For those that have been following my blogs. I suspect you were expecting Boro part three. Well to be honest, it has not gone to plan.

At the start of the month, I was still feeling a little reluctant to sew more of my Boro, mainly due to lack of self-confidence; then life just got up and got in the way.  Procrastination took hold, eating away at the time and the days.

Procrastinate: delay or postpone action.

I also had to attend a Department of Work and Pensions tribunal for my youngest daughter, to fight her corner over her disability rights. In my opinion, we should not have had to go through this in the first place. This blog would not be somewhere I would normally raise this; however, this does play a key role in this month’s choice of topic, or more to the point how I ended up escaping the procrastinators’ hold.

Then the invasion of our eldest daughter, or more to the point her “stuff”, she has finished at university and per normal for this time of year has returned home. This was her final year so instead of the boxes going back into storage they have “multiplied” all over the house, resulting in no safe sewing space.

My only escape is my computer; so in order to cope while waiting the result of the tribunal and the stress of the “invading stuff”, I immersed myself with my embroidery software and started experimenting, making my own motif stitches. Rather than write about the Boro I had not added too since last time. I wanted to discuss and show off these designs.

I spend copious amounts of time on various Facebooks groups; these are my open windows to the outside world. Having a disability, certainly limits your daily living choices.

One such group is As I own Brother PE Design Next 9.30 software, and use this to design my own stitches, I enjoy the interaction this group gives me, as well as the challenges and continuous learning curves which present from the other members.

It started in April this year, someone posted into the group about needing a mermaid style stitch. Therefore, I set myself a challenge and had a go at making one.

My first design, I set about making the entire pattern as the stitch section. I failed to realise that the stitch needed to be one section and not the entire pattern.

Hence, version two, inspired by another member of the group; they posted an image up of how they did it and I followed suit.

With the light bulb now on in my brain, I started playing around with ideas. It was not until the last few weeks that I went on a mad motif spree.

One night while avoiding other things, I looked at the internet for patterns to play with and design stitches for, I came up with this one. Blocks based on Esher’s designs.





A few members of the groups said it looked like Esher, the effect I was after, although not quite there yet. I was after tumbling blocks and after four hours of playing, I achieved my goal. The tumble blocks using the motif stitch of the square.


Designs need to be test stitched, as screen to fabric does not always translate. I was happy with these test stitches and I set them to show my progress in a piece of fabric. The top left block is the motif stitch, the top right block is my first one, which was wrong, but I liked the effect anyway. The bottom two are variations on of the finished block.


While having a conversation with Sue Greenstreet, she had mentioned that she liked beetles and the motif stitch she liked and had used could only be design in another software package. So I looked at her designs, they were lovely; I chose to have a go at trying a similar stitch to the ones she had mentioned.

Between Sue Greenstreet and Val Nelson, who inspired me and challenged me even more, I would like to say thank you. It is a real pleasure conversing with both you and the other members of the group.

This is the design that inspired the motif stitch below, thank you Sue.

Image used with thanks from Sue Greenstreet

This was the motif and this was the finished look.

I had many comments on how nice it was. I was even surprised how it came out. I also enjoyed the positive comments, which I received on the post. Thus, inspired me to do more, what can I say, we all like positive feed back and I at this point needed it more than I realised.

A beetle design followed, although I have not test stitched it out, the reason being, I am not keen on it, as it is still very rough. 


However, as I had used the image from the internet I realised that I could use any image as a template without breaking copyright law, because it was outline only.

More motif designs followed without templates, I was at this point looking at just line designs.

I am not sure what made me do a teddy bear stitch, maybe because the UKQU site has had a baby themed month, or I just wanted something cute.


While my friend Rosalind and I were discussing the forth-coming tribunal, she mentioned how much she liked the teddy bear and to maybe develop some baby ducklings, baby elephants and carousel horses.

This brings us nearly full circle, after the tribunal while awaiting the decision, which would come a few days later; I needed to do something that would take my mind off things. Baby elephants, ducklings and carousel horses were developed.

The test stitching showed areas that the stitches either did not join or were too thick for such a small design, and that for a 4×4 hoop the designs themselves needed to be bigger.

Going back to each of these, I redeveloped them. In each case going into the nodes and moving some only a fraction at a time until all nodes were the same. 

After altering these from the ground up so-to-speak I redid the test stitching.

Between Sue Greenstreet and Val Nelson, who inspired me and challenged me even more, I would like to say thank you. It is a real pleasure conversing with both you and the other members of the group.

The development of these stitches will continue and I will thrive on the challenges these may present.

If you enjoy machine embroidery and would like blocks of my designs please feel free to message me. If you would like me to make you a set design then please message me again and I can have a play. I am yet to set up a shop, more through nerves and yes, you guessed it, procrastination.

I enjoy helping others and learning from others too. With this in mind I have set up a Youtube channel where I will be posting how-to-do videos on various subjects.

On a footnote, we won the appeal.