February 29, 2012

Love: silver fox embroidery

The silver fox and her cunning mate
stitched by Earwig

Oh my goodness, this is amazing. And better yet, it was inspired by a Bjork song. Read more about her project, and see photos of her process on Sister Twisty's blog.

February 28, 2012

Take A Stitch Tuesday: Couching

Take A Stitch Tuesday: Couching

Ugh, I just wrote this entire post and lost it, so forgive me for being brief after working on this for a couple of hours - argh!!!!

Look familiar? This week's Take A Stitch Tuesday stitch is Couching. I had fun with it again, letting the floss do what it liked with little guidance:

side detail

If you'd like to learn couching, try:
Tutorial on Needle n' Thread: http://www.needlenthread.com/2006/10/couching-video-tutorial.html
My Couching 101 post here on Feeling Stitchy: http://www.feelingstitchy.com/2012/01/january-stitchalong-couching-101.html


Here's a photo of them all together - I promise to re-photograph them in daylight this weekend:


Hope you've enjoyed these TAST posts this month on Feeling Stitchy!
Chain stitch
Lazy daisy
Chevron stitch

Love: fabric wrapped hoop tutorial

Fabric Wrapped Embroidery Hoop
tutorial by Allison

Bored of looking at your  plain brown embroidery hoop? Alison of little lovelies has a quick and easy tutorial to show you how to wrap your hoop in fabric strips. Lovely work, Allison! Go to the tutorial

And if you responded to my call for bloggers - thank you! There are so many great submissions that I'm taking my time going through them carefully - I hope to contact some new bloggers within the next 2 weeks, so please stay tuned and I'll get back to everyone soon! If you haven't responded yet, and would like to, what are you waiting for? :) Please include a topic you'd like to blog on - this well really help set you apart and help us get to know you better. Thanks all! :)

February 27, 2012

Giveaway winners!


We have 5 winners! And let me tell you, there were so many gems, it was hard to pick! But here's who'll be receiving The Craft Business Handbook - The Essential Guide To Making Money from Your Crafts and Handmade Products :

Joe's Crackless Plumbing
Crafternoon Delights
Felt Me Up
Wicked Stitch of the West
She Seams Insane

Winners - we will be contacting you via email with your prize!

I wish I could have picked them all! A few honorable mentions, who I must call attention to for being awesome are: Freudian Slippers, Hose for Bros, Stitchy and Scratchy, The Store with the very long name hard to remember and Bullshifters. Oh, and some real business names that cracked me up were: The Popcorn Stripper (I need one of those) and Chisel Me Timbers.

Thanks everybody and thanks once more to author Alison McNicol for graciously making this giveaway possible. :)

Love: kghawkes stitching

all you need
stitched by kghawkes

It seems that kghawkes had trouble finding the Twisteez brand wire and subbed jewelry wire instead for the February stitchalong - I think her version looks just as lovely! It's um, looking pretty bare in the pool for this stitchalong - only 1 in progress and 1 finish! I'll be doing a final check-in post on Wednesday, so you still have time to craft your own version, tag it "feb2012stitchalong" and add it to the pool.

I was noticing kghawkes stitched up both stitchalongs already this year and that got me thinking - I'd like to give a special prize at the end of the year to someone who crafts every stitchalong with us. Sound fun? Then join in! :)

February 26, 2012

Patterns: Kindersquad

Kindersquad free embroidery pattern

Eep I love these, perfect for the little ones (or maybe not so little ones) in your life. I love the use of fill stitches on these patterns, specially with the insect boy's eyes and the flower girl's hair. You can find the patterns (for free - thank you Corinne!) here.

February 25, 2012

Artist Love: Interview with Moxiedoll

I'd like to introduce you all to an Etsy seller and artist I've been following on Flickr for awhile now - under the name Moxiedoll, Mandy creates collectible embroideries framed in hoops. There's something addictive about her uncomplicated style - a combination of fun fabrics, imaginative doodles, and hilarious quotes make each of her works uniquely wonderful. She was nice enough to agree to a brief interview - so let's learn a little bit more about Mandy!

Flashy Frames

How long have you been stitching?

I've been stitching for close to 10 years now. A friend and I discovered an underground craft club and decided we wanted to check it out. I purchased some Sublime Stitching patterns, taught myself to stitch and the rest is history!


Paper Doll Pose

What is your first crafting memory?

Well my first documented memory of crafting is "sewing" with my mom, although I'm not quite sure what my end creations came out looking like. ;) I think my actual real memory is creating those pot holders from loops on a loom. I remember feeling such a sense of satisfaction and pride after I would finish one because it was something I knew someone could USE and I made it.


Groove is in the Heart

Where in the world are you? Do you think your place in the world has an influence on the embroidery you create?

I live in Forest Park, IL within walking distance from the last stop on the Chicago El. I do think that living in a metropolitan area definitely provides me with a constant source of creative inspiration that I know I wouldn't get in a less urban area. But as much as I love the Windy City, I can't say for sure that Chicago itself has a specific influence on my work.


Swell

Three Trees (pink)

I love the variety of fabrics in your stitched pieces - do you have a process for selecting them?

I try to make sure I have a wide rainbow of colors available at any given time. I don't really have a real process per say for selecting - I just buy colors and textures that I think will work. As far as choosing which fabrics I'm going to use for each piece, I usually pick the design first and then that guides the fabric choice. Anchors Away is a good example of this. But when I find a fabric with a cool print on it, then oftentimes the repeat pattern or print guides the design. My Mr. Rogers piece is a perfect example of this.


To die will be an awfully big adventure.

Typewriter Transcription

Do you have an art background - if so (or if not), how do you think this has affected your work?

I don't have an art background - I have a Bachelor's degree in English and a Master's in Library Science. It's hard to say if my work would look different if I had a different educational background. I'd like to think it wouldn't. I do wish I was a better drawer though. I envy stitchers like Jenny Hart and Wild Olive who can draw such fantastic patterns.


Rubik's Rainbow

Don't Panic

Nobody puts Baby in a corner

There’s such a fun mix of old and new, vintage, cinephile, and geekery in your work - where do you find your inspiration?

Basically I just stitch stuff I personally like. And I guess I'm personally kind of a nerdy hodge podge of old and new, with a passion for pop culture. My theory has always been if I like it, it's very likely someone else will too. Perhaps that sounds selfish, but I have a hard time creating pieces based on whatever is currently trendy. If I had to produce work based on some prescribed list of what's hot, I think I would quickly grow to hate my job.


Pink Princess Phone

What do you do when you’re not stitching?

Well like many people, I spend way too much time on the internet. I've become great at building Pinterest boards of projects/recipes/vacations I have to yet to actualize. ;) But I also absolutely love cooking, baking and playing hostess. And I am an interior design junkie, so I love styling my home and helping others style theirs. That's partly why I started my vintage Etsy store - so I could have a reason to buy cool vintage pieces and learn more about the history behind them. In 2010 I started curating an art and craft show with two friends of mine in Chicago, which has been a really challenging, yet rewarding experience as well.


IMG_0565

Name one project of yours that you LOVE

This might quite possibly be my favorite piece I've ever stitched. I made this for a "Fathers and Daughters" themed art exhibit. It incorporates so many things/themes that are dear to me: maps, silhouettes, love, geography, remaining young at heart, long distance relationships and, of course, my dad.


Swingline Stapler

5 movies you LOVE

Garden State, Run Lola Run, Heathers, Totoro, Amelie. That question was seriously the hardest one to answer, as I could list 50. ;)


Sew Simple

What do you LOVE most about the online stitching community?

I love the vast amount of creative stitching talent that there is out there right now and how willing everyone is to share their creations with others. I'm in constant awe of stuff I see online and seeing other's work keeps me perpetually inspired and motivated to work harder.


More about Moxiedoll:
Etsy store: http://www.etsy.com/shop/moxiedoll
Vintage Etsy store: http://www.etsy.com/shop/showsomemoxie
Art and Craft Show: http://www.5050pilsen.com/index.html
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/moxiedoll/

Thanks, Mandy, for taking the time to chat with us! :)

February 24, 2012

Giveaway Love: The Craft Business Handbook


Hey guys- we've got another awesome giveaway! If you've ever thought of setting up your own online shop, The Craft Business Handbook - The Essential Guide To Making Money from Your Crafts and Handmade Products is an excellent read. The author, Alison McNicol, is offering 5 free Kindle copies of her book to Feeling Stitchy readers!

Alison was kind enough to share a Kindle copy with me, too, and I have to say it is definitely worth your time. She answers all kinds of questions, from the basics of naming your business, photographing your products, and setting up your home office to pricing your goods, marketing them, the pros and cons of advertising, and how to decide to take the next step and expand.

The entire book is written in a really friendly, conversational tone, so don't worry about your eyes glazing over at the technical bits - Alison's book is concise and detailed, but always interesting and inspiring.  The final section of the book contains interviews with crafty business people like Liesl Gibson (Oliver + s), and Emily Peacock (yes that Emily Peacock who creates the beautiful updated needlepoint patterns).

I think this book would be super-helpful to anyone thinking of opening an Etsy or online shop or even anyone considering a booth at local craft fair. The best part is, all of her advice is given based on her own personal experiences, and she doesn't flinch from sharing her failures right along with her successes. Reading it was kind of like settling down for a long talk with your older, wiser craft buddy. (Ok, I'm not saying Alison is old, but you get the idea). :)

So, all that said, are you ready for a giveaway? Again, we are giving away 5 copies of the Kindle (or PC) version of The Craft Business Handbook. If you don't have a Kindle, it's easy to set up a free Kindle reader on your computer or smart phone.

To win, I want you to leave a comment with.... a weird business name. Strange, fun, cheesy - use your imagination and make up something nutty. I'm sure you guys can do that. :) Top 5 names win! Please include your email address so we can contact you. Leave a comment by 9 PM Central Time, on Sunday Feb. 26. Winners will be announced on Monday, Feb. 27.

Edit: 9 PM, Sunday night - comments closed - winners will be announced on Monday. Thanks all! :)

February 23, 2012

Love: zombie cross stitch

Phat Quarter Swap - Zombie
stitched by carexcore

I have some serious love for this piece carexcore stitched for a swap - there's a lucky swap partner out there who gets to keep this. Awesome, awesome, awesome stitching Caroline! :)

February 22, 2012

Love: very geeky oven glove

very geeky oven glove
stitched by pollaz

Combining two of my loves into one: my love of Spock and my love of not getting burned. Available in Pollaz's etsy store and unspeakably awesome.

February 21, 2012

Take A Stitch Tuesday: Chain stitch

Take A Stitch Tuesday: Chain stitch

Well, here's another stitch I'm an old hand at - and it's one of my faves. This week's stitch on the Take A Stitch Tuesday challenge is the Chain stitch. I love using Chain stitch for lettering, as I did on the Lazy daisy and Chevron stitch hoops - it's curvy and chunky, and I find it easier to control than your average back stitch. I also threw in a bit of detached chain (lazy daisy), french knots, and back stitch for good measure.

If you want to learn to do the Chain stitch:
video tutorial on Needle n Thread
lovely photo tutorial on The Purl Bee

Here are my three TAST pieces so far, together on my wall:
three TAST pieces together

I used another scrap of the same pillowcase - only this time, I filled the entire hoop with the blue fabric. I really love the look of white chain stitch on the light blue background - it's so subtle and texture-y. :)

side view

I had the most fun yet just "winging it" with this hoop and stitching with no particular plan in mind. I love that silent place you go to when you're deep in the middle of crafting - you don't notice that there's nothing on tv, nothing on the radio, and you're just immersed in doing. To me, that's been the most wonderful part of doing Take a Stitch Tuesday this month.

Are you taking part in Take A Stitch Tuesday? Please leave a link to your blog in the comments so we can all have a look! I'll do a final roundup of everyone's blogs next week on my last TAST post. :)

Here are the peeps who've left their blog links so far:
Lisa: http://thetruevine.wordpress.com/2012/02/11/take-a-stitch-tuesday-chevron-stitch/
Rose: http://www.therosejournal.blogspot.com/
Jen: http://lovelymesses.blogspot.com/search/label/TAST
Jennifer: http://www.marriedtoabmw.com/search/label/Embroidery
Hanna: http://www.ihanna.nu/tag/tast/
Faith: http://airynothing.net/Blogs/anblog/tast/
Kathy: http://eclecticlamb.wordpress.com/category/embroidery/
Susan: http://cq4fun.livejournal.com/

Let The Good Times Roll!

Mardi Gras - New Orleans by M'Liss Rae Hawley

M'Liss Rae Hawley mixes quilting with embroidery to create this celebration of Fat Tuesday and New Orleans. Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Love: Birds and bella embroidery

Bella's birds
stitched by the stitchsmith

I adore the colors and stitching on this lovely pattern by the stitchsmith. Her cute giraffe is adorable, too. Beautiful work, Liz!

February 20, 2012

Embroidery Companion Winner!


Yahoo! The winner of the Alicia Paulson Embroidery Companion is.....(insert drum roll)

Sunniva!
I love buttercups. They remind me of when I was little and my best friend and I would play a game (you probaby have it over there as well, but I dont know what its called) , testing if the other liked butter by holding the buttercup underneath the chin and seeing the yellow reflection from the flower and the summer sun :) We called it "liker du smør?" (in norwegian). And it reminds me of the warm summer holidays I used to spend at my grandparents. This was a really nice giveaway question! Thanks for helping me remember those warm summer memories (its freezing up here right now :P).

Congratulations Sunniva! Big thanks and kisses to everyone who entered. You guys make Feeling Stitchy so awesome!

Call for bloggers!

embroidering my skirt

Hello all! We’re looking for bloggers to create weekly posts on Feeling Stitchy for the upcoming year - March 1, 2012 - Feb. 28, 2013.

Our ideal contributor:
Someone who loves to blog and loves to craft. Being handy with a camera is good too, but you don’t have to take the most beautiful photos in the world - as long as they’re in focus and we can clearly make out what’s in them. :)

In your email, please tell us the topic or theme you’d like to post on. Feel free to dream big with your idea - use our February posts as a springboard, or find something uniquely your own - and tell us how your  posts can spotlight our crafty community.

Please include links to your own blogs, etsy sites, Flickr stream, etc. so we can get to know you better!

March Stitch Along for Feeling Stitchy
March 2011 stitchalong pattern by Corvus Tristis

About Us:
Feeling Stitchy is a hobbyist blog - our mission is to support and feature the crafty community - which we define as anyone who picks up a needle, for the first time or for the hundredth time! All our posts are contributed by volunteers. Although you'll be blogging for free, in my experience, wonderful opportunities can find you when you volunteer in the crafty community!

Our contributors come from every walk of life - some are experienced crafters, people who just “like to make stuff” (I fall into this category), respected small business people, artists, etsy sellers, etc. Quite simply, we do what we do here because we love it.

We feature books and items we like, but we don’t currently do advertising or sponsorships. At this point we only have one form of advertising - when we mention a book, it links back to Amazon.com, and any purchase kicks some change into our account. The money we receive from Amazon Associates goes back into the running of FS - paying for our domain, and funding giveaways and contests. Any additional costs are funded by me, floresita, Feeling Stitchy's editor and founder. We receive some free books from publishers, but many giveaways have been funded by me and by our volunteer bloggers (when they'd like to - it's by no means required).

May Stitchalong pattern!
May 2011 stitchalong pattern by Cate Anevski

We love to craft and blog, we love this community, and we love what we do. Does this describe you? If so, I'd love to meet you! Please email me at unafloresita@gmail.com

Love: Petri dish embroidery

petri dish mini quilt
Stitched by cornflowerbluestudio

Elegant and not germy at all. :) I've long loved Rachel's beautiful sea-themed creations. Read more about the pieces on her blog. Beautiful work, Rachel!

February 19, 2012

Patterns: Monarch Love

Rosie & Bear: Queen for Sixty Years

This month marks the beginning of the Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee celebrations. Helen from Bustle & Sew is creating a special commemorative quilt, creating this central block plus blocks showing all the countries of the Commonwealth plus a special friendship block to commemorate the friendship between Great Britain and the US during the Queen's reign. You can find out how to get hold of the pattern for the above block plus how to get hold of the rest of the block patterns here.

The Crown
The Crown by What Delilah Did

If cross stitch is more your thing, how about this gorgeous crown from What Delilah did? As Delilah writes on her blog, she stitched this having watched a lot of The Tudors but she dedicates the design to the Queen considering that it's her Diamond Jubilee year. You can find the pattern here.


February 18, 2012

Blog Love: Interview with The Purl Bee

chevron blanket bear


Today I have the honor of interviewing The Purl Bee, a site that has long inspired me (and I have a feeling it's inspired you, too.)  I've lost hours mooning over their lineups of yarn, stacks of fabrics, and online projects. If you have a crush on The Purl Bee - or even if you've never heard of them, I think you'll love today's interview. Let's meet The Purl Bee!

Heart and Arrow Pin Cushion

We've seen so many lovely and inspiring posts on the Purl Bee but your About page is tantalizingly short - can you tell us a little bit more about you?

Two of Purl Soho's co-owners, Joelle Hoverson and Page Marchese Norman, head up our Purl Bee team. They met years ago as stylists at Martha Stewart Living. While they bring that experience to the Purl Bee, they are both also enriched by fine art backgrounds, Joelle in painting and Page in ceramics. And most importantly, they bring to the Purl Bee a love for handmade expression and beautiful craft.

Purl Soho's third co-owner (and Joelle's sister), Jennifer Hoverson Jahnke, also lends vital support from her southern California headquarters. Besides managing our purlsoho.com website and coordinating inventory, Jen keeps a close eye on all of our most important decisions with valuable marketing and style advice.

The Purl Bee is also Whitney Van Nes, Molly Schnick and Laura Ferguson. These three women design and make the majority of the Purl Bee's projects and live to write about it all! Whitney is behind Whit's Knits where she focuses on knitting and crocheting. She also has a background in fine arts and is a painter. Molly is the brainchild of Molly's Sketchbook, which covers all things sewing, including embroidery and needlepoint. Molly studied filmmaking and is also a musician and a serious cook. And Laura is the namesake of Laura's Loop, which touches on all needlecrafts. She has an interior design background and is a budding Italian speaker and student of just about everything!


sweet home sweet pillow, on The Purl Bee
Cross stitch iPhone Cases, on The Purl Bee
Citrus Coasters, on The Purl Bee

I love the subtle plays of color in your project photos - do you have any favorite color combinations?

We all tend to agree that neutrals, like cream and linen and sterling, emit a kind of quiet beauty that we love. These soft, earthy colors have a way of allowing the materials to speak for themselves, which is really important to us. Having said that, we each of us do have a deep love for color and can never resist adding a splash! Page leans toward bright neons and Joelle is partial to pinks and oranges. Whitney loves sunshine yellow; Molly is really into saturated blues; and Laura has a thing for electric melon colors. Deciding on colors between us all is definitely some of the most fun we have!


Felt flower charms, on The Purl Bee
Fabric bundle



What do you love most about the online crafting community?

The pure creative energy! So much online crafting is done for nothing but the passion. That love and commitment inspires us every day!


Page's Felt Flower Winter Wreath
Linen stacking pillows
Big snowy owl


Do you feel that crafting in an urban center like New York gives your projects a specific style?

We are totally inspired by New York City life, from what the kids are wearing in Bushwick to what produce they're selling in Chinatown. But most importantly, the city really does train us to hone our style. Here in New York we are confronted with so many images every day that we all become very adept at sorting through visual information, stripping everything down to what we find beautiful and interesting and ignoring the rest.


needlepoint-pincushion


Do you have workshops and classes in your New York store?

Yes! We are always adding new classes and hosting special workshops at our Soho store. Here is a link to our current schedule of amazing classes: http://www.purlbee.com/classes-at-purl-soho/

26620_zoom


If you could choose just 5 items from your store that are a must-have for any embroiderer, what would they be?

That's hard! If we had to choose just five, Sajou's Retors Du Nord Boxed Set would have to be number one. It includes 96 gorgeous colors of really lovely embroidery thread.

We also love Sajou's Eiffel Tower Scissors. They're super sharp and precision pointed, and they're also just beautiful!

We'd also choose Frank Edmonds 5-inch Embroidery Hoop. It's a great functioning hoop, strong and smooth, and it holds the fabric nice and tight!

For basic embroidery needles, nothing beats Clover's multi pack. It includes all the best sizes and they're always perfectly sharp!

And, finally, a great everyday resource is the Pocket Embroidery Guide. It packs all the basic information you need into one little on-the-go pamphlet.


*****


Thank you Joelle, Page, Jennifer, Whitney, Laura, and especially Molly, for being kind enough to share a few words with us! All photos in this post are used courtesy of The Purl Bee and Purl Soho - click on each photo to be taken to Purl's project posts.

A few of my favorite Purl embroidery projects from the images above:
Sweet Home Sweet pillow
Heart and Arrow pincushion
Cross stitch iPhone cases
Citrus coasters
Felt flower charms
Pages's Felt flower wreath

And, just because I'm curious - if you could have anything from Purl's must-have list - what would it be? :)

Love: Sailor girl skirt

Sailor Girl I
stitched by CassieBelts

It wasn't enough for Cassie to stitch 3 fabulous hand-drawn sailor girls - she also stitched them on a skirt. Cassie is looking pretty fabulously sailor-girl, herself!

I love what Cassie has to say on her blog about working on this project:

My favorite thing about working on this dress, aside from being done with it, was the people I met while working on it. I only work on embroidery while traveling. It gives me something to do in the car or on the plane. On a recent trip out to California, I took my embroidery and met two truly delightful women. Both were so excited when I took my work out. They had both embroidered in the past, one even worked as an embroidery designer in New York, and both lived during World War II. It was such a delight hearing their stories and receiving letters from them upon my return home.

Visit her blog to see more embroidered sailor girls and read about her process. Amazing stitching, Cassie! :)