Mystery Blackwork Stitch Along Part 3

Welcome to Part 3 of my Mystery Blackwork SAL! I hope you are all enjoying stitching along 😀

Thank you for all of your lovely photographs. You can send more photos to me via email (address on the right).  Here is the updated gallery.

This is my third part completed.

Stage 4

Please respect my copyright.

Enjoy! See you next week,

Avis x

Mystery Blackwork Stitch Along Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 of my Mystery Blackwork SAL 🙂

Keep sending me the photographs of your lovely stitching and thank you for all the lovely emails ( I’ll continue to update the gallery. Pop over and take a look before you start the next stage 🙂

Here is the second part completed.

Stage 2

Please respect my copyright.


See you next week, Avis x

Quilt as you go mug rug tutorial

This is my favourite way to make a mug rug as there is no need to quilt it at the end.

You will need:

Backing fabric 11 x 9 inches

Wadding 11 x 9 inches (you may wish to use heat resistant wadding but do not use polyester wadding as it will melt onto your iron)

Five strips 8 x 2.5 inches

Binding 48 x 2.25 inches, folded and pressed in half with wrong sides facing.


Lay the wadding on top of the backing fabric.


Position the first strip, right side up, about one quarter of an inch from the right

hand edge.


Sew in place using a quarter inch seam through all three layers.


Turn the work so that the strip is positioned to the left.


Lay the next strip on top of the previous strip with right sides facing.


Sew a quarter inch seam through all layers down the right hand side of

the strip.


Lift the second strip and press towards the right.


Like this.


Place the third strip on top of the second strip with right sides facing.


Sew a quarter inch seam through all layers down the right hand side of

the strip.


Lift the new strip and press to the right.


Continue until all five strips are attached. Then sew down the right hand

side of the final strip.


Then sew along the top and bottom and trim all the way round to make a



Line up the raw edges of the folded binding strip with the edge of the mug rug.

Leave about 3 inches before starting to sew a quarter inch seam down the side.


Stop sewing one quarter of an inch before the first corner.


Pull the work away from the needle area of the machine. There is no need to

cut the threads. Turn the work to this position.


Lift the binding and finger press in this position. The fold should make a

45 degree angle and the raw edge should be in line with the right hand side

of the work.


Keeping the fold in place, bring the binding down in line with the next raw

edge of the work.


Continue to sew from the very edge of the work to the next corner and

repeat until all four corners are done. Stop sewing about three inches

before the finish.


Overlap the ends of the binding strip and cut so there is a half inch overlap.


This bit is quite tricky! Sew the ends of the binding, right sides together,

using a quarter inch seam.


Finger press the seam open then continue to sew the rest of the binding

to the mug rug. Turn the binding towards the back of the work.


Hand stitch the binding to the back, folding to make the mitred corners.




Just testing Winking smile


I’ve also made table runners, toppers, cushion fronts and place mats using

the ”Quilt as you go” method. It also works well for small jelly roll strip quilts.

If you want some extra challenge….use diagonal strips, maybe of different


Mystery Blackwork SAL Gallery

Here are the “Works in Progress” photos from the Stitch Along so far. If you are stitching along, please send me a photo by email (address on the right) and I’ll include it in the gallery 🙂

If you’ve missed the first part and would like to stitch along with us, you can find it here. You can join the group at any time.

Starting with mine 🙂

Stage 4







Claire Ooh! I can see a little bling on this one 🙂



























Mystery Blackwork Stitch Along Part 1

Welcome to Part 1 of my Mystery Blackwork SAL 🙂

My dear friend Claire introduced me to blackwork a few months ago and I’ve been very happily stitching along with her. Several of my regular readers will have stitched along too!

I have now charted my own design to share with all of you over the next few weeks and Claire has very kindly tested the complete chart. Of course, she has been sworn to secrecy, because this is a “Mystery” SAL. New stages will be released every Friday.

This is a small square project, only 62 stitches across and down. You will need a piece of your regular cross stitch fabric, embroidery thread, a needle and scissors. I’ve used 14 count aida fabric with one thread colour. You may wish to experiment with several colours. The choice is yours. You will need to stitch the entire design with one single thread to get the best finish (in my opinion) as the design is so fine and delicate.

So, be brave!! If you haven’t tried this type of embroidery before GO FOR IT 😀 Come on all you quilters! You know you want to try this. I’m sure you can spare about an hour a week to stitch along with us!

Here is my first part completed. Stage 1

If you are joining the SAL please:

  • Leave a comment to let me know you are stitching along
  • Mention which country you live in so we can all see how many countries are taking part
  • Send me a photo (via email) of your stitching at the end of each stage so I can update the gallery for everyone to see

Finally, before you download my chart, please REMEMBER this! The design is my own and is provided for your personal use only. It MUST NOT be copied, reproduced or sold in any form.  I am sorry if this sounds harsh but my designs and tutorials have been copied and/or sold before. Please play nicely. I like to share 🙂

Click the link below to download 🙂

Enjoy! See you next week,

Avis x

Three for the price of one…..sounds good to me!

Happy Sunday everyone!

Without further ado, I really need to welcome all my new followers this week, many of whom have found my blog via Claire, my wonderful cross-stitch friend in France. I know you are all waiting for the Mystery Stitch Along and I hope you can wait patiently for just a few more days 🙂 I’m very excited about it as I’ve never organised a SAL before and I know there are already several people signed up. Hopefully, Claire will correct me if I make mistakes 🙂

The SAL will be open to everyone, the more the merrier. I would absolutely LOVE IT if some of you could maybe try blackwork for the very first time with us. You have 12 days to sort out a piece of fabric to stitch on. Any cross stitch fabric will be suitable. My preference is for 14 count aida fabric but you can choose. My design is about 60 stitches square so make sure your fabric is big enough. Also, you will need some embroidery floss. Traditionally, blackwork was stitched in black, I bet you hadn’t guessed that already 😉 You can stitch in one colour, or if you prefer, a selection of colours. Some of Claire’s SAL members have used variegated threads and they look lovely too. We will be stitching with only one thread, unlike cross stitch where we would normally use two threads at once. I will provide the chart for my design FREE of charge. So, there is something for nothing! Don’t you just love that idea? I will reveal stages of the chart every Friday and there will be about an hour of stitching per week if you want to keep up 🙂 You can send photos of your work in progress to me (email address at the right of the page) and I’ll open, and regularly update, a stitchers gallery. So, watch this space……only 12 days to go!

A couple of my previous blackwork finishes are here and here so now you know what to expect 🙂

In the meantime, I declare another quilt finished 😀 Yesterday, I decided I would quilt whichever work in progress was at the top of the box of patchwork waiting to be quilted.


I’ve named this one Picnic Pinwheels because the fabrics are the colours of the most beautiful flowers in the garden and the size, at 54″ square, is perfect for a picnic rug. I made the quilt top about a year ago at the same time as I made this one and this one. They are all from the same layer cake by Moda called Santorini. Not one scrap of the layer cake is left. I like to challenge myself to leave no scraps. I love the colours and the bold prints which I cooled down by teaming them with my most adorable Moda Bella solids.


I know I make a lot of pinwheels but look at them. How can I cure this addiction? Do I really want to be cured? Nah! I think my Picnic Pinwheels could be the eye candy in my conservatory for the next few months. I’ll be spending a lot of time here, sewing in the glorious daylight, hopefully hand stitching the binding of many more quilts (still my favourite pastime ever!!).


So, don’t forget to sort out your fabric and embroidery thread. Be there or be square a week come Friday 🙂

Have a wonderful crafty week! I’m linking to the Made It Challenge over at Woolhogs. Pop over and take a peek at all the goodies made by other bloggers this month 🙂

Avis x

Starry, starry, night…..paint your palette blue and purple!

Hello everyone!

I hope you are all having a wonderful crafty time. Welcome to my new followers and all the lovely crafting people across the globe 🙂

I have finally plucked up the courage to quilt a large quilt top which has been waiting in my box for almost two years. I think this was the third top I ever pieced. The fabrics screamed at me in the shop. I just had to buy them!


I quilted it with a surfy sea sort of pattern as the colours and prints are very watery.



The back is a gorgeous solid purple which is a perfect match for the purple marble on the front. I like a solid backing as it shows off the quilting….and I get a nice reversible quilt. Two for one…..bargain!

ImageNow you can get an idea of the size. It’s massive!


Now, what’s next? Come on everyone….follow me over to see Claire. Part 3 of the SAL is now  available. I must get stitching!

Have a wonderful weekend 🙂

I’ve just entered this quilt in a challenge here:

There are some wonderful entries. Don’t forget to pop along and vote for your favourites 😀

Avis x

Next up, the teal version!

Hello to all my lovely fellow bloggers and readers from all around the world. Isn’t the world wide web wonderful for linking us all together?

My pinwheel bug has mutated…..into the Trip Around the World Bargellow-ish bug. It’s quite a serious illness which makes people repeat things.

It’s quite a serious illness which makes people repeat…….. ha-ha only joking 😉

As you’ve already seen two of these here and here, I won’t comment much further. This version is just two of the previous ones side by side. I quite like the effect.

ImageThe colours are white with robins egg, turquoise and teal from light to dark. I couldn’t decide which way around I preferred to look at it so both photos are included. I haven’t made two tops!


Hopefully I will now recover and do something different. I have a SAL to catch up on here. Come and join in the fun 🙂

Happy Thursday,

Avis x

In the pink!

Hi everyone,

The sun is shining brightly outside but all I want to do is sew indoors. Very strange….but I’m enjoying looking out at the blue sky when I lift my head to refill bobbins 🙂

I’ve continued with the Bargello Trip Around the World theme this week and used up more of those lovely Michael Miller prints. This one is fit for a princess.

ImageIf you are anything like me, these images should conjure up memories of ice cream, candy floss, sugared almonds and dreamy fondant icing on cupcakes.


I think the ivory hearts is my favourite of all these prints. How girly are they?


I’ll be doing some quilting after lunch today and then tonight I’ll be sewing the first part of the new SAL with Claire. The chart is free and the design only requires a small piece of aida (or other fabric of your choice) and some scraps of embroidery floss. I’m sure Claire will welcome you aboard if you want to join in the fun 🙂 The small design is probably just right for a gift card. It uses only cross-stitch and blackwork. Of course, you don’t have to stitch it in black. If it is anything like the previous SALs which Claire has organised, there will be all manner of colours and fabrics used. You can see previous finishes of all the participants here.

Whatever you plan to do today, enjoy!

Avis x

I’m feeling blue!

Hello everyone. Happy Wednesday to you all 🙂

No, I’m not really feeling blue in that sense at all. I’m actually very happy now that Spring has finally arrived. Sunshine, blue skies and birds singing in the garden. Hurray!!

Today was the perfect day to try two design ideas rolled into one. I’ve been wanting to try these for ages. Bargello and Trip Around the World. This quilt top doesn’t strictly conform to either pattern in the purest sense but I’ve had a lot of fun trying out some ideas and I think the result works. I’m loving blue at the moment…. and purple and red and green and….the sunshine coming through the windows.


This quilt will have a blue binding. I’m not sure how I want to quilt it yet so it’ll be neatly put away in the box while I have a think about it. That could take a while.

I’m linking with WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced.

I wonder whether you will be trying anything new this week…..

I’m off to take a look now.

Avis x

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