July 28, 2010

Bags in Bloom


I recently had the privilege of reviewing Watson Guptill's Bags in Bloom by Susan Cariello. In one word-AWESOME! Not only does the book give you great embroidery patterns to follow but it  also gives you several purse patterns to work with. Cariello's easy to follow directions made everything a breeze. My favorite part of the book are the many different stitches you can learn. She mixes those stitches with beads, buttons and sequins, so you can make a one of a kind bag. Another fun aspect of the book is that the chapters are broken into seasons of the year. You can make a unique handbag for every occasion and every weather condition imaginable .

So, a thumbs up or a thumbs down? I say a definite thumbs up for this visually stunning how-to book. Pick it up - you WILL thank me later.
My own little take on the bag in bloom. So many beads!

July 26, 2010

Interview with a manbroiderer | filmresearch

If you've visited the Manbroidery Flickr group lately, there's no doubt you've seen some fish. Lots and lots of fish. Much of this is the work of the extremely talented filmresearch, aka Mark Bieraugel. I caught up with Mark for another installation of my "questions with a manbroiderer" series, and he opened up about his background, his inspiration, and his stitching projects both current and future. Oh yeah ... and those fish, too!

Full view of name tag


Please tell us a little more about you -- your background, interests, etc.

I grew up in a household where creativity, crafts, and creation was just taken as another practical thing. That is what you get with two parents from the Midwest. My Mom seemed to always be sewing her three boys Halloween costumes or making custom shaped cakes, while my Dad was doing pen and ink sketches of planes he flew, like the S-3, or making something out of wood.

I have really found something amazing in embroidery. I love the incredibly long rich history of embroidery, the dynamic stitching world right now, and the supportive community of stitchers world wide.

Close up of Trifecta


How & when did you first become interested in embroidery? What was your first project?

I have been always drawn to needlework, but never thought I had the patience or skills to do it. I became interested in embroidery after reading about Jenny Hart and her company, Sublime Stitching. Hart seemed to have a matter-of-fact quality like my parents: that anyone can and should do embroidery. I took a class from her in Seattle in the winter of 2009 and have been madly stitching ever since. Please don’t blame her for my sometimes wonky stitches, ok?

I had been looking for a creative outlet and it turns out that embroidery is it. My first piece of embroidery was an original hand drawn graffiti ‘tag’ done by my partner which I embroidered in split and satin stitch.

Coelacanth #26: Christmas in July

Coelacanth #18: Pride Coelacanth


How would you describe your style?

Bold, passionate about color, line and pattern with a smidge of humor. Unconventional images stitched in bright colors. A friend of mine called my stitches ‘rustic’ but I prefer the term ‘enthusiastic.’

Baby unicorn, rainbow and butterfly 7x5


What inspires you?

For images I am always looking at books, especially encyclopedias and other reference books. I am also really inspired by animal and plant species, diagrams, formulas, and new stuff I have never seen before. Flickr, Esty, and other stitchers make me drool with such amazing pieces. I like the bold lines found in traditional animated films, tattoo flash, and admire artists such as Gary Baseman, Tim Biskup, and Mark Ryden. With regards to materials I hit the thrift stores to find vintage fabrics, floss and cording all of which just beg to be made into something new.

Fiber artists such as Richard Saja, Jennifer Porter/Porterness, Joetta Maue, and Frederique Morrell all continue to inspire me. Oh and Walter Bruno Brix is incredible.

Bubble Runner, full view

What is your favorite embroidery project that you've made? That someone else has made?

My favorite is ‘Cannonball Run’ for its placement of the coelacanths and the title. I like how this piece seems almost animated. The fabric, which has toy soldiers, cannons, and cannonballs and the colors all seem to work in harmony with my added coelacanths.

Cannonball Run: #20, #21, #22, #23

My current favorite piece has to be the Siphonophorae by Penny Nickels. This grand piece really inspires me to embroider something amazing, unusual, large, and from an underserved animal kingdom. Her punctiliousness and patience sort of scare me as well.

Siphonophorae in progress, 140 hours so far...


Do your friends / family / co-workers know that embroidery is a hobby of yours?

I am an over sharer, so pretty much everyone I know more than casually gets an earful about my latest stitching project. I seem to always be toting my latest piece around, if not to work on it to expose it to the nearest person. Plus I am sort of evangelical about the power of embroidery as a creative outlet, a means of relaxing, and a terrific low cost hobby.

J'adore French Knots Backwards


Do you stitch in public? If so, what is the strangest / funniest / most interesting reaction you've gotten from others?

I do stitch in public, often while waiting for appointments. With 99 coelacanths to stitch I have to embroidery when I have a bit of time. One time at a doctor’s office a man just started talking to me about how much his family used to make latch hook rugs over in England where he was stationed in the military. But most people are too busy texting to notice me stitching.

Tangerine flossing on the wall


Can you tell us about your current project, “99 Coelacanths"?

This series of coelacanths allows me to explore all types of embroidery on many different types of fabrics and materials. When I was about ten years old I read a book about the rediscovery of the coelacanth, and have thought it my favorite fish since then. Coelacanths are a primitive fish, virtually unchanged for millions of years, and they just hang out in deep water caves off the east coast of Africa. I like that they are an interesting shape, and don’t have a bunch of associations tied to them. They are a bit of an empty image I can use to explore color, pattern, and stitching techniques. Plus, living fossils are just plain cool.

As for the number 99 I like a stretch goal to aim for, and I love making a series of similar, repeated images.

Avocado Coelacanth

Beauty shot of avocado coelcanth

Coelacanth #13: Blueberry Pie Coelacanth on Gingham


What are your plans for your next project, or upcoming series?

I have a boat load of ideas for future projects, including a five foot long coelacanth, which would mean a life sized version of the critter. I am particularly excited about is a new series of 92 animals not normally seen in embroidery representing different animal phylum.

Whitework Sea Horses - Sunset Stitchery 1982

Thanks for the great interview, Mark! We can't wait to see what you do next.

Embroidery ideas - - - cupcake cozy

Cupcake Cosy

I've had this idea kicking around in my head for a while. Cupcake wrappers & cozies are all over the internet but most of them are single use.

I love the idea that these are able to be used time & time again.

What to do...
-Trace around the template using your wash out or fade out marker.
-Draw your design onto the fabric. I just scribbled the "yum" & then went over it a few times to fatten it up. I used plastic backed curtain lining which worked well but you could always use regular cotton or linen & then vliesofix a couple of layers together before you do your blanket stitching.
- Stitch your design.
- Cut around the template shape.
- Blanket stitch around the edge.
-You just need to stitch a little hook & eye onto either side of the join once you're done with the stitching.

You can collect the pdf template & a nice cupcake recipe too - - - right here.

July 25, 2010

Patterns: Once upon a rainy day

ducky1

I love the bright, almost vintage charm of this new pattern called Ducky With Her Bicycle by Gina Matarazzo. Perfect if you want to get ahead and do some slightly less summery embroidery.

Oxford Reading Tree



Stitched Reading Scheme - embroidered by Paperseaside

Now I'm not sure if the Oxford Reading Tree is just a UK thing (a quick google and I see it's been translated in over 120 countries) but I think there's a good chance that these embroideries by Paperseaside will bring a smile to the face of anyone who has learnt to read or has been a parent of anyone learning to read in the past 25 years.

I think Paperseaside has captured the charm of Alex Brychta's illustrations perfectly. Read more about her sweet reasoning behind stitching these covers and her plans to create more on her blog here.

July 20, 2010

More Teeny Tiny Birds


Floresita posted a "Teeny-tiny Bluebird" a little while back, and it reminded me that in my embroidery collection (most of which is in a trunk since I don't have enough wall-space for it all) I have teeny-tiny birds stitched in equally teeny-tiny frames. They're sewn onto a strip of wide ribbon for hanging, like a bell cord. Sadly, I don't know who stitched these little birds as they were acquired for a few dollars at a thrift store.

July 19, 2010

Embroidery DIY kit



Laura at curiousdoodles.etsy.com has a cute kit to create embroidered cards in her Etsy shop. Take a peek. Cute stuff, Laura!

July 18, 2010

Patterns: Summer Girl


Sew Lovely have posted this beautiful free Summer Girl pattern over on Flickr.

I'm finding the height of summer a little quiet on the new pattern front (is everyone out there having too much fun!), so it was lovely having a new pattern to stitch from and with a summer theme to boot!

July 16, 2010

Bullion Knot Inspiration

Last week I came across a couple of lovely examples of the Bullion Knot. Like these perfect Bullion Knots by CoeurdeFreesia.
trèfle
And these ones by Ana Vergara are wonderful as well. The Bullion Knot is also known as the Coil Stitch or Caterpillar Stitch and you'll find this stitch often in Brazilian and Portuguese embroideries. This stitch is  perfect to make flowers and roses with. This embroidery by Inger Loureiro is another great example of that 

I got so inspired by these beautiful examples in the Flickr Embroidery Group that I decided to try this stitch on a boring old cardigan I had in the back of my wardrobe. Obviously I need to add  more Bullion Knot Roses (and practice a bit more, it's far from perfect!) or maybe add some other stitching but I do think it's a rather lovely way to embellish an old cardigan.

Bullion Knot


Check out this video tutorial on Needlenthread.com  about the Bullion Knot. It's a pretty easy stitch to learn so give it a try!

July 12, 2010

Logan's Run

I almost fell over in my chair when I saw this on Craftzine's blog. I loved Logan's Run when I was a kid (I think I just showed my age)
Kiddy Amunda kicks major butt!

Vintage Embroidery

Stitching

I was lucky enough to chance upon some BEAUTIFUL table centres at an antique shop last week & thought all of you would appreciate this piece in particular.

Isn't it stunning? A bit unexpected? Beautifully executed?

July 11, 2010

Patterns: Ingalls

Things are a little quiet in new pattern creation over on Flickr this week (although if you head on over to Sublime Stitching I notice they have a new free redwork pattern).

So instead I thought I'd mention a new set of patterns from the 1886 Ingalls Pattern Book that have been cleaned up and reposted by Flickr user Jeninemd from patterns originally posted by the Embroiderist. Clicking on the link above will take you to the whole set but I particularly love this design of a spider web and roses.

1886 Ingalls Spiderweb in Roses


July 9, 2010

Obey the Hypno Toad

 Finished Hypnotoad

Surely Pam Aghababian must have been under the influence of Hypno Toad when she decided to use only fill stitches on this embroidery. But the result is absolutely amazing. It's a striking image made with only a few colours and not that much (fill)stitch variety either. Don't look Hypno Toad into his eyes for too long though or you will be fill stitching your next project too! (not that there's something wrong with that...)

July 7, 2010

Poem in stitches

This is absolutely wonderful. I love the stitching and the image. And especially how they are so perfect together.

And yes, there is a quote from a poem in there.. can you see the words?

Beautiful!

July 6, 2010

The Pillow Talk {Swap} on Flickr

pillow swap talk Button

I've participated in the first three rounds of a swap hosted on Flickr called The Pillow Talk {Swap}. Co-hosted by quilters extraordinaire Kerri and Heather, the swap was conceived for the purpose of "creating and receiving the coolest modern & urban pillows for their homes." At 181 swappers strong, the swap (and its Flickr pool) is an amazing source of inspiration for handmade goods.

I wanted to share some pillows from the swap that beautifully incorporate embroidered details into their overall design:

Apple Tree Pillow
Photo by katydiddy

a bird on a limb

Embroidered pillow
Photo by katydiddy

Thank you Kerry
Photo by Sew-Fantastic

Pillow {Talk} Swap...Received!

Pillow Talk 3 - front
Photo by marmys

Pillow Talk Swap Finished
Photo by tigglegiggles

Like what you see? Get involved in the next round of the swap, which should be starting soon!

July 5, 2010

Embroidery Project - - - faux hand bound notebook cover

Spine

Page

Embroidery

This project is based on a simple Japanese bookbinding techinique which I learnt from Gemma Jones.

BT4 Notebook - Frankincense (for the senses)

I embroidered this vintage design some time ago & bound it using the Japanese binding method. I did feel a bit sorry that it's life span was going to be so short.

I've come up with a Japanese style embroidered cover which will have a much longer life expectancy & I thought that you clever stitchers might like to use the technique too. I think they make a fabulous gift idea.


Once you've completed the embroidery you'll need to assemble the cover. I put together a very simple fabric notebook cover tutorial last year which you might like to follow.

I look forward to seeing your covers popping up in the flickr group.

July 4, 2010

Love Maze


Boy- I really like this embroidered maze bag by drummbellina on etsy. It's so simple and yet, so complex! Like, oh I dunno...love? (It also makes me think of sashiko.) A maze! Why didn't I think of that? Why didn't you think of that? Thank goodness she thought of it!

(Yes, it took all my willpower to not call this an a-"maze"-ing bag. Oh wait, I just did. Dang.)

Link

Teeny-tiny bluebird

Brighton the Bluebird
Stitched by naomicayne

You can tell how teeny-tiny this bluebird is by looking at the hoop screw on this itty-bitty hoop. Gorgeous tiny stitching, naomicayne! Hope you're all enjoying your 4th of July!

Patterns: A spot of deja vu

I couldn't resist another look at this lovely embroidery, especially as I noticed on Etsy recently that it is now a pattern by Joey's Dream Garden! So you too can now get some orange tigery goodness!

July 3, 2010

About an agreement

Last year, I did a post on Urban Threads and Sublime Stitching. Recently, the two companies came to an agreement, and as a result of that, I felt it was time to remove my post. I’m a huge fan of Jenny and Sublime Stitching, and I’m happy they have settled their differences.

There were fans of Urban Threads, who in the process might have felt alienated by my post, or maybe feel on the outskirts even now. It was never my intention to make them feel this way, and I’d like to apologize to them for that.

Also, there were public attacks on the character of people who work at Urban Threads and Embroidery Inc. – my post never encouraged that, but if anyone felt that my post contributed in any way to this negativity, I would like to apologize for that, too.

In short, our crafty community is what it is because people are open, generous, kind, and accepting. Ok, it sounds really cheesy, but we are strongest when we stand together and support each other. I just want to re-iterate that we are all welcome here, and how blessed I feel to be in your company, every one of you.

Because this post originated with me, I feel it best to keep comments closed and encourage you to email any thoughts you might have on this to me, the writer of the original post. You can find me at unafloresita AT gmail DOT com.

Thank you so much to all of you who make our craft community the amazing place that it is!

Colour explosion


Mexicali Rooster, originally uploaded by sew.zinski.

Isn't that fantastic? So happy and bright!

July 2, 2010

Knot to B

french knot B in hoop

Look what Especially Amazing Stitches I have found in the Embroidery group on Flickr this week!   14countess did a marvelous job on these French Knots. I love the unique approach of this piece as well. Following the pattern design and colours of the fabric but giving it an amazing texture with the French knots.

July 1, 2010

The Official MrXStitch podcast - featuring Kittykill!



Hi everybody! Just a quick note to let you know some exciting news - the latest episode of Stitching n Junk, the official Mr X Stitch podcast, is here! And this time, Jamie and I interview the legend that is Kittykill! How awesome is that?

So far we have had the honor of interviewing Julie Jackson of Subversive Cross Stitch fame, Bascom Hogue, redwork genius and embroiderer extraordinaire - and now our beloved Kittykill, blogger here at Feeling Stitchy and Faster Kittykill as well as the moderator of the needlework section at Craftster.

So come on, give it a try! You can listen through your browser here or subscribe to the podcast via iTunes here. Join in the conversation! :)

Keeping it Clean

As a snarky stitcher, I've been known to stitch a dirty word from time to time, but I love alternatives to swears as well. That is probably why I find this commercial from Orbit gum so amusing - swear words are replaced by ridiculous tame alternatives.

Apparently, I'm not the only one who finds it funny:

Cootie Queen

Lint Licker

Robyn Enz stitched a few of the fun phrases. Great stuff!