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I have finished my modern band sampler and I am really pleased with it.  I just need to find a nice frame now and voilà it will be completed.

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My stitching is straighter than the above photo implies.  The wobbliness is because I haven’t reshaped and pressed the fabric yet.  I really enjoyed the effect of the tonal threads although the pale pink/white on the zig zag does make it look from a distance as though some of the stitches are miss.  But the most important thing is that working my way through this sampler has given me back the confidence I used to have when I did embroidery many years ago.

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So on the back of this new found confidence I have decided to take a leap of faith and jump in at the deep end with a project I have wanted to do for some time.  The instructions are included in Hazel Blomkamp’s Crewel Twists and the design includes a lot of bead work which is relatively new to me as well as some new crewel work stitches.  For me the attraction of Hazel’s designs is that they take the traditional Jacobean Crewelwork motifs and stitches but bring them into the 21st century with bead work and additional stitches from other areas of embroidery. In my normal way when I am pushing out of my comfort zone I have been dithering around finding the right supplies.  As the book is written by someone based in the Southern Hemisphere I have had to research what equivalent materials will be and search for suppliers. It is no bad thing as I have learnt that linen twill is the best fabric for this kind of work albeit hard to source and that there are a vast range of beads available out there in all sorts of sizes and colours but generally not the ones I want.  Luckily thanks to the power of the internet and a lot of patience I have tracked down suppliers for everything and the small, but expensive, parcels are starting to arrive. Next up is to learn how to use the light box I received as a Christmas present to transfer the design to the fabric.

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