Upcycling Embroidery

Last week, I mentioned that I love using bits and pieces that I have collected and giving them a new lease of life -chocolate wrappers, tiny bits of fabric, kitchen roll paper, small bits of Vliesofix that I have left over from applique work. One piece of work that I produced a few years ago highlights what I am talking about. Here is the story about it!

old post box-lilibet stanley

I get so excited over rust, rust is beautiful with all the colours and texture!

Rust inspiration - Lilibet Stanley

As soon as I saw this old rusty post box at my friend’s house, I thought that I would have to get to work using my threads and bits of fabrics!

Rust inspiration1 - Lilibet Stanley

I could see encrusted french knots where the flaky rust was disintegrating. I love french knots especially on mass!

Free Machine Embroidery-rust2-lilibet stanley

Lots of little bits of fabrics including silk, velvet, organza are trapped down by free machine embroidery using metallic threads with washers, sequins, beads which are embellished on top.

Free Machine Embroidery-rust-lilibet stanley

Paper and painted Vliesofix are layered over the little bits of fabric. By adding french knots and detached chain stitch in various thickness of threads, helps to give an encrusted, rich quality.

Free Machine Embroidery-rust1-lilibet stanley

I love the texture of bubbled-up chocolate wrappers with a coating of non-tarnishing wax gilt.By holding chocolate wrappers over a candle in a well-ventilated room and using a face mask, it crinkles up which creates the look of rust peeling (Be careful not to burn the fabric, your hands or even your house!) .

The work by Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn has been a big influence in my free-machine embroidery work. Please check them out at http://doubletrouble-ent.com/, their work is amazing!

Well until next time.


“…a giant collage…”

Dresser1 - Lilibet Stanley

“Mum was using the dresser… as a giant collage for illustrating family life…” Emma Bridgewater, Country Living (British Edition), June 2014.

I love this quote and when I reflected on my dresser at home, it is just like “a giant collage”, it depicts my past, my present with all the papers that come into a household everyday and also my dreams for the future.

The pine dresser was an ebay find, I love all the markings from the use it has had over the years and now it is in the centre of all the goings on in my family. I finally have a place to put all my bits and pieces I have collected over the years.

Emma Bridgewater Mug

My Emma Bridgewater Union Jack mug is in pride of place.


The rusty old aqua scales given to me by my hubby’s nanna look like they belong. They were going to be thrown out but I saw the beauty, my in-laws are still a bit baffled though.

Teapot - Lilibet Stanley

I would love to own a TG Green Cornishware teapot so its in my embroidery as a reminder that one day when I am back in beautiful Cornwall to make a purchase.

Sponge cake - Lilibet Stanley

 There is nothing I like better than having a cuppa tea and a slice of Victoria Sponge cake using my Mum’s well tried and tested recipe, whilst thinking of the next new sewing project.

My embroidery is an applique using a mix of hand embroidery techniques such as french knots, buttonhole stitch, satin stitch, chain stitch and running stitch.

Well, take care until next time!!