The beginning

Of course I’m doing it again.

Preparing a strip of vintage linen/cotton bed sheet

I’m using the same fabric as last year: vintage metis (linen/cotton blend) bed sheet, about 13” wide by about 100” long. I’ve hemmed the long edges, just by turning an inch or so under, giving a finished width of about 11”. I’ve given it a quick dip in some tea just to knock back the whiteness, which gives me the option to use white thread some days.

This year I’m using a slightly different format. Instead of one long continuous scroll, I’ll fold the strip concertina-style to form twelve separate pages so that the finished thing will look like a book.

In book form

I’m trying different templates this year too, just to see how it looks. Some pages will be circles, some will be rows or columns, some blocks will have spaces between. Haven’t quite thought this through, but the process is supposed to be intuitive, so I don’t want to over-plan.

Trying different layouts for each month

I’ve begun with some very simple stitches. I’ve marked out this month’s grid but haven’t yet completed the outlines – I may do that as I go along, I’ll see how it goes. There are no rules.

A blue beginning
The back, showing the hemmed edge

From today I am no longer employed, so this marks the start of a new way of life for me and an adventure. I’m looking forward to having more time this year to focus on my own work, to set up some online classes, dye more thread and fabrics, create some embroidery patterns and templates – and maybe a few more things besides.


I’ve been very happy to know that so many people are planning to start their own daily stitch practice. I find it very restorative to reserve a few minutes a day for some quiet time with fabric and thread. Just a few stitches, just to see what happens.

I also like seeing time mapped out like this. A calendar has the same function, of course, but somehow this has more impact for me.


Here’s to all new beginnings.

Author: Karen

Textile and mixed media artist

38 thoughts on “The beginning”

  1. Looks like a great start for this new year, I hope to join your endeavour!!
    Today , a beginning!!

    1. Thanks so much, and happy new year to you. I’m ridiculously excited about all the possibilities 🤗

    1. Yes, I like circles too – looking forward to seeing how it looks. Happy new year too!

  2. congratulations on your new way of going … may it bring you much joy

    and always I love seeing the other side … so thank you for that!

    1. Thank you Liz, happy new year to you. I think the other side often has more to say than the front.

  3. i am taking inspiration from your posts dear lady. thank you so much for sharing. your creativity is very intriguing and i admire your work very, very much. best of the new year to you and yours.

  4. I took a moment from ironing & blocking out to tell you I am looking forward to your year!

    I almost did a book, but decided on something else, but I loved the idea! (I was overcomplicating it and so decided not yet.) I am going to be following along with interest.

    Happy new year and happy stitching! here’s to a lovely and kind year.

    1. Thanks so much, I’m looking forward to trying it a different way this year. Happy new year to you too 🙂

  5. Here’s to beginning! I also look forward to your creative ideas and hope to learn more from you and possible classes!

  6. I love your work and am inspired to join you. How do you mark your fabric?

    1. Thank you, Susan. I generally use a 2B pencil to mark the fabric, but that does sometimes leave smudges – that doesn’t matter so much if you’re covering the lines with stitches though. I sometimes use a biro. Coloured pencils can be good for marking too.

  7. Last year’s work was wonderful, happy to see that a new one has started. The result makes me want to get started. Thank you for your idees

  8. I love watching how your stitching evolves. Embroidery patterns? Yes please!

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