" square unbleached flour sack, using threads in a dark reddish pink, a light and dark aqua, a pretty green and a light pink - all of which feature in the floral border fabric.




Wanting to keep all 26 pincushions in this 6-month stitch-a-long as simple and small as possible whilst still being of a useful size, this first one had the centre block trimmed to 3¼" square before being bordered with narrow lengths of the pretty floral fabric.

After the borders are sewn around the embroidery position a piece of scrap cotton or wool quilt wadding behind the front of the pincushion and hand/machine quilt any way you like. 

You can see how I make an opening at the back of a pincushion and fill it HERE in a previous pincushion tutorial, though the "A" pincushion was filled with crushed walnut shells and not stuffing (walnut shells are my preference with all small pincushions) so the opening only needs to be an inch wide if you use a small funnel to fill.
Then whip stitch the opening closed and you're done! 


Next week we'll stitch B and add a cute twist to a square pincushion.




It was designed with our new home in mind, even before we found that home, but the inspiration for the embroidery colours came from somewhere rather unusual.



I think you'll agree that floral fabric behind the gingham backed stitchery is gorgeous.
Bright, fun, totally spring and oozing happiness.
Well, it's actually a kitchen tea towel!

After Easter I popped into Bed, Bath 'n' Table looking for gifts because after any seasonal celebration they have heavily discounted quality stock and I tend to find at least a few treasures.
On that April day they had bundles of gorgeous kitchen tea towels for less than half price. There were three in a bundle, some featuring bunnies and others similar to the one which inspired my embroidery thread choice. A few even had rick rac trims which always shouts 'home ' to me. 

I bought seven lovely bundles, deciding right then that they'd be put away until such a time as we had found our home and I could christen a kitchen with them. So when I drew up the design for "The Simple Way" I had an idea to stitch it on to one of the kitchen tea towels and hang it in my new kitchen when I had one. After I washed a few bundles (as all kitchen towels shrink) the vibrant floral was chosen as the best background.



And now we have a home and will move in at the end of next month so I am planning to complete this project soon as I'd like it to be one of the first things hung on my wall to remind me every day that "the simple way is usually the best way". 
I'll look for an extra long wooden spoon and fold the top of the towel over it for hanging. Not sure if I'll just blanket stitch the embroidery onto the floral tea towel or think of something else to fix it in place?

But here's a funny thing.
In our new house the kitchen has a green blind over the sink.




I wasn't sure I liked it or would keep it to be honest as my preference was for an aqua decorating palette, but yesterday I thought of this project and the vibrant pinks and aqua alongside the green in the tea towel fabric and suddenly a fresher kitchen palette is forming in my mind's eye! 
I'm rather excited to get in there and add splashes of lovely vibrant colour after all, so the green blind shall stay. The same green blinds, though smaller, are in the laundry/mud room too. 
Goodness, won't I have fun?!

I have a kitchen inspired Pinterest board (here) which has been steadily added to for many years if you'd like some fresh inspiration.

Anyhow, enough for now. Today we sign the final papers for our home which means no turning back on the contract so I'd best away and put on my best dress for such a long-awaited occasion.

Oh, the pattern for "The Simple Way" is here in my shop should it be something you'd enjoy stitching too. Do you have a lovely kitchen tea towel for inspiration?

And just for my own interest, what colours feature in your kitchen?

Bless you heaps and heaps,


35 comments:

  1. Jenny, I adore your new kitchen! The colors you're going to use are lovely. When the Lord blesses us with our new kitchen I would love to do it in blue and white, although I've tinkered with yellow and red with a touch of royal blue - french country-ish. The blue and white seems a bit more peaceful, though. I'm excited to see your house come together!

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  2. OOhhh Jenny .... look at that gorgeous blank slate for you to begin with .... a nice newish kitchen to put your touch on. I am sure the green blind will work perfectly with a pinky, aqua & green colour combination. My kitchen is cream with wood bench tops etc & I have added red touches here & there along with cream/green enamel ware. I am so excited for YOU about your new Home Xxxx

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  3. What a lovely kitchen. That green, with aqua highlights will be marvellous.
    I now am thinking that my kitchen needs to branch out to add some green - hmm, a NZ Paua shell and Jade inspired colour palette, here it comes!

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  4. Jenny, I am just so excited for you! I did notice that green blind in the earlier photos ... whilst green is not my favourite colour it can look stunning. Love the pretty teatowels and can picture the one in the bottom lefthand corner trimmed in some pretty pink/green Tilda fabric with one of your lovely embroideries on it. I can picture a pot of beautiful blooms in pink on your kitchen bench. When you and your beloved move in I can picture tears of joy as you close the kookaburra door on the first day in your new home. God bless your new home and all who enter it. xxx

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  5. Such a beautiful kitchen! Your tea towel and stitching will be perfect with the shade. Congratulations!

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  6. Oh my your new kitchen is absolutely beautiful! And the green is perfect. I have my kitchen walls painted this color because it's the same as my grandmothers. Aqua will be beautiful with this.

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  7. Jenny, I hope and pray that all goes for you both in the purchase of your first home. How exciting for you!! Yes you will be able to put pictures or whatever you like on the walls etc. Your kitchen looks roomy and comfortable to work in. Best wishes for your move!!!

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  8. Happy moving! Please take care of yourself...don't overdo if possible. My kitchen has butcher block counter tops and gifted Barn Canisters, so I have a Barn Red color scheme with cream and touches of black in the appliances. Now my first choice, but I love the canister set and it was a gift...so I went with it!

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  9. Jenny, what a beautiful kitchen and oh, the fun you’ll have decorating your new home. My kitchen is green and yellow. What’s funny is that my sister’s kitchen is also green and yellow and my moms kitchen was always green and yellow. I guess we never go too far from home no matter how far we travel. God bless you and your new home.

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  10. So very excited for you! Can't wait to see before and after photos! My kitchen colors are white (walls) with red and rich yellow accents. Of course there are bits of green from my window plants.

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  11. The green blind is wonderful and that tea towel is going to be great in your kitchen. I look forward to seeing what other touches you add here and there.

    My kitchen is mostly red and white, with a little black for good measure. It's a tiny, tiny kitchen. I didn't even notice, because Paul was always the kitchen person, but once I had to cook in it, I realized it's inconveniently small. But it works.

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  12. Blue and yellow!
    Gorgeous new kitchen! Love the cabinets, tiled floor and green roller blind! So neutral! You can go with any creative direction in there!
    enjoy
    Joanne

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  13. Thank you for the pincushion design, I have printed it out to go into my 'must stitch one day' pile. Your kitchen looks lovely and spacious, my kitchen has pale green walls and cream cabinets. x

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  14. I am so excited for you, you are going to have sooo much fun! Looking forward to seeing more photos of your new home.

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  15. Thank you for your pin cushion design - looking forward to stitching a few.
    My kitchen is red and white - not sure how that happened. I think it started with the microwave that was on sale and we went from there!
    Looking forward to seeing your kitchen bloom!

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  16. Love the pincushion - thank you!! I love your new kitchen as well, so big and bright, and all those drawers - how I miss my drawers from my old kitchen!!! If we ever re-do this one, it will be with drawers under the counter. I hate lower cupboards. My kitchen is all wood, which I do like, but someday I have to paint over the ivy stenciling on the soffits, ugh. Love your tea towels!!

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  17. My kitchen used to be filled with Coca Cola memorabilia. That’s changed over time, to a point. But still red and white.

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  18. Very clean and crisp, anxious to see all you homey ideas to make it soft and inviting. Can't wait to see what you do with that huge back porch too.

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  19. Hello Jenny; These alphabets are going to be such a delight to stitch! Thank you so much for designing them and sharing your talents and special heart with us! I also think your new kitchen is going to be such a fun place for you and your talents to make it into the home you both have wanted! I am so thrilled for the two of you; I know you will look so beautiful and be shining while you are signing the papers today! Mr. E will be handsome also and apt to twirl you around. My prayers continue always. Have a superb day!

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  20. Your new kitchen is lovely!! So much work space for you to create your delicious meals and treats for your family! My farm kitchen is white, almond, blue and burgundy...none of the colors were chosen by me! I inherited the blue curtains from my hubby's ex, the in-laws bought a mix of almond and white appliances (and the lovely harvest gold of the dishwasher that is NEVER used), so the cabinets were painted white with almond doors to try to make sense of the appliance choices. Then my dear in-laws had a burgundy counter top put in, which shows every bit of dust that is a regular country occurrence. I dislike the whole thing and would love to gut the whole thing and start over! I loved the large drawers for dishes I saw when I was in England - so much better than the upper cabinets for that!

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  21. Y'all have gotten a beautiful home - enjoy all that you will be doing with it. congratulations!

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  22. Thanks for the little stitchery pattern. I think you need to keep that tea towel, or a photo of it handy for kitchen colour inspiration. It will look lovely and fresh. It will also be a fresh, clean colour in the laundry. I love lime green, going way back to the 70s. We have incorporated green and orange in our caravan to make it bright and fun.

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  23. Your new kitchen is the perfect slate for your lovely designs. Because it is a neutral color, you will be able to decorate to your hearts desire, in any color combination. Much happiness in your new home, Jenny. Thank you ever so much for the pin cushion design.

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  24. Hi Jenny, I read your blog and love it, but I don't get to comment much as I read it on my phone and it won't let me comment. I just had to get out my iPad so that I could comment on this one...I have been praying for you and your husband as you've been searcyfor a house. SO happy that you've finally found one!!! That kitchen is beautiful and so spacious!!! You're going to have a lot of fun giving it your special touch and making your house a home!!! It always pays and is always the very best thing to do in waiting on The Lord to lead!!! What an encouragement to all of your readers Jenny!!! Thank you!!! Thank you also, for the printable for this lovely embroidery pattern Jenny!!! God bless you and your husband as you start this new journey together❣️❣️❣️���� Smiles, Deborah ��

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  25. That kitchen is gorgeous, mine is white with pale green walls and some red touches such as pretty teatowels and china, that house is going to look wonderful with all your beautiful work in it, can't wait to see photos when you are settled. Thanks so much for the alphabet, I love little motifs that I can use in lots of ways.

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  26. Dear Jenny, you inspire us with your lovely words, your making and baking. I’m so happy for you in having found your new home. I just love your colourways, beautiful. May you have many more happy days in your new space and thank you for your delightful blog, I look forward to every one. Hugs and blessings, Gailx

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  27. Your new kitchen is beautiful! i love the green shade, God chose green for the companion to all his flowers so I'm sure you will find it a comfortable back drop for your lovely and cozy designs. You inspire me with each posting. i live in sunny Florida near the sub tropics and feel the very same way about saying goodbye to cooler, crisper winter months. We only have 2 seasons here, really, wet and dry. We're in our new home for a year now and I have a blue and white and chartreuse green kitchen. Pamela

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  28. Your kitchen looks so lovely. No wonder you are excited. Thank you for the BOM stitchery. As I've already mentioned, I'm really looking forward to seeing how you decorate. As for your weather, freezing in Melbourne now. My aunt in Cairns was venturing back into her pool on the weekend as she said the weather is now warm enough for her to return into it (she is 81 and loves her pool for movement as she is very restricted with a walker). I'm trying to get my mum up there to visit her. Mum comes over and her hands are literally purple. The warmer climate will do her wonders. She has to get clearance from her doctor first. I'm actually thinking I should go up there for a few days myself. my husband is all for it (he travels alot so we have travel points to utilise) - it's just leaving the kids..........Anyway, enjoy your home excitement. It really is wonderful.

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  29. I would like to get on your blog email list. I got here through Kathy shaw

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    1. You will need to subscribe through the button in my sidebar, or subscribe to my weekly newsletter. Links are in the blog post.

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  30. So excited to download the first alphabet stitchery. It will go on a pincushion for my granddaughter and be put away for her Xmas stocking. You are so gracious to do this project in the midst of your soon to be chaotic life (packing and moving and redecorating). Hope it all turns out just the way you want; you have waited so long to take this step. I don't comment often, but I do check your blog weekly and enjoy it tremendously. I don't blog myself, so I lurk on other people's.

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  31. gorgeous kitchen my dear!! You deserve such a pretty one with all the years you have waited to own a home of your own!!

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  32. Bless you Jenny in your new homexxIts beautiful!!Praise God from whom all Blessings flowxx

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  33. Jenny, I’m a new bee to your beautiful blog and Craftsy and all I can say is I LOVE YOUR PATTERNS!!! I’m doing the “Be Still My Patchwork Heart”!!! Ready to sew row #2. TY for being so generous with your patterns and sharing your God given talent with others! It’s a sweet blessing when funds aren’t “there”. ; ). Your kitchen looks amazing! I could live in there!!!
    I hope your move goes smoothly! Enjoy your new home!!

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It's always nice to receive feedback on a blog post, so *thank you* for taking time to comment!
I will try to reply via email unless you are a 'no reply blogger' which means you'll have to check for my reply in the comments. Of course, life is a rather hazardous activity, isn't it? So if I don't respond to your comment that's the reason why - life simply stepped in...
hugs
Jenny
x