Playing Equals Discovery & Block 10 Available!

I have been wanting to learn and play with some new stitches and I finally took a few moments to do so. I have pretty much relied on fairly simple embroidery stitches to apply the painterly details to my applique.

My wonderful Aussie friend Ruth Bloomfield (Quilt Artist extraordinaire) sent me a present of great generosity and timing. So I am so ready to play! (she knows the way to my heart)



I want to discover MORE. I want more texture, more interest and more detail. I am driven to find more ways to “paint” with fabric and thread and to bring a more elevated painterly result. This is how I have been since early childhood. I am fascinated with thread. Some kids have blankies, but it was thread that gave me comfort.


The Palestrina Stitch and the Bayeux Stitch were on my “learn” list. the Palestrina Stitch led to my inspiration and discovery.


Learning a new stitch technique can be ugly at first. I don’t mind except when I have to show you pictures of it. My intention is to show how something ugly spawned a desire to improve and then….<*poof!*> MAGIC! “What?…what is that I see in that stitch?…Oh wow! I can make this look like……” and off I go.

What did I see? Heather!!!! I have always wanted to create some of the finer detailed flora. Those that are too small and delicate to render in applique but would be beautiful added to the composition with embroidery. Heather has been one of those that has eluded me. Seeing the Heather that was growing in situ at Dartmoor National Park in England planted the seed of inspiration.



I am showing you not the finished beautiful version, but the ugly discovery version. This is the real deal when I just let myself go and don’t worry about the results. My “clunky” first attempts at the Palestrina Stitch made me think of the rough foliage of Heather.

As I became excited, I focused on creating a much better Palestrina Stitch and using a lovely thread color. Then I played with stitch ideas for the Heather “flowers”. I am definitely going to keep going and “fine tune” the result until I am satisfied I have what I want. I am loving this though.

I have had a quilt idea in my head “Val and Sandra’s Excellent Adventures in England” And now I can check off the Heather as an embroidery technique tucked away for the quilt and anywhere else it may look fabulous.

Here is another “Happy Accident” that happened when I was fiddling around a couple of years ago. This is waiting to be used in one of my quilts as well. I will have many of them together. You can’t tell just how tiny this flower is in the photo. It is TINY.

Play, Play, Play and make ugly work and then see something beautiful rise from the ugly out of pure chance. Work on a new stitch every now and then and see what happens. If you like botanical style applique quilts, these embroidery details (simple and complex) are what make them stunning. You need the fine thread work to pull everything together.


BLOCK 10: The Pardalot’s Confusion is Now Available

The Final Block of Naturalist’s Notebook, “The Pardalot’s Confusion” was released for purchase on January 15. I also listed the Kingfisher Table Runner, “My Heart is in Australia” for purchase as well.

The only thing left is the optional border design I am working on that will be placed in between the outer ten blocks and the Center block–Jason’s Grasshopper. If you missed my Instagram post on the beginnings of the design work…..


I like using Instagram to communicate because it is easy to do a quick update and send information if needed. If you want information first, it’s best to subscribe my Instagram account. You can find the link in the upper right column “About Me” –(camera icon).

Have a good rest of the week!

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About Sandra

I am an Author, Designer, Illustrator and a major international award winning quilt artisan. I love working with fabrics and threads and they have become my medium of choice.

4 thoughts on “Playing Equals Discovery & Block 10 Available!

  1. Can wait to get started on block 10. I’m also very excited to see what you do with the sashing!!! Do you have any idea when that will be available? I love the embroidery.. I have been really looking it in the previous blocks. It adds so much more interest and beauty to them all. I can see why thread thrills you , because you make magic with it!!!!!

  2. Can’t wait to see what your play brings the rest of us. Dang PayPal was playing tricks last night, so you know how I am, Ordered 10x before I gave up. I can’t wait to see what you come up for us.

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