March 31, 2011

March Stitch Along - the final post!

feeling stitchy octopus


Here's my finished piece, the Feeling Stitchy octopus now sits proudly on a bag.

Feeling Stitchy bag

(The bag, by the way, is the Everything Tote from Heather Ross' Weekend Sewing.)

I've had such fun stitching this and even more fun seeing what you guys have come up with. We've had some fantastic bags. I love in particular the fantastic stitching of the poem on the other side of fav orite.things pool bag for her grandson (top right photo).

March Stitch Along - fantastic bags


There has been some great choices of background material.

And some great ways of making the pattern your own.


There has been such fantastic work, so my huge apologies if I've managed to miss anyone out, I'm beginning to see octopuses swim in front of my eyes! And a big thank you to Corvus Tristis for providing us with such a lovely pattern set to work with.

Meanwhile it is never too late to stitch an octopus, I personally can't wait to see how Feeling Stitchy's Floresita does with her T-shirt embroidery, as you can see she's been busy with the white transfer paper recently.

ready to stitch...

Ready to Stitch by Floresita

March 28, 2011

Review: Big Little Felt Universe by Jeanette Lim

Big Little Felt Universe
This book is so cute it makes my teeth hurt..! If you like felt stuffies/softies/whateveryacall'em I think you will love this book a lot. Especially if you like your whateveryacall'em to be as realistic as they can be when they are made from felt.

A few facts:
Big Little Felt Universe by Jeanette Lim is published by Lark Crafts (they supplied us with a review copy, thank you!) 
There are 70+ projects in the book, most of them with 'life-size' patterns as it says on the cover. There are some 370 pages.

The ISBN is: 978-1-60059-675-9
Big Little Felt Universe
There are lots of fun projects, and there's something for pretty much any taste: a cake with several kinds of fruits (picture above), vegetables (further down), a laptop, tool belt, handbag and much more!

I don't think there is a single kid in this world who wouldn't love a few of these whateveryacall'em to play with. And probably quite a few adults too.

I thought I'd have a go at making one of the projects in the book - I think that makes it easier to do a review of it. Right?

Cake slice - made using pattern in 'Big Little Felt Universe'
The cake is fab, I love all the different fruits! So I had to make that. Well, a slice anyway! But I decided to do it a bit differently and change the colours. Mine is more of a toffee/chocolate cake. Nice. Looks almost good enough to eat.

I really like that most of the pattern pieces are supplied in their actual size. Especially for something like this, because it is pretty fiddly. The.. engineering of the pieces/patterns is really great. Because how do you take something flat like felt and make into 3D almost real looking pieces?

Big Little Felt Universe
Now. As much as I really, really like this book, there are a couple of things which puzzled me a little bit..

On the pattern pages, each template has a thin white outline outside the black outline. I was really confused by this, because where are you supposed to cut the template?

Some of the templates are large, almost the same size as the page, to make it life size, which is a good idea. But unfortunately, if the templates are as large as the one on the left hand there, it bends around the page, making it difficult to trace.

So here's a tip: if you get this book and decide to make the large projects, I would suggest tracing half the template and then drawing it on the fold when you cut it - most of the large templates are symmetrical.

Big Little Felt Universe
I didn't always find the step by step photos helpful. They're a bit let down by a dark shadow right where the most important part of the photo is, making it difficult to figure out what to do at times.

I was also confused at times because the thread colour disappears into the background. I wish a contrasting thread had been used in the step by step photos to make it easier to see what is going on. In the example above, for the raspberry, it's not really clear how you're supposed to 'stitch around the edge', and it's difficult to tell from the photo. I think I would have understood it so much better if it had said 'like if you were to make a yo-yo.. Or maybe it's just me!

Big Little Felt Universe
I really enjoyed making my slice of cake, but if you're looking for instant craft gratification, I don't think you will find it in this book. Ideally you should cut everything one by one. And everything is hand stitched, which takes time, even for someone who is a fairly quick stitcher. It probably took me some 7 hours to make that slice with all the fruits.

If you love hand stitching and felt whateveryacall'em, I think you will really enjoy this book. It's quite addictive, making these realistic objects. I'm already pondering which 'cake flavours' to try next! Although I am also tempted to make some of the vegetables. I think it would be especially fun to make some oversized red radishes or egg plants.

A few more pages from the book:
Big Little Felt Universe


Big Little Felt Universe

Big Little Felt Universe

March 27, 2011

Patterns: Cate Anevski

1. The Duchess, 2. Sunburst Lion, 3. Lion all by Cate Anevski

Cate Anevski has been stitching her way through some of her patterns for an upcoming show and it's been lovely to see how lovely her patterns look on patterned backgrounds. You can find The Duchess and the Lion in Cate's Etsy shop here and the Sunburst Lion in her lovely selection of free patterns here.

March 25, 2011

The Stitch and Craft Show

Last weekend me and fellow Feeling Stitchy blogger Carina went to investigate The Stitch and Craft Show at London's Olympia. The Stitch and Craft show covered three floors, with stitching (mainly cross stitch) on the ground floor, knitting in the basement and paper-crafting on the top floor. There was a wide selection of workshops and talks as well. Me and Carina arrived there early(ish) to catch a workshop from Emily Peacock, who is famous for her Hug and Kiss needlepoint kits, as well as a beautiful selection of other designs. It was fantastic hearing Emily talk about how she chooses colour and what it's like to run such a successful craft business. We got to have a go at stitching up a simple design of a key, thinking about how the colours we chose went together.

emily peacock workshop


The lovely Emily Peacock - photo by Carina

We then later went to see another talk by Emily on how to do a selection of canvas stitches.

canvas stitches

We then got to explore the rest of the show and we both came away with mixed feelings about it. It was fantastic seeing Emily Peacock and we also got to see Mr. X Stitch's brilliant display of contemporary embroidery, where we got to stay and stitch a while (and eat chocolate biscuits).

Mr. X Stitch and some of the wonderful work on display - photo by Carina

The opportunity to get to stitch with both Emily Peacock and Mr. X Stitch was fantastic, there's a really nice communal feel to being able to sit down, have a stitch and have a natter. There were also opportunities to stitch at tables run by The Cross Stitcher magazine. However the rest of the show was a little disappointing, the embroidery tended to be on the more traditional side, so we may not have really been the people the show was intended for. The show was certainly busy and there were lots of other people who seemed to love the stalls on offer. I can't really comment on the knitting and paper-crafting floors (although we did go and have a look) but it would have been nice to have had a bit more space in the stitching demo area like the knitters and the paper-crafters had in their demo areas.

In summary, if you are a hard core contemporary stitcher, The Stitch and Craft Show, which is an annual event may not be for you, however the organisers have provided some examples of contemporary stitching (for example Mr. X Stitch) and I am forever the optimist and only hope that as time progresses, contemporary stitching will feature more and more in the show, so you'll probably see me there visiting next year!

March Stitch Along - week 3

march stitch along week 3

Here's a shot of me satin stitching those letters!

Elsewhere in the pool there have been octopuses on the most amazing background fabric.

March Octopus far

Uploaded by mimiwilborn

And there has been gentleman octopus.

Gentleman Octopus- March Stitch Along


And footballing octopus (I love the applique footballs - you can read why the octopus is called Paul here, it's very apt!)

Paul the Octopus


It's not too late to still join in with this month's stitch along, you can find the patterns (and other great examples of this pattern stitched up) if you search under the tag MarchStitchAlong on Flickr and if you'd like to have a go at satin stitching the letters like me and oztheawesomewarewolf, there is a great, very comprehensive satin stitching tutorial here from Sublime Stitching.

I will do a full round up of this month's Stitch Along next Thursday, happy stitching!

Delightful blues


embroidery flowers, originally uploaded by elsy965.
This is lovely, isn't it?

The colour combinations is really fresh and spring-like.

Also... the stitching is pretty perfect...

March 20, 2011

Patterns: Winding Wool

Winding Wool by June at Noon

I think my heart stopped for a second when I saw this one, isn't it beautiful? I love June at Noon's choice of two different colours for each girl's hair and the directional satin stitching. And of course I love the ball of wool and how it winds over the girl's arms. Oh and the appliqued tops to! I could gush for ages! But I'll stop now and say that this actual piece of work is available as a mini-quilt here or if you want to stitch your own embroidery of this pattern, you can buy that here.

March 18, 2011

March Stitch Along - week 2

This week I've been thinking about choosing colour for my stitch along stitching, personally I think blue is one of the obvious colours, but as you can see I've got lots of blues to choose from!


However blue is not the only colour choice and there have been some lovely colourful examples of the March Stitch Along pattern appearing in the Embroidery pool. I particularly like ticklepea's take on this month's pattern, as she's used the alphabet Corvus provided, as a basis for a sampler.

the finished sampler

Stitched by Ticklepea

And talking of colourful, how's this for a colourful octopus? (And I love the phrase stitched out).

March stitch along!

Stitched by WithWhimsy

Some great work is beginning to appear in the embroidery pool and I'll be doing a full round up at the end of the month. Meanwhile it is not too late to have a go at this pattern, you can find the pattern link in this post here or if you search on Flickr under the tag MarchStitchAlong.

I Love Books

I love books!

Me too! But sometimes I forget how much fun it is to read. I probably should stitch this pattern and hang it on the wall as a gentle reminder to spend less time with my computer and  more time reading! Pattern is from a rather wonderful and just released pattern set called 'Booksmart' by Corinne of  Septemberhouse.

March 16, 2011

Give Me A Little Kiss

Stumpwork is rocking Craftster. Inspired by last month's featured project by Jemimah, Supervelma put her own twist on the classic stumpwork. It makes me want to rock n' roll all night and party everyday! Don't laugh! I could totally do it, if I wanted to.

Tell us a little bit about yourself
I call myself a scientist without the white coat... or degree... or job - I've always been interested in experimenting, whether it's experimenting with food or writing or roller derby or paint or photography or needles and thread, trying to translate what's in my head into whatever medium with which I'm working. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it's a big old mess, I mean learning experience.


Tell us a little bit about the project

I love art with different textures and have always been fascinated by the concept of stumpwork. After seeing Jemimah's amazing stumpwork tentacle, I couldn't get it out of my head, so I decided to finally try my hand at it - I couldn't think of anything that deserved to be in 3-D more than Gene Simmons' impressively ridiculous tongue. I liked that his makeup design is relatively simple and would be recognizable in silk stitching, and that a giant 3-D tongue would be more than a little creepy.


Any plans for more stumpwork or stitching?
Abso-freaking-lutely - I'm a very tactile person and I love the idea of art not being constrained to two dimensions. I'm considering maybe some Moulin Rouge can-can dancers if I can figure out how to do the legs.


What/who inspires you?

my friend, Shannon (GigglyMama) inspired me to get into embroidery, by showing me that needlework could be cool and edgy and artistic. And seeing all the ideas and talent on Craftster always encourages me to go further. And I can't walk out of a craft store without a bag full of stuff and a head full of ideas.


Any advice for a newbie?

Don't think you have to be constrained by specific patterns or fabrics, embroidery floss is cheap, buy a bunch and see what you come up with. Also, needles are sharp, so try to make sure you haven't lost one on the couch cushion you're about to sit on... not that anything like that has ever happened to me.

BONUS QUESTION:

Favorite KISS song
I should say "Lick it up" to stay in the vein of the project, but I've gotta go with "Strutter" or "Rock N Roll All Night"

The Scrappy { Hoops } - A Modern Swap

In case you don't know by now, Flickr is a hotbed of crafty swaps. I've participated in many, many great sewing and quilting swaps over there, and it seems like embroidery swaps are really gaining in popularity and momentum.

If you've read my other posts here on Feeling Stitchy, you know that I love to blur the lines between fabric, sewing, quilting, and embroidery. And if you want to see some examples of how these different elements can come together to create wonderful works of art -- all framed in a simple embroidery hoop -- look no further than the Scrappy { Hoops } swap.

The Scrappy { Hoops } a group "dedicated to creating and receiving the coolest modern and urban fabric hoops for their homes!" The insanely talented swappers in the group combine different materials and techniques to bring their visions to life.

But enough words. I've compiled a collection of beautiful & inspirational photos to give some flavor of what you can find in the group. Click on each photo to learn more about both the maker and the recipient of each piece.

Want to get involved? The group recently wrapped up round 1 of the swap, and I've heard some buzz about a potential round 2 ...

love!!

Photo courtesy of sandy (paperpoppies) on Flickr
Made by JenniferLGB

front -  embroidered finally ! Scrappy {Hoop} Swap

Photo courtesy of Sarah @ pingsandneedles on Flickr

Scrappy {Hoops} Swap - For my partner completed!

Photo courtesy of Miss-Print on Flickr

Girl on a Swing

Photo courtesy of Angela - fussycut on Flickr

Time For Fabric Hoop by Poppyprint

Photo courtesy of Poppyprint on Flickr

Scrappy Owl Hoops

Photo courtesy of stitches&scissors on Flickr
Made by asquared(w)


From my Scrappy Hoops Partner

Photo courtesy of Miss-Print on Flickr
Made by {safieh}


The Scrappy { Hoops }

Photo courtesy of rosaechocolat on Flickr

'Scrappy Button Mandela' for The Scrappy (Hoop) - a Modern Swap

Photo courtesy of bearpawandbearpaw on Flickr

Yippeeeeee!!!!

Photo courtesy of Aneela Hoey on Flickr
Made by sewdeerlyloved


scrappy hoop received!!

Photo courtesy of sewdeerlyloved on Flickr
Made by yearofhandmade


Scrappy Hoop Swap - Received

Photo courtesy of badskirt - amy on Flickr
Made by creationsbyrachel


Scrappy hoop received

Photo courtesy of verykerryberry on Flickr
Made by safischer1


Scrappy Hoop swap received :)

Photo courtesy of daveandsusi on Flickr
Made by verykerryberry


rainy daze

Photo courtesy of suzettra on Flickr

Scrappy Hoop Second Attempt

Photo courtesy of amandaquilts on Flickr

Hoop #2 for my partner in the Scrappy hoop swap

Photo courtesy of mccuisti on Flickr

scrappy hoop swap

Photo courtesy of sandy (paperpoppies) on Flickr

Girl under a button tree hoop

Photo courtesy of stitches&scissors on Flickr