January 30, 2012

sweet bird

And I climbed on the back of a giant albatross
stitched by Wendalene

I don't know about you, but this kind of makes my heart sing. :)

January 29, 2012

Patterns: Valentine Round Up

There's lots of great Valentine's Day embroidery patterns out there at the moment and still plenty of time to stitch something.

How about something with a little cute vintage vibe from Sew Lovely?


365:29 I Dig you the most


(Stitched by me)

Or Wendi Gratz's lovely heart sampler?

Hearts Sampler embroidery pattern detail 1

Heart sampler embroidery pattern detail 1 by Wendi Gratz

Or how about some cute applique from Sew Sew n Sew?

Valentine's Embroidery / Applique Pattern


If anatomical hearts are more your thing, may I recommend this new pattern from Sublime Stitching.

Or if you're looking for something for the person in your life who is not that into pink or hearts, may I recommend the I'm Nuts About You pattern from Penelope Waits, I realise this pattern has been around for a little while but I thought I'd mention it because it just happens to be in this month's issue of Cross Stitcher to!

January 28, 2012

January Stitchalong: hang it up and enjoy!

finished!

Can it be? We've finally arrived at week 4 of the January Stitchalong, and we're done! Or at least, I'm done - last week I walked you through possibilities for covering the backs of your letters and hanging them.

I chose to go with little felt loops that I secured with a tiny little x-stitch:
finished felt loops for hanging

Here's some more:
close up of the finished letters

As for "new" - I dangled those letters with white perle embroidery thread from the top row of letters:
dangly letters

I used thin white ribbon to hang them, and tied them onto simple tacks:
tacks and ribbon: quick and easy hanging

Just 4 tacks, some ribbon, and some wallspace, and we're done!
from a distance

On to your projects!

It looks like Aimee finished her family sampler using couched letters:

Isn't it nice? Gorgeous work! :)

Kleas gave us a tantalizing preview of some of her couching - knowing her - it's going to be great!
couching

And here's a cute peppermint-looking design by sisbabestitches:
Couching

Well, I hope you guys enjoyed the January Stitchalong! If you'd still like to give it a try, remember you can always join in - here's the free template - just add your pics to the pool and tag them "JanStitchalong".

Here's a list of the previous weeks:
Week 1: Pattern
Week 2: Couching 101
Week 3: Covering the backs and hanging

Is there anything you'd like to see in this year's stitchalongs? I'd love to hear it! :)

January 27, 2012

Hearts and dragons

There have been so many great free patterns in our pool this month that I'm doing a quick roundup!

Lovely dragon pattern by Aimee:
year of the dragon pattern

Cute (and gorgeous) free cross stitch dragon from Yasuko:
New year 2012

Cross stitch heart handwarmers by Mollie:
hand warmer

Mini felt heart pouch by Hiromi:
Mini Heart Pouch Tutorial

And these sweet little foxes by Jo:
Foxy Foxes Embroidery Pattern

I think that's plenty of free patterns to start your new year! :)

January 26, 2012

Love

"1, 2, 3, CLICK!"
stitched by yarnattacks

I love everything about this! For more adorable-ness, be sure to check out Lisa's post. :)

Feather stitch

Feather TAST - 04
stitched by Smallest Forest

I am in awe of this feather stitched work by Smallest Forest. I really can't remember the last time I saw something so artful and beautiful. Read about her design process on her blog.

She's taking on the TAST, or Take a Stitch Tuesday Challenge, and this February, I will be too! I doubt I'll create anything as amazing as this, but I'm giving it a go for 4 weeks - and I'll be posting my results here each Tuesday in February. Are any of you already doing the TAST challenge? Please leave a link so we can see your work! :)

January 25, 2012

So long, Farewell, Au revoir, Auf Wiedersehen*

Au revoir
Well, now. It's my turn to say 'au revoir'.

It's a bit sad of course, but with the combination of &Stitches and my own work at Polka & Bloom, I think I'll have plenty of distractions. No need to get all down about the past - the future awaits! :-)

I have absolutely loved writing for Feeling Stitchy for the past (almost) 4 years and being part of this wonderful community. You have inspired me in more ways than I can possibly count! So thank you very much for being so awesome.

I hope the inspiration has gone both ways and you've been inspired by my posts, whether they've been about geeky, odd, pop culture or colourful things. Or whales! I think this community shows that when you plant the seeds of inspiration, a beautiful garden of creativity will blossom.

And I want to end this last post by encouraging you to do some stitchy graffiti. Seriously. Make the world prettier with stitches. :-)

I hope we'll bump into each other again! Do pop by my blog from time to time if you fancy: Carina's Craftblog.

xoxo, Carina


*To quote The Sound of Music...

January 24, 2012

Truffle time

truffle
stitched by kunderwood

I can't believe how cute this is. Its cuteness is legendary. And very expertly stitched by Kristi. :)

This truffle is first in a 12 month series of patterns called the Dessert of the Month club. Yes, that means you get to stitch twelve different cuties. Judging from what I see in their store, The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery, they're all gonna be pretty dang cute. Eeeeeeeeeep.

January 23, 2012

Farewell (not goodbye) and congrats!


Carina's project from the new &Stitches

A little bird (or bunny) may have told you that two of our wonderful bloggers, Carina and Nicole, are setting out to create kind of the most amazing embroidery-related zine, ever. Jo did a review of the awesome publication they’ve put together (&Stitches) just a few days ago - and please don’t think we’re biased because they’re our friends - they’re also amazingly talented people. I thought you should know a little bit more about just how awesome they are...

Carina has been a blogging friend for years now on Feeling Stitchy. I founded this blog in March of 2007, and Carina joined in one year later in 2008. She has produced countless posts and has tirelessly helped moderate comments and photos and contributed so many ideas here. She hosted the July Stitchalong last year, which introduced you all to MimiLove's delightful Tom Gnome. She has her own successful side business - we showed you one of her beautiful patterns during the June stitchalong, and you can find more of her gorgeous patterns on her site Polka and Bloom. She’s also been a featured designer for DMC and has created her own stitching books.

Nicole joined us in 2010 and has contributed many lovely posts on embroidery and stitching - she also helmed the wonderful Covered in Stitches Contest last year - bringing together the talents of so many stitchers for a truly inspiring group of finalists and prizes. Her own lovely side business, Follow the White Bunny, features whimsical embroidery patterns that showcase her kind nature and her talent as an illustrator, quilter, and storyteller. She was also a featured designer in the recent Pretty in Patchwork: Holidays book.

If I have to say that Feeling Stitchy has been about anything at all (aside from embroidery) it has been about the joy of making things and the growth you experience from doing things you love, for free. They generously volunteered their time and effort here, and I know we have all grown thanks to their love and dedication. We wish them the best of luck in their new endeavor. Thank you, Carina and Nicole!!!!

Good times for a change

I made the cross stitch you see pictured above to mark a special occasion: my last blog post for Feeling Stitchy. The text is a quote from my favourite '80's band the Smiths. Despite feeling sad about leaving this blog, I think this particular quote shows a positive sentiment too.

I surely loved writing for Feeling Stitchy and hopefully you have enjoyed my weekly posts too. Thank you all for reading them (and particularly for enduring my Dutch-English writing) and for taking the time to leave your comments. I hope my posts (and the Covered in Stitches contest) inspired some embroiderers reading this blog to try new things and to broaden their stitchy horizons!

Bye bye! *Waves fanatically* Oh and if you think you are going to miss me, you know what to do...just Follow the White Bunny!
Love and stitches,
Nicole/Follow the White Bunny

P.S. just to be clear, it's only me leaving, Feeling Stitchy is made by a team of bloggers and will continue to exist!


January 22, 2012

Patterns: Elsa Mora

Elsa Mora cushion

Elsa Mora cushion

(Please excuse the bad light, I finished these today and was so keen to show you guys!)

I was blown away by the detail on these Elsa Mora patterns, which I discovered via Pinterest last year and I knew I had to stitch them. Well, it took me a while, but I am very pleased with the finished effect. You can find the patterns, which are free (thank you Elsa!) on Elsa's blog here. I can thoroughly recommend a good browse of Elsa's blog whilst you're visiting, as she has even more gorgeous art work on there to.

January 21, 2012

January Stitchalong: covering the backs and hanging



Hi guys! Welcome to week 3 in the January Stitchalong. The theme of our stitchalong is couching and banners, if you'd like, you can tackle both or either one. :)

I'm doing a Happy New Year banner, using the shapes in the free template I provided. Up above, you see me trying to decide how I want this thing to hang - I decided to suspend "new" using white perle cotton from the letters a, p, and p.

Some of you may be wondering about hiding the backside of your work?


Well, I'm not super-neat but I am a bit prim about that, so I cut felt in contrasting colors to hide the back.

I'll just sandwich the perle cotton between the 2 layers of felt:


To attach them, you can stitch them together with a simple running stitch or blanket stitch.

I opted for the easier route: glue. ;) here's the glue I used

I picked it up for cheap at Hobby Lobby. Honestly, its performance is "meh" - it smells super-strong and it's very thick and hard to control, so I'm glad I did a test-run first on some "stunt" felt. :) By the way, let me know if you've had better results with another fabric glue on felt!

I decided the key to it actually sticking is to use lots of glue, but not so much that it seeps through and shows (ew). You can see my previous attempt on the pink side to use small neat dots. That didn't work. :)
key: lots of glue

I had fun choosing contrasting colors for the backs - so that if they ever flip over, it'll still look cute:

backs

Ok, I'm just gonna admit I went way girly on this one. I think it's because I live in a pink room. It's infecting me! :)

Next step: how to hang your letters. There's a few ways you can do this, including sticking with the ultra-simple mini-clothespins I used above. Maybe even glitter clothespins? :)

Or, you could make ribbon loops, and secure them with stitches to the backs:

ribbon loops

I decided to go with felt scraps - to follow along, cut a scrap about this big:



Fold in half:



Secure to the back with stitches, thread some ribbon or yarn through, and it's ready to hang!

c20

So, if you're following along at my speed, we've arrived thus far:

c27

Now, if you're looking at the yellow-orangey felt I used for the letters "new" and wondering to yourself - what was she thinking, you are not alone. :) I'm not 100% sure about that color - at first I thought it was cute and contrasty, but I may change my mind before I'm completely done, next week... :)


Onto your projects! :)

Amy did a banner, but with snowflakes, instead of letters:

snowflakes (couching) for banner
I love the way her combinations of floss look like really neat running stitches! :)

Aimee is working on a couched sampler -

Jan'12 stitch along progress2
I love her combination of variegated yarn and bright green thread!

And finally, I dug up some lovely examples of couching on Flickr, like this beautiful piece by Eleanor:

Couching

This stitched piece in progress by Lalania:

Couching- Embroidery

And this very delicately stitched labyrinth in progress by fattycrafter:

Labyrinth

Amazing stuff, huh? Hope you can join us this week, it's the last week of the January Stitchalong! To join in, add your pics to the embroidery pool and tag them "JanStitchalong.":)

January 20, 2012

Mary Thomas, continued

Mary Thomas Cover

I just received this wonderful email and photographs from Barbara, and with her kind permission, I'm sharing it with you here:

Thought you might be interested in the following.

There was another Mary Thomas book called The Mary Thomas Embroidery Book, first published 1936. I bought my copy (seventh impression 1952) in 1953 from Cheshires in Melbourne, Vic, Australia, for 18/9 (eighteen shillings and nine pence for you young ones).

I taught myself to embroider from this book. First was a couple of very ordinary dinner mats which I no longer have but in 1953 I made a shadow work "throw" from the book. I forget what the correct name for them was but after you set a tea table or supper table in advance you would cover the food with a nice flimsy throwover.

Mary Thomas First PagesMary Thomas shadow Work

My shadow work table throw

Isn't Barbara's shadow work beautiful?

Thank you so much for sharing this with us, and giving me yet another technique I'd love to try! If any of you have stitched from or own either of the Mary Thomas books, we'd love to see your pics in the embroidery pool! :)

January 18, 2012

Mary Thomas, chapter 1

Mary Thomas Chapter 1
stitched by KittyStitch

I was on the hunt for all things couching for my next January stitchalong post when I found this amazing gem, stitched by KittyStitch. It seems she rendered all the stitches in chapter 1 of Mary Thomas's Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches. I am in awe of her color choices and the lovely precision with which she carried this out. Challenge: can you spot the couching? :)

I was really curious about the book, which I'd never heard of - it seems the original title was published in 1934, and looked like this (I love that sturdy 1930's typography):

Mary Thomas's Dictionary Of Embroidery Stitches
photo courtesy of Savage Pink

A bit of googling led me to this helpful review of the book by savage pink and a nice review on Needle n'Thread. It seems the book is back in print and available on Amazon, and the updated photography in the preview looks amazing.

Does anyone own the updated or original versions of this book? I'd love to hear what you think of them! :)

January 15, 2012

Patterns: &Stitches


Feeling Stitchy bloggers Carina and Nicole have just launched an exciting new e-zine called &Stitches. A quarterly e-zine, each issue has a theme and for the first issue their theme is colour, so cue lovely, bright embroidery patterns from Nicole, Carina and for this issue, their guest embroidery designer is none other than Corinne from SeptemberHouse, with a brilliant fish design.


As well as three fantastic embroidery patterns (as well Corinne's fish, Nicole has designed a lovely text based Spring pattern and Carina has designed a very cheerful felt applique bird), there are articles on finding colour inspiration from objects around you and colour theory, which I think will be very useful for that all important first step (colour selection) in embroidery projects. There are also interviews, book reviews and a how to for an embroidery stitch that I've certainly never heard of and I'm always up for learning new stitches.


All this and great photography to, I certainly enjoyed reading this issue of &Stitches and will be eagerly looking forward to future issues. If you would like to check out &Stitches, Nicole and Carina are very kindly offering a discount to Feeling Stitchy readers, you can find the &Stitches shop here, just enter the code ORANGE at checkout to get 15% off! This offer is available till Wednesday 18th January (CET).