Judy Stephenson has designed it to be quilted and either framed or included in a quilt. I decided to use it as the cover of a large needlebook to hold packets of needles, along the lines of one I saw at the Embroiderers' Guild Summer School.
A couple of the stitches used in this project are new to me so it has been an interesting one. The size of this project is almost perfect - enough of each technique to provide practice, but not enough to get bored.
I used a gel pen to transfer the design to the linen. The first steps are straight stitch edging to the three gum blossoms and some beading for seeds.
This is a stumpwork technique and I had not done it before. It reminded me of Prue Batten's books - the idea of a whole book being hidden behind the three-dimensional embroidery of a large project.
The gumnuts are made using a couronne, another technique that was new to me. The gumnuts are shaped around a knitting needle, building up a shape with rows of detached blanket stitch.
The Ghiordes loops are cut and brushed up.
I am pretty pleased with the result.
The instructions are for quilting and framing the piece - or suggested as a block in a quilt. I turned it into a book for needle packets, by quilting then lining.
It is my first attempt at machine quilting. I have never sewed before with the feed-dogs down. Once I got the hang of it, it was amazing fun - moving wherever you like across the fabric. It took a bit to get the stitch tension right. My first effort produced loops at the back.
Eventually I got it. I used the designer's suggestion and made rough leaf shapes.
As lining, I had intended to use some cotton with Australian wildflowers, but decided the colours were too strong. I settled, instead, for the piece of handprinted fabric I had bought last year from Ink & Spindle at the Adelaide Bowerbird Bazaar (http://jillian-alwaysstitching.blogspot.com/2010/10/adding-to-my-stash.html)
The width of the fat quarter I had was perfect, and the length gave me enough to cut and edge strips to form the pockets I wanted.
I stitched the strips down, then across to form pockets. I then put the right sides for the cover and the lining together and stitched around three sides, turned it inside out and hand-stitched the remaining side.
I now have convenient storage for packets of needles and a place where I will see my gum blossom embroidery without exposing it to too much wear and tear.