August 30, 2012

Cork fabric book cover

Olá! Some weeks ago I made available a free pattern in my weekly post . It was a Japoneira, a traditional Portuguese pattern commonly used in Viana do Castelo typical embroidery.

At the time I embroidered that pattern on cork skin (cork fabric or cork leather), a Portuguese great eco-friendly material. I promised I would show the final work using that piece of embroidery and that's what I'll do today.

Last year when I was on a Christmas craft show I was asked many and many times if I was selling bookcovers. And I wasn't!! I said to myself that the next time I couldn't have no as an answer. A few months later I created embroidered book cover kits made of burel, another Portuguese traditional material, and I can say they were the winter season success!

When I finished the Japoneira pattern I thought that it would be great to apply it in a bookcover made of cork fabric. I remember seeing many book covers made of leather in "old times." A friend told me that many years ago it was not common to see someone reading a book that was not protected by a bookcover and usually they were made of leather. I confess that a cork bookcover reminded me of those old bookcovers and I loved the idea.

One of these days I'll make a tutorial on how I make my embroidered bookcovers. It's very easy but I only use fabrics that don't unravel.. That's my secret...

Embroidered cork fabric bookcover
Embroidered bookcover made of cork fabric
I always add a bookmark to my bookcovers and I can assure you that it is very useful. 
Although they are not "universal", the measures I usually use make the bookcover adaptable to almost all books.

If you want you can take a look inside...

Cork fabric Book cover
Take a look inside the cork fabric bookcover...
I'm happy with the final result. But I confess myself desperately in love with cork... So I'm suspicious...
This one I offered to a friend. But I've already made two more. And one of those was for me... My holidays would not have been the same without it.

If you want to try this pattern it is still available and free... You may download it here.

And to end with our Portuguese lesson let me tell you how we say "book", it's "livro", one of my favorite words... 

August 28, 2012

Tutorial Tuesday


Happy Tuesday, everyone!

It seems that Labor Day weekend is a time to squeeze in that last vacation before things pick up with school, holidays, weddings, parties, and celebrations. I needed a new luggage tag for this last trip of the summer, and something stitched seemed like the perfect solution.


To make this embroidered luggage tag you will need:

-Fabric with your stitches
-Batting
-Clear vinyl or plastic (I got half a yard at Joann Fabric for less than $4)
-Sewing machine and coordinating thread
-Iron and an ironing board

I wrote directly onto the fabric, but you can access the template I created for myself, here. I used a back stitch for the happy trails tag and a stem stitch for the bon voyage tag.

Step One: Cut the two body pieces of your tag and a piece of batting into 3.5 by 5.5 inch pieces. Cut the vinyl into a 4.5 by 3.5. Cut one piece of fabric into a 2 by 15 inch strip and a small strip that is 2 by 3.5 inches.

Note: Make sure to measure your fabric accurately, keeping the embroidery at the center of the 3.5 by 5.5 piece of fabric. As you can see, I messed up a little with my Happy Trails tag, so I cut the stitched piece out of the fabric and stitched it onto the center of a correctly measured piece of fabric. 

Step Two: Fire up your iron. Fold the 15-inch strip of fabric in half, lengthwise and press.


Unfold the strip and fold the two long edges in towards one another, and press them in place.


Fold the strip in half using the first fold you made as your guide, and press again.


Stitch close to the edge and set aside. This will be the strap of your tag.


Step Three: Take the 2 by 3.5 piece of fabric and press it the same way as you did the strap above. Before you stitch it, place the clear plastic into the fold and stitch it into place.



Step Four: To construct the body of the tag, place the batting and the blank piece of fabric wrong sides down. Then add the plastic with the trim, aligning the bottom with the fabric and the batting. Place your embroidered piece of fabric face down on top of the plastic piece. 



Stitch along the sides and bottom using a 1/4 inch seam, making sure to catch all the layers.


Clip the corners, and turn.



Step Five: Fold the open seam inward and place the strap in the center. Top stitch all around the tag, making sure to seal the opening.

Note: I found that it was easier to stitch this in the sewing machine with the plastic side down.


A business card slips very nicely into this tag.



Step Six: Attach the tag to the handle of your bag by looping the body of the tag through the tag strap.


Hope you are able to take this on your next trip. This should also help distinguish your bag from someone else's at the airport baggage claim. 

Hope you have a happy Tuesday!

August 27, 2012

Sources, Sources and the joy of more Sources

Hullo! Before we move on to start another project, I would like to share with you where I go look for my sources on-line as someone had asked in the comments awhile back.

When I began, I downloaded most of the embroidery books from Project Guttenberg. Eventually I moved on to the Antique Pattern Library, and well, I am still stuck on this site for there is just so much of everything here! But in the days where I get too overwhelmed there, I pop into the Embroidery Archives of the University of Arizona, or find some gems in Google books, or searching embroidery on the Internet Archives. And I must include The Little Grey Bungalow blog even though it has just a few embroidery titles, for it always puts a smile on my face with all the public domain gems she finds!

But the best source discovery so far is from Feeling Stitchy reader Cathy! She found where our little children from the doll quilt project came from!!
She shared that it is an illustration by Jessie Willcox Smith and the original link she sent is from Pennelainer's flickr, where it describes it as coming from "A Child's Garden of Verses" by Robert Louis Stevenson. And thanks to Cathy, we now know that the 4 kids are "Little Japanee, Little Turk, Little Eskimo and Little Indian" from the curious poem called "Foreign Children"!

How wonderful this place called the Internet! :-) I hope you all continue to leave comments and share here on Feeling Stitchy, it is such a lovely surprise when one thing leads to another!

Now I must prepare for the next little project! I will be making the pattern this week for an adorable play apron from Priscilla Embroidery Patterns so I will be able to share it with you next Monday. It comes from a catalog so there are no instructions or pattern, but this photo looks promising :-).


Until then, have a happy week everyone and enjoy getting lost in the embroidery of the past!

August 26, 2012

August stitch along week 2


Left to right, top to bottom
  1. August stitch along prep by daisyeyes
  2. WIP Feeling Stitchy Stitch Along by _ErikaJean_
  3. Embroidery Part Done by LaWhimsy
  4. August stitch along wip 3 - embroidering on the beach by me
I am absolutely loving the imagination going into everyone's interpretation of this design; this week we've seen fabric applique, elfin ears, bead work and some lovely fill stitches! 

August has gone by so quickly, I'll be doing a wrap up post for this stitch along next week but it's not too late to join in! You can find Cate's lovely pattern here.

(Click on the links above to see the stitching on these pieces in their full glory!)


August 25, 2012

New Embroidery with Vintage Patterns - August Stitch Along with Interviews!

Hi, everyone, this month (and future months, too) my monthly round-up post for the New Embroidery with Vintage Patterns (NEwVP) stitch-alongs (SALs) is going to be a little bit different! I thought it would be really fun and interesting if we got to know some of the people behind the stitches!  So I picked 2 people who left a "sign-up" comment in our NEwVP August SAL discussion thread and have interviewed them!  I hope you enjoy!  A little background info, the theme for the August SAL was to modify this vintage teapot pattern.

As always, I invite all of you to join our group or at least stop by and take a peek.  There are lots of new embroideries with vintage patterns being added on a regular basis that are totally unrelated to any monthly SAL.  Mom Walds Place & I are are also on working on making the "discussion" part of our group more chatty so keep your eyes out for regular discussion posts by various NEwVP members on a weekly basis -- the first one, exploring different and exciting threads, has already been posted by sugarglider500!  (Please see this post if you would like to volunteer to write one or more discussion posts!) 


MEET FLICKR PEEP XPERIMENTL!!


Sonny the Sock Frog1.  Please tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a stay-at-home mom in Prescott Valley, Arizona. I love to cook and bake, garden, sew, thrift, and of course, embroider. Stitching helps me keep those creative juices flowing and has connected me with lots of wonderful people through blogs like this and other needlework groups. The support and guidance that I have received over the years from the stitching community is amazing. Stitchy peeps are the best!

2.  Tell us a bit about the embroidery (specifically your August SAL piece) you made.
I wanted to create a scene around the basic teapot pattern that was provided for this stitch along, so I began browsing Flickr for vintage patterns that would give me some depth. When I spotted the pattern with the kitten in the teacup, I knew it would be the perfect fit. The cup included a little floral pattern, so I then went on the hunt for some flowers that I could stitch onto the teapot to create a coordinating set. I used GIMP to layer my various patterns and play with scale and wound up with a kitten crashing my tea party. I used basic stitches on the design and tinted the kitten with a little bit of decorator’s chalk to provide some contrast. I finished the piece by using it in the center of a Dresden plate quilt block for some pop.

Kit-tea August SAL Entry

Kit-Tea

Detail of Kitten with Teapot  

3.  How long have you been stitching?  What or who got you started?
I did a few needlework projects as a child and teenager, but didn’t really get into embroidery until I had children. I joined a local moms’ group where babies were being born on a regular basis and I wanted something handmade that I could give as gifts. At that time, I didn’t know how to sew and we were on a budget, so I picked up some burp cloths and embroidery floss and started stitching. As my skills improved, I got involved in the needlework communities on Craftster and Flickr where I received great encouragement and inspiration from other stitchers. I’ve been steadily stitching now for the last 7 years or so.

4.  Why do you like vintage embroidery patterns?  Do you have a favorite one or a favorite theme?
My mom said that I was born about 40 years too late. I have always been attracted to the bright colors and cheery designs of items from the 30s, 40s and 50s. When I discovered the Hoop Love Vintage Pattern group on Flickr, I thought I’d died on gone to Heaven. Anthropomorphic patterns that put sweet smiling faces on fruits and veggies and pots and pans are my favorite. I don’t think a kitchen is complete without at least one silly embroidered tea towel.

5.  Do you have a favorite embroidery stitch?  If so, why?
I use backstitch a lot because it works so quickly and can go over a variety of lines. I like stitching text and by varying the number of strands of floss you can do just about any font with backstitch. It isn’t a very exciting stitch, but it gets the job done and it holds up very well if an item needs to be washed.

6.  Anything else you would like to share?

Nope.


MEET FLICKR PEEP MLACOOPER!!


1.  Please tell us a bit about yourself.

(A silly little blurb)
About me: vintage 1954, writer, four smart, funny, accomplished children, three adorable grandkids, cat, dog, old house, sewing, knitting, books, books and more books. And multiple sclerosis.

(A more serious approach)
I am a widowed mother of four grown children. I recently retired as a nurse and healthcare executive due to increasing disability from multiple sclerosis.

2.  Tell us a bit about the embroidery (specifically your August SAL piece) you made.

I am a true Anglophile. And a heavy duty tea drinker. So I loved the idea of the tea pot. And I thought since it was the Jubilee Year, it would be fun to put one of bcampbell_to’s Coronation motif’s on a teapot and then maybe stitch it into a tea cozy.


007

002


3.  How long have you been stitching?  What or who got you started?

I have been stitching since I was a little girl. My beloved Aunt, my grandfather’s sister, taught me. She was a brilliant seamstress. She is still alive, bright and active at 96. But I was away from it for many years. I was widowed young and had to work to support four kids. I was just too tired to do much else. Now that they are grown and I am disabled, I have the time to indulge in sewing again.

4.  Why do you like vintage embroidery patterns?  Do you have a favorite one or a favorite theme?

I love the vintage look because it is so nostalgic to me. I especially like patterns from the 1930’s. That is when my house was built and I have it decorated mostly in a 1930’s style.

5.  Do you have a favorite embroidery stitch?  If so, why?

I like anything that is a little intricate and has a lovely result. I like a bullion stitch and the Palestrina stitch. I like experimenting and trying new stitches.

6.  Anything else you would like to share?

I don’t think there is anything left! Except I do write two blogs, Nourish: living, laughing, whining (http//:www.nourishourselves.blogspot.com) and MS Renegade (http//:www.msrenegade.com). Please stop by.

August 23, 2012

Colorful embroidery

Olá! This week only a few words and many colors!!
A couple of years ago when I begun with agulha não pica I decided only to use the five basic stitches that I teach in my kits, trying to show that we can create beautiful pieces of embroidery while keeping it simple. But I wanted something different... And one day I felt that I needed more color... So I tried to stamp my patterns on printed fabrics instead of only using plain fabrics. And I have never stopped...

Today I bring you some of these pieces of embroidery that I've been making... I always use Portuguese fabrics, I try to choose the most traditional ones and avoid too many confusing patterns. I can never forget that these are beginner's kits... Classic stripes, squares and polka dot fabrics are usually my first choices! In Portuguese we say: riscas, quadrados e bolas, in the exact same order.

Cornucopia - embroidery kit
Paisley pattern embroidered on striped fabric.
Chamando a Primavera... Butterfly embroidery kit
Butterfly embroidered on floral Portuguese fabric.
Sometimes it is possible to use the pattern of the fabric to add something different to your embroidery... Look at this hibiscus that features the embroidered circles from the polka dot pattern...

Colorful hibiscus
Hibiscus pattern embroidered on polka dot Portuguese fabric.
These embroideries can bring new life to a pair of jeans or even to a very common pillow as shown in these photos...

Embroidered pattern
Viana's Heart pattern embroidered on squares Portuguese fabric.
Embroidered pillow
New embroidered pillow finished with ribbons.

Have you ever embroidered on printed fabrics? Although I do not recommend it to those making their first stitches I have to say that I love it!!

It was not intentional... But it seems that red and blue became the colors of this post... 

August 22, 2012

Wayback Wednesday

When I was a kid I loved Mad Libs. I would force my mother to play Mad Libs with me and if she didn't give me a funny word, I would just fill it in for her. Needless to say, there were a lot of gas related Mad Lib stories.

Whatnomints brought back my childhood with their stitchy goodness.  This piece makes me feel ten years old again and for some reason, I want to put some sort of gassy adjective in there.

You make me [ADJECTIVE].


Make sure you check out their other pieces as well as their awesome shop.

Embroidery invasion

Geeky embroidery II
Stitched by Hanne

I adore the way Hanne added a fierce, bloodthirsty creature to a found embroidered tablecloth. Her creature is stitched every bit as beautifully as the found embroidery, and I love the hilarious, delicate touches like the blood trickling from the picked stems - tiny details that make this a true embroidery invasion... :)

Gorgeous work, Hanne!

August 21, 2012

Guest Tutorial: Paris and Poodles, an Embroidered Affair

paris dress I'd like you all to meet Cassie, who we are lucky to have here doing a special guest post! I was super-impressed by her hand-embroidered Sailor Girl skirt and her Cowgirl skirt.

I love that Cassie embroiders on clothes, and her adorable vintage style. Today Cassie is sharing 2 of her most recent embroidered wardrobe pieces with us, as well as her doodles, if you'd like to stitch them, too! 


Everyone, meet Cassie! :)




I have this habit of getting on a kick. If it’s a favorite CD, I will wear that thing out, memorizing all the songs and working out all the dance moves. In my head, of course. I have the same addictive personality when it comes to candy. And coffee drinks. And crafts. Oh, and, strangely, wearing a bumpit countless days in a row. But I digress.


So my addictive habit led me down what I call the Paris and Poodles Path. It began with this oh-so-short thrifted dress (can I get an ohhh-lala?). I love breathing new life into thrift shop garb and this dress was just asking for a redo.


I began by letting out the hem and removing the pockets. I found this formerly-a-curtain vintage floral fabric in my stash and decided it would look lovely at the bottom of my dress. I had this idea that I wanted it to look like I was walking through a flower garden. Or being eaten alive by vintage fabric. Which, with my hoarder ways, the latter is more likely the case.

Embroidered Eiffel Tower

Before adding the vintage fabric to the skirt, I hemmed it and created a circle of fabric that was the same circumference as the bottom of the dress. Then I pinned it to the dress and applique stitched around the edge of the flowers. Once that was complete, I had the super duper fun pleasure of trimming all of the excess fabric off the top. I managed to cut into the skirt accidentally only once... which I promptly patched after saying a few naughty words and throwing a couple of things.


My favorite part was embroidering the Eiffel Tower. I began by drawing the tower out
and tracing that drawing onto the dress with a white pencil. I used thick embroidery floss for the outline of the tower and two strands of floss for the detailing. Once complete, I channeled my Parisian habit to French Poodles…

gladys presley's wall paper

This prissy pooch actually took longer to embroider because of the size. She’s very small and detailed. I decided to use just one strand of floss and the tiniest of stitches for this embroidery.

elvis wallpaper

The inspiration for the poodle actually came courtesy of Elvis Presley’s mother Gladys. I snapped this photo of the wallpaper from her bathroom on a recent trip to Graceland.


To Parisian-ize my poodle, I added the beret. And the hoity toity attitude.

embroidered poodle


I sewed the dress from a vintage 1960’s pattern including some of the most adorable Tammis Keefe fabric. I’d like to be able to say I’ve moved on from Paris and Poodles but I’m currently embroidering the Eiffel Tower onto a pair of shoes and whipping up another French-themed dress. See, I told you I have a problem. And until they make meds to cure this kind of crazy, you can see more of creations on my blog: cassiestephens.blogspot.com, if you like. Au revoir!

August 20, 2012

Handicraft for Girls: Finishing the Doll Quilt

Hullo! Finally, we are finishing this doll quilt! :-) All the patterns have been stitched up, and overhanded together. Now it says in the book to baste it to lining, turn in and overhand together. Well, as much as I did start to enjoy overhanding, I regret to report that I did not finish it this way as I was not looking forward to overhanding for the rest of my days (it's quite tedious if the fabric is thick!)

Instead I decided to use some bias tape I had laying around and used some left-over fabric for the lining.


Now, I must admit I have never applied bias binding to a quilt all by myself before! So I kind of had to google my way on this one :-) I found this tutorial by the Sew to Speak blog to be just right for my newbie comprehension skills.


In reaching my corners, I marked where I should stop or begin with a pen as I was afraid my estimation skills would mess it up.


After sewing on the bias tape, I trimmed all 3 layers close to the stitch line since my bias tape was not that wide and would appreciate not having all that bulk when turning over.


After the binding was put on, I then prepared some yarn cut to 4" length to use for tacking the quilt.


I tried using just a needle to do this, but goodness! I had such a battle making it go thru all the layers! So, a better idea had to be conjured. A few weeks ago I had picked up a setting tool at a local bookstore for no particular reason. Okay, the reason is always "might need this one day" :-) Well, that and it looked cute. Anyways, I took it out and made some holes for my yarn to gracefully glide into.


And it worked beautifully! (Although it was so efficient, it was punching the holes straight thru my cutting mat!)


After putting in all the tacking, it looked quite a bit sparse so I put one more thread in. This time just going under the stitch and not thru the hole.


And that is the end of the doll quilt :-) I don't have any daughters with dolls, and my dolls are a little too small for this quilt... but I do have a real live baby boy who will enjoy pulling all the yarn on this :-)


If there is anything in old embroidery ebooks that you would like me to feature here, or someone who makes stuff from them, do let me know! It would be great to share with everyone else the treasure trove in these books. Have a lovely week ahead everyone!

(To get all the patterns and see the work in progress: click here)