July 31, 2011

Patterns: Steampunk Santa

Steampunk Santa WIP Side Beard View


Steampunk Santa WIP - stitched by sereniticat

It's never too early to get ready for Christmas it seems (I have to admit my to stitch list for Christmas is beginning to nag at me). Sereniticat has made an amazingly admirable start with the Steampunk Santa pattern from Urban Threads. I just adore the detailing on this, the little gold beads for buttons, the different textural stitches and of course the fluffy beard! I can't wait to see the finished piece!

July 28, 2011

Dala Horse crafty fun!

Dala Horse Craftalong
Do you love that Swedish icon the wooden Dala horse? If you do - or know someone who does - you should join this craftalong which I'm co-hosting! You know, if you're not too busy with the stitchalong here on Flickr! Although, the Dala Horse Craftalong isn't just for stitching - make anything you fancy!

We started the Dala Horse Craftalong on Monday and it continues for a month! So you've got time to join in! You can make pretty much anything as long as it features a Dala horse or is inspired by it.

Some of us have already started projects and have listed suggestions for things to make, like a softie, an embroidery pattern etc. We're also lucky that one of the co-hosts is from Sweden and she recently visited the place where they make the actual wooden Dala horses!

Here are links to the first post about the craftalong by myself and each of my co-hosts:
iHanna, Carina's Craftblog (hey, that's meee!), Gingerbread Snowflakes and The Pickled Herring.

Do check it out and join in on the fun - there's a Flickr group you can join and share what you make!

Oh and if you do join along, do check out my blog post up there, it's got buttons in different sizes which you can put on your blogs etc. :-)

July 27, 2011

Air balloon...

Isn't this a delightful little stitchery?

And such a cute combination with the background.

Memi, who stitched this, is completely new to embroidery - not bad, right? :-)

July 26, 2011

July Stitchalong - Week 3

Week 3
Hey guys, here's the week 3 update of the July Stitchalong. This is my progress. A bit of satin stitching going on there on his booties. Fancy! :-)

How about you? Are you doing any stitching along this month? Don't forget to use the tag JulyStitchalong when adding your photos to the Feeling Stitchy group.

Gnome July Stitchalong
Speaking of satin stitch! Take a look at this beauty (can gnomes be beauties?!) - nice satin trousers. And the flowers too! I love how this gnome had been completely filled in - that's such a great texture.

July Stitch-a-long (the gnome)
Talk about texture! The hat on this gnome is absolutely awesome! That swirly-ness is really great. Looks like coils of chain stitch...

July Stitchalong
How cute is this guy?! I'm happy to see that I'm not the only one who can't commit to filling the gnome - that's a lot of work! Look closer at this gnome, notice that tassle on his hat? That's inspired! Absolutely love it. :-)

Right, that's it for this week - I reckon you could finish a gnome for next week.. Why not give it a go? :-)

July 25, 2011

Tell us what you think about stitchalongs on Feeling Stitchy

Feeling Stitchy - tell us what you think
Week 3 of the July Stitchalong is a bit delayed (will post it tomorrow).

In the meantime, maybe you would let us know what you think of the stitchalongs we've been doing the past few months..?

You can do so in two ways:

1: Take the poll over in the sidebar (it's only about the frequency of the stitchalongs)
2: Leave a comment with your thoughts (let us know anything that comes to mind regarding the stitchalongs.)

You're absolutely welcome to do both. Thanks! :-)

July 24, 2011

Patterns: Closet Monsters



Here at Feeling Stitchy, we were very kindly given a copy of Closet Monsters: Stitch Creatures You'll Love from Clothing You Don't by John Murphy to review. Closet Monsters takes clothes destined for the bin and turns them into softies. There is some opportunity for embroidery, particularly freehand machine embroidery, as you personalise your monster.

There are thirteen different monsters made with shirts, jackets, trousers, jumpers, pyjamas, suits and dresses. Each monster in the book, to some degree, takes advantage of the particular design of, say the pyjamas or the dress, so unless you have that exact same pyjamas or dress, it would be difficult to exactly replicate the same monster, specially as there are no patterns in the book, however there are quite detailed instructions on how to cut out your softy pieces. There are also detailed general instructions at the beginning of the book, as well as good construction instructions for each monster. I would say, however, that this is not a book for a beginner softy maker, you'd need a bit of experience before tackling the designs in this book. I'd also recommend reading through the instructions several times before starting.

For me personally, I've made softies in the past, although I've only recently started making them without a pattern. I decided to tackle Maureen McDoover, which in the book is made out of a pair of cord trousers, but on raiding my wardrobe, all I could find was a pair of too small jeans.

pre closet monster

However they were similar to cords in that the fabric is different colour on each side. However they looked more tailored than the cords in the book and I think this is possibly why my Maureen McDoover's nose ended pointing up, instead of down.

closet monsters book

I did like the opportunity to add machine embroidery along the nose and on the chest though. I also personalised mine more by adding some of the labels I had cut out of my jeans.

closet monster front

closet monster back

However, I found the denim a little tricky to work with compared to the normal felt or cotton I make softies with, so I decided to make my monster footless. I also didn't add teeth because I did not have much of the white pocket lining of the jeans left and didn't want to 'cheat' by finding fabric elsewhere.

Overall, this is an interesting book for hardcore softy makers or those looking to make softies cheaply.

July 20, 2011

Tale As Old As Time

Okay, are you ready for the most awesome stitching ever? This piece by VanGo87 on Craftster is our featured project and interview of the month. I just love it! It is so clever! You can see in progress pictures here.


Tell us a little bit about the piece.
This little guy was made for my swap partner in the “Can’t Get Enough of Disney Swap”. While brainstorming and googling ideas on Beauty and the Beast craft projects, the idea struck and I was whisked away on designs on how to execute it properly on a low budget and physically work.
After a week of planning and about four days of construction (and of course trial and error) this little guy finally came together. There were times I wanted to throw him at the wall (like when I realized that I bought the wrong size clock parts or that the clock parts didn’t come with instructions) but I eventually made it work and I am happy to say my swap partner loved it so it was entirely worth all the hair pulling.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I have a BA honors in Film  and a complete geek. I live in Canada with my very large family and my even larger craft, PEZ and DVD collections. I recently turned twenty-four (not like my younger boyfriend will ever let me forget) and I’ve been crafting since I could remember thanks to my equally crafty mother, family and friends.

 Do you have any other pieces like this planned for the future-what is your next project?

I have a lot of ideas for future geeky projects – too much that I don’t know how to keep track of them! I’m working on making the Cogsworth Clock tutorial (however I’m thinking of snazzing it up with wood instead of cardboard), a collection of cross stitched “sh*t happens” hoops based on movies and video games, a cross stitch Doctor Who TARDIS clock, and a “Home is where the TARDIS is” cross stitch for my sister and her boyfriend’s new apartment.

What would you tell someone just getting started?

Patience. Have a lot of it. If something doesn’t work, learn from your mistakes and keep going. I have made so many craft related mistakes that I can’t even count on my fingers and toes anymore! Also, don’t be afraid to try something new or set a goal. I thank my swap partner for not giving me any boundaries and letting my head run wild with ideas. Surround yourself with people who encourage and inspire you, you’ll never know where that support and creativity can take you!

What/who inspires you.
Not to sound cliché, but everything and everyone. I tend to look around at what others have made and ideas tend to spring from that. As for specific people I would have to say my mother, sister and best friend.
My mom has always been a creative person but didn’t take the creative path when she was younger because it wasn’t seen as a good choice. Until this day she surprises me with her unique creativity and her ability never to give up.
My older sister is someone I always looked up to. Her artistic talents were far better than my own growing up and I always pushed myself to try and make something that would make her say “wow, make me one”, which recently has started happening so I know I have her respect as an artist.
As for my best friend, she has an amazing artistic work ethic that I would love to have. She knows what she wants and will keep trying until she gets it right. Without her support and encouragement, I don’t think I would have branched out artistically. Not to mention that they are all as geeky as I am so whenever I make something related to our favorite fandoms and they like it, it really inspires me to make more!

July 19, 2011

Let them eat cake

When I first decided to teach myself embroidery, I ran out and immediately purchased Jenny Hart's Sublime Stitching book. One of the techniques that Jenny introduced in her book was to start with an already patterned piece of fabric, and simply embellish it with embroidered details. (Anna Maria Horner does this to great effect, as well.) What a simple (but brilliant) idea!


I still haven't done it myself yet -- it's on my ever-growing list of to-do-somedays -- but I'm newly inspired by what Becky (aka MyFabricObsession on Flickr) has created. She started with an already-striking print from Tula Pink's Parisville line and went to town with her needle and thread.

Stunning, no? And that added flower? Genius.

What about you? Have you done this before with your favorite printed fabric? We'd love to see what you've created. And it sounds like a wonderful stitch-along idea for a future month, don't you think?

Hmmmm ... I'm slotted to host a stitch-along soon ...

July 18, 2011

July Stitchalong - Week 2

Gnome WIP
Hello and happy Monday! Are you stitching the MimiLove gnome? Here's my guy! I haven't got terribly far with it yet, but I'm confident that it'll be done by the end of the month. I need to think of what to use it for, though!
Tom Gnome
jenaissance2010 has been busy already, making a very nice gnome stitchery in the spirit of MimiLove - and he's already got the thumbs up from Ms MimiLove herself!

And here are a couple more (where the settings unfortunately won't let me grab the full code to post 'em): Miss Pixie Crafts, fav_orite.things

Don't forget to add your gnome-y stitcheries to the Feeling Stitchy Flickr pool and tag it with JulyStitchalong.

If you haven't started your gnome yet, head over to the July Stitchalong post to download the pattern - there are three sizes, so there should be something to suit most schedules, regardless of summer (or winter) busy-ness. :-)

Driftwood Embroidery

Driftwood Embroidery, originally uploaded by shorby68.
Isn't this fun?

If I had ready access to some driftwood, I'd definitely give this sort of thing a go!

July 17, 2011

Patterns: On Parade

On Parade Embroidery

On Parade - stitched by mrsc45, pattern by Sarah Jane

I love how mrsc45 has stitched up Sarah Jane's On Parade, it looks so cheerful and almost like you can see the movement in it. Seeing mrsc45's piece reminded me that I hadn't checked out Sarah Jane's shop for a while, so I was really pleased, when I did check it out, to discover that Sarah Jane now has a whole range of really gorgeous embroidery patterns, definitely worth a peek!

July 15, 2011

Wynken, Blynken & Nod



I wrote about the wonderful Embroidery Swap in the Phat Quarter Group on Flickr a little while ago here on Feeling Stitchy and last week I was the lucky recipient of this absolutely awesome piece made for me by Lisa!  The embroidery is based on an illustration by Sheilah Beckett and depicts the poem about Wynken, Blynken & Nod. Lisa is a very talented embroiderer and her attention to detail is amazing. Click on the photos to see all the gorgeous details!

Look at all the tiny and precise stitches and I love the use of metallic thread on the fishes!

The tinting of the fabric really adds to this piece and the variety of stitches used is impressive. Thank you Lisa for making such an inspired and lovely embroidery for me!

On display in my living room!


July 13, 2011

Sweet family portrait


Family Portrait, originally uploaded by DetroitMommy.
How adorable is this 'portrait'?!

Such a sweet and simple idea. And quite moving, I think.

Love it. :-)

July 12, 2011

Portrait giveaway!

portrait tile

Jennifer has done a series of incredible portraits that we've showed you before, my favorite are her scenes from Twin Peaks, one of the creepiest, awesomest shows ever. Well, believe it or not, she is doing a giveaway of a custom portrait on her blog! It would be amazing to see one of her embroideries in person, let alone own it!

I asked her a few questions about her and her work, and she was kind enough to answer:

How long have you been embroidering? What inspired you to start?
I started doing cross-stitch about 10 years ago in order to make some ironic pieces for both myself and friends. As I continued to make them, I was no longer satisfied with altering patterns and began to make my own. As anyone who has created cross-stitch patterns can tell you, they are not easy to do. I am always eager to finish the planning stage and get on to the making stage!

Even though I have always been intrigued by the complexity and beauty of embroidery pieces, initially, embroidery seemed too intimidating to me and I put off learning it for a long time. Finally, about 6 years ago I bought a 'teach your self embroidery' book at a craft store. After I figured out a few stitches and realized that I could just draw a sketch on a piece of fabric and get going on it, it was on. It became my medium of choice because I could quickly get started on the visions in my head and the fell in love with richness of the finished pieces.

How long does it take you to finish an average piece?
My portraits tend to take 3 weeks to a month. On the other hand I have some stumpwork pieces that I have been working on for 9 months.

Is there anything special you do to get inspired (listen to music, watch TV, etc?)
Much of my inspiration come from books. I have a plethora of vintage embroidery books with beautiful photos of medieval tapestries and the like. Those pictures always inspire me. However, working on pieces is the thing that inspires me most.

I find that while I am stitching a piece, the ideas I have tend to change and expand and I come up with better work. It's great because it makes working even more enjoyable, but, unfortunately, it also means I have a lot of excited, manic, inspired, moments that result in partially completed and then forsaken work so that I can move on to the inspired idea that I think is better.

Also, I take the pieces that I am working on everywhere, (work, coffee shops, bars, the bus) thus being in a creative mindset and doing something that is unusual in public encourages people to ask questions about my work, which then leads to a lot of interesting conversations and ideas. Additionally, reading about interesting people and interesting situations often inspires me to do their portrait.


Thanks Jennifer! Do you want a custom embroidered portrait? Well, be sure to head over to her blog and leave a comment before July 15th!

July 11, 2011

July Stitchalong - Week 1

MimiLove Tom Gnome design
Have you started stitching the Gnome pattern from MimiLove? I must admit that I haven't had time because of a family issue.

But what about you? It doesn't look like there are any gnomes-in-progress in the Flickr group. Are you on holiday and too busy eating too many ice creams? Maybe you haven't added your photos yet? Have you remembered to tag the photos with JulyStitchalong?

Head over to the July Stitchalong post to download the pattern for the gnome! And then we'll meet up here next Monday with a whole bunch of partial or finished gnomes, yes? :-)

July 10, 2011

Patterns: Crafting Shelves

Crafting Shelves by This Tiny Existence

Wow, first of all I want my crafting shelves to look like this, second, all that intricate, detailed satin stitching must have taken ages and third, what a beautiful pattern by This Tiny Existence!

July 8, 2011

Colourful Explorations

lg mutation

This exceptional piece was made by Valerie Roybal. I love everything about it: the texture, the colours and the different shapes. But most of all I like the organic feel it has. Like it started in one place and grew and grew, all by itself. I feel very inspired to start my own organic piece now! You can buy some of Valerie's other embroidered pieces here and do check out her other artwork, like this collage.


July 5, 2011

Stitching awesomeness

Kermit the Camera WIP, originally uploaded by Smallest Forest.
I think this is pretty darn great!

And that's about all there is to say about it! :-)

Do check out the blog post about it on The Smallest Forest.

July 3, 2011

Patterns: House Wren Studio

bloom sampler finished up in patchwork frame

Bloom sampler by House Wren Studio

Charlotte Lyons from House Wren Studio does a lovely range of printed panels which you can stitch over to make pictures, cushion covers etc. I think there's lots of opportunity to practice different stitches with these designs!

July 1, 2011

July Stitchalong: MimiLove

MimiLove Tom Gnome design
Are you ready for July's Stitchalong? Love gnomes? Then this one's for you! And even if you don't like gnomes so much, maybe this guy will persuade you! We have a pattern from the über-talented and inspiring MimiLove!

Tom Gnome - isn't he awesome? And now you can stitch your very own version! Isn't that also very awesome?!

You can see the original in the photos and do get inspired by that, but take it and run with it: make the gnome your own! :-)

MimiLove Tom Gnome design
Thank you ever so much to Ms. MimiLove for letting us use this pattern (it's for personal use etc and so on). Oh and do check out the MimiLove blog for more stitchy inspiration!

Click on the drawing below to download the pattern - it's a pdf file with no less than 3 sizes of the gnome. Don't forget to tag your Flickr photos with "JulyStitchalong" so we can find it in the Flickr pool. You can also download the pattern by clicking this link, but it's more fun to click on an image. Or maybe that's just me. ;-)

Alrighty - stitch up a storm of gnomes! :-)
MimiLove Tom Gnome design for Feeling Stitchy Stitchalong July 2011

Flossbox's Stitchy Summer School

Wheat Ear Stitch sampler

Emily of the Flossbox blog (and pattern store) has started an Embroidery Summer School. The first week of Summer School she showed this gorgeous sampler with variations of the Wheat Ear Stitch (one of my favourite stitches!). And a 'how to' on the Wheat Ear Stitch as well (it's school after all!) In the second week of Summer School she tells us all about the Colonial Knot (and compares it to the French Knot). I'm certainly going to attend Emily's Summer School and I hope you all will check it out too!

Unrelated but too sweet to not feature here:

DSC_0119

Lovely work by Karen a.k.a. Yellow Dandy.