Friday, November 4, 2016

Christmas Florals Embroidery

I'm spending the week attempting to catch up on things, but still so far behind, and getting more behind. I spent a week stitching these Christmas Floral Embroideries, which was definitely a week well spent, but I let all else slide while I did that. I am so not a multi-tasker.

I was trying to think which was my favorite. The little bird? Maybe. Definitely a cutie.
 But I really like the reindeer too.
I like them all! They were each fun projects to work on and not at all difficult stitching, but even so, they were still interesting to work on!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Top Three Favorite Embroidery Stitches

I really do have more than three top embroidery stitches, but this will get me started for now. More favorites are coming

1. Stem stitch
This is my go-to stitch for lines of all sorts - stems, rings, swirls and more. It's simple and relatively quick. I prefer it to back stitch for lines mostly because much more of the thread ends up on the top of the fabric compared to back stitch.

Stem stitch makes a really  nice line and can be stitched either with small, neat stitches for a perfect rope like appearance (no I'm not especially great at making even stitches!)
 Or it can be made with larger, less even stitches for a line with a little more texture.

And stem stitches make a great filling when made in rows. I've done this many times on many projects.

2. Satin stitch
That should really be padded satin stitch because I love the extra texture a little padding adds. In any case, this is definitely my go-to stitch for fillings. I've made it with 1 strand of thread for a very fine appearance.

And I've used all six strands for a chunkier look that has great texture.

There is no one right way to do it. Always do it your way!

I've made projects that are almost exclusively satin stitch.
I just love the stitch!

3. Beads
An embroidery stitch you ask?  Sure, it is. In my stitch samplers I've given many examples of stitches that can have a bead added for interest and sparkle, so a basic bead stitch is simply a straight stitch with a bead attached. Ok! Maybe you didn't need to be convinced, but I do love adding beads to my projects.

They are great as berries.

And they are always terrific eyes for birds and other creatures.

And I do love to add them simple as decoration and texture to my projects!

So that sums up my three favorite stitches and how I like to use them. I do have many more favorite stitches, as I said, and I'll be writing about them very soon. 

For now... Happy stitching!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Winter Wreath Crewel Embroidery

My latest finish is done!
This is a crewel version of my earlier winter wreath. I made a few changes to the pattern. Switching from white to tan fabric gave me some trouble, and I can't tell you how many times I felt compelled to take out stitches and change colors. That's sometimes the way it is though.
It is a fun project though with a bit of sparkle. It's available as a pattern with full instructions or as a kit.

I'm also re-writing the instructions for the original project, or rather, making full instructions, as I am for some of the other stumpwork wreaths I have made. And there will be more!

Right now, I'm keeping busy with plans for new designs and I'm hoping to create some classes too finally of different sorts.  They should be fun! I've wanted to for a long time.

I hope your day is great! :D

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Ten Things about Embroidery for Beginners to Remember

I have a new list of things I've learned about embroidery!  This list are things for beginners (and all of us too) to embroidery to consider about their new art. Remember it's not just a craft, but an artform and there is much that can be done with it.

1. Embroidery is always an adventure to be enjoyed. Slow down as much as you can, breathe and relax. Take pleasure in the stitches and watching the project develop.

2. No need for expensive supplies! Compared to other mediums, embroidery doesn't require much investment to begin - piece of fabric, some threads, a needle and scissors, and a hoop is handy too. A pencil is sufficient for transferring a design.

3. If your life feels out of control, then pick up your embroidery. Your art is one thing you have full control over. You get to decide everything about how it turns out.

4. The great thing about embroidery is that it's so tactile. Textures you can actually feel not just see. Learn to use them to create interest in your work.

5. New friends! Look around online and maybe in your local area for others who have the same hobby or even a related one. Stitchers are super nice and extremely supportive people. Reach out whenever you can and enjoy the companionship of like-minded people.

6. So much to learn, so many styles and techniques to try. You can satisfy your thirst to learn and develop your skill and your style. It's great fun to see where this journey leads you. It may surprise you!

7. Practice makes perfect - or sort of perfect. Keep on working and trying and you will improve quickly. Perfection should never be the goal, always just do your best and remember the journey really is the important part.

8. There is no right way - any way is right. Take a chance and do a crazy and wild design that is for fun, or try something traditional and serious. Whichever you like, whichever speaks to you. The important part is to go for it.

9. And some practical advice. Where to get supplies? If you happen to live near a craft store like Michael's or Joanne's you can find many supplies there, such as hoops, needles, fabric, and floss. If you don't, then they internet has many very nice stores which will deliver all these supplies to your door. Pattern transfer is important too. The simplest way is the light box approach which is why it's my preferred method - no need for extra supplies.  Just tape your pattern to glass (a window), then tape the fabric over and trace with a pencil or water soluble pen.

10. Embroidery is what you make of it. There are no rules, no musts, only what feels right to you to do. If you love to paint, it can be included in your embroidery. As can beading, sewing, knitting and even paper crafts too. Just let your imagination fly.

 Be sure to check my first Book of Embroidery for lots of advice about using the stitches and embroidery in general!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Winter Wreath Embroidery

This is one of my designs I did some years ago. I posted it this week on Instagram, and wow what a response I got. The most likes of anything I have posted so far. It's funny, but sometimes you just really cannot predict what people will react to. Projects that I think are great sometimes get no response. But I will say, it's also a matter of your audience. Somethings get lots of likes on Facebook but not elsewhere, and that sort of thing.

I have also found and try to remember this every time I make anything. The number of likes you receive is in no way related to how good or nice the project is or even how well it will sell. Some get lots of likes and no sales, others get very few likes and lots of sales.

Of course, these are only a couple metrics.

There are other things that I think are far more important! Like what you learned from the project, how you felt, and how enjoyable it was to make. I strive hard to only do projects that I really enjoy, ad that includes the pattern, the stitches and the colors.

I can definitely say, every thing I make comes from the heart, and I truly do enjoy the process of making.  And I think it's so important to record this journey we call life in some form or another through writing or pictures.

Tell your story!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Strawberry Thief Crewel Embroidery

This is my latest finish and I'm very happy with how this out.

I really love pinks and greens on this one, they are so soft and yummy and a delight to work with.
Developing the details on this one was loads of fun. Making the strawberries with the trellis is one of my favorite ways to make them and I always like how they turn out.

On the sidebar now I have a signup for my newsletter that I am finally going to start sending. Be sure to signup for it, so you get all the updates. I'll be making special offers in there.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

10 Reasons to do Embroidery

I thought I would have some fun today, so here is my top ten list:

1. It's relaxing! I always get energy back after working on embroidery for awhile.

2. It's meditative.  The repeated movements becoming a pattern, creating a picture. It's a great way to destress and be creative.

3. Working with tactile materials.  The yarns and fabrics are so delightful to touch, so many different feelings.. soft wool, cool rayons, smooth cottons. Try them all and see what they add to your work!

4. It's all about color! Reds, greens, browns, blues, variegated! So much beautiful shades to combine and play with.

5. Collecting. If you love collecting, embroidery is definitely the thing! So many types of threads to collect and enjoy.

6. It's great for decorating. Embroidered pictures, wall hangings, pillows, quilts, clothing and on. Add a personal touch to your home with your own handicraft.

7. It's an art form. Like all art forms, embroidery allows for endless possibilities for self-expression. Use it to show the world what's on your mind!

8. Connect with an ancient tradition. Embroidery has an amazing history. It was once the primary way to decorate fabric. Museums, books, and online resources are a great way to learn more.

9. Working with sparkly stuff. Yes, this is the super cool part, the beads, the metallic fibers, it's all so fun! And it can add a lot of interest to your work.

10. There is so much to learn! So many styles, so many designs and materials, so many ways to show the world your work.

Give embroidery a try if you haven't yet! I'm always willing to answer beginner questions, and inspiration is always free!

Friday, August 26, 2016

A Sheepish Halloween Crewel Embroidery

A Sheepish Halloween is a project I've had completed for a long time, or maybe it wasn't quite complete. I knew it was missing something, so finally I picked up my needle and added french knots to it, even a bunch of them! (Hard to go wrong with french knots, isn't it?)

The little sheep looks so huggable there next to the scary pumpkin!
I really love the warm fall colors. They are so nice to look at and work with.

I'm still working on this blog thing, there is a lot more I want to do with it, but I'm still trying to find what it is exactly that I want to say. I probably just need to sit and really think it over, but I promise it's coming. I really do want to share what I've learned about inspiration and creativity with others. Right now I feel like I have more books in me. I really enjoyed writing the first two, and I know the next one will be even better. I learn a lot myself too as I write them.

For now, I will leave you with this thought! Don't let the negative thoughts win and kill your creativity (yep, I've been there!). Push them out of your life, it's way to short to let them limit you in any way.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Embroidery Doodle Cloth

I'm still working through the pile of embroideries for posting on Instagram. It's like a little trip down memory lane looking at my projects. I think I said this before, but they always bring back memories and feelings of what I was doing or thinking when I made them. Sometimes, of course, it's things I would rather not remember, but not too often. I'm working, working on putting the past in the proper perspective. It's over and gone, the mistakes and pain can be forgiven and let go of. Easy to say, hard to do, but isn't all of life a series of baby steps?

Anyway, the embroidery!
I worked on this over several months, but I remember at some point feeling a bit rushed to finish and call it done. Sort of a shame, but it was for the sake of moving on to something new!

 I haven't made another one of these since this one. I did start one, but fizzled out. I'm wondering if it's time to try something similar. Anything I do like this today would turn out very very different.

I found when working on this, it felt easier to do small projects and attach them and then do a little fill in with stitches and such, but at some point it felt like I might as well do the small projects and keep them separate, so I don't know. I'll have to think about it. I will say that right now, I'm not suffering for a lack of projects! ;)

Back sooon, working, working on improving my blogging, but it's slow progress. Until next time, keep on stitching and don't let life's struggles bring you down! :)

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Summer Hare Crewel Embroidery

The Hare Crewel Embroidery has been a long favorite of mine. It was fun to design and stitch.

The motif seemed to fun not to play with some more. Way too fun! So I've made a follow up in the series, yes, it will be part of a series, yet to be created, but I have a start! The Summer Hare Crewel Embroidery Pattern is the first.
I love the colors in this! So warm and soft, feels just like a hare out in the meadow.
A couple closeups. I just love embroidery closeups!!
The rest in the series are yet to be created, and I am definitely looking forward to them all. So much fun playing with little animals!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Crewel Sampler Embroidery

This week I've taken another look at the Crewel Sampler project I made a few years ago.  This one was bigger than many of the others I have done. I do really enjoy a larger project now and then, they give me a chance to really spend more time with an embroidery and develop the idea further. 

I really wanted the look of an old-time sampler but with a little more modern feel. I'm not sure I captured either so well, but I do like the elements quite well, and it was an interesting challenge to design and stitch this piece. I'm glad I created this one! 
For this project, I used real linen twill, probably one of the most expensive fabrics I ever used! It was lovely to work with, perfect for a project that might is intended to be an heirloom.

Summer flying by, I hope you are enjoying it!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

More Butterfly Florals

I've been working this week on a magazine project, so that's under wraps until the winter. But there are still plenty of florals to show. The floral projects are just fun and enjoyable stitching. I like especially that they fit so well in the hoops for easy display. I still don't have enough hoops, believe it or not, even after all these years of doing embroidery, but I would love to see them all hanging together.

These two are my favorites so far, but there will be many more in the future.

It must be the soft colors. They are just irresistible!
Closeups of the butterflies:

I hope your summer sun and fun continue on!!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

USA Map Embroidery

I hope you're all managing to keep cool! Up here in the northern latitudes, it isn't especially warm this year, but I can feel the heat in the US all the way up here.

Today I have an old favorite from a few years ago that I have re-photographed. I don't think this project was every posted on this blog, so here it is once again...

This time I've taken a couple closeups.
It took some time to outline all the states and all the small shapes, but it was definitely worth it for this project.  It's just special and I'm very glad I made it. I have received questions over the years what I used to color the shapes, and the answer is crayons. Colored pencils would surely work too. I used a fairly light hand, but I think it would work to press harder for more color.

I still love this project and when the time is right I plan to stitch up the America version of this design. That one will have full instructions like all the new patterns do. The USA map pattern doesn't but most of it is stem and back stitching with a few french knots and lazy daisies where they fit.

Keep cool and enjoy the summer!!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Owl Mandala Embroidery

I dug up another old embroidery to photograph for my Instagram collection! This one was a fun one. I remember just having some fun with the stitches and colors I chose.
This one is from the third mandala pattern collection.  I'm thinking this one too could be remade into a nice crewel kit too. More to work on! And I am still so wickedly far behind.

Also, I have finally joined Pinterest!! It's been a long time coming. I'm slowly putting some of my stuff on there, but I also plan to scour the web for any sort of nice embroidery or artwork too that I like to share.