May 29, 2011

Patterns: Scarlet Tentacle

dangerous curves 1a

Pattern by Scarlet Tentacle

Scarlet Tentacle, purveyor of, to quote, 'handmade audacity of the embroidered kind', has a series of slightly naughty embroidery patterns over in her Etsy shop. I had great fun recently stitching a couple of the patterns, as someone who still personally struggles a bit with embroidering faces, Scarlet Tentacle's line art makes it pleasingly easy to do well.


May 27, 2011

For the left-handed stitchers

compass
Compass embroidery by Joanna aka Thingshandmade

I am a left-handed stitcher. And I assume that I'm not the only 'southpaw' that learns new stitches only  from books and the internet. Many of the books and video tutorials show how to perform stitches for right handed stitchers. For some stitches I'm able to 'translate' the diagrams to my own left-handed version but it's not always easy. So I'm always delighted when I find publications especially for left-handed stitchers.

Last year Yvette Stanton released the Left-Handed Embroiderer's Companion. An extensive stitch dictionary with a lot of stitches and photos of how to perform them.  On the Sublime Stitching site you can find  how-to's for lefties of a couple of the most basic stitches. And Feeling Stitchy's own Carina has not forgotten about us sinister handed stitchers either. Find her e-books for lefties here. If you already have a book with right-handed diagrams that you want to use, you can make your own left-handed version by scanning the image and flipping it horizontally in an image editing program (tip found here).

I hope this post has been helpful for some of my fellow left-handed stitchers. If you have more tips for left-handed stitching please share them in the comments!

May 26, 2011

What would we do, baby ...

... "Without Us"?


An awesome homage to an 80's sitcom classic, stitched by Marshall aka sailor.mouth on Flickr and posted to the Manbroidery group.

May 22, 2011

May Stitchalong: Week 2

PB & J dreams
Stitched by HeidiMakesStuff

Boy are you guys fast! And stitchers like Heidi are setting the bar pretty high, indeed. How can I hope to stitch anything as great as this, you may be asking yourself? Ok, maybe it's just me asking myself, but whatever. The whole point of a stitchalong is to just join in and do your thing at whatever level your at, in whatever way you want! So I hope lots and lots of you join us for this one - remember, there's a prize for the most inspired stitching - a free pattern from Cate Anevski's store and a bundle of floss and fabric to get you started!

We already have a few awesome finishes in the pool, including a wedding sampler:
stitch a long
Stitched by snifferooski

An adorable framed set:
Feeling Stitchy May stitch-along
Stitched by Little Red Emo Hood

And some incredibly detailed satin stitching in progress:
May Stitch Along
Stitched by fav_orite.things

Am I feeling the pressure? Ok, maybe a little bit. But either way I whipped out my blue charcoal pencil and finally got started:
starting

How about you? I think it's time you got started and added yours to the pool!

Need the patterns?
Week One

Need help transferring your pattern?
Here's some excellent tips from Mollie Johanson's Embroidery Basics series:
Embroidery Basics: Transferring a Pattern

And I did a basic how to use a transfer pencil (a billion years ago):
How to Use a Transfer Pencil

What are you waiting for? Let's see some more stitching! :)

Patterns: Sailing polar bears and apples

Sailing Polar Bear by Follow the White Bunny

Nicole from Follow the White Bunny (and Feeling Stitchy, of course) recently stitched up this lovely polar bear, I think he would look great in a kid's bedroom and I would love to know where he's sailing off to. You can buy the pattern here.

Also new this week is a lovely free apple pattern sheet from Sara of The Split Stitch, you can find it here!

Apple Tea Towel

Apple tea towel by Sara ~~ thesplitstitch

May 20, 2011

The Duvet Project by giddy99

Hate Bunnies, by Bucket O' Thought
Goodness me! Today we're featuring an awesomely cool (and pretty crazy!) project from Lauren, aka giddy99. She is embroidering a duvet cover. And not just a single duvet cover either - it's a queen-size one! Imagine that, that's huge, and rather cumbersome to work on, so this is a pretty brave project in my book!

She is using an amazing range of different patterns, new and old. You should check out her Duvet Project Flickr set where she's documenting the progress of the project - there are notes about each pattern used as well. And if you click on the images in this post, you'll be transported over to Flickr where you can read more about them.

We can't wait to see the finished project! If you're doing a large scale embroidery project too, do let us know about it! You can email me, Carina (carinascraftblog[AT]gmail[DOT]com) or Nicole (followthewhitebunny[AT]e-tropolis[DOT]nl) to tell us all about it.

And speaking of Nicole; we had to know more about this Duvet Project, so Nicole has done a wee interview with Lauren - read on!

Fire Breathing Fish, by [rich]
How long have you been embroidering?
I began embroidering in January of 2005. I'd tried cross-stitching in high school, but I couldn't get it to hold my attention. I've tried various hobbies, but none have held my attention for long… Embroidery was love at first sight for me, and I love it still.

Who taught you to embroider?
Someone tried to teach me as a child, but I vaguely remember that it didn't stick, for some reason. I really learned from the instructions in Sublime Stitching. I still have my first receipt from there, date January 16, 2005, too! I worked SO hard to get my split stitches to look like the ones in the diagram, but somehow deviated to the chain stitch, which I pull tight to make it LOOK like a split stitch (I realize that's ridiculous, but it's my fave stitch, STILL).

Where and when do you embroider?
I embroider whenever I get the chance, which is either just before bed (when I'm at home). I travel for work, and will take the pillow shams or other small projects with me to embroider while on planes, in airports or in hotels.

Who is your embroidery hero? 
I owe my love for embroidery to Sublime Stitching, so I have to say Jenny Hart. She made hand embroidery look fun and interesting with designs I could use with my existing d├ęcor.

Senorita in Ornate Sombrero
What made you start a huge project like your Duvet cover project?
 I spent five years embroidering the edges of LOTS of pillowcases and a couple of tea towels, and want to branch out. I love embroidery (it grounds me), but I needed something different. I liked the idea of an embroidered quilt, but I didn't want to piece or sew anything – I just wanted to do the embroidery, right? It then occurred to me… a duvet is just a giant "pillowcase" (of sorts). A GIANT blank space, that I could fill however I pleased!

What is your favourite bit of the whole project so far?
Oh, my… it would be difficult to pick one favorite design; I like most of them all so much!

What is your least favourite bit?
 I've a couple of pieces that I'm not sure what to do about. One of them is the very first image I embroidered on the quilt. I was a bit nervous about mucking up a perfectly good duvet, and timidly embroidered a rather small image in one corner. It's very plain, outline stitches only (i.e. no fill), and SMALL. It now pales against the bigger pieces I've since done (the images I pick keep getting bigger and more elaborate). My husband says I can't remove and replace it, though, because the Starting Point is important in the whole, big picture. (… but, is it really?)

Spaceman - Sew Lovely Embroidery
What is on your ‘wish list’ to embroider for this project? 
 I would have to embroider three duvets to get everything I want on there – I may have to use the reverse side of this one (wouldn't THAT be something)? I've SO many patterns "queued up," but I'm easily distracted by a contest, a swap, a fundraiser, a "gift" pattern… but I plod along, and return to the file drawer

Will you be using your Duvet cover? 
Yes, but it will be on the guest bed, where my two cats won't be able to shred my labor of love. The smallest cat, Bella, has some freakish issue with things that sparkle… she attacks the Bigfoot embroidery (it has some beadwork) whenever she gets the chance (eeek)!

Anything else you want to share?
I love how this project has stretched my embroidery as a hobby. I've gotten past the dread of a "big" or "too detailed" image, and now seek out the bigger projects – I look forward to the challenge.

May 19, 2011

Book Review - Makoto's Cross-Stitch Super Collection

Hi everybody, beefranck here! I was lucky enough to get my hands on a copy of Makoto's Cross Stitch Super Collection recently and I wanted to give you the scoop on this great book.



The cover clearly states that the contents of the book are "not lame!" and "very cool!" Well, I'm pleased to report that IT'S ALL TRUE! The book has loads of fun cross stitch patterns and projects. There's bugs and robots and astronauts, there's stuff to stitch on clothes and hats, and there's totally unique projects like a tiger skin doormat. Yup, you read that right - a tiger skin doormat. :)

The book has clear and helpful instructions, so it's something that both newbies and seasoned stitchers can enjoy. I decided to whip up one of the robot patterns myself.

Beep. Boop boop. Beep.



It was a lot of fun and only took a few hours. There's a lot of projects just like this one in the book - go get yours here!

May 18, 2011

Modern Log Cabin Quilting Book Winner

Thanks to everyone who entered the Modern Log Cabin Quilting book giveaway! The winner of the book is ...


#80, Caitlin, who blogs at salty//oat and said "I've been itching to get this book! I've been quilting for a few years and just made my first log cabin blocks this week. Thanks for the chance!"

Thanks for entering, Caitlin! We'll be in touch regarding your book.

May 15, 2011

Patterns: Folk Art

Home Sweet Home stitched by WithWhimsy

I love Sew Lovely's Folk Art pattern set so it was great to see one of the designs from the set pop up in the Flickr Embroidery pool, stitched very charmingly by WithWhimsy.

Talking of Sew Lovely, also check out their brilliant (and free - for personal use only) Little Red Riding Hood versus the Wolf pattern that is on their blog.

May 12, 2011

Golden Girls Embroidery

Bordado1
Stitched by Lauradediaz

Everything about this embroidery just makes me say "yay." :) Thank you for preserving one of my favorite TV moments in embroidery, Laura. :)

May 10, 2011

May Stitchalong: Cate Anevski

May Stitchalong pattern!

How about another stitchalong? Hmmmm? :)

This month's pattern was brought to us by the super-talented Cate Anevski - we've featured her wonderful embroidery patterns often here, and we're so honored that she created something special for Feeling Stitchy readers!

just the PB + J

That's right, you're looking at a fully customizable PB + J pattern! Maybe you want to stitch just the PB + J?

Or maybe you want your sandwich to say:


Or maybe, you want your sandwich to say a phrase of your very own? Well, we got you:
your pb + j can say whatever you want

I love how Cate's design echoes the quirky, cute kitschiness of vintage patterns, combined with her own, unique feel. This is gonna be a fun one, guys, I can feel it!

And... there's a prize this month!

For a little added inspiration, and as a thank you to all of you for making our first-ever stitchalongs such a hit - Cate will choose one winner who'll receive one free embroidery pattern  from her store (choose your favorite) and a little bundle of floss and fabric from yours truly. Sound awesome? I hope so!

And, since we started this stitchalong a bit late, just know that you'll have until June 7 to complete your stitching. On that day, we'll collect all the entries and Cate will choose our winner.

Wanna take part? Just tag your stitching "MayStitchalong" and add it to our pool!

P.s. to those of you with questions about how or where to start, I'll be checking in this weekend with my progress and links to cool tutorials, etc. See you then! :)

Modern Log Cabin Quilting by Susan Beal

Modern Log Cabin Quilting

Here at FSHQ (that's Feeling Stitchy Headquarters : ) we were fortunate enough to receive a copy of one of Susan's Beal's newest books for Potter Craft, Modern Log Cabin Quilting.

Susan, who blogs at West Coast Crafty, has put together a quilting book that I would classify as an "instant classic" -- timeless designs, widespread appeal, approachable patterns, and inspirational photographs are all in high supply here. It marries traditional and contemporary quilt aesthetics in a highly impactful and engaging way.

By the way, Susan and I are both UNC-Chapel Hill alums, and graduated only a year apart from one another. Go Tar Heels!

Bright Furrows Quilt

The book compiles 24 original project ideas, ranging from quilts to bags, aprons, pillows, and other home decor items. In addition to the patterns, Susan includes both a history of the time-honored log cabin quilt block as well as a section devoted to quilt-making basics that can get even a first-time quilt-maker started on her way to a new quilt.

block pocket apron

My favorite quilt is the book's cover girl, called the Modern Crosses Quilt. The beauty of this quilt in its entirety belies the simplicity of its construction. If you are a beginning quilter, or even a newbie that's been wanting to try it out, I would highly recommend this quilt pattern and this book for its down-to-earth, easy-to-understand instructions.

I've already got about 6 Modern Crosses quilts designed in my head, with different color and print combinations.

Modern Crosses Quilt

"But wait", you're thinking (yes, I can hear you.) "Why are the fine folks at Feeling Stitchy reviewing a quilting book?"

Allow me to introduce a quilt that Susan has named the "Anniversary Quilt":

Anniversary Quilt

Using log cabin block-making techniques, Susan has created a memory quilt that frames images depicting memories or milestones that have special meaning to the quilt's recipient, her husband Andrew. The various blocks feature novelty print fabrics, gocco prints, photo transfers, vintage buttons and other embellishments, and ... wait for it ... embroidery!

Anniversary Quilt detail block

See? I've been blogging here on Feeling Stitchy about the places where quilting and embroidery intersect, and with this quilt Susan has provided my latest example. Susan blogged about an earlier version of this pattern, called the Modern Heirloom Quilt and featured in Craft magazine, here.

Modern Heirloom Quilt in action


As if you couldn't tell, I highly recommend this book to both seasoned and wannabe sewists and quilters alike. There's something here for everyone.

I'm also considering putting some quilt block techniques to use when it's my turn to host the Feeling Stitchy stitch-along later this year. What do you think?

Market Tote

Want to win a copy of Modern Log Cabin Quilting? Potter Crafts has generously donated a book for a lucky Feeling Stitchy reader. Simply leave a comment on this post telling us if you're an experienced quilter or just wanting to try it out. We'll select a random winner next Tuesday, 17 May.

For more about Modern Log Cabin quilting, visit the following sites:

May 8, 2011

What a blowhole

parmacetti
Normally, I only post hand stitched stuff (because I'm weird like that), but for this whale fella I had to make an exception. Isn't it awesome?

By squishythings in the FS Flickr group.

Dudes, if you're stitching whales, add them to the group. Or start stitching whales and then add them to the group. :-)

Patterns: Sew Liberated Woodland Clock

Woodland Clock {finally finished}

Woodland clock stitched by StitchedInColor

I thought I'd highlight a pattern from the lovely Sew Liberated by Meg McElwee today. I have this book and I don't think there's a project in it that isn't on my to-do list but the woodland clock is definitely right at the top of the list, so it was lovely to see the completed project, stitched by StitchedInColor pop up in the Embroidery Flickr pool. For those with the book and like me, thinking of doing this project, head over to the Stitched In Color blog for some handy hints about completing the clock.

May 7, 2011

Family trees

Family Tree Embroidery
Stitched by Tiny Apartment Crafts - read her pattern review

One of my favorite things to do with my mom is pore over our family tree. She has a bad memory - mine's even worse, so every time we comb through our collective memory we marvel over all the weird names, funny memories and bittersweet happiness of having had such a very big family with such strange, wonderful, and adventurous lives.

That's why I was so excited to see this new family tree pattern by Liz Stiglets:
us
Stitched by cozyblueliz

I thought it would be a great way to commemorate Mother's Day - well, hey I know you probably can't stitch it overnight, but just sitting down with your parents and mapping out the names of all your loved ones would be a great way to spend part of your day. It could also be a sweet wedding gift or a gift for a brand new mom. Or maybe even a gift for yourself, as you add the names of everyone who is special in your life...

The pattern is available in Liz's shop, Cozy Blue. Thanks, Liz, for sharing this with us! :) And if any of you have stitched this up, please be sure to share a link with us!

May 6, 2011

Let's talk about floss!

Recently there was a question on the Feeling Stitchy Facebook Page about six stranded (or six ply) cotton embroidery floss. What's the difference between, for example, Coats and Clark  floss compared to DMC ? Or Anchor, Cosmo or Presencia?  Is one better in quality than the other? I doubt it, but I do think (and actually know from experience) there are differences between brands. I'm pretty sure more embroiderers are wondering about this so I thought it would be a good question for the knowledgeable readers of Feeling Stitchy!

Do you have a 'preferred' floss and why? Have you tried several brands or do you stick to just one? Share your Embroidery Floss experience with us!

P.S. if you like pretty photos of embroidery floss, why not join the Embroidery Thread Lovers Group on Flickr?

May 4, 2011

Bluejay vs. Squirrel

I just adore this Charley Harper bird and squirrel piece by AlwaysInspired. It is so perfect. She is so talented in so many different fields.

Scooby and the gang

IMG_7219
Stitched by tishous

I'm pretty in love with this cross-stitched version of Scooby and the gang, stitched by Tish. The pattern is available in the Wee Little Stitches store. Eep.

May 1, 2011

Patterns: Spring Unicorn Cross Stitch

Spring Cross Stitch


I love how cheery this Spring Unicorn Cross Stitch by Flossbox is. I think it'd be great for the young and the young at heart and you can purchase it here.