June 19, 2019

Wonderful Wednesday #75: Emma Jones


Here's a bit of embroidered English Paper Piecing, courtesy of Emma Jones or Vintage Sewing Box, as she is known on her blog and on Instagram @vintagesewingbox. Isn't her work gorgeous? I love the floral fabrics and lovely colors she chooses for her EPP projects.

I love that Emma makes use of every scrap of her fabric, no matter how small... like this teeny, tiny hexy pincushion!!!



Another day, another scrappy hexagon project! Today I’m joining Larisa @stitchingnotes and Lauren @mollyandmama for the weekly #sipteaandepp party. Last week was one of my favourite topics, embroidery and epp, and this week is another of my favourite topics, hexies! I have a lot of hexie projects on the go at the moment. This one is my smallest yet, quarter inch hexies, and it’s going to be a tiny pincushion to take out and about for epp projects. I love how it’s even possible to fussy cut tiny hexies, swipe to see. I join my hexies by using a whip stitch, I haven’t tried any other techniques so I’m looking forward to reading everyone’s tips today. Have you tried quarter inch hexies? #englishpaperpiecing #epp #eppaddict #hexies #hexielove #sewmuchfun #handstitched #tinystitches #slowstitching #quiltersofinstagram #patchwork #tinyfloralsanonymous #creativehappylife #createeveryday #makersgonnamake #aurifil #tinyhexies #scrappyproject #iquilt
A post shared by Emma Jones (@vintagesewingbox) on

Swipe to see just one of the teeny tiny hexagons sitting on her fingertip!



When your trainers match your quilt... I think my Liberty obsession is going too far... I’m joining @stitchingnotes and @mollyandmama this morning for #sipteaandepp and I’m working on my large hexagon Liberty quilt and thinking about how I’m going to join the flowers. I’m using 1 and a half inch hexagons and I love how fast it is growing. This week’s topic is storage. I don’t have any fancy storage systems for epp, I typically use a little box to carry everything in or this lovely case that Heidi @bessaboostudio made for me which is perfect for taking everywhere I go and it makes me so happy. Looking forward to seeing everyone else’s projects and storage. Have a great day everyone #epp #eppeverywhere #quiltersofinstagram #hexies #hexielove #libertylove #golaclassics #patchwork #hexagonquilt #slowstitching #createeveryday #sewmuchfun #sewingastherapy #grandmothersflowergardenquilt
A post shared by Emma Jones (@vintagesewingbox) on

There is so much lovely visual inspiration to be found in Emma's Instagram! On her blog, Emma quite generously shares free EPP templates, tutorials, and inspiration.

Be sure to follow Emma @vintagesewingbox and visit her site: https://www.vintagesewingbox.co.uk/.

Hi, I'm floresita, editor of Feeling Stitchy. I'm an avid stitcher, knitter, and crafter. You can see more of my stitching on Instagram and my blog. My vintage transfer collection is on Vintage Transfer Finds.

Feel free to email me with any ideas for the blog!

June 14, 2019

Project a Month: English Paper Piecing with Liza Lucy - Attaching Your Applique

Hi all! For this month's Project a Month, I am stitching along with the English Paper Piecing class with Liza Lucy on Creativebug.

English Paper Piecing

When I left you last week, I had hand-sewn my hexagon flowers together, and was ready to attach them to a tea towel -

2 ways of attaching hexagon appliques

Honestly, I'd been itching to hand sew appliques for awhile now.

I've always been terrified of needle-turn applique, so what reassured me about English paper piecing is that your corners are already neatly tucked under.

I took out my extra-fine thread and thinnest needle, and got started. You can just barely see my teeny stitches here:

2 ways of attaching hexagon appliques

That's the magic of this applique method - if you choose a thread color close to your fabric, use tiny stitches, just under the edge, they will be virtually invisible on both sides!

Again, I recommend Liza Lucy's explanation of this method in this Creativebug class - I don't know about you, but I have to see someone doing something before it really clicks. Her explanation was thorough and helped me understand where to put my needle. All the photos and illustrations in the world don't help me as much as a clear video can!

And here is my finished applique towel!

2 ways of attaching hexagon appliques

Left unsecured in the center, the fabric tends to kind of flow and look a bit rumpled:

2 ways of attaching hexagon appliques

In a close-up photo like this, you might think it's more noticeable than it actually is. In real life, I barely notice it at all - so I think it all boils down to personal preference. Hand-sewing each edge down is a time-consuming, slow craft, but I enjoy the soft vintage look and feel of it!

Another way to applique

I had just bought some Pellon paper-backed interfacing, and I was curious to try attaching my appliques this way...

2 ways of attaching hexagon appliques

I traced my hexagon on the paper side...

2 ways of attaching hexagon appliques

Gave the applique a quick press, removed the papers, and pressed it again to keep the edges extra neat...

2 ways of attaching hexagon appliques

Cut out the Pellon...
2 ways of attaching hexagon appliques

Ironed it down, peeled off the paper backing...
2 ways of attaching hexagon appliques

Then I ironed the applique onto the towel, and voila! My new tea towel!

applique tea towel

I like how crisp the edges look and how nice and flat the entire applique is. This is definitely a more photogenic piece...

2 ways of attaching hexagon appliques

On the left, hand-sewn applique secured only on the edges; on the right, applique secured with paper-backed fusible interfacing.

More Hexagon Projects

Hexagon placemats

When I realized how FAST and easy attaching my appliques with Pellon was, I went a bit nuts with it. :)

one more hexagon towel

I spent a whole afternoon appliquing anything that would sit still long enough! Ok, maybe I didn't go THAT crazy. But I did end up with matching placemats and another tea towel, seen above. I loved adding more than one big hexagon flower, and the bold graphic look it has.

It was in this full-tilt applique madness that I discovered that some fabrics did not take to the applique as well - my tea towels have a weave to them, so that might be part of the problem, but the edges did begin to lift and separate.

So all in all, I think the best option for items you will throw in the wash frequently is to secure with paper-backed interfacing AND hand-stitched edges. If you aren't going to wash your items, just paper-backed interfacing is probably fine.

Which Applique Method is Better?

I think both methods have their pros and cons and it all boils down to personal taste.

Hand-sewn Applique
Pros:
Stitching is virtually invisible
Finished applique is soft and moves more like fabric

Cons:
Time consuming (could be a pro if you like slow-stitching)
Fabric rumples a bit (could be a pro if you like this more vintage look)

Paper-backed Interfacing Applique

Pros:
Very fast!
Finished applique lays very flat and sharp corners are preserved.

Cons:
Fabric has a stiffer feel and look
Edges must be very neat before ironing as they will show through if they are bulky
Certain fabrics don't take perfectly, and parts of your applique may start to lift

What do you think?

Have you tried either method of applique? Which do you think looks better? Which do you prefer to stitch?

Next week: Embroidery!

Next week, I'll take you through my experiments in adding embroidery to my hexagon projects!

Hi, I'm floresita, editor of Feeling Stitchy. I'm an avid stitcher, knitter, and crafter. You can see more of my stitching on Instagram and my blog. My vintage transfer collection is on Vintage Transfer Finds.

Feel free to email me with any ideas for the blog!

June 12, 2019

Wonderful Wednesday #74: Mollie Johanson

Wonderful Wednesday 74 - Mollie Johanson EPP Ties pattern as featured by floresita on Feeling Stitchy

I hope you were inspired by my Project a Month post last week on English Paper Piecing!

Maybe you'd like to try your hand at EPP, but don't want to dive too deep just yet - well, this lovely FREE Father's Day card tutorial by Mollie Johanson is perfect for you! I just adore this bow tie - and it has me remembering with fondness my dad's epic collection of ties. Sadly I didn't keep any, but the memory of them lingers on. :)


Isn't it funny how once you start doing something, you begin to notice it everywhere? That's how it is with English Paper Piecing and hexagons lately - I see them everywhere! This is an older tutorial by Mollie, but super cute and super quick to make just in time for Father's Day!

Hi, I'm floresita, editor of Feeling Stitchy. I'm an avid stitcher, knitter, and crafter. You can see more of my stitching on Instagram and my blog. My vintage transfer collection is on Vintage Transfer Finds.

Feel free to email me with any ideas for the blog!

June 7, 2019

Project a Month: English Paper Piecing - Liza Lucy on Creativebug

Project a Month 7 - English Paper Piecing a Creativebug class with Liza Lucy as featured by floresita on Feeling Stitchy

Here's something I thought I'd never try - hand-sewing and paper piecing- but after following along with the English Paper Piecing class with Liza Lucy on Creativebug, I finally felt confident enough to give it a try!

About Creativebug

This is not a sponsored post - I've had a monthly subscription to Creativebug since January - and I highly recommend it if you are looking to jumpstart your creativity. Cheaper than Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Hulu, cheaper still than individual crafting books and kits, and time very well spent, in my opinion.

If you have any doubts about a monthly subscription to Creativebug, do look around first and be sure that there are classes that pique your curiosity - Creativebug is light on hand embroidery, but I am enjoying supplementing my creative skills in general, as with this English Paper Piecing class.

My final project will include not just paper piecing and hand-sewing, but also of course, some embroidery!

My Materials

English paper piecing

My materials for this project (a few pictured above):
scrap paper (for piecing)
hexagon template
needle
thread
scissors
rotary cutter
self-healing cutting mat
thrifted men's shirts

This spread in a book called Patchcraft by Elsie Svennas was what first inspired me:
Patchcraft by Elsie Svennas

I got the general idea, but wasn't sure about the little details...

Enter the English Paper Piecing class with Liza Lucy on Creativebug -  her class is so clear, so detailed, so easy to understand. I am sure you can find many online tutorials and resources out there, but I think what sets this class apart is the quality of the content and Liza Lucy's eye for color and detail.

What is Paper Piecing?

Some of you may be wondering (as I always was) what the heck is paper piecing? Just hearing the word gave me jitters, and I'd skip over anything that required this skill because I was so intimidated by quilting in general.

But it's really so easy!

Paper piecing just means using pieces of paper cut to a specific shape to serve as a template to wrap your fabric around and keep it in place while sewing it together. It helps keep your edges sharp and neat and keep your fabric from going all wonky. You tack your fabric around the paper piece using either temporary glue or basting stitches. The last step is removing the papers and basting stitches, just before your item is finished.

My project

Project a Month June

I started by cutting into my 7 thrifted men's shirts - cutting the hexagons with my template and rotary cutter was time-consuming but fun, and I had a good time moving all the pieces around like a little puzzle.

English paper piecing

Then, using scrap paper cut to the size of my template I folded the fabric over the edges of my paper and hand-basted them using long, quick stitches...

English paper piecing

DON'T do what I did here and DO use a heavy thread in a contrasting color - use the cheapo stuff in the wacky colors you never use, since it's all going to come off, anyway. I only had white with me, so I used white, which is a bit hard to see.

English paper piecing

I was three hexagons in, and totally itching to do more! I loved the look of all the contrasting stripes and checks together.

By the next morning:
English paper piecing

I was 35 hexagons in and I was utterly hooked! I'd spent the whole night basting these little hexagons, and only stopped when I was too exhausted to lift my needle. I had so much fun moving the shapes around and experimenting with the flower shape.

Once your hexagons are basted, the next step is to sew them together!
English paper piecing

English Paper Piecing

The paper provides a firm foundation, keeping your shapes crisp and neat as you sew. Don't take them out until you are absolutely finished!

English paper piecing

Here's the thread I'm using, if you're curious - it is extra fine. I used the thinnest needle I had, from a lovely vintage stash I bought recently.

English paper piecing

And here is a completed flower!

English paper piecing

And another!

A word on imperfection

On Instagram, some people commented on the neatness of my stitching - but don't let these pictures fool you - they are far from perfect. I really like that Liza Lucy talks about this in her class and gives you a bit of confidence that even when your shapes don't match up exactly, it's not the end of the world, and you can probably get them to line up just fine when you sew them together.

My scrap paper hexagons were not exact and my edges were wonky, but I still got some nice flowers out of them, so beginners don't freak out if your edges don't completely match. My more advanced stitchers know that the crucial thing to getting pieces to match up are templates of the exact same size - there are store bought pieces if this is very important to you.

What I love about these hexagon shapes is that the possibilities are endless - I'm just using fabric scraps - but imagine what you can do, in your favorite colors and textures! I love the idea of re-purposing something old and making it new again, which is why I'm using scraps, but how many of you have a huge fabric stash waiting to be used? This is the technique to try if you've always wanted to try patchwork or applique!

Stitch along with me!

Again, I am stitching along with the English Paper Piecing class with Liza Lucy on Creativebug, this class is well worth your time if you'd like to learn this method. Next week I'll show you what I did with my hexagons!

Have any of you tried English paper piecing? What are your likes and dislikes? Do you have any suggestions or questions? Leave a comment for us!

Hi, I'm floresita, editor of Feeling Stitchy. I'm an avid stitcher, knitter, and crafter. You can see more of my stitching on Instagram and my blog. My vintage transfer collection is on Vintage Transfer Finds.

Feel free to email me with any ideas for the blog!

May 29, 2019

Wonderful Wednesday #73: Marigold and Mars

Wonderful Wednesday 73 - Marigold and Mars Hands pattern as featured by floresita on Feeling Stitchy

I have had my eye on this beautiful Hands pattern by Marigold and Mars for some time - previously this was only available as a hand-embroidered item by the artist herself, but as with all embroidery, I was itching to try a version of my own!

The colors she's chosen for this simple yet beautiful design are gorgeous:

Marigold and Mars has also had a book published recently - if you love the look of that pattern, you'll also want to check out: Hoop Dreams: Modern Hand Embroidery by Cristina Morgan!

Just so you know, this link is an Amazon Affiliate link - clicking through the link and buying costs no more for you and is one way to support our volunteer reviews.


For more things Marigold and Mars, be sure to follow her on Instagram: @marigoldandmars

Hi, I'm floresita, editor of Feeling Stitchy. I'm an avid stitcher, knitter, and crafter. You can see more of my stitching on Instagram and my blog. My vintage transfer collection is on Vintage Transfer Finds.

Feel free to email me with any ideas for the blog!

May 23, 2019

Project a Month: Sweet Home Ebook by Cutesy Crafts

Project a Month 6 - Sweet Home Ebook by Cutesy Crafts a feature by floresita for Feeling Stitchy

Remember that lovely Sweet Home Embroidery Ebook by Cutesy Crafts? Jessica was kind enough to share a copy of her Ebook with me, and I was determined to stitch something from it!

I chose the "Home" pattern - which has a lovely palette of navy blue, gray, coral and teal - colors I always love to stitch with! And yes, I did 2 projects this month, with time to spare. I'm glad I'm gaining speed on my finishes!

I started with the appliqué part first, and can I just admit, appliqué terrifies me?

Sweet Home Ebook by Cutesy Crafts

I used the same Ecru quilting cotton for the little house that I used in the Mother's Day Stitchalong, and a navy linen I've used for several projects now.

I didn't have the paper-backed interfacing that the pattern calls for, so instead I ironed on a lightweight interfacing and stitched it to my fabric the old fashioned way, with pins to secure it and a blanket stitch:

Sweet Home Ebook by Cutesy Crafts

And that's when I realized, appliqué really isn't that terrifying. Why had I been waiting so long to just try it?

As I stitched, it finally made sense to me that the blanket stitches protect and secure the raw edges of the appliqué. I also think the lightweight interfacing helped keep the raw edges secured and the appliqué house flat, but I'm not 100% sure on that.

Sweet Home Ebook by Cutesy Crafts

And voila! My first-ever appliqué done! You might notice that there is a mark from the pin I used to hold it in place, but I didn't stress about that, and the mark came out easily after washing and ironing later...

Sweet Home Ebook by Cutesy Crafts

When it came to transferring the pattern, I didn't have any advanced technique - I used tracing paper to prick the outline of the design, and filled in the pinpricks with chalk. Then I connected the dots using a chalk pencil.

If I had white carbon paper, I'd have used that instead - the pinprick method was messy and laborious!

Sweet Home Ebook by Cutesy Crafts

I could have used an iron on transfer pencil at this point, but I didn't want to have to flip the image, trace, and iron. So instead I stitched directly over the tracing paper, and picked out the paper after stitching:

Sweet Home Ebook by Cutesy Crafts

I used 6 strands of floss and back stitch for these letters, as the pattern calls for, in a technique very similar to the Mother's Day Stitchalong earlier this month.

Sweet Home Ebook by Cutesy Crafts

Here's a peek at the rest of the lovely colors that pattern calls for - I did make a few substitutions - the lightest peach color was too light for me, so I chose a darker - I didn't have the darkest teal the pattern calls for, so I just used the closest shade I had.

I stitched all the dark teal stems then moved on to the coral lazy daisy stitches... which brings me to this question...

Who out there hates stitching with all 6 strands of embroidery floss?

Sweet Home Ebook by Cutesy Crafts

I sure do. I know this chunky look is popular with modern embroiderers on Instagram, and I love it when others use it, but my threads *always* tangle when I use all 6 strands.

There were lots of helpful suggestions on Instagram, with Jessica from Cutesy Crafts beinng kind enough to chime in - try another needle, strip your threads, try 3 strands, folded over, and I tried them all, but still I'd get the tangles you see above.

Sweet Home Ebook by Cutesy Crafts

So I substituted 4 strands for the lighter coral lazy daisies, and I think they look just fine. Perhaps a tiny bit less chunky, but just as lovely!

Sweet Home Ebook by Cutesy Crafts

Next I stitched the light teal leaves in a fishbone stitch - I found this stitch a bit more challenging on linen, vs. quilting cotton. It looks less clean and regular, to me.

I tried 4 strands and 3 strands of floss, I preferred the look of 3 strands, which you see here.

Sweet Home Ebook by Cutesy Crafts

Next I stitched my woven wheel roses.

Sweet Home Ebook by Cutesy Crafts

Those are always easy and fun.

Sweet Home Ebook by Cutesy Crafts

And done! I don't like to stitch my gifts right before I give them, but I at least had time to wash and press my project, which caused me some anxiety - what if the colors ran, what if the appliqué shrank (I hadn't remembered to pre-wash, of course), what if I couldn't get the wrinkles out?

Sweet Home Ebook by Cutesy Crafts

But it all came out beautifully, I think! I ironed my project damp, face down on a towel, taking care not to smoosh the woven wheel roses. Then I flipped it over and very very carefully ironed the appliqué, taking care not to iron and flatten the embroidered letters.

The slight shrinking helped removed the buckling in my appliqué, so it all worked out!

This was a quick stitch- it only took me a few days, and it was very fun and lovely. If you'd like to stitch this pattern, you can find it, as I mentioned in the Sweet Home Embroidery Ebook by Cutesy Crafts, it is chock full of lovely patterns, I highly recommend it! I wouldn't be surprised if I work in another project from Jessica's Ebook later this year!

Hi, I'm floresita, editor of Feeling Stitchy. I'm an avid stitcher, knitter, and crafter. You can see more of my stitching on Instagram and my blog. My vintage transfer collection is on Vintage Transfer Finds.

Feel free to email me with any ideas for the blog!

May 22, 2019

Wonderful Wednesday 72 - New Leaf Stitchery

Wonderful Wednesday 72 New Leaf Stitchery as featured by floresita on Feeling Stitchy

How beautiful is this Gingko Leaves pattern by New Leaf Stitchery? If you were fans of Sew Jenaissance you'll recognize their lovely style, New Leaf Stitchery is their new name.

I love all the imaginative color combinations here:
Gingko leaves pattern by New Leaf Stitchery on Etsy as featured by floresita on Feeling Stitchy

Be sure to follow @newleafstitchery on Instagram - this year they've done some lovely stitchalongs with free patterns, which you can find as well on their site: https://newleafstitchery.com/.

Hi, I'm floresita, editor of Feeling Stitchy. I'm an avid stitcher, knitter, and crafter. You can see more of my stitching on Instagram and my blog. My vintage transfer collection is on Vintage Transfer Finds.

Feel free to email me with any ideas for the blog!

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