March 30, 2012

Pins and Needles Giveway

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A good craft store is really hard to find. I learned this particularly when I lived in New York and had to take a long, long, long, subway ride from Manhattan to Queens just to be able to buy felt, needles, and embroidery hoops.

So I was fascinated when Jenn emailed me about Pins and Needles NYC, a bright, beautiful storefront dedicated to fabrics, haberdashery, and classes in sewing, quilting and embroidery. Their blog is also full of lovely projects and tutorials.

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Well, I was even more thrilled when I heard that they wanted to do a giveaway on Feeling Stitchy, to round out our birthday month of giveaways and festivities!

win fabric and floss

In the giveaway for today are 1/2 yard each of the 2 Anna Maria Horner fabrics above, and 12 skeins of floss in the recently released Anna Maria Horner colors for Anchor floss. The fabrics have a gorgeous cross stitch print that would look beautiful stitched over, or simply left as is.

And the floss colors are pretty much my favorites shades of everything:

floss

Awesome, huh? Well, if you'd like to get your hands on these lovely goods generously offered by the great people at Pins and Needles NYC, just leave a comment on this post by Sunday night, April 1, 9 PM Central time. Winner will be announced on Monday, April 2. In your comment, please tell us: how far have you gone to get crafting supplies? :) Please include your email address so we can find you. Lastly, to win, you must be a new winner who has not won a drawing on Feeling Stitchy this year. Let the comments begin! :)

March 26, 2012

Sublime Winner!

Hi guys! Looks like we have a winner! Karen is the lucky commenter who'll be getting a whole lot of Sublime Stitching goodness. I've already emailed you Karen - just respond back with your info please. :)

And, 344 comments!!! You guys really love your Sublime Stitching - thanks for all your awesome comments and ideas. I know you inspired me! :)

Karen said...
I could do alot with this bundle, but first I would make a mid-century style pillow cover using the Vintage Lamp transfers with accents of the metallic thread. I've yet to try the metallic thread, so that would be especially interesting.


March 25, 2012

Patterns: Stitches Del Sol

Seamless surface pattern by September House

The sun is shining here in the UK today, so it's time for some sunny stitching, so September House's new pattern set is just perfect. Stitches Del Sol is a gorgeous, detailed pattern set crammed with patterns that demand to be stitched now!

I can just imagine this pattern on the bottom of a simple summer linen skirt, but it would look just as good bordering a pillow case, table cloth, napkin . . . . the possibilities are endless.

Border by September House

Whereas these would make great wall decorations with a Mexican vibe.

Animals by September House

I hope the sun is shining where you are today. Happy stitching for whatever you're working on!

March 24, 2012

Flashback: make your own easter bunny

easter bunny

Just thought I'd draw your attention to an old post that has been getting a steady stream of hits, just in time for spring and Easter. This bunny is every bit as cute as he was 4 years ago - and who knew? I guess I'm still a fan of magenta and turquoise. :)

Enjoy this free pattern from Revoluzzza, originally posted here in 2008:





March 23, 2012

Sublime giveaway!

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Guess who's helping us celebrate Feeling Stitchy's birthday this month?! That would be Jenny from Sublime Stitching, who is offering up an extra-special birthday bundle to one of you lucky peeps. Jenny guest blogs on Feeling Stitchy and has shown us tons of neat stuff over the years, and it's extra-sweet of her to show us a little birthday love!

If you keep up with the Sublime Stitching blog, you may have seen Jenny's cool post on how to make an Epic Sampler. Maybe you were thinking - hey, I'd love to do that - but then you got distracted by work, laundry, a tuna sandwich, or kitten videos. Well, you know what - the winner will get everything you need to make an Epic Sampler!

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Here's what one lucky winner will receive:
Fridge Magnets
Epic Alphabet
Tattoo Your Towels
Vintage Lamps
A special sample mix of Glow-in-the-Dark & Metallic threads (put together by Stephanie)

Woo-hoo! To win, leave a comment on this post and tell us one project you would make with your bundle. Please include your email address too! All Feeling Stitchy readers are welcome, including our international peeps. You have until Sunday, March 25, 9 PM Central Time to comment, after which comments will be closed and one winner will be announced on Monday. Ready guys? Let's hear some ideas! :)

March 22, 2012

March Stitchalong: week 4

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Time for some balloons! These little guys were so cute all on their own that I didn't see the need to go crazy with any fancy stitches.

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I've got a couple of competing pinks going, but I think it's pretty cute all in all. At the end of this month's stitchalong, I'll be framing each piece in a hoop and hanging it in my craft room as a sort of Feeling Stitchy birthday gift all year. What are you guys gonna do with your stitchalong pieces?

Look at this sweet piñata on patterned fabric by TheMarchOwl:

march stitch a long

Love this sweet little guy stitched on purple by viji52:
March stitch along week 4

kghawkes stitched a cake card for her grandma:
Birthday Cake Card

Luciana stitched a felt version of the balloons, with a beaded border:
Brooch

And here's an adorable orange piñata stitched by KJ
.March Stitch-along at Feeling Stitchy

Want to join in? Download the free patterns designed by Mollie Johanson, stitch up one or all, tag your photo "MarchStitchalong2012" and add it to the pool.  :) Just one more week! Be sure to tag your pics and I'll include as many as possible in next week's final wrap-up post!

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Download the PDF
Week One
Week Two
Week Three

How strange it is

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Stitched by mel.sundquist

I'm loving this quote from a Neutral Milk Hotel song, very gorgeously embroidered by Mel. Her embroidery is based on a print by Fionn Breen. Beautiful work, Mel!

March 21, 2012

Way Back Wednesday

vintage dancer 001

I am so in love with this vintage pattern ThatGirlBecky stitched up. She is the queen of finding the best retro/vintage patterns! Her stitching is perfect and so colorful. I am hoping one day I can channel her thrifting skills and score major vintage patterns and prints.

Paperclip Parrot

Embroidered Paperclip Parrot
Stitched by hanging-by-a-thread

Well, now I have truly seen everything. This embroidery by Sally was done with paperclips, and it couldn't be any more amazing. To see more detail pics and read about her process, visit Sally's blog. Amazing work, Sally!

March 18, 2012

Patterns: Sew Jenaissance's Bunnies

Bunny in a Boat

With Easter around the corner, it's bunny stitching time and I love this pattern set from Sew Jenaissance, featuring a trio of cute bunnies.

Bunny & Snail

You can find the pattern set here. Happy Spring Time Stitching!

Bunny & Moon

March 16, 2012

Blog Love: Interview with Alicia Paulson

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Judging from the number of commenters we got on the Embroidery Companion book giveaway a few weeks ago - I have a feeling that a lot of you know and love Alicia Paulson. Her blog, Posie Gets Cozy, stands out in my mind as kind of the ultimate craft blog. Her photos are a gorgeous story in warmth and tone - her feeling for color is instinctive, and she knows how to share tantalizing details that make you feel at once at home and inspired. She pulls it all together with some really excellent writing - truly thoughtful and well-crafted. Just a few posts in and you can tell she really knows how to tell a good story. It's hard to put all of those elements together in a creative way, but Alicia has done it for years now, adding 2 published books and patterns to the list of handmade wares available in her shop.

I was beyond honored that she agreed to do an interview with us this month, and blown away by her thoughtful responses. Everyone, let's take a minute to meet Alicia:


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Do you think you’ve changed as a blogger, writer, and artist since you started blogging? Has your view of the world shifted?

Yes and no. When I first started blogging in 2005, I was having a really hard time in my life -- nothing super major but just generally overworking (I owned a boutique at the time), feeling like my energy was completely scattered, feeling like I wasn't in control of my time anymore. And that feeling was sort of the opposite of what I had wanted to achieve with self-employment. I had been a writer all my life and had worked as a book editor -- but before I started blogging I hadn't written a word just for myself in over eight years. So blogging was, in a lot of ways, a return to a version of myself that I had lost along the way. In the moment, it was sort of a direct reaction to these feelings of barely controlled professional chaos I was experiencing: staying organized on the blog helped me re-organize my real life and work in real time, somehow. But in a much larger way it also allowed me to reconnect to an essential part of myself that I had kind of put behind me. I think my reasons for bloging are still exactly the same as they were in 2005. I'm still very selfish about it. I still maintain that it's just a place for me to do and say and show what I want. I still see it as a personal blog and a way of telling my own story to myself. But I do think that since I’ve started it I’ve gained confidence in myself in the larger world in general, and grown to appreciate people in a totally different way. Experiencing the kindness of strangers has changed my life in some ways. I’m very grateful for those lessons.


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Our lives have become so inundated with the internet - how do you maintain a healthy balance of online vs. offline?

Hmmm. In all honesty, it’s not a hard balance for me to find. I don’t feel like I’m on my computer more than I need to be, and it’s off quite a bit. But then, I don’t do Facebook (I have an account but I never use it), don’t do Twitter, don’t get email on my cell phone. I’m turned off probably more than a lot of people I know. I am a horrendously lazy emailer, though. It’s the hardest thing for me. I have a very hard time answering emails and let them pile up to the point of shrieking. It’s awful.


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There’s something so intimate and wonderful and, well, cozy about your blog. Where do you think this feeling comes from?

Originally I chose the name Posie Gets Cozy because the name of my business is Posie, and the blog seemed sort of like a place behind the scenes of my regular work, where I was sort of curling up under a blanket with hot chocolates and just talking to a friend about all manner of randomness, some serious, some silly. It’s kind of the only way I know how to do it. And we truly are comfort-mongers around her. I guess we take our cozy seriously at Paulson Place.


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If you could tell the you of 5 years ago one thing, what would it be?

Ah, boy. I only wish I knew what to tell her. I honestly, honestly don’t know. I’d probably tell her to make some different decisions. I only wish I knew which ones I would have her change.

Can you please show us your favorite embroidery project?

My latest one is almost always my favorite. Right now that’s the Winterwoods ABCs cross-stitch sampler, which will be available as a kit really soon. I haven’t shown the finished, framed sampler yet, but here’s a sneak peek:

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For my next project, I think I’m going to do something botanical, on a black background, or something very dark. Like spring popping out of the mud.

Name 1 person you would LOVE to meet: (past, present, real or fiction)

Joanna Newsom. She is so fearless and original and sincere and thoughtful and so incredibly talented musically, obviously, and so articulate. I listen to her music almost every day and when I see videos of her playing it I feel like her performance is as moving as the music itself. She’s so unique. I just adore her.

*****

Thank you, Alicia, for sharing your thoughts and a sneak peek with us! All the gorgeous images in this post come from Alicia's blog and site, and are used with her permission. I have to say that while putting these interview questions together, I was listening to a wonderful podcast interview Alicia did on Craftsanity in 2006, and I highly recommend a listen: http://craftsanity.com/podcast/files/pod17.html

By the way, if you fell in love with Alicia's cross-stitch sampler in progress (like I did), she's put together some gorgeous sampler kits, available now in her shop - for more details visit her blog post.

Interview with Alicia Paulson

For more on Alicia, please visit:
Her web site: www.aliciapaulson.com
Her shop: www.rosylittlethings.com
Her blog: www.rosylittlethings.typepad.com

March 15, 2012

March Stitchalong: week 3

cake time

That's right guys, it's cake time. I was very fickle with this cake, and did a lot of stitching and re-stitching, so as luck would have it, I wasn't finished until precisely yesterday evening. I practiced my couching on the birthday candles, using 4 strands of embroidery floss - I love the woven sort of effect it created. Then lots and lots of french knot frosting. Now I see how addictive french knots can be. I am a fellow french knot junkie, it appears!

I was super-happy to see lots of you joining us this week on the March stitchalong, so without further ado, let's see some stitching!

stacey birthday card
Awwwwww! Check out this quilted birthday card stitched by mega4beth - sweetness! I love that sweet and simple color scheme - gorgeous.

Here's an adorable piñata stitched by LaWhimsy
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I particularly love that she included an idea sketch. If only I was so prepared! :)

Here's some more birthday cake, stitched by viji52
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I think I see some beaded eyes? Great idea!

Daisyeyes stitched her piñata on a t-shirt - great job stitching!
march'12 feeling stitch stich along

I love how 1.2.Stitcharoo created a whole birthday scene with the motifs - and that one of the balloons is sad.
March Stitchalong Part Deux
Creative and sweet!

And just look at this gorgeous little cake by Luciana
Yummy cake! (close up)
I love those wavy, two-colored candles - and that's a delicious looking cake! :)

Well, if all of this cuteness has inspired you, feel free to join in! Download the free patterns designed by Mollie Johanson, stitch up one or all, tag your photo "MarchStitchalong2012" and add it to the pool. Can't wait to see more! :)

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Download the PDF
Week One
Week Two

March 13, 2012

Interview with Hanaletters

A girl with a hamster hat felt brooch

I stumbled on Alina's embroidered pieces by chance, and I have a huge crush on them. Her creations seem to spring from a magical inner world, full of fantasy and sweetness. I was intrigued by her blog, her shop, and all of her wonderful creations. Thank you, Alina, for being sweet enough to answer a few questions for us - everyone, please meet Alina:



Orchard allegory - Apple tree girl

*Bear hair* O_o

I love the fairy-tale quality to your work - it seems like there's a story behind every piece you make - what inspires you to create your pieces?
The inspiration comes from the fairy tale I imagine. Girls wandering, wearing colorful dresses and befriending small animals, girls that love flowers, animals that offer flowers to girls, it’s a world of harmony, serenity and joy, my imaginary world. There is no villain in this fairy tale, the girls are goodhearted, the animals are kind and they all spin the thread of my heart into felt. For me, my work symbolizes the clear sky, my strong faith in all that is innocent, bright and simple in this world.

Fox mind - Lake of imaginary fish felt brooch

Fox mind - Puppeteer's Act - Love ballons felt brooch

Fox with measles felt brooch

Do you sketch or plan your work, or does it just happen?
I draw, make paper patterns then cut in felt, the only thing I do freely is embroidering the details which is my favorite part of the whole process actually.

Nerdy teddy


Daily knitter

How long have you been stitching?
As a daily basis I have been stitching for 2 almost 3 years but I have had a strong weakness for stitching and needles of all kinds as long as I can remember. When I was little I loved to knit clothes for my dolls and also spent a tremendous amount of time doing needlepoint, my first love was a sewing needle.

Alina's studio

Where is your favorite place to craft?
My favorite place to craft is my current studio, which is actually a small corner hidden behind the red velvet curtains of the second hand bookstore I run together with my fiance. It’s kind of obscure with no natural light but I am very attached to it. I call it my forest, the place where I play needle under a fuchsia lamp, I share secrets with my toys and tell stories to the vintage children on my walls.


Fox face - imaginary girl

Contemporary vixen

Moon traveler - cacao bear girl

Where in the world are you?
Spin an earth globe and put your finger on that country in Europe that looks like a fish, that is Romania and I live in its belly, just like Pinocchio. It's warm and quiet and involves a lot of water since I live near a river. :)


Do you have an art background - if so (or if not), how do you think this has affected your work?
I am positive that an art background would have helped me to be more organized, more focused and even more inspired but there is no art background for me, only an utterly skilled grandma that has been earning a living through needles from the age of 16. I call her "The Greatest Encyclopedia of all things done with a needle" because she reached a stage when she uses no templates, knows by heart tons of complex embroidery stitches and patterns and there is nobody in this world she wouldn't be able to dress. She must have passed me a gene or two and I am really grateful for that, she is my role model of continuous hard work, creativity and passion.




Name one project of yours that you LOVE
From all the pieces I have created so far this girl is my very favorite. She wears my dream hairstyle (that, with my disobedient hair, I would never be able to keep in place for more than 5 minutes) and has my dream job, manga artist or mangaka, I would love to have the talent to do that. Oh well, what are sewing needles for if not for inventing new selves?


5 books you LOVE
I am going to mention my top 5 children books, I love this top more!
1. Heidi by Johanna Spyri
2. The Adventures of Dunno and his Friends by Nikolai Nosov
3. The Neverending Story by Michael Ende
4. Momo by Michael Ende
5. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum


The autumn pear in my head

Name 1 person you would LOVE to meet: (past, present, real or fiction)
I would love to meet.... Heidi, the little girl imagined by Johanna Spyri but more precisely I would like to meet her in me. I want to spend my life becoming Heidi.

*****

Thanks, Alina, for sitting down with us! It was wonderful to meet you and learn about your magical world. If you'd like to keep up with Alina, visit
Her shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/hanaletters
Her blog: http://hana-wordsinabox.blogspot.com/
Her flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hanaletters/
Her facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/hanaletters/231656036848171