Project: NINO :)))

On May 1st 2012, I was blessed with the coming to our world of my very first nephew on my own side of the family!! A wondeful little boy who has grown since into a lively and boistrous little lad:


A few weeks before his birth, as I was browsing the net, I found a great pattern made by lilipoint -ref PC005- and I thought of Nino straight away..  I got carried away with the idea of being able to make a cute handmade gift for him. Something, which hopefully will last a bit, a little something which can let him know how delighted I was and have been to know of his coming in our lives..   I had very little time before going to France and give my gift, so I ordered it straight away and started to work on it as soon as it was in my door:)


DMC #597/ 734 & 924
Other material used: Aida fabric, tapestry needles, a piece of white card, some double-sided tape, some backing fabric and a frame

About the Stitching:

As you would do for any other work, I first went to look for the centre of my fabric and design. My plan was to first stitch the capital letter  N, then to proceed with the rest of the writing. Hence, straight after marking the centre of fabric, I went to look for the centre of the letter N in relation to my first centre. I started stitching.

Despite my many counting I got it wrong (I used a 21 count Aida).  I realised of the inexactitude of my counting when my stitching of the letter N was well under way. I certainly did not have the heart to undo the many hours of work already in place. I ,therefore, decided that to make it work I would have to extend the design of the frame to suit my need. I did what was necessary and it worked!! Unless you know the original pattern, there is no way to know of my ‘faux pas’ …


The letter N is labour intensive with 1688 stitches

Despite my brilliant recovery, I encountered another difficulty: my miscounting had pushed the design further up in relation to the centre of the fabric resulting then in a shortage of fabric in the top section. This meant that I had to re-think how I would frame my stitching since lacing it on a board was not possible anymore.

Whoever said: There are no Problems just Solutions was at that moment in time very inspiring and I found my way out!

About the Sewing:

For this project there was very little sewing involved. My concern was to mount my project and frame it. I decided that the best solution was to use my stitched aida as a patch-like onto another fabric..

step by step:

  • I pulled threads on each side of my fabric to recentre my work.
  • I cut a thick enough piece of white card to the dimension of my stitching -not of my aida- to brighten up my work but also to contrast better between the stitched area and the borders with its fringes
  • I placed my project onto my backing fabric and secured it with some back stitches
  • I took a piece of card board the size of the overall project and laced my fabric together in the back to nicely stretch the material.
  • Finally I framed it in a simple glass frame that would not take away from the design.


Since making my Nino frame, i have re-worked with this design. I have made a girl version on a cushion instead of framing it. I am currently in the process of making anEnglish version of N comme Nino: O for Oisin!

Check out my coming posts for some pictures

Warm regards


Project: Coeur de Broderie

After falling in love with my first project, after making my second project a  labour of love; I just wished to do more and to explore. Hence, I naturally turned to embroidery with my new project ‘Coeur de Broderie’. A very pretty sampler exploring some of the best known stitches and their possible variations:

Feather Stitch, Chain Stitch, Blanket Stitch, Herringbone, Palestrina, Couching stitches as well as French knots are among the stitches to be tried out in this pretty sampler from Un Chat dans l’Aiguille.

This sampler was created for the beginner level but the end product is very eye-catching with its medley of shapes and of reds. It is supplied with the linen on which the design is printed with a water-removable ink. Needles and threads are also provided. More importantly, it is also supplied with a technical description of each stitch.

About the Stitches: 

I was methodological in my approach. I started with the top line of my design and progressed downwards.

After stitching the second line of the design, which is a line of whipped chain stitch, I realised how important the regularity and the consistency of my stitch will determine the quality of my work.

I was able to make a selection of very decorative stitches in no time. I found brilliant the possibility to mix colours or stitches together to enhance both stitches and pattern.

In this project my favourite stitch combination was the palestrina stitch with the chain stitch daisy in the centre of it. My favourite colour combination was the couching stitch made of beige and bordeau. The trellis-work,inside the small heart, is also very attractive in ecru and red.


The biggest tip to give to anyone wishing to embroider my ‘Coeur de Broderie’ is to work from the inside to the outside for the hearts (fill inside first, then stitch inner line and  finish with outer line of embroidery).

Once my embroidery done, I rinsed out my fabric to wash out the water-soluble ink. Before it was fully dry; I ironed it.

About the Sewing:

My purpose was to have a pretty frame made 100% of soft fabric. I picked a plain red fabric colour for such a purpose. Nothing fancy for not taking away the focus from the embroidery work.

After washing and ironing my plain fabric, I first pinned a hem of 2cm(3/4 of an inch) in order to tidy up the edges.




 The following step was to pin another hem -of 5cm- this time, which use is to frame my stitching. Hence, i ran a machine stitch at 1cm from the inner side of plain fabric to attach together both hems to the linen.

The left over of threads was braided together to make an attach to hang the design

The left over of threads was braided together to make an attach to hang the design

My final touch was obviously decorative I stitched round clear buttons on the overlap of the red fabric  to recall the pretty circular shape of the spiderweb stitches..

All and all I am really happy with my first go at embroidery… but like for everything, there is room for improvement.

I know now that for ‘Coeur de Broderie’ to hang better, I would have to slide a thin cardboard on the back of my fabric for a better hold!!!

Still it is quite angelic!



Project: Gran’s Tea Towel

Last february (2012) I was in Swinford, co. Mayo for the week end. As I was shopping in the local supermarket, I came accross a set of tea-towels. Made of 100% cotton in a plain green colour with blue and grey hints, the fabric was very nice. A fine and discrete stitch that resembles a grid covers the fabric -see picture below-.

I thought it to be a great canvas for my next project!


The price won me over as I paid 60cents of a euro for them. I knew the country to be in a recession; but it seems to me that the price i paid for them was more than a bargain!!

A little bit earlier i had found in The World of Cross Stitching a baby quilt project in patchwork-style animals. Some of the squares pieces were actually a 28-count evenweave on which the cutest geese were stitched on.

My newly purchased tea towels in my hand, I saw how the lovely geese could charmingly adorn a tea towel, which could in turn become a nice feature in a cottage-style kitchen with hand-painted and distressed cabinets…

I was left with one thing to do: To actually Make it!!

About the Stitching:

First thing first, I went to choose my threads. I used my old trick and left behind the classical and pretty white and blue geese for colours complimenting the colour of my fabric. Naturally, I turned towards a panache of grey that would give my classical design a little bit of an edge.  As much as i like pretty and intricate, I love functionality. So, to stitch a gorgeous cottagey tea towel with not a hint of a light colour was a great way to stay away from the white wash at 90 that damages embroidery!!

Each goose with its unique design, which gives them a texture-like finish, was a real pleasure to stitch.

The ref of my threads are DMC # 413/ 414/ 415 as well as # 502 & 3827 for some of the details.

The ref of my threads are DMC # 413/ 414/ 415 as well as # 502 & 3827 for some of the details.

Technically, I learnt so much by making this design -my #2 project-such as:

* The necessity to use a hoop to stretch my material.

* The must do of using water soluble on fabrics which are not made for stitching.

Anyhow i will finish this post on a very positive note by saying that i will definitely work again with this gorgeous design..

So, follow me up!!



Project: Love

How well fitted the name of my first project has been!!

FLORENCE-152 - Copy

It really was love at first sight when i saw the cover of the Cross-Stitch magazine (issue 249). It triggered so much excitement for me that i decided to start stitching. I read the article, figured out what tapestry needles and aida fabrics were, picked up a video on “How To” on YouTube and off I went  … That was January/ February 2012.

About the Stitching:

I would have loved to stitch the main piece of the project (a gorgeous heart) but i knew it to be too ambitious then. Instead, I picked up the lovely floral border stitched on the pillow case.

The motif was pretty and delicate and i thought it very versatile.

My first personal touch was in the choice of my colour. Instead of following the more conventional approach of the magazine by stitching red on white; I purchased a piece of red aida on which I stitched beige and cream on.

It was a pleasure to stitch and despite my repeated mistakes, i kept going … The rhythm of this first work went like that: “ Do, Undo, Redo / Do, Undo, Redo/ ….”

I decided to duplicate the border on each side of my fabric for the sake of practice and to give a nice symmetry to my design..Later on after finishing both borders, I went on to add a centre piece… Although it is only a variation of the border design, the design for the centre piece is my own idea -and my first design attempt!  

FLORENCE-28-2 - Copy

About the Sewing:

Gosh that was another tricky bits!

I had plenty ideas of what i could do with my stitching but i was completely clueless on how to make it happen!!

I put my stitching on the side, picked up my next stitching project. I did not forget about it though. First I decided what i wanted to do with my project: I would transform my stitching into a soft fabric mat to dress a wicker tray  in my sitting room (see picture above). 

I bought some plain fabric and a piece of felt for the underlay. I could see the finished project in my head but i had the writer block/ the fear to mess it all up and ruin it all. It took a whole summer before i found the courage to tackle my sewing. I soon discovered the capital importance of pressing your fabric to mark it and allow for some clean lines and angles.

With a machine stitch and some red thread I fixed my aida on a piece of fabric. Then I used a blanket stitch (DMC beige) to finish the edges but also to fix my piece of underlay to the top fabric…


I was moving really slowly as if i was in deep water   but gradually i became a bit more confident and I could then go on with finishing my project.


I picked up my second piece of plain fabric to make the back of my mat. After pinning it, i went to fasten it to the rest of my fabric by securing it with two blanket stitches alternating the colours  (Dmc Beige & #32) and the sizes of my stitches ..

Et Voila!!

FLORENCE-149 - Copy