The Summer Of Buzz art exhibition at the Art House in Southampton opened yesterday. and my bee embroidery is there, which is exciting! It's on until the 28th September and is well worth a visit (I can also recommend the Beany Nachos and the spicy rum....).

If you want to download a free pattern for my bee, it's available on Craftsy and Payhip. Let me know if you make it and I'll feature your version in a future blog post.

Pattern Celebrations!

I just added up my free pattern "sales" for the last tax year on Payhip and Craftsy, and I had over 500 downloads, which I'm very excited by! By the far the most downloaded was Buzzzzz, which seems very appropriate for this time of year as cherry blossom is appearing and there are random bees buzzing around. People think I'm strange for talking to bees, but it makes me happy....

This is where I found Flash this morning

I've been sorting out my gigantic fabric stash into giant laundry bags. Apparently they make great sleeping places. I should probably have done the zip up as Flash has very firmly wedged himself in there ....

Embroidery Using Fabri-Solvy - A Cautionary Tale

I've always been a bit impatient when using windows or light boxes to trace embroidery patterns. When I chose the Santa Monica Pier pattern to stitch from Studio MME's new pattern book, I knew I would have trouble with all the straight lines. I've tried an iron-on transfer pencil before and the results weren't as accurate as I needed, then I remembered that I had already bought some Fabri-Solvy*. Here's how I used it to transfer my pattern, and the lessons I learned...

First I printed the pattern. The Fabri-Solvy went through my printer really easily.

I then cut down the sheet to fit on the hoop and tacked it to my cotton fabric. It is sticky so I might not have needed to do this.

While stitching, the Fabri-Solvy puckered a bit, I don't know if it wasn't stretched tight enough. There was some resistance, but no sticky needle problem that others have reported.

After finishing stitching, I trimmed the Fabri-Solvy back to near the stitches.

I then swished it around in warm water until it stopped being gloopy.

I left it to dry on a towel, then ironed it.

Once it was dry, I could see marks where the printer ink had run (down from the struts of the pier and around the windows - just about visible in the photo below). Originally I thought it was the DMC thread that had run, but I have since found another site where someone has mentioned a problem with the printer ink, so I'm assuming it was that. I was VERY annoyed (especially as it was destined for Megan's book), tried rinsing it again, no change. Grrrrrr. Next time I try this, I will print the pattern in a very light grey to prevent this. Some of my stitches now look a bit wobbly, I assume that's due to stitching through several layers then removing one. My stitches didn't look at all loose when I was making it, but I guess I will have to stitch tighter in the future when using Fabri-Solvy.

Would I use Fabri-Solvy* again? Yes, as it made transferring the pattern and keeping straight lines a doddle. I really really wish I'd tried a tiny sample first to work out the kinks though.

* Amazon affiliate link

Monstrous Discounts

If you were considering buying one of my monster portraits or the Halloween embroidery pattern, now is a really good time!

Until the end of March, use the coupon code MARCHHOOPS to get 10% off any monster hoop in my Etsy shop.

My Halloween embroidery pattern is also reduced to 99p during March in my Payhip shop.