March 31, 2010

Prepare to be Woo'd!

For today's installment of "5 questions with a manbroiderer" I am thrilled to introduce those of you unfamiliar with his work to Howie Woo, aka WooWork on Flickr.

I first came across Howie's work via the Manbroidery pool on Flickr, where he had posted his "All-Thumbs Portable Reviewer" (below) and the series of photos that, essentially, told the story of Howie's day. I was immediately struck not only by Howie's evident talent, but by the colorful personality and abundant whimsy that shines through his work (helped along by his beautiful photographic style). I don't know about you guys, but I absolutely love seeing such crafty talent combined with a healthy sense of humor. And that's what Howie does so well. This guy is hilarious, people!

Those initial photos led me to Howie's photostream and ultimately to his blog, I soon found myself several hours poorer but several smiles richer, and I was convinced that I wanted to highlight Howie and his work here on Feeling Stitchy. Though more of a yarn crafter than an embroiderer, I just knew our readers would enjoy his work.

So, without further ado, please join me for 5 6 questions with Howie Woo!

It is evident that you are a prolific crafter. What types and styles of crafting do you enjoy, and which would you say is your favorite?

After making 2D movies and 2D drawings for most of my life, it's an addictive thrill to crochet something in plushy 3D!

I don't have a favorite craft, but it's always fun to learn crafty new ways to share stories.

When did you first start making things? How did you become interested in crafting?

Since I was a child, I would wander into yarn aisles and marvel at the wide range of colours and texures. After decades of bugging people to make something yarny for me, I finally tried crocheting when my girlfriend began crocheting scarves in 2008.

How would you describe your style?

I try to keep my stories and creations playful, which is a fun challenge when life isn't always set at "playfulness priority mode"!

It's clear that humor plays a huge role in your work. Can you tell us more about your sense of humor and how it influences your projects?

In person, I don't talk much or tell funny stories (my girlfriend, MJ, is the one who can make a room erupt into laughter), so seeing the reactions to my yarn tales is a rare treat for me.
What is your favorite craft project that you've made? That someone else has made?

My latest craft projects are always my favourite, but my favourite craft project from someone else is BitterSweet's rabbit that she crocheted from a paper clip while stuck in a hospital. I admire the idea of making fun things even in grim situations.

Who are the people who inspire you?

My girlfriend, my mom, and the online crochet community have been incredibly supportive. I'm so grateful for their encouragement, and they inspire me to keep learning and to, ideally, keep improving.

Thanks so much for sharing your work with us, Howie!

Do you know any manbroiderers that should be featured here on Feeling Stitchy? Do you have any questions that you'd like our manbroiderers to answer? If so, please leave me a comment below!


Stitched by bebejack

All I can say is :)

March 29, 2010

Buttons, buttons, buttons

Nature-ish Buttons
Stitched by wildolive

Every time I peep into the pool I see even more fabulous buttons from the Feeling Stitchy button swap. You peeps are amazing! :)

March 28, 2010

Patterns: Octo-bunny

Now I wasn't planning on any specific Easter embroidery but then this Birdbird fella swam menacingly into the Flickr pool and persuaded me otherwise. Free pattern here!

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!

March 27, 2010

fs embroidered button swap

Hand stitched Liberty print fabric buttons by teasemade

__ Embroidered buttons by Adaiha
FS Swap Nest with Robins Eggs by craftydill
Backstitch embroidered button by TheCraftyLibrarian
And finally, how could you not love these sweet little bees that crafty mcgee has stitched for her partner craftydill -
FS Swap Received - Bees & Flowers
This is just a small selection of my favorites so far from the embroidered button swap. Aren't they great! To see more of the buttons and goodies being swapped link here
If you're taking part please remember to tag your Flickr photos 'fsswap' so we can find you!

March 26, 2010

Tea- Bird

Geninne did an outstanding job stitching this little fellow on a  linen tea towel. Believe it or not but these are all tiny chain stitches. You can even embroider your own version of this cute bird because Geninne generously shares the pattern on her blog. Thank you Geninne!

March 25, 2010

Swap Stitches

The Phat Quarter, the official flickr group for MrXStitch, is in the middle of a comic themed swap right now. Floresita already shared the amazing Tract Embroidery from snarkypants - here's a few more of my favorites pieces from the swap so far.

Finished Persepolis 001

Panels from Persepolis stitched by feminizzle

Because everyone has days like this.

A Far Side comic stitched by lisalady161


A Natalie Dee comic stitched by carrie_76

This is just the tip of the iceberg. By the time the swap is complete, there will be over 30 comic inspired pieces stitched by some seriously talented people. I'll be showcasing each one of them at MrXStitch over the next few weeks. Be sure to join the Phat Quarter if you would like to participate in our next swap. I don't know what the theme will be, but I do know it's always a lot of fun. :)

March 23, 2010

Rebecca Levi: Dirty Lines

Bad Romance - Detail
Stitched by badecca

Rebecca Levi (badecca) has a solo embroidery show this weekend (March 27-28) called "Dirty Lines" in Brooklyn.

Bad Romance - Inset

Rebecca, tell us a little bit about yourself, your methods, and your show:

I know a lot of folks on here from the embroidery Flickr and blogging communities. I'm going to be showing a 10-year retrospective of my artwork this weekend (March 27-March 28) in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. It's going to be the first time I've had my embroidery work in a gallery, and I'm really excited to debut it! My dream is to connect with other people in the NYC embroidery community at this little show.

Like many folks on Feeling Stitchy, I enjoy embroidering unusual and unexpected subject matter. This collection of work was inspired by found images and ephemera that I've culled from flea markets, vintage male physique magazines, erotic trading cards, old LIFE articles, and other sources.

I typically hand draw the image on water color paper, then scan and play with the size, and then trace it on fabric prior to embroidering it (here's an example of the drawing before and the stitching after). I used to display these pieces strictly on pillows, which are such perfect, manageable canvases.

For this show, I've framed a lot of my more complex pieces into large 20"x20" wall hangings. I used this technique that I found on Needle'n Thread, where you sort of sew a corset in the back of the frame. I must say, I'm pretty thrilled to get off the work off of the couch and on to the wall.

I'm particularly excited to show my new series "Bad Romance" (yes, named after the Lady Gaga song), based on 1950s romance comics. These were a lot of fun, and I plan to do more multi-panel comix-inspired work in the future.

Please note that this show features adult content - but we're all adults, right?

Thanks, Rebecca! I can't wait to see her embroidery in person, isn't the color and texture in her work amazing?

March 22, 2010

My favourite embroidery book...

Ike Owls

Ike Rosen has influenced me hugely.

"Modern Embroidery" is one of my all time favourite embroidery books. It was published in English in 1972 & is worth buying for the fabulous styling alone! Apart from that I love the use of chain stitch as a "fill" stitch. It's now my filler of choice.

Ike Mushrooms

I really truly think that anybody who has a keen interest in stitchery should own a copy.

Ike Easter

There are quite a few super cute easter projects too.

If you can track one down on ebay it's a great one to have in the library.

Edit: You guys are keen...excellent.

Here are the particulars for anybody now on the hunt

Modern Embroidery
by Ike Rosen
First published in English 1972
B.T Batsford Ltd
ISBN 0 7134 2655 1

March 19, 2010

A little Amelie for you...

'Dreamer' Stitch Picture
Stitched by Stitcher Scribbler

It's always a good day for an Amelie quote. Thanks, Stitcher Scribbler!

March 17, 2010

Luck of the Irish

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Hope all of you are wearing green, otherwise you get a big ol' pinch from yours truly! Here are just a few of the great  St. Paddy's day projects to get you in the spirit.

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!

Get Your Stitch On

Neato 70's-looking illustration all embroidered up. I think this gal is fretting to a friend about feeling "fresh". I especially love that it's stitched over a pink check in stark black and red. Do you think that hair is solidly stitched or if theginchiest appliquéd fabric? Maybe she can tell us. Reminds me of "Get Your War On"!


March 16, 2010

Hello, Hedgies!

How could you not love this pair of machine-embroidered hedgehogs framed in some fun springtime fabrics? Eagle-eyed quilters might recognize some of Denyse Schmidt's hard-to-find Flea Market Fancy prints in the mix. This pillow was made by Flickr user pinkpaisley.

How about you? Have you featured any of your embroidery in your home decor items? Post your links in the comment thread!

I heart this ghost

small ghost
Stitched by Katie Aaberg

Need I say more? I don't think so. Thanks, Katie!

March 15, 2010

Embroidery Project - - - roll up carry alls

This is one from the archives but I thought you might enjoy.

Embroidered carry alls & then a very basic construction.

Knock yourselves out with the...

PDFs ready to trace & stitch.
Chicko Roll
Rock n Roll
Stitch n Roll

March 14, 2010

Patterns: Andwabisabi

I first came across Andwabisabi's charming designs in the Flickr pool; with this cute alligator / crocodile stitched by Sarachung.

So, I just had to get some cross stitch action for myself and amongst the patterns I bought, was this lovely TV design, perfect for making up into a cushion for the sofa, where we, well, spend all our time watching TV.

Andwabisabi carries an astonishing array of different, colourful cross stitch patterns, ranging from the simpler to the more time consuming. I have the .pdf of her large Dream City pattern waiting, ready to go. Definitely a shop I will keep checking back with.

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!

March 13, 2010

Sweet tweets

' Birdcage' - embroidered button brooch by knittinjo

I fell in love with this tinted linen birdcage as soon as I saw it! And I think I may have found the little bluebird that escaped from the cage on this wonderful sheet of wip buttons by BrooklyneChaos ...

Something for the weekend -
Check out this sweet freebie birdcage embroidery pattern by Aimee Ray!
SWAP - Just a little reminder that the post date for the Embroidered Button Swap is next Friday (19th)! I can't wait to see what you've all been stitching!
Have a lovely weekend x

March 12, 2010

Dandelion Fluff in a Square

What can I say, I just love embroidered Dandelion Fluff! This Dandelion looks like it's made with tiny (tiny!) cross stitches and french knots and fly stitches for the fluff. Emily's cute embroidered squares are part of the 39 squares Stitch A Long. The good news is that you can still join in and embroider along.

March 11, 2010

MST3K Love

The hunks of MST3K
Stitched by vegkat

I just can't get enough of the MST3K crafts! Thanks, vegkat. :)

Stitchy Woman: Laura Amiss

Hello friends!  It's been such a very long time since I've shared an interview with a creative woman - but I was so inspired by the work of Laura Amiss, that I couldn't help but ask her to do a mini interview!  So please get comfy and join me as I get to know a little more about this wonderfully talented textile artist!

Laura, Could you please tell us a little bit about yourself?
LA: I am English but for nearly seven years I have been living in Amsterdam, The Netherlands with my husband and slightly wild but lovely children.

I graduated in Textiles from Goldsmiths College at the University of London in 2003. After graduating I moved to Amsterdam and started working in the costume Atelier of the National Ballet and Opera house, which was both amazing and daunting (not speaking that much Dutch at the time).

Then life became pretty busy with babies and toddlers, although I have always made things, whether that be my wedding dress, paintings, gifts or clothes for my kids.

Here in Amsterdam I am surrounded by incredible fabric stores, which are a constant source of inspiration. I often draw inspiration from very ordinary things, I love simple lines and subtle color combinations. My two passions are textiles and illustration and I have endeavored to combine the two in my work.

So has working in this medium always been your passion?
LA: I have always enjoyed mixed media art work. It was whilst doing an Art and Design Foundation course that I really became hooked on textiles which then lead me on to my Degree. I love the physicality of working with textiles and have always been interested in it's language and history.

Wow, I see that you worked at the Costume Atelier at the National Ballet and Opera House!  What was that like? 
LA: It was pretty nerve racking! In London I used to work on the West End show MammaMia so I did have experience of working in Theatre wardrobe departments, but the Atelier at the Opera house really put my sewing skills to the test. I was working with amazing seamstresses in a very traditional environment, the amount of work and skill that went in to the costumes was incredible. I learned a lot while I was there, including a lot of useful Dutch words that make my Dutch sound more impressive than it actually is in my local haberdashery shop.

Let's talk a bit about your textile canvases.  I just love the color palettes you use in your work, and the imagery itself (I'm a huge fan of the umbrellas)!  Where do you find inspiration for your pieces?
LA: I really enjoy putting colors together, often a piece can begin with color rather than an image. I love 1950s fashion illustrations and have recently been interested in exploring old proverbs and poetry and seeing how I can translate them visually. The titles of my pieces are important, I sometimes think I should stitch them on to the canvas. Drawing forms a crucial part of my work and inspiration, I have been trying to dedicate half an hour to sketching before I go to bed. Above all, for my most recent set of work I wanted to make people smile and be able to relate to the image easily.

I read that you layer fabric to create the muted colors we see in the finished pieces - do you want to talk at all about your process?
LA: My canvases are mostly made up of three layers, I cut shapes, layer other material in between and finally machine stitch the detail on top. The top layer is a cotton muslin which mutes the colors and pulls the image together. Often the cottons and laces that I use in the lower layers are very bright, the muslin gives them depth and texture.

Your textile canvases are so beautifully detailed - how much time do you spend on each piece?

LA: This can really vary, it also depends on how many cups of tea I decide to have! Plus I get distracted by trying out different colour combinations. The cutting and sewing on a smaller piece is usually a few hours work, I then mount them on wooden frames which I finish off with fabric on the back and add a hanger.

Being the mother of "slightly wild" children, when do you find time for your creative pursuits?
LA: Hmmm yes time is not bountiful when you have a 3 year old and another verging on 2. I work from my studio at home, I am lucky enough to have a little designated 'work' time and a very supportive husband. I like that my children are growing up in a creative house and they are used to my work being around. My daughter simply loves routing through my button collection and my son thinks I am Bob the Builder when I am making my frames.

Where can we see more of your work?

Thank you, Laura!

March 10, 2010

Quilting Bee Stitchettes Mini Quilt

I wanted to share this beautiful mini quilt made by Liz, which I am sure all of you fellow quilting stitchers will appreciate.
Quilting Bee Stitchettes

The embroidery pattern is a favorite from the Wee Wonderfuls store. So do you participate in a quilting bee? I'd love to hear about it!

Quilting Bee Stitchettes

Great job, Liz!

Hope you're all having a wonderful week.

March 8, 2010

Tract embroidery

Stitched by snarkypants

Oh, you guys can stitch a masterpiece out of anything. This latest is an embroidered panel from a scintillating tract entitled Dark Dungeons. Bravo, snarkypants!

We have winners!

28 lime green pieces of paper

I decided to go old-school for this drawing and write out 28 little lime green strips of paper, shuffle, and draw....

picking a Feeling Stitchy reader winner...

And the winning commenter, for the $50 gift certificate to Pom Love, is.....

Congrats, Devora!

Devora! Her favorite posts were: Darth Vader drinking a Pop, and The Man From Another Place. Congrats! Please email me at unafloresita AT gmail DOT com to claim your prize!

Next up, the FS blogger winner of the $50 gift certificate to The Peach Tree....

drawing the Feeling Stitchy blogger winner...

Our winner is....

Congrats, Kirsty!

One of our brand-new bloggers on Feeling Stitchy, Kirsty! Hope you enjoy this wonderful treat!

Thanks again, to everyone, for commenting, showing your love, and just in general making my day every time I log in!

Embroidery Project - - - soap saver shower mitt

Scrubber Taps

I guess by now you've done your embroidery & made your twisted cord?'re ready to whip out the machine then.

If you do make a "scrubber" maybe you could add it to the flickr pool? I'd love to see your take on the shower mitt. To make sure I don't miss it maybe you could add the tag scrubber.

March 7, 2010

Patterns: Balloon Boys and Leaves

I love how colourful these two little boys are by Novamade, you can read more about these patterns here.

I think I must be attracted to lots of colour this week because I also love this lovely free pattern by Colorfuldayz, aren't the little upside down heart shapes in variegated floss gorgeous?

Leaf Pattern

You can find the free pattern here.

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!