Another month; 31 daily leaves taking us to the beginning of winter.

October complete

I really enjoyed this one. My template just has plain leaf shapes but you can adjust and adapt the outlines as much as you want to. I made some of my shapes into oak leaves, for instance, and I added saw-tooth edges to some of the others.

early October

Mostly the stitches are very simple – running stitch, whipped running stitch, couched yarns, seed stitch, straight stitch. They can look really effective in hand-dyed thread, where the colours change subtly or unpredictably. There is nothing very difficult here. If you want to begin this practice yourself, you might find my online course helpful.

late October

There are just two pages left in my cloth book of the year, which seems unbelievable. Pages are each about 9″ x 12″ or thereabouts – September and October in their double page spread (or 61 days of my life):

September hagstones and October leaves

Between stitches I’ve been playing with Procreate again, taking the tumbling leaves vibe into digital form with some Procreate watercolour brushes. Surprisingly satisfying, though nowhere near as messy as the real thing:

digital watercolour leaves

This design is now in my Red Bubble shop and can be printed on all kinds of things.


I don’t enjoy the whole self-promotion side, by the way, but the Marketing Manager post is still vacant and generally you have to do these things yourself.

Next month, boxes:

November tomorrow

I find it amazing how these things turn out sometimes. When I designed these templates ten months ago, moving house was absolutely not on our radar. And yet here we are: boxes ready to be stitched, and if all goes well there could be real-life boxes ready to pack. Art mirroring life, or the other way round?


Probably my favourite colour, which is just as well because this is all very green indeed. Curiously, my camera doesn’t seem to like it and refuses to accurately render the colours. I can only say it’s much nicer in real life. Textiles are notoriously difficult to photograph in any case because of the way they hold and reflect light.

I’m starting to add some hedgerows between the fields, with silk boucle and various textured yarns. Just couching along the seams. I tried a few colonial and French knots but had to unpick most of them. You wouldn’t see that much detail from that high up, I don’t think.

As usual, simpler is better, and the textured yarns seem to be holding the lines ok on their own.

box of luscious textures with Valdani perle 12 threads

I’ve layered the patchwork over a piece of brushed cotton (cotton flannel) and backed it with an old hand-dyed cotton tablecloth, with the outer edges turned in over the mid layer so that the irregular edges of the patchwork will sit on the surface. Technically it’s a quilt, having three layers, but the brushed cotton is less dimensional than wadding (batting).

on the edge

I’m finding it difficult to get myself motivated at present, with the house move looming (though we still have no dates yet), so stitching hedgerows is quite a nice soothing activity for these uncertain days.

patchwork fields


Not quite a square yard – it’s about 32″ x 34″, and all pieced together now. Some people think English paper piecing is too fiddly and takes too long, but I find it fairly quick and very enjoyable. I’m already thinking about a bigger, bed-sized version.

slightly blurry picture, but you get the idea

All the curves went together just fine, after I added the balance lines.

look at that lovely curve

The best part of English paper pieced patchwork is removing the tacking thread and papers, when all the piecing is complete. The cloth starts to relax, and you can see what you’re working with.

some of the tacking and papers removed

Much nicer to handle, and the colours seem to come alive more.

A few more to go, then I need to think about how to back it, line it, or quilt it. Haven’t decided where it’s going yet. There will probably be textured yarns couched along some of the boundaries and of course some stitch here and there. Maybe even some tiny sheep.

some tacking still in, some already out

Initially this was going to be a PDF pattern but I think it might be a bit too complicated for that. There is quite a lot of tweaking and easing, to get the curves to lie correctly and line up the balance marks, which is easier to do than to explain. Maybe a PDF for the intrepid.

And, incidentally, there is thread in the shop.


I anticipate that this may well be the last thread update before Christmas, as our house move may or may not happen before then. Everything is still very up-in-the-air at this point. Good job I have the patchwork to keep me grounded.

2024 daily stitching template

It’s early to be thinking about next year, but I’m launching my 2024 daily stitching template now for a couple of reasons.

mapping 2024

Firstly, we have accepted an unexpectedly prompt offer on our house, so it looks like we will be moving at some point in the next few months. I will need to close the shop temporarily when that happens, possibly at short notice. If we end up moving during the weeks directly preceding the start of January then the templates may be unavailable for a time.

Secondly, there is some optional preparation for next year’s template. You can either work one month at a time and add on each following month’s template as you go, or you can do some cutting and sticking to make one large template for the whole year, as I have done. Full instructions for this, including diagrams, are in the PDF.

2024 templates

I stitched a little sample just to see how it might look. It’s intended to be a kind of aerial map, a landscape seen from above. The whole thing will be about 30-31″ square or so. It’s about mapping the days to create a visual record of time passing, and thinking about the seeds we sow, the harvests we reap, and the paths we travel through the year.

2024 template sample

You can stitch field boundaries in whipped running stitch, or you can couch textured yarns and threads around each block to create something that might represent hedgerows or stone walls.


And of course you don’t need to use it for daily stitching at all; you could just make a stitched sampler if you’re feeling ambitious or in need of a challenge. You can add paths, lanes, rivers, mountains – whatever you like. (If you’re new to daily stitching, you might be interested in my online course here.)

stitch journal template

It’s exactly the same as life, really. It can look unmanageable when you imagine the bigger picture but somehow we get up every morning and work our way through each day, just to keep going. We always get somewhere in the end, even if it’s not where we initially intended.

So here’s to new beginnings just beyond the horizon.

stitch sample

Balancing curves

You might recall the patchwork I started last month, using my proposed 2024 stitch journal template to piece together an aerial map of fields:

false start

I got so far with it and then hit a slight problem: having pieced two A4 sized blocks together, it became clear that none of the next A4 blocks were going to fit properly. My mistake entirely – a couple of mistakes, actually, and schoolboy errors at that. I had failed to read the plan before stitching, so mis-aligned the outer edges, and I hadn’t marked balance lines on the template for accurately joining the curves.

It was less work to start again than to unpick, so I’ll use my false start as a practice piece and then will probably turn it into a sketchbook cover, so nothing is wasted.

So for attempt no. 2, I added balance lines to the template.

balance lines (in red) for piecing curves

Piecing curves is tricksy and has to be accurate, particularly when a lot of separate pieces are involved. You can see how this works:

balance lines in action (in blue/red)

It’s just an extra insurance for making sure everything is going to fit correctly later on. If the balance marks don’t join up on either side of the seam, then you know you’ve gone a bit wrong.

curves fitting nicely

The second thing I’ve done differently this time is piece the thing in irregular sections rather than A4-sized blocks, and it seems to be working better.

sections completed

I’ll wait until each section is finished before joining them all together.

fitted but not joined

It’s probably about half done, and is continuing to come together quite nicely. At this stage it’s still very portable so is an easy and relaxing thing to work on in the evenings.

box of tricks

I only roughly planned the colours (as in all of the M section will be greens and golds, the A section was greys and browns etc) so it’s a nice surprise to find out what ends up sitting next to each other. Keeps it interesting. And I always think patchwork is a kind of piecing together of life’s problems too, and finding a solution in the whole. Art, stitch and therapy all at the same time. What’s not to like?

%d bloggers like this: