December 17, 2014

Countdown to Christmas Day 7: Dala Horses

I always associate Dala Horses with Christmas.  My husband's heritage is Swedish and we have many Dala horses and pigs in our house. Each Christmas we pull out a box of special family heirloom Swedish ornaments including Dala horses just like the ones from Jacque Davis. These beautiful ornaments hold a special place in my family's heart and connect us to past. 

December 16, 2014

Countdown to Christmas Day 8: Bunnies Also Look at the Sky


Bunnies love to look up at the winter sky and wish upon a star. What is he wishing for...a bunch of carrots, world peace? This little brooch created by Makiko_at is so sweet. I just want to jump into the embroidery and give this fuzzy guy a hug. Each piece she creates is one of a kind and in addition to brooches she creates jewelry, ornaments and art dolls. You can see more of her work here. 

December 15, 2014

Countdown to Christmas Day 9: Woodland Christmas Friends

One of the most important things to me during the holiday season is to make sure that I spend quality time with my friends. These adorable Woodland Christmas Friends by Bustle and Sew are an excellent reminder that the best friends are the quirky ones. I am dying over the rabbit with his ear covers. You can see other patterns for sale, magazines and freebies on Bustle and Sews' website. 

December 14, 2014

Countdown to Christmas Day 10: Christmas Elf Girl

Who doesn't like cute little elves at Christmas? Tell me who and I will give them a bonk on the head! Christmas elves are adorable! Check out this great tutorial by Wendi Gratz if you don't believe me. If you are not in the Christmas spirit you can use the pattern for a spring sprite or a summer gnome. You can read more about the post and download the pattern here. 

Patterns: some sad news - #VATMESS


Wave Goodbye by Nicole (Follow the White Bunny) - 
pattern available here until 30th December 2014

Hands up who's addicted to embroidery .pdfs? I am, there's nothing like a spot of instant pleasure, affordable art and anticipation (of the stitching you plan to do with the pattern), that a good embroidery .pdf can bring. So, I'm very sad to hear that some of my favourite designers have been badly affected by a change in European tax law, that comes in force at the beginning of next year, meaning that, if you're an European designer, selling digital products (such as .pdfs) will suddenly become a hell of a lot more complicated. You can read more about the change in law on this excellent post from What Delilah Did

Nobody has ever become rich from selling embroidery and craft .pdfs, in fact even before this some embroidery designers were shutting up shop, the new ruling makes it even more questionable whether selling embroidery .pdfs is worth it. Reading the recent crop of blog posts has been sad and frustrating, that bureaucracy meant to tackle tax avoidance in large multinationals, is instead going to stifle fledgling businesses. Nicole from Follow the White Bunny is no longer going to sell .pdfs from 31st December, however her shop will remain open. Carina from Polka and Bloom thinks she may have to put up her prices to counter the cost of the extra administration. Sami from Teasemade will also stop selling .pdf patterns on 31st December. Laura from Bugs and Fishes will be removing her .pdf patterns from her shop on 22nd December, as well as no longer accepting blog ads (also affected by the new rules), she will be looking for a VAT compliant reseller and selling her .pdfs that way. 

So, if you've been eyeing up that Follow the White Bunny .pdf that you never quite got round to buying (Nicole's latest pattern Wave Goodbye is particularly lovely), want to get in on the action on one of Carina's classes or pattern clubs before prices may rise (I love her new Stitchy Souvenirs pattern club) or fancy wanting to know how Laura makes one of her felt creations, or support any of the other talented European designers out there that are selling digital products, now is the time to do it. 

If anyone knows of any other European designers whose businesses have been negatively affected by this new ruling and I haven't mentioned them, please do leave a comment below.

December 13, 2014

Countdown to Christmas Day 11: Sparkle Baby!

Kerry A from Candy Floss Ramparts has a message for you that not only applies to the holiday season but throughout the year. Don't Let Anyone Dim Your Shine is a perfect uplifting message for anyone in your life. I am even thinking about stitching it up for myself! The pattern as well as a tutorial is available for free on her website. 

December 12, 2014

Countdown to Christmas Day 12 : Baby, It's Cold Outside


There is only one way to kick off a countdown to Christmas and that is with a free pattern from the most awesome Cherry & Cinnamon. The pattern is inspired by the movie Elf and I can just hear Buddy and Jovie singing in harmony with each stitch. You can download the pattern HERE and don't forget to stop by her blog, Green Geenie. 

December 7, 2014

Patterns: Felicity Hall Christmas Ornaments



Felicity Hall, purveyor of fine cross stitch patterns, has a special offer on her site at the moment where with any order you get a free copy of her Christmas Ornaments PDF chart. There's lots of goodies in her store, I particularly like her purse kits but if you're overseas (from the UK) and worried about postal times, she also sells some lovely PDF patterns. And if nothing else in her shop does tempt you, you can buy the Christmas Ornaments PDF pattern itself for £10.



December 3, 2014

Craftster December Hoopla Along


I can't believe that December is already here. I'm not ready! Can someone please tell time to slow down. Another month means another great Craftster Hoopla Along. This month's theme is Winter/Christmas/Winter Holidays. 

Do you dig cold weather? Love a snow day? Are you crazy for Christmas? Having a Happy Hanukkah or maybe a solemn Soltice...whatever the case may be, stitch up your wintery goodness. You might even be the opposite of all that cheer and hate the cold weather-that's cool too, just pull out your floss and fabric and let us know! 

You have until December 31st to be eligible for a random drawing. The prize this month is a 20.00 Amazon gift card.

Come on over and join the fun!

November 23, 2014

Patterns: Aotearoa Tree of Life

Tree of Life

Aotearoa Tree of Life by Liz Smith

When I spotted this piece in the Flickr pool by Liz Smith, I was curious to see if it was a pattern, so I checked out Liz's Flickr profile and I found her online store, The Stitchsmith, which as well as having the lovely pattern above (which in the sample in the store looks great as white work on black fabric), also has loads of colourful birds and New Zealand themed patterns to! I will definitely be bookmarking that site!

November 19, 2014

Home Sweet Home

As we get ready to dive into the holiday season, I believe we must slow down for a minute and remember what is important to us: our family, friends and a warm place to gather with them. This House Pillow created by Isabel Freire is a beautiful reminder of saying, Home Sweet Home. The textures are amazing. I can almost smell the wood burning from the fireplace. This is just one of many  designs Isabel has created. You can see more of her work on her Flickr account

November 16, 2014

Patterns: Wild Olive Christmas Sampler


Wild Olive Christmas Sampler 2014 by Wild Olive


Wild Olive has created a very cute red work Christmas sampler; on her blog she says she hopes they become a yearly thing, ooh I hope so! Check out Wild Olive's blog to for a great tutorial on how to frame your embroidery in an Ikea frame as well.

November 10, 2014

Hand and Lock Prize 2014

Hand and Lock Prize 2014

1. Meta Mckinney, 2. Myra Chung, 3. Justine Bonefant, 4. Justina Moncevicute, 5. Krista Terauda, 6. Maria Alina Hera, 7. Julia Titchfield, 8. Eranga Bandaranyake, 9. Ana Maria Restrepo, 10. Umme Salma, 11. Katrina Viper, 12. Wan Hung Cheung

Feeling Stitchy was very kindly invited to the Hand and Lock 2014 Prize Giving at the historic Bishopgate Institute in London, UK. Hand and Lock is a fusion of two embroidery companies dating back to 1767. M Hand was a Hugenot refugee, who added embroidery to his range of laces and his company M Hand and Co continued for the next two centuries, creating beautiful embroidery for the military, royalty and tailors, throughout the Commonwealth and beyond. Whereas S Lock started life in 1898 as CE Phipps and Co, an embroidery business that supported London's growing couture houses. In 1956, the designer Stanley Lock took over from Mr. Phipps on his retirement and the company was renamed S Lock Ltd. For the next 45 years the company worked on commissions with couturiers including Christian Dior, Norman Hartnell and Hardy Amies. S Lock Ltd was awarded a Royal Warrant and they made gowns for both the Queen and the Queen Mother, as well as the wedding ensemble for Princess Anne. Princess Diana was also a big fan. Their embroidery also hit the stage, working on productions from Barnum to The Lion King. In 2001 M Hand and S Lock merged to form Hand and Lock.

So, as you can imagine, a competition run by such a prestigious embroidery company would have high standards, so it was an exciting opportunity to see the finalists work in person. The embroidery and attention to detail in the pieces was exquisite. It was great to see hand embroidery used in such innovative ways.

There were two categories, student and open and we were all given voting cards to choose which from the two categories we liked best and the audience's votes were combined with the judges votes before the prize giving ceremony itself. The winner of the student prize was Myra Chung (2nd from top left in the mosaic above) and the winner of the open prize was Julia Titchfield (middle row, 2nd from the right). Well done to the winners and to all the finalists, the standard was amazing and a massive inspiration.

The Hand and Lock Prize is an annual event, you can read the design brief for next year's competition here and read how to enter here, who's tempted to give it a go?

November 5, 2014

Craftster November Hoopla Along



It is time for the November Hoopla Along over at Craftster.org. This month's theme is Vintage, Retro and Nostalgia. Do you wish for the old days? Feel like you are living in the wrong time? This month's stitch along cries out for the days of long ago. Stitch up your favorite retro or vintage image...something you are nostalgic for. It can be any time period, any image. 

You have until November 30, 2014 to be eligible for random drawing

Prizes:
This month's prize is: Craftster mug filled with goodies
 
You can read more about this month's theme HERE. 




November 4, 2014

#crafttheparcel - envelope quilt block (free pattern)


Feeling Stitchy was very kindly asked by InPost UK to take part in their #crafttheparcel, you may have seen my tweets about it on Feeling Stitchy's twitter account. The idea was for each blogger to make a quilt square, could be anything, a traditional quilt block, applique, knitting, you name it and each week the growing quilt would pass from blogger to blogger via InPost. InPost is a new service in the UK and as someone who gets quite fed up of waiting in for couriers (and post office counter queues!), I think it could be quite handy. The idea is that you leave your parcel in one of InPost's lockers, with a prepaid label to the nearest InPost locker of the person you're sending it to. InPost then pick it up and take it to the new locker and your friend / relative / customer, gets a text message to say that the parcel is ready to be picked up, along with a special code to allow you entry into the locker.



For my quilt block I decided to go with a post theme to match the idea of #crafttheparcel and I made an applique, openable envelope, with a little 'letter' inside with an embroidered quote from Phyllis Theroux, which I thought was quite apt.

To send a letter is a good way to go somewhere without moving anything but your heart.

If you would like to make your own envelope and letter, you can download the pattern and tutorial here for free (personal use only). You could embroider the quote or maybe something else that is important to you. We'd love to see what you made!

And if you would like to see what more blocks get added to the quilt (there are actually two of them going round at the moment), don't forget to check out #crafttheparcel on Twitter.

(Sponsored post)