September 30, 2007

Creepy, cute, and crawly Halloween

Still looking for ideas so that you can participate in Amy's Halloween Challenge? Have you tried coloring books? Search for halloween coloring pages using your favorite search engine. Try searching for vampire coloring, halloween coloring, pumpkin coloring, etc. If you're using Google, click on Images. Here are some of my favorite finds:



September 28, 2007

Shabby Digital - original embroidery designs

Edit April 2009: The Shabby Digitals blog is no longer in service, so this freebie is out of comission. Sorry! :(

Looking for a beautifully creepy design for the Halloween challenge? Try this free sugar skull pattern by Carolina of Shabby Digital designs (remember to tag your picture "Halloween Stitchery" so we can feature your work!) She also has 2 sheets of Halloween patterns for sale on her blog- my favorite is the "zombie doll"! :)


Carolina just started selling embroidery patterns on her blog - as a former tattoo artist, her designs are intricate, edgy, and beautifully drawn. She was generous to offer me some designs to stitch, and they are all amazing....


I stitched a beautiful virgencita from her "Goddess" patterns:
new tea towel


Here's a mini-interview I did with Carolina - enjoy!
How did you get started embroidering?
I started embroidering a few months after I had to stop tattooing, after seeing many tattoo-inspired embroidery on Flickr.

What type of embroidery appeals to you most?

I like freehand embroidery, crazy quilt embroidery and anything that looks more like a painting. I like to frame and hang and I rarely ever embroider on clothes or things for everyday use. I wish I had lots more time for embroidery, it's so relaxing...

What inspires you to create?
Everything inspires me to create, but I'd say tattoo art, comic art and art nouveau are my main influences when it comes to design.


To learn more about Carolina and her embroidery patterns, visit her blog, Shabby Digital: http://shabbydigital.wordpress.com/ Thanks Carolina!

September 27, 2007

Halloween Challenge

Autumn is here, September is already ending, but the best is yet to come...October! Feeling Stitchy is now beginning a monthly theme or challenge for all stitchers interested. I guess you probably know what this first embroidery challenge is, yes Halloween!

The rules are simple:
1. Stitch on any item you want: t-shirt, pincushion, wall hanging, candy bag. Just stitch a Halloween design.
2. Post a picture of your work at the flickr embroidery group with a statement about your piece, possibly even where you found the pattern.
3. Tag your photo "Halloween Stitchery" so that Feeling Stitchy can highlight some of the work.
4. Have fun!

The Halloween pattern, pictured above, was provided by Emily - visit her blog if you want a PDF version. Thanks Emily, way to get the ball rolling!

Here is a mosaic full of inspiration. It is already posted at the flickr embroidery group and you can find out who created these great pieces.

Happy Spooky Stitching! (for lack of a better line : )

September 26, 2007

new from the pool

I'm always amazed at how many new projects are added to the embroidery pool every week. Maybe it's because we have grown to such a large group now!

Here's a few projects that caught my eye.

First up - Amanda also known as BugnBit has embroidered this funky flower onto some jeans. Very cute.


Evie created this embroidery of a sausage dog. This is her first attempt too! I love the stripey jumper, or sweater I guess, depending on what country you're from. Also called a jersey, if you're a kiwi. Anyway, I digress...


This set of vintage 'his and her' images are gorgeous. Melinda (also my middle name for all you trivia buffs out there) posted them to our embroidery group. I love the lady in the shower.

September 20, 2007

What's happening in the pool?

There are so many cute things, I don't know where to begin!

This lovely cherry blossom has been stiched by Melissa from binah06. She has heaps more cute embroidery on her profile, so go and take a look.


Rachel (also known as burb_mama) recently finished this cute little girl picture with a really sweet border.


Melissa (yes! another one!) from sunnydayshere is stitching this gorgeous little car on a tote for her nephew.

September 18, 2007

Flower Pattern

Flower Pattern

This pattern is free for non-commercial use. If you'd like to share it via blogs or websites, please provide a link to this blog.

And don't forget to post photos of any projects you make using this pattern!! ;-)

September 17, 2007

Interview with Aimee Ray



Q. Aimee, how long have you been embroidering and how did you get started?

A. My grandma first showed me how to embroider when I was about 5, she used to bring samplers for me to work on whenever she came to visit. I hadn't done any embroidery for a long time though, until a few years ago when I picked it up again and started stitching some of my own designs. I am a greeting card designer by day so I do a lot of computer art and design. I think one of the things that drew me to embroidery was that it is so completely opposite from that! It is an age old, primitive art form, but easy to pick up and adapt to contemporary art styles. I also find it sort of relaxing and meditative, and a great project to work on just sitting on the couch,watching a movie.

Q. I have been admiring your work on Flickr; you create some wonderful trees. Do you get a lot of inspiration from nature?


A. Absolutely! I've always been a nature girl, I love to be outside. Animals and nature are endless sources of inspiration and trees are one of my favorite things to draw or stitch.

Q. I noticed you have a degree in graphic design and illustration so I imagine sketching comes naturally. What started the process of you sketching with thread?


A. I have always done random sketches in my sketchbooks, usually tiny and done with very little thought- almost stream of consciousness. :) They can be actual drawings of things or just abstract shapes and lines. I guess it just struck me one day that some of them might make cool embroidery art, so I blew one up and transferred it to fabric. These have become some of my favorite embroideries I have done. I always use removable transfer pens so I can improvise or expand on my original sketches. That way I have a basic design I like to start with, but I'm free to add or change things as I stitch.

Q. Speaking of sketching with thread, you have a book out, Doodle Stitching. Congratulations! Can you tell us about the book and what we might find in it?

A. Thanks! It's been great seeing it finally out in the world! Doodle Stitching contains all kinds of my original embroidery patterns, each one with instructions for a fun, easy project to stitch them onto. There is also a section describing the tools and materials you'll need, as well as illustrated instructions on how to create many different stitches. So whether you're just starting out embroidering, or have been at it awhile, I hope you will find something there to inspire you.

Q. Could you give some advice for those who do not have an art background but would like to create their own embroidery designs?


A. Doodle as much as you can! Seriously, simple line drawings make great embroidery patterns. You may not think you have great drawing abilities, but some of the coolest embroideries I've seen are just simple patterns or line drawings with some creative thread work. Kids' drawings work great too. Don't be afraid to experiment or make a few mistakes.

Q. What other interests do you have besides crafting?


A. My husband Josh, gardening, dreams, toys (most recently Blythedolls), flickr, my dogs, Mystery Science Theatre, fantasy books and movies, weird music...

Q. Your embroidered canvases are wonderful; what a great way to display your pieces! Was the embroidery created on fabric and did you do anything special to stretch it over the canvas?


A. Some of them are fabric, and I just stretched them over the wood canvas frame. For others, I took the canvas off of already-stretched canvases and stitched directly onto that. It's already the right size, and it's stiff so you don't need a hoop. When I finished, I just stapled it back on the frame. I like displaying my embroideries this way, for some reason I've never really liked putting them in picture frames behind glass.

Q. What is an average day like for you?


A. I go to work at my day job, come home and walk my dogs, then work on craft projects! Scattered throughout my daily routine is lots of Internet browsing and drawing or writing random things in my sketchbook.


I've recently done a small series of illustrative "portraits" of some of my childhood heroes, starting with this one of Shel Silverstein. Embroidery seems the perfect medium somehow to commemorate these fabulous people. Perhaps because I learned embroidery as a child. Others in this series so far are Crystal Gayle and Jacques Cousteau, with more to come.


"hill man" is probably one of my least abstract embroideries. I love fantasy, which probably leads to my envisioning faces in nature. I love for my artwork to be narrative, for it to tell a story of its own. I see lots of potential stories in this one. I don't like to explain too much, but let the viewer find their own story in my pictures.
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Thanks so much Aimee, your work is wonderful! To check out more of Aimee Ray, go to her website, dream follow. And you can also purchase Doodle Stitching at her Etsy shop!

September 15, 2007

Handmade fabric acorn

While we are on the subject of softies, here is a tutorial I wrote for making a fabric acorn. With a little help, even children can make these. Wouldn't the world be a better place if pretty colorful acorns decorated it?

Tutorial here

September 13, 2007

Softies!


Looking for some inspiration? Why not try this new book, by Terry of Softies Central fame! There are SO many fun patterns it's hard to know where to start, and all the directions are very carefully explained.

For example, I finally learned why my corners are never properly rounded - I need to clip the seams! Each pattern tells you what kind of skills you need and there are plenty of embroidered softies to be found. You'll see many beginner-level projects to start out with and there are also some wonderful, challenging patterns for more "advanced" crafters.

So, having made a total of 10 softies in my life, I decided I must be advanced and took on the Portuguese Plaid pattern for this little doggie:

cute little doggie

The pattern directions were so clear and helpful that it was actually almost perfect, even though this was my first 3-d softie! The legs, or "bottom view" are less than perfect because it was 2 in the morning, I was sleepy and cranky and stopped following the instructions. Don't be like me - follow the instructions, and do try this book out for some amazing softie inspiration!

Also be sure to check the Softies Tour dates - that's right some of the actual softies are going on tour - signing books might be a problem, but I'm sure they wouldn't mind a little papparazzi! :)

September 12, 2007

from the pool

Although it's getting warmer here in Oz, it's not quite warm enough for a swim! Here's some fun stuff I found in the embroidery pool this week.

Wardi has posted some lovely seasonal embroidery, including this one called Seasons.


Kristen (also known as knitonequilttoo) made these cute patches. You should definitely check out her photos. There's some beautiful quilts as well as embroidery.




This last one from the pool was posted by LR Monkey Toes. She picked it up from a garage sale. Lucky find!

September 6, 2007

post-vacation loveliness

from Amy


from Jane


from Sabine&cats


Need some inspiration for a new project?

For those of you who were wondering why it was quiet on the floresita front, "le Carotte" and I were in Maine for the long weekend. It may take a few days to get me back into full-chatty mode - so to anyone who has emailed me you'll be hearing from me soon! :)