September 30, 2011

Old is New again: Swedish Weaving


I do not pretend to know everything about embroidery or stitches. Actually I still have a lot to learn. The good thing about that is that I regularly stumble upon exciting things that have been around for ages but are new to me. Last week I found some great tutorials on Swedish Weaving on Collette's blog Serendipity Handmade (find the posts about it in the side bar of her blog). Swedish weaving is also know as Huck Stitching (and a bunch of other names) and was especially popular during the 1930's and 40's to embellish tea towels and aprons. Huck refers to one of the fabrics used for this technique and the 'weaving' bit becomes clear when you study how it's done.


The thread stays on top of the fabric so there is no thread visible on the back of your piece.


This sampler by Lynn (aka the Little Red Hen) shows a lovely colourful variety of patterns in Swedish Weaving. Of course you are not limited to tea towels and aprons. Personally I quite fancy the idea of an Ipod case embellished with Swedish Weaving! More info about the history of Swedish Weaving, what fabrics to use and techniques etc. can be found here.

I'm sure you are aware we have a fun embroidery contest going on at the moment called Covered in Stitches. There are quite a few fabulous entries in the Covered in Stitches Flickr group already but it's certainly not too late to join in at this point! Submissions are accepted until November 7th.

September 28, 2011

Texture and leaf

Fall Leaf Embroidery, originally uploaded by flossbox.
This is a lovely piece, isn't it? Perfect autumn colours, great texture and a lot of different stitches.

How many different stitches do you see?

September 25, 2011

Patterns: Halloween

Halloween patterns



I think Halloween has to be one of the most fun celebrations to stitch for, so I couldn't just mention one Halloween pattern -

Badbird's Batty Framed was stitched beautifully by xperimental, the pattern is by Badbird and can be found here.

Halloween Cross Stitch Wall Hangings were stitched by Early Bird Special from patterns by My Paper Crane which can be found here. These wall hangings were stitched on plastic canvas with acrylic yarn and you can read more about them on the Early Bird Special blog here.

progress 9/24/11 was stitched by Kunderwood from a Lizzie Kate Halloween pattern and I've been following Kunderwood's progress shots eagerly on Flickr recently.

Also worthy of Halloween pattern mentions are Zombies and Monsters from Sublime Stitching and Urban Threads Halloween selection, both of which I've been using as I prepare for my own Halloween celebrations. I haven't stopped stitching yet however and plan to stitch something from this great new Halloween pattern set from Cate Anevski and hopefully of course Feeling Stitchy's very own Halloween pattern from Cathy Gaubert.

Spooky stitching everyone!

September 19, 2011

Perfectly fishy

For me, originally uploaded by wendalene.
This is really cute, don't you think?

But even more than that it's a great example of the effect you can get with just a couple of different stitches.

Love it!

September 18, 2011

Patterns: Wee Little Stitches Family Portrait

Wee Little Stitches Family Portrait of us, stitched by me

Wee Little Stitches Family Portrait of my family stitched by me

I've stitched a few of Wee Little Stitches pixel people now and loved doing them, so as a treat to myself last summer I commissioned Wee Little Stitches to turn me and my family into pixel people as well. They did a wonderful job, really capturing my family's likeness from just my description of us and I received the finished pattern really quickly. All that and for a one of a kind pattern at a really reasonable price, I can highly recommend them. You can find them here, maybe just in time to start stitching for those personalised family Christmas cards?

September 16, 2011

Book cover inspiration and a Contest update



Today I'm showing you some examples of embroideries I found on Flickr that were inspired by or based on book covers. These are not entries for the 'Covered in Stitches' Contest (and yes, there are already some entries!) but they certainly could be! 'Monster' was superbly stitched by Lauren on a tea towel.


'A Wrinkle in Time' is an embroidery made by Lynn. She used a cool book cover from the sixties as starting point  for her piece.


A very different approach is this mixed media piece made by Moxiedoll77. She embroidered on the leather book cover of a book called 'The Heart is a Lonely Hunter'.
 
I have great news for all the stitchers that are joining in the 'Covered in Stitches' contest. In addition to the wonderful collection of prizes we already had, we have an extra prize for the winning Book Cover! When Penguin Books learned about our Contest earlier this week, they kindly offered to send the winner the full set of the Penguin Classic editions with the Jillian Tamaki covers. Thank you Penguin Books!


Remember, if you have any questions about the contest, just want to say 'hello' to your fellow 'Covered in Stitches' stitchers or post a submission: visit the 'Covered in Stitches' Flickr group!


September 14, 2011

September Stitch-along | Week 2

It's great to see that some of our FS readers have gotten into the Halloween spirit a bit early and begun stitching up Cathy Gaubert's spooky September stitch-along pattern. It's such an adorable image to stitch up, and so versatile too -- I can see this becoming a wall hanging, a tea towel, a mini quilt ... even a toddler's (or grown man's, just sayin') t-shirt.

So what are you waiting for? Come and join us! In the meantime, enjoy these works-in-progress by your fellow stitchers:

Day dreaming: Halloween
Photo by mrsmcporkchop


Color choice
Photo by dappleapple09


september stitchalong!
Photo by dappleapple09



September Stitchalong 2
Photo by ~ PixieFey ~


September Stitchalong 1
Photo by ~ PixieFey ~


Very satisfactory tracing job
Photo by Savage Pink



Trace job, the second sitting.
Photo by Savage Pink


Ghostly chain stitch
Photo by Savage Pink

September 13, 2011

Covered in Stitches a Feeling Stitchy Embroidery Contest!


Remember the awesome book covers Jillian Tamaki designed and stitched earlier this year for some of the Penguin Classics? Well these have inspired us to make 'book covers' the theme of a fabulous Feeling Stitchy contest called Covered in Stitches! The contest starts today and submissions are accepted until the 7th of November 2011. You can post photos of your piece in this Flickr group I especially created for this contest. If you don't have a Flickr account do not worry, basic Flickr accounts are free and you can sign up easily. You can also post your questions about the contest in the Covered in Stitches group.

Jillian's design for 'The Secret Garden'
Some rules...
  • Whether you design your own book cover or base your embroidery on an existing book cover design: it's all o.k. as long as it's clear that embroidery (and of course I also mean cross stitch, crewel, creative free hand machine embroidery etc) is the main 'ingredient' of your piece. 
  • You can make your embroidery any size you like and stitch on any material you want. 
  • You are not limited to design/or be inspired by a book cover of a novel, other book designs are welcome too! From Biology books to Cook Books and from Encyclopedias to History Books.
  • Be sure to present your piece in the best way you can and post at least 2 (but no more than 5) photos of your piece in the Covered in Stitches Flickr Group , one of the whole embroidery and one of a stunning detail. 
  • Tag your photos with 'CoveredinStitches' and write a little bit about your piece in the description (what book inspired you, materials you used etc.) Photos that are not clearly related to the contest will be removed.
  • It is *not* o.k. to use this 'opportunity' to sell your stuff. Photos with links to shops will also be removed. 
  • Digital alterations to your piece (like photo shopping a book title in) are not appreciated.
The contest is open to anyone, anywhere in the world!

Prizes!!

Naturally, Eternal Feeling Stitchy Glory is the main prize for the winner...but we have some awesome more 'earthly' prizes for you as well. Please check out the artists and shops that have kindly sponsored the prizes for this contest!


First Prize: (clockwise from top left) Party Fox Crewel Kit ($30) from Takofibers, One Penguin Classic book with a Jillian Tamaki cover (you can choose from: Black Beauty, The Secret Garden or Emma) A full set (Black Beauty, Emma and The Secret Garden) of the Penguin Classic Editions with the Jillian Tamaki cover designs offered by Penguin Books , A Matroushka Floss Organizer ($20) from Girl on the Rocks and a Voucher ($15) from Cate Anevski's shop.



First Runner up (clockwise from top left): One Penguin Classic book with a Jillian Tamaki cover  (you can choose from: Black Beauty, The Secret Garden or Emma), an Owl Floss Organizer ($8) from Girl on the Rocks, a Voucher ($10) from Cate Anevski's shop and a Voucher ($15) from Shiny Happy World.


Second Runner up (from left to right) One Penguin Classic book with a Jillian Tamaki cover  (you can choose from: Black Beauty, The Secret Garden or Emma), an Owl Floss Organizer ($8) from Girl on the Rocks and a Voucher ($15) from Shiny Happy World.


So remember: submissions are accepted until the 7th of November 2011. Posting your photos in the Covered in Stitches Group in time is sufficient, there is no need to send in the actual piece you made. A shortlist of candidates (as chosen by the Feeling Stitchy team) will be presented on this blog about a week after the closing date. After that Feeling Stitchy readers can vote for their favourite Embroidered Book Cover!

If you want to help spread the word about this contest (and show us that you love Feeling Stitchy!) please put the neat contest button you see below on your own website!

We CAN'T WAIT to see your entries!

If you're participating, grab the button for your blog!









September 12, 2011

Interview - Sarah Hennessey

There's a lot of nice stuff in the Feeling Stitchy Flickr group. And then there's stuff that's so nice that we need to know a bit more about it. As in the case of Sarah Hennessey. Her stitcheries are very colourful and graphic - you can't help but be cheerful when you see it. Lots of flowers, lots of houses and cityscapes. Nice stuff.

Check out her Flickr stream and her shop: Sometimes I Swirl. Sarah also has a blog. And would you believe it, she designs fabrics too, check it out on Spoonflower!

Thank you, Sarah!

Teal, Pink and White Embroidered Mandala by Sarah Hennessey
What inspires your embroidery?
I'm always inspired by abstract, symmetrical designs (mandalas), circles, concentric things, anything with great line. Also, color is really important to me, so I might base an entire piece around one color of thread, or around something I see in real life (for example, a teal pillow helped me decide on the color scheme above). It's kind of funny, because I am so strongly inspired by the simple, classic combination of black-and-white as well. If something is B&W and has good, clean design, oh I am such a sucker for it.
Natural themes influence me too, so I really enjoy embroidering leaves, abstract flowers, etc. I have quite a few books on traditional mehndi design, Italian textile floral designs, etc., so I find all of that incredibly interesting.

Colorful Flower Garden with Swirls2
Where's your favourite place to stitch?
I can sew anywhere as long as I have background noise. Most nights after work, this means lounging on my comfy couch with episodes of The Office going and a kitty assistant at my side. I also love to sit outside on my front porch and sew with my ipod on shuffle.

What perceptions of embroidery do you meet?
Honestly, because we are seeing more sewing, embroidering, cross-stitching, quilting and knitting/crocheting in the art scene (and especially on etsy and blogs), people are very positive and supportive when I tell them that I embroider. I've had a lot of girls my age even respond with: "I really want to learn how to embroider!" and I always tell them yes, yes they should because it's amazing and therapeutic and wonderful and fun. The fact that so many artists are trying out fiber art means that we're slowly cutting down the idea that only crotchety old cat ladies are embroidering and sewing and quilting.

Constellation City Embroidered Hoop Art3
Do you have a favourite stitch?
The majority of my shapes/outlines are created by using a split stitch, and I love how solid and sturdy a line of split stitches looks, so that's perhaps my favorite? The thing is, I am completely self-taught, and when I started, I didn't even know that the split stitch was called the split stitch, same goes for the running stitch, seeding, couching, etc. Lately, I've been experimenting a bunch by looking up tutorials on youtube - which, side note, is pretty awesome, because a lot of the ladies uploading embroidery stitch tutorials are British, so I'm learning new techniques by way of amazing British-accent-instruction! I have been doing some pieces lately that are comprised solely of french knots, and I'm getting much faster at doing those and am stabbing myself with the needle far less than when I first started, so they might be inching to the front as a favorite, as well.

Green Embroidered French Knot Color Study by Sarah Hennessey
Do you have a favourite project that you have made?
I have a few favorite projects, and I like them all for very different reasons. I'll always have a soft spot for the very first project I embroidered, when I didn't know a thing and was just winging it. The lines are sort of dreadful in spots, but on a whole, I didn't think it turned out too awful, so I listed it in my shop.
Another piece which is very dear to me, is this one, I just really like the white-on-black look and it was just incredibly fun to make. And, okay, one more... I just love this one because it's slightly weird and yet captivating and it was also lots of fun to figure out.

September 11, 2011

Patterns: Mommy & Baby Whale

Badbird Mommy and Baby Whale

I just had to stitch Badbird's free September pattern this month, it's so cute (and as mum to a boy I love anything that's more boyish). I think this would look great on a swim bag or a towel or just in a hoop hung up in a bathroom. You can find the pattern here, thank you Badbird!

September 9, 2011

Pure Adventure

With the anniversary of the tragic events on 9/11 ten years ago in mind, I thought today I'd post something positive and inspiring. Stitched by Disobedient Child on a vintage (looking) hankie. I like the idea of stitching messages on a hankie so you can carry your inspirational quote with you... (or even better: give it to someone you love!)

This Tuesday I will be telling you everything you need to know about our fabulous Feeling Stitchy Embroidery Contest. Amazing Prizes? Strict Rules? Fantastic Theme?  We've got you covered!

September 8, 2011

A happy skull

Love the colours in this piece.

But even more than that: the stitching is awesome! All that chain stitching. Nice!

September 4, 2011

Patterns: Embroidered and Appliqued Ship


I absolutely love what doe c doe has done to this pattern which she found in the Hoop Love Flickr pool, uploaded by Brian Campbell. Stitching a masted sailing ship has been on my personal to do list for a while and I had already seen this pattern, but it hadn't occurred to me in a million years to applique the sails in that way (or the sea for that matter). Visit doe c doe's blog to see her inspiration behind this piece (and she's also provided another really cute vintage floral freebie, which is also on my to-stitch list now - now that particular list grows longer every day).

September 3, 2011

Check, check and check!

Khal Drogo, originally uploaded by AlwaysInspired.
Stitched portrait? Check.

Pop culture reference? Check.

Maximum use of just one colour? Check.

Yup, this stitched image of Khal Drogo as seen in the HBO series of Game of Thrones ticks all the boxes. Great work!

September 2, 2011

Stitchy details

Picture 006, originally uploaded by peregrine blue.
I love stitching like this. Random. Colourful. Lots of different stitches.

And I especially love when people take the time to take this kind of detail photo.

I think it says "OMG I love stitching SO much!" :-)

Push Stitchery - and a contest!

Penny Nickels, one of our own here at Feeling Stitchy, has been featured in a brand new book called PUSH Stitchery: 30 Artists Explore the Boundaries of Stitched Art and it looks pretty awesome. To celebrate, she's holding a contest on her blog this month, and she's looking for your most awesome work. Winner gets a signed copy of her book, and will be featured here on Feeling Stitchy and the incredibly awesome MrXStitch. Thanks, Penny!

Get on over there and enter the contest!

September 1, 2011

September Stitch-along

Wow, is it September already? Here in North Carolina, it still feels very much like summer ... but September signals the beginnings of Autumn and our beloved fall and winter holiday season. First up, of course, is Halloween, and this month's free stitch-along pattern should help get us all into the spooky spirit.

September's pattern, Hallowe'en Trio, was designed by the talented Cathy Gaubert. Cathy is a mom, a stitcher, a quilter, and an all-around wonderful person, and she blogs about it all at handmade...cathygaubert. Cathy also designs some really great embroidery patterns (as evidenced below), and you can find more in her Etsy shop.

Feeling Stitchy September Stitch-along Pattern

So grab your candy corn (yes, they are already available -- I've checked!), pour yourself a glass of witch's brew, turn on your favorite scary movie and join us in our September stitch-along. Be sure to add your photos to the Feeling Stitchy Embroidery pool, and tag them with "SeptemberStitchAlong". We can't wait to see what you make!

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