Category Archives: Needlework

Label and Identity

Hey everyone! For sometime now, I’ve been thinking about what type of sew-on labels I want to use for my creations. It’s easy to get something ready printed and then just attach it, but I wanted something a bit more authentic and decided on hand-crafting these myself. While this takes time to do, I can boast that 100% of the creation is hand made by me. 

First decision was theme : I knew it had to include flowers because the name Manjri (which is my name) means “a bunch or cluster of flowers” in Hindi. My first prototypes were not very successful. It was my husband who came up with a brilliant idea to use as my inspiration: 

Poirot’s Lapel Pin

I am a great fan of Agatha Christie’s stories. I enjoy reading her books, and also enjoy watching TV/Film adaptations of the stories. I also run a facebook group dedicated to Agatha Christie (Agatha Christie Club Malta and Gozo) – so if you are interested , please do join! My favourite adaptation to date has to be the ITV series “Agatha Christie’s Poirot” starring Sir David Suchet as Hercule Poirot. For me, he is the definitive Poirot! But anyway, in this adaptation, Poirot often wears the above lapel pin/brooch, changing the flowers each time.

The below design, is a nod to Poirot and also includes reference to my name (the flower’s) . Below is a photo of my label – would love to hear your feedback!

Lockdown crafting – Cross-stitch Sampler

Hey everyone! Hope you are all staying safe in these difficult times. I’ve been busy working on several projects – well, actually, I’m tackling a whole bunch of projects which I started a while back and never completed. Today, I will feature a cross-stitch sampler , which I started last year (and this isn’t the oldest incomplete project I have!!).

Historically, samplers were created by young girls learning how to stitch and years later one could look back and see the advancement in skill. I’ve seen quite a few antique ones available for sale, and not only are they very beautiful, but can be quite valuable. They are wonderful pieces to decorate any room in your home – and hey – why not make one and hand it down as an heirloom?!

If you have not done cross-stitch, I think the easiest way to prepare is to buy a counted cross-stitch kit. This normally includes everything you need – the aida cloth (this is an even weave cotton fabric and usually quite stiff) , thread, needle and of course the pattern. Some people also like to use a embroidery ring / hoop – this keeps the fabric taut. I don’t use a hoop, as I think the stiffness of the fabric allows for neat work, but some people say that their work is neater when using it – so I suggest you try both and see what works for you.

The below sampler is from a part-work collection called “The Art of Cross-stitch” – which also covers embroidery and it includes tips, numerous patterns and project ideas.  I think, the biggest revelation to me (and I really don’t know why I never thought of this myself before), is that you can create a really clean definition of objects and make them pop in your work by outlining the object with backstitch using a single strand! So simple, right?

Anyway, I hope you find this simple tip useful and I would love to hear from you and see your projects!  P.S. once my sampler is ready, I will wash and iron it and then share a photo of the end result 🙂

On that note, I wish you happy crafting!