April 17, 2015

Friday Instagram Finds, No. 3

Today I'm going to share with you three amazing hand embroidery artists from Down Under...Australia!

Sonia Lyne of Dandelyne is one of my favorite people in the world, and we've never even met! She is the brains behind the mini embroidery hoops that have made stitchers like me so happy. She's one of the happiest and upbeat people out there, and 100% genuine. She is incredibly generous to the stitching community, and frequently shares the work of others who make art with her mini hoops.

Sonia's mini hoops are so fun and versatile. Here are a whole bunch that she stitched up. She used a variety of mediums and designs inside the hoops, like embroidered designs, pretty fabrics, and felt with stitching.

A photo posted by Sonia Lyne (@dandelyne) on

In addition to her mini hoops, Sonia is known for her sweet custom portraits. She blends fabric, felt, and embroidery stitches to create one of a kind keepsakes.

A photo posted by Sonia Lyne (@dandelyne) on

You can buy her mini hoop kits to create your own fabulous necklaces, brooches, and she now even has 1" hoops for earrings! Each kit comes with really neat patterns for motifs you can stitch inside the mini hoops.

A photo posted by Sonia Lyne (@dandelyne) on

Maria Featon is the reason I applied to Feeling Stitchy to be a contributor! She saw the blog post, and sent me a message letting me know that she thought I'd be perfect for it. I probably wouldn't have applied, thinking I would never be accepted, if it hadn't been for her. I'm starting to sense a trait amongst Aussies! They must be the nicest people on the planet! Maria's embroidery is bold and beautiful. She uses vintage bedsheets and patterned fabrics to create gorgeous pieces.

This bird (is it a peacock?) is my favorite of all that Maria has done! It's understated, yet has a huge impact. By stitching a small portion of the scene, she's made the bird pop off the fabric.

Here's an example of how she uses vintage bedsheets as the perfect backdrop to the embroidered text.

I just can't get enough of the vintage bedsheets as fabric for embroidery! This picture also has fabric from a vintage nightie.

Candy Barnes is another Aussie whose kindness and sincerity comes across in her interactions. She creates the cutest, sweetest, most adorable portraits based on your children's artwork. She has even managed to stitch children's artwork onto mini hoops by Dandelyne!

This adorable scene was drawn by Candy's daughter, then stitched by her onto this mini hoop!

Here's one of Candy's hoops of a child's drawing. She stays true to what the kids draw, and then transfers their visions onto fabric using needle and floss.

Here's another custom piece she did based on a child's drawing. In this one, Candy added felt to fully represent the original piece. This is just so sweet, and becomes an heirloom piece that can be kept and handed down for generations to come.

I hope you've enjoyed edition number three of Friday Instagram Finds on Feeling Stitchy! Please leave comments below to let me know what you thought. If you find a great embroiderer or stitch-related needle worker who you think I should feature, be sure to tag one of their pictures with #feelingstitchyig, and I'll take a look!

While you're on Instagram, make sure you follow Feeling Stitchy! We're @feelingstitchyish. We'd love for you to stop by and say hello :)

Friday Instagram Finds, No. 4 will be published Friday, May 1, 2015.

Hi, I'm Amy - I feature interesting embroidery and stitch-related photos I find on Instagram. Use #feelingstitchyig on Instagram for pictures you want me to find.

Find me on: Instagram | Random Acts of Amy | Etsy

April 15, 2015

Album Artwork Embroidery Tutorial

Allison Murray at Dream a Little Bigger is amazing! Her website is full of awesome crafty how to's like this tutorial on how to make album art work embroidery. This is so brilliant! It is one of those, "why didn't I think of that" moments. She gives you easy to follow step-by-step instructions so you can become a pro at turning your favorite band art into a needlwork masterpiece. 

You can see more details and other amazing embroidery on her blog HERE

Hi, I'm Pam - I've been a moderator for the Needlework boards on Craftster since 2004 and you can also see me in the Craftster Quickies video series.

I am a lover of all things vintage but I particularly have a fondness for vintage embroidery patterns, which I collect every chance I can get!

Winner of the handmade brooch by Jessie Chorley!

We have our random winner in the brooch giveaway!

Nesta Sangermano  a day ago
My dream studio would have very good natural light and possibly a view on a garden. Inside at least two big tables and dressers with space to show beautiful things and space to hide mess. A super comfy armchair and a cat!

Thanks to everyone who entered our giveaway - to Karen Thiesen for the wonderful interview with artist Jessie Chorley - and of course thanks to Jessie for the beautiful brooch!

April 11, 2015

Interview with Jessie Chorley - and brooch giveaway!

Once again, I am so pleased to bring you an interview by Karen Thiesen from www.womanwithaneedle.com - today, Karen interviews London-based artist Jessie Chorley. Jessie will be teaching a workshop in Santa Fe, New Mexico from September 15-19, 2015. Jessie also handcrafted a gorgeous brooch to giveaway today! 

Read on to learn more about Jessie Chorley, her art, her studio, and her inspiration.

You work with both paper and fabric. Do you prefer one over the other?
I would honestly say I find both incredibly inspiring to work with, I could not choose. I constantly work combining both together as I love the strength of the more robust fabric against fragile papers. I am an obsessive collector of both found paper and fabric but I do like to use my collections. I have a small selection that I refer back to for inspiration but a lot of what I collect I really do use up at quite a pace.

This is why I love having my shop as it gives me the opportunity to collect and pass these things on with a new life and a new beginning. To see some one walk away with one of my Altered Journals, for example, is like a completion to the story. My home is not crammed full of my collections but quite ordered. I love to display some things in my home for a certain amount of time and then they may head down to the shop or to the studio if needed for a particular commission.

What was the inspiration for your hand stitched souvenir hankies?
My current Souvenir Hankies were inspired by a workshop I was invited to run as part of the wedding dress exhibition here in London at the Victoria and Albert Museum. I was asked to base the workshop on one piece from the exhibition and I chose a hand printed paper souvenir napkin from the 1920’s.

I was so inspired by this particular piece from the exhibition, so have carried on making my own version of the souvenir hankie. I always use found and old hankies to re work into, adding simple scenes and words and sometimes incorporating simple block print. I have just created two for a couple for their wedding day.

How have you become the artist you are today?
Determination and a love for making! A lot of hard work and a passion for making. I love to make things so much and now that I teach others my skills as well I find this very rewarding. You need to be quite rounded as an individual to be a maker and shop owner, as running a shop and a business as a maker is very full time. You are constantly surrounded by your own world and the things you make. So having time out and being inspired constantly is also very important, otherwise the love for what you do will float away. I also have many friends who are makers, painters and artists who also have the same life style as me and will go to the end of the line for their own work. And these people are a great inspiration to me.

Being the maker I am today is a lifestyle that I have embraced. I have seen so many people that started in a similar way to me destroy their passion and love for making or being creative as they soon have tried to make things quicker and mass produce things. Then you just end up being behind a computer and your hands never get dirty or touch the "materials" again. I knew this was not a way that I wanted to go and always stayed well away from large wholesale orders and commissions and concentrated on smaller and more rewarding commissions and projects and also teaching my skills to like-minded others.

My workshops are now a large part of my business and always run just by me, which I think is important as a maker, as teaching others actually feeds back and inspires me as a maker. I feel so lucky for all the wonderful and inspiring people and friends that I have met from running my shop and from running my workshops and are now a large part of my world. My main passion still today after 10 years is "making" and I know deep down this will never change. But still one person can only make a certain amount, so over the last 3 years I have slowly developed a range of items that I get made locally either in London or in the UK. These items like my rubber stamps, screen printed tea towels and some greeting cards then come back to my studio and I finish them by packing them in my particular style.

I have never had any business training but I have always had a huge passion for that side of the business. Running the books and paperwork I really love doing as do I like the daily jobs at the shop and I guess it gives me a sense of control overall. When I give my years paper work to my accountant at the end of a year and she confirms all is well this is a great feeling. I am very practical as a person so I love the daily running of a shop and this also inspires my work. The two go hand in hand, and on Sundays, when my shop is full of customers appreciating my work, again, this is so rewarding and inspiring.

Since a very young age I was obsessed by having my own shop, but at the same time, I knew especially in London that would be a big jump. So since graduating from Goldsmiths College in 2005, I have worked alongside friend and fellow designer Buddug, and because there was the two of us we started the shop together. And now in July this year, after 10 years of our collaboration, I am taking over the shop on my own. For Buddug, her family and Wales has called her back but for me, London, especially Columbia Road and the shop is only just starting.

So this summer I am having a 10 years anniversary party on August the 15th and also on this date I will be launching my new book that I am currently working on "Jessie Chorley: Story of a maker". It will also be available online from August the 15th on my web site www.jessiechorley.com and will record mainly visually the last 10 years of my world as a maker.

My upcoming and newly laid out shop will also be the main hub for my London based workshops as I now do lots of one on one workshop sessions and also small groups here in London, so to have everything in one place, my shop and studio and workshops, will be great. Embracing social media and selling online has also really helped me become the maker I am today. Most of my online sales I send to the States and to Australia. My blog, www.jessiechorleyinspirations.com and my Instagram feed, not to mention my shop on Columbia Road, are my main source of advertising and I meet and work with so many other creative individuals because of these sources.

What is your favorite thing that you've ever made?
A salmon pink poem dress. I originally bought the dress from Spitafields antiques market here in East London and I hand embroidered a poem inspired by an Angela Carter novel around the neck. I kept the piece for about 6 years and exhibited it widely until it was bought by a store in Tokyo. I still have many photos of it and have since made a new version on a bright 1930s yellow dress.

What is your studio like? What's the most important tool you have there?
My studio is currently within a large old factory building out in Hackney Wick. So it is very tucked away and very organised but can also be quite messy, this is what I love about my studio. I often go. There is my work apron and I enjoy getting completely involved, painting, frames, paper mache are all things I enjoy doing here. The studio is quite isolating so I tend to make creative decisions here but then I prefer to do my Embroidery work when at my shop or at home. I get to my studio early in the morning and work fast and then often head to open the shop later on and finish work there. I only have 3 months left in my current studio as in July I am moving my studio to the back of my shop so my current studio is about to be packed up and lots of sorting to be completed before the move happens.

Do you have any special rituals while you're working?
Lots of tea and I love always to listen to music later in the day and Radio 4 first thing is a must. I never do any computer based work in my studio as this breaks my creativity and mood.

You have said you are very inspired by The Museum of Childhood in London. What is your favorite exhibit in there?
That is a hard one as there are many. But I am always drawn by a 1930 piece that is a collection of small dolls slightly squeezed into a glass fronted box. It was a personal piece from someone’s home. The box is covered in old green torn paper with a gold tint. What most inspires me about this piece is the way that the box is actually made from an old cupboard drawer with a glass frame attached to the front.

You were homeschooled in Wales by your mother, artist Primmy Chorley. What is the best thing you learned from her?
"Small is beautiful". This is how I run my business today, keeping things small but keeping the passion. Her love of collecting and making is deeply embedded in me as a maker not only in my work but also in the way I run my home.


To follow Jessie's story, shop online, and view her upcoming workshop dates, visit www.jessiechorley.com.  Jessie will be teaching her first workshop ever in the US in Santa Fe, New Mexico, September 15-19, 2015 - details can be found at www.womanwithaneedle.com.

Thank you so much to Karen Thiesen, for providing this wonderful interview, and thank you to Jessie Chorley for a wonderful glimpse into your life as an artist, and your process!

Now, for an exciting giveaway - Jessie has created one of her signature brooches as a giveaway for one very lucky Feeling Stitchy reader! This giveaway is open to all of our readers.

To win Jessie's beautiful handmade brooch - simply leave a comment on this post by 9 PM US CST on Monday, April 13 - and answer this question: If you could have a studio to embroider, make art, and craft in - what would your dream studio look like?

April 10, 2015

Diary of an Intern: Julia at Hand and Lock, week 3

During my work placement I have been consistently inspired and sometimes overwhelmed. From the environment to the array of exquisite samples and materials, there is continually something which whets my creative appetite.

Diary of an Intern at Hand and Lock

Hand & Lock’s quintessentially English meeting room is known in-house as the ‘bead room’. Its walls are decorated with lush embroidery samples and military regalia. Ceiling-high cabinets line the edge of the room and house a vast variety of beads and an extensive collection of samples. I believe it could take a day or two to peruse through the entire archive. Each design is different and almost every type of embroidery is displayed. It’s such a pleasure to be able to thumb through such a beautiful collection. I quietly imagine the ways I could apply some of these techniques and styles to my own work and how I could adapt them. Although I will have to learn how to execute them first.

Certainly another great inspiration for me is the array of materials. It’s also interesting to learn why each piece is selected for use. One reason is that the fabrics, beads, threads and other decorative objects all project a particular impression and impact and the way that they interact with each other also plays an integral factor. I am also noticing how a particular material can be fundamental to a design. In using an object which is not commonly adopted in couture embellishment the unusual texture and shapes can project a different effect.

For instance, the Hand & Lock embellishments created for the Louis Vuitton and Terence Koh limited-edition menswear collection incorporate paint brush bristles and only the metal casings from gemstones:

Terence Koh design

The collection features lavish and extraordinary designs by the artist Terence Koh and the unusual materials used by the Hand & Lock team complements the artist’s quirky style.

Terence Koh jacket design
Terence Koh jacket design

Most importantly, a primary source of inspiration for me is the environment itself and the people in it. When I take a moment to look around the atelier I see inspiration at every angle. Creativity almost pulses under its beams.

Hi, I'm Julia! Based in Amsterdam, I am an embroidery enthusiast with a life long passion for textiles. I will be contributing during my work placement at the prestigious Hand and Lock a London based, embroidery and embellishment company with 250 years of heritage.

Join me every other Friday for my Diary of an Intern posts!
Find me on Facebook.

April 9, 2015

Thimblenest Thursdays: Embroidered elbow patch tutorial

Regardless of which hemisphere you're in right now, the season in most places is cardigan-friendly (not too hot, not too cold). The following tutorial will show you how to brighten up a cardigan or sweater with embroidered elbow patches.


  • knit or woven fabric for patches (minimum 4" x 6"/10 cm x 15 cm)
  • cardigan or sweater
  • embroidery design (the clover design I used is found here)
  • lightweight interfacing
  • pinking shears
  • embroidery thread
  • water-soluble fabric marker
  • patch pattern (mine was 3.5" x 5.5"/9 cm x 14 cm)
  • seam roll (or a rolled up magazine, catalog, etc.)

Prep Cardigan & Pattern/Embroider

Try your cardigan on and mark your elbow point (and where you will center the patches) on each sleeve using a pin, chalk, or fabric marker.

In Word, Inkscape, or another program, draw and print an oval the size you want your finished patch to be.
Cut out the patch pattern and trace its outline onto both pieces of patch fabric.

Transfer your embroidery design to the center of each patch oval. Make sure there is at least 1/4" between the outer edges of the design and the entire outside edge of the patch.

Embroider your design.

Prep Finished Patches

Cut close to traced outline of your patch, leaving a little extra allowance. 

Adhere interfacing to the back of each patch.

Carefully cut out the patch with pinking shears, cutting directly on the traced outline.

Find the center of each patch by folding into quarters and mark.

Center the patch over the elbow point you marked on the cardigan sleeve.

Sew Patches to Cardigan

Pin or hand baste the patch securely in place.

Sew the patches permanently onto the sweater using the Twisted Lazy-Daisy Edge Stitch, blanket stitch, running stitch, or another of your choice.


Originally I planned to make my patches with knit fabric, but ultimately I loved the subtle gray and white stripe and woven won out. I think this project would work well with either knit or woven fabrics. 

Sewing patches onto a preexisting sleeve was more challenging than I expected. Inserting a sleeve roll into the sleeve allows you to use both hands and maneuver the pieces more confidently as you stitch.

Because of its circular shape, the patch will want to shift some as you stitch. Try and go with it, but make sure you keep the centers of your patch and sleeve aligned.

If you use this tutorial or any other project from feelingsstitchy.com, please be sure to share them in the Feeling Stitchy Flickr Group.

Hi, I'm Wendy - I've been embroidering since age 9 when my grandma gave me some blank tea towels and a set of Aunt Martha’s transfers. I blog at ThimbleNest and create embroidery patterns for my shop.

You can also find me on: Flickr and Pinterest.

April 8, 2015

Rocking Challenge!

I couldn't resist telling you guys about the most awesome challenge happening right now over at Craftster. 

This month, thanks to Ticketmaster, Crafster is showing the love for live events from concerts, to Broadway shows, and more!  Your mission this month is to craft a project that shows major love to one of your favorite live events or productions!  Concerts, sporting events, family entertainment, music festivals, arts & theater, you name it!  You can use any crafting mediums of your choosing as long as your project features or pays homage to a live, ticketed event of some sort! 

Maybe your project will actually incorporate that old ticket from the very first play you ever attended.  Or maybe you'll create a project from scratch such as an awesome concert ticket embroidery pillow!   Perhaps you could create the perfect music festival headband, bag or other accessories.  You could even create an epic quilt from all of those concert tshirts you've been hoarding over the years.  

Ticketmaster has provided a bundle of prizes for the challenge this month!  The first and second place winners will be selected by the online community voting poll here on Craftster.  The third place winner will be selected by a panel of judges at Ticketmaster!  Oh!  And a little birdie told us that the panel of judges would love to see some sort of nod to barcodes, locks, etc. (security-related concepts) included in the winning project.  How cool would it be to add a secret barcode to your project?

Additional Rules and Details:

  • Entries open to US and Canada.
  • Craft your project during this challenge period (Apr 6 2015 - May 10 2015) only.  Projects created before this timeframe will be excluded from the voting poll.
  • On May 1, 2015, there will be a special folder created for entries.  Post your entry on the specified entry board during the period of May 1 - May 10 11:59:59 PDT 2015.  No sooner.  No later.
  • Voting will happen from May 11 - May 18 2015.
  • The winner will be officially announced on the first business Monday of the next month (in our June newsletter), on this thread and on the Craftster blog.  Ticketmaster will also feature the winners on their blogTwitter and Facebook!  We will contact you via Private Message, after the announcement, to get your prize package information.
  • Enter only ONE project.  Your entry can have multiple components to it.
  • If cheating of any sort is discovered, the applicable entry and votes will be disqualified.

It's probably impossible to know whether your project is 100% original, has never been posted on Craftster, or made by anyone else in the past.  But if your project was definitely inspired by something you've seen before, please give credit to that project. 

At the end, we'll set up a poll right here and the winners (US or Canada) will recieve:
Ticketmaster prizing:(1) Grand prize, first place winner (voted by Craftster community):  $250 Ticketmaster gift card(2) Second place winner (voted by Craftster community):  $150 Ticketmaster gift card(3) Third place winner (voted by Ticketmaster):  $100 Ticketmaster gift card
Gift cards can be used to purchase events on Ticketmaster.com / Ticketmaster.ca.  Ticketmaster will also feature the winners on their blogTwitter and Facebook!
As well as:(1) their project in the Featured Projects area(2) their project in the Craftster Blog(3) and a prize from us at Craftster.org -- any one item from one of Craftster's online shops!

You can read more about the contest and get inspiration HERE. 

Hi, I'm Pam - I've been a moderator for the Needlework boards on Craftster since 2004 and you can also see me in the Craftster Quickies video series.

I am a lover of all things vintage but I particularly have a fondness for vintage embroidery patterns, which I collect every chance I can get!

April 6, 2015

Mooshie Stitch Mondays: Cable Plait Stitch

mountmellick embroidery whitework

Another stitch common to Mountmellick embroidery is the Cable Plait Stitch (aka Braid Stitch).

mountmellick embroidery whitework

As always, Needle n' Thread has a great video tutorial for this stitch.

I drew two lines to help guide my stitching and practiced with two types of floss.

mountmellick embroidery whitework

DMC floss on the left and #5 pearl cotton on the right.

I really like this stitch. It isn't too difficult to learn and I think it has great texture.

mountmellick embroidery whitework

In my whitework project this week, I used part of this pattern I found on Pinterest.

mountmellick embroidery whitework

mountmellick embroidery whitework

Stitches included: Cable Plait, Chain and Satin Stitch.

mountmellick embroidery whitework

mountmellick embroidery whitework

The leaves are pearl cotton and everything else is stitched with DMC floss.

mountmellick embroidery whitework

mountmellick embroidery whitework

Want to read more about the cable plait stitch??

Vetty Creations explains the difference between the cable plait stitch and plaited braid stitch.

Click here to see another video tutorial.

Hi! I'm Michelle (aka Mooshie) and I've been stitching since 2007. I own more embroidery hoops than I will ever need and am a borderline hoarder of floss. In my spare time I'm hanging out with my dog Sega, planning my next hike, or trying to convince my husband to draw me embroidery patterns. You can find me on my blog, MooshieStitch and Flickr.

April 5, 2015

Patterns: Summer Flowers

Lovely Liberty

I have a feeling I may have mentioned the Summer Flowers pattern by Sarah Jane before but I couldn't resist this lovely stitching by Bloom, especially as the little pouch is laying on a gorgeous patchwork pencil case made from a pattern in the Little Lady Liberty book by Alice Garrett.

Hi, I'm Jo - I feature new embroidery patterns Sundays on Feeling Stitchy. I also post on our Twitter and Pinterest.

Is there a new pattern you'd like us feature? Email me!

April 4, 2015

Learn the Back Stitched Chain Stitch

I’m so thrilled to be sharing my first post on Feeling Stitchy! I’ve been a reader of the blog for a long time and it’s very exciting to now be a part of it.

I spend a lot of time stitching, but there are so many stitches I've never mastered, or even tried. So I’m going to work my way through an encyclopedia of stitches, learning and teaching you as I go!

Starting, well, now, I’ll share a quick how-to for a new stitch on the first Saturday of every month! You’ll notice I may not always do things the traditional way, but I like putting my own spin on things and making the stitches work for me.

So, let’s jump right in, shall we?

For my first post I started with an easy one- The Back Stitched Chain Stitch!

This is essentially just a combination of those two stitches, so I’m guessing most experienced stitchers will be able to jump right in!

I’m using contrasting colors of thread (stranded cotton) so you can easily see the two different parts.  Start by making a chain stitch across your fabric. I actually work chain stitch a little differently than most (it’s backwards!), which I’ll explain below. If you like your way, just skip to the next section!

Begin with an anchor stitch. Come up with your thread at a point just below your anchor or previous stitch. Pass your needle and thread through the anchor stitch, pulling all the way through. Then insert your needle back into the same hole you started with. Repeat until you have a chain as long as you like!

When your chain stitch is in place we’ll go back and add the back stitch.

Begin by finding the end of your chain and come up with your needle just after the “hump” of our first chain stitch. Back stitch into the final stitch of the chain and pull all the way through. Come up again just over the chain stitch and back stitch into beginning of the previous stitch. Continue until you’ve backstitched through the whole thing.

And that’s it! You can experiment with different color combinations, types of thread and even weight.
In the picture above I used several different combinations and stitch sizes. From top to bottom: single strand perle cotton in fun, loose loops and another in small, tight stitches. The bottom three back to stranded floss, 2 strands of pink and one strand of blue. Then 4 strands of pink, 2 strands of blue and the bottom example is 4 strands of pink, 4 strands of blue.

You can see how different this stitch looks in all these different forms, and I hope you feel inspired to add this fun texture to some of your embroidery! It would definitely make a great thick outline stitch, as well as be an interesting fill texture and sampler accent as well.

I chose to use this stitch to lend some fun texture/color to a little hoop I made inspired by The Avett Brothers, who just wrapped up a three night concert stay in my hometown!

I went back to my stranded floss and used an almost ombre color scheme. The ampersand is all done in our back stitched chain stitch, and the chain stitch lent itself nicely to all the curves on the fancy font. I also did some double rows to make parts of it thicker, so you can see how this would look worked side by side.

Well, that’s it for this month. I hope you enjoyed learning with me! If you stitch something using the back stitched chain stitch, be sure to upload it to the Flickr pool so everyone can see! Be sure to leave me a note in the comments if you have any special stitch requests, or have any questions and I'll see you next time!

Hi, I'm Whitney - I share a new embroidery stitch on the blog once a month, learning as I stitch along with the rest of the blog. Embroidery is my first and true crafty love, though I also enjoy painting, sewing and other crafts. My other loves include graphic design, craft beer and baking.

You can also find me on my blog Whitney Makes and on Tumblr.