January 31, 2013

New Stitches With Portuguese Soul - part III

Olá! This week I bring you one of the most famous regional embroidery from Portugal - Guimarães Embroidery. I've not yet reviewed it here on Feeling Stitchy, but I'll be doing it soon. Today I'll only be showing some very beautiful "re-interpretations" of this traditional embroidery made by inspired Portuguese hands...

Bárbara begun "blogging" last Summer and soon she decided to devote her embroidering days to learn Guimarães Embroidery. As in old times she thought of making a sampler. Her blog, ponto cereja  (cherry stitch), written in Portuguese, is like a diary on that journey of learning the stitches of Guimarães Embroidery where you'll find many photos of the stitches and illustrated step by step instructions. Now we can say she is an expert and her new works show it, like her brooch or keyring.

But she never forgets which is the best stitch in the world...

Guimarães Embroidery, by Bárbara, blogged.

Vânia, from dedal no dedo (thimble on finger), proposes an incredible "reinvention" of Guimarães embroidery... These pieces belong to a project that were shown in the city that gives name to this regional embroidery. The neighboring embroidered little boxes are so cute and original - I simply love them and they were my first choice among Vânia's work. But you must see her "embracing the rain collection" and many other creations. You can get to know more about her work here...

Embroidered little boxes by Vânia, blogged.
Donalberta is an incredible example of how families can work together passing traditions from generation to generation and gathering different knowledge to make something new. In this case, mother and daughters use their skills in stitching and communication to take their project further. You'll find some traditional pieces of embroidery, like the fiancé handkerchiefs or the handmade bowls, but also original applications of old stitches like the dresses of Berta (the doll) inspired by Guimarães or Azores Embroidery or the beautiful bookmarkers. And here you'll find more...

Berta's dress inspired by Guimarães Embroidery, by Donalberta

This amazing neckwarmer is also a great example of how joint efforts can have unpredictable results. The mold of Alice's charming neckwarmers and the stitching of "the girls" (also mother and daughter) from ponto margarida (daisy stitch) created something unique. As always, Alice could not resist to follow all the production process of this piece, beginning in the linen fields. As she usually says" the process is an end in itself" and I believe this was the inspiration for an incredible project (really worth reading - some are translated into English) named "Saber Fazer", where she describes and beautifully illustrates artisanal and semi-industrial production techniques in Portugal. You can get to know Alice better in her blog, noussnouss.

Noussnouss x Ponto Margarida Noussnouss x Ponto Margarida
Embroidered neckwormer by Alice e Ponto Matgarida, blogged.

Each week I'll be more and more proud to show you all these inspired stitches with Portuguese soul! Feeling happy!!!

January 30, 2013

A Challenge!

Hey there all you wonderful stitchy people! Are you up for a fun challenge? Over at Craftster we are doing an altered image needlework challenge. Check it out! If you are not a member of Craftster, go and sign up right now. It's super easy and ten tons of fun!

Portrait 3
Special thanks to Phizzychick for making such awesome art! 

Details of the challenge:


Stitch up an altered photo. You can use any type of material and any type of stitch (embroidery, cross, felt...) and post your entry with picture DURING THE PROPER TIME!  The image can be old, new, but it must be a photo.

The rules:

  • The project must contain a photo (old or new) and must have some form of stitching on the photo-see explanation below*-the picture must be incorporated into the piece, not just stitching a frame for a picture
  • It needs to be a project you haven't posted on Craftster before.
  • Each person may only enter one project
  • Entries may be posted between March 1st-7th
  • Voting will happen March 8th-15th
  • The winner will be announce March 16th

    On March 1-7, to post your entry, simply start a new topic on this challenge board (the needlework challenge board). Post a picture and a little bit about the piece. DO NOT POST YOUR CHALLENGE HERE! Easy, peasy!

* The picture has to be incorporated somehow into the stitching. You can stitch on the picture or sew the picture into fabric. You don't necessarily have to actually sew onto the photo unless you want to but it you also can't just create around a picture.  The picture has to have some sort of stitch involved in it. The picture has to be altered some way.

There will be prizes and you will be featured on Craftster and on Feeling Stitchy. 

Beauty in progress

New Embroidery
Stitching by Jeni Baker

I've said this before, but oftentimes, looking at a project right before you begin, laying out your colors, and being in touch with your inspiration is every bit as exciting as finishing a piece. I am in love with the bright, gorgeous colors Jeni has chosen for this project - read more about her project on her lovely blog, In Color Order. Beautiful work, Jeni!

January 28, 2013


Stitched by peregrine blue

I'm loving this colorful progress shot in Constanza's Flickr stream - the delicious rainbow colors she's used to handstich little bits of letters are just gorgeous - beautiful work!

January 27, 2013

New Embroidery with Vintage Patterns

Hi, everyone, and sorry for being a day late with my last-Saturday-of-the-month-post as as I've been a bit busy doing some behind the scenes stuff with our group's contest.  Although I love (and I hope you do too!) the new interview format, this month I'll just doing a round-up of some great photos that were added to our pool recently.  If you like them, be sure to click over to flickr and leave the stitcher a comment!  I'll be back on Saturday, February 23 with an awesome interview and a recap of the contest.

And about that contest...... it's not too late to enter..... All the info is here!

Redwork Reindeer Donkey embroidery DSC_0373 Home Sweet Home Pink fish

January 25, 2013

Auntie's Challah Cover

Auntie's Challah Cover
Stitched by ApocalyseHow

I adore this simple vintage Challah cover, as stitched by ApocalyseHow. She says under her photo that her great-aunt began the embroidery on this piece, and she completed it. I love projects like this that span many generations - as if with our skills, we are capable of conversing across time, and sharing meaningful moments with each other. Bravo, ApocalyseHow! :)

January 22, 2013

Tutorial Tuesday

Happy Tuesday, everyone! It seems Valentine's Day is everywhere I turn. In order to join in on the Valentine's Day prep, I searched for some vintage embroidery patterns perfect for the day o' love and found some fantastic ones at French-Knots

Once I had decided on which pattern to stitch, I thought it would be cute for a Valentine's Day coffee/tea cup cozy. I used the lazy daisy pattern of the heart with an arrow through it, which is available here. I scaled the pattern down to 35% and printed it to fit the center front of the cozy.

In order to make a Valentine's Day coffee cup cozy of your own or to gift, you'll need the following supplies:

-fabric for front and back of the cozy (approximately 10x5 inches of each)
-embroidery hoop
-embroidery pattern of choice
-embroidery floss (I used DMC floss No.8 in red 666 and Perle Iris No.8 in 5064)
-2-inches of elastic 
-one button
-sewing machine

Step One: Transfer and stitch your pattern onto your fabric of choice. I scaled down my pattern of choice to 35%, before printing and transferring it to the fabric. 

Step Two: Once your stitching is complete, take the template and place it over your stitches, making sure the stitching is centered. Using the template, cut one of each of the front, back, and batting.


Step Three: Layer the pieces so they can be sewn together starting with the batting, then fabric back right side up, and fabric front with right side down. Take the elastic and form a loop. Place the loop side between the front and back pieces on one of the shorter sides. Pin the three pieces together. Stitch around the edges with a 1/4-inch seam. Make sure to leave a 2-inch space open so you can turn the cozy. 

Step Four: Clip the corners, turn the cozy, and press. 

Step Five: Stitch around the edge of the cozy to finish off the edges and close the space used to turn it right side out. 

Step Six: Place the button on the short edge of the cozy, opposite the side with the elastic, and stitch in place. 

Step Seven: Wrap the cozy around your next coffee or tea cup, and you have instant Valentine's Day flavor.

Hope you enjoy and give this tutorial a try! Have a great day!

January 20, 2013

Patterns: Little Stitches

Little stitches pouch

A washing day zip pouch

One of my new favourite embroidery books is Aneela Hoey's Little Stitches. It contains over 100 embroidery designs and twelve projects where the embroidery patterns are interchangeable, which is a fantastic idea. You can stitch the patterns quite simply if you want to but at the same time there is full instructions on how to be a little more adventurous with your stitching, for example the embroidery overlaying the fill stitching on the jumper on the washing day zip pouch.

The beauty of this book though is that the embroidery patterns really could go on anything, each design is quite small, so doesn't take too long to stitch up (particularly if you skip the fill stitching), so the designs could go on any number of things to cheer them up. I was so keen to stitch as many of these fun designs as possible, I ended up making a cushion with the designs I had chosen (project not in the book but is pretty easy to do).

Little stitches cushion Little stitches cushion 2
Embroidery patterns from Little Stitches

And on one final note, the book not only includes the patterns on the page (so that you can photocopy them and transfer the pattern using a lightbox, window, etc.) but it also includes iron on transfers, more embroidery books should do that!

January 17, 2013

New Stitches With Portuguese Soul - Part II

Olá! This week I have some more modern stitches with Portuguese soul to show you... All of them talk a little bit about our country - our Portugal. The sea, the tiles and the fabrics inspired these stitches as it often happens in Portuguese art. 

Let's begin...

Ana, from fric de mentol,  describes her stitching work as a "mixed media embroidery artwork" once her pieces are hand screenprinted and hand embroidered with cotton thread. 

I could have chosen her enigmatic trees, the charming mandolin player or the irreverence of Madame Potato. But the first time I saw the "solitaire" it remembered me of Portuguese fishermen. And I questioned myself how this figure can tell us so much about Portuguese soul... The sea, the nostalgia, the saudade... So romantic, too. Threads are used like ink - no doubt they paint our soul... And they make us have round dreams... Don't forget to pass by Ana's blog, drops de mentol.

Solitaire and gold fishes, from Ana's Flickr
Sofia is her real name but in the blogosphere she is Tayari, a borboleta serrana (the mountain butterfly). Her love for Serra de Sintra justifies both this name and the blog that she writes "between the mountain and the sea", ponto sem nó (stitch without knot). She is a passionate embroiderer. Do you imagine how many hours has she spent cross-stitching? She loves teaching and sharing her incredible knowledge. And I love how she mixes tradition and modern patterns.

I've chosen this image because it remembered me of Portuguese ceramic tile. And I was right... This was a gift to someone passionate about Lisbon's ceramic tile...

azulejo bordado
 Cross stitch "ceramic tile" pattern, by Sofia.

The details of Maria's work are irresistible. Her dolls , Violetas, are so sweet that for some moments we believe they belong to a dream. Some of them are beautifuly decorated with embroidery and I've chosen one of those to show you. This is a very special one because she's wearing a Portuguese traditional fabric, too - chita de Alcobaça. But it was difficult to choose once the dress of theVioleta nº 42 is also very beautiful. 

And what to say about her bird's bag... If you like appliqué embroidery browse Maria's bags set and don't forget to visit her blog, kase-faz.

Beautiful stitches from Violeta's dress.

I'll continue searching for beautiful Portuguese stitches just for you...

January 16, 2013

Way Back Wednesday

Nic Cage Embroidery Portrait in process

I will forgive Nicholas Cage for every movie he made after Valley Girl simply because I loved him in that movie. Thank you children playing with fire for rekindling my love of 80's Nick Cage.

Drool-worthy supplies

Photo by Gold Willow

Aresn't these lovely supplies as photographed by by Gold Willow just gorgeous? Makes me want to start stitching right away!

January 13, 2013

Patterns: My Favourite Blanket

My Favourite Blanket by Follow the White Bunny

Ooh a new pattern from Nicole from Follow the White Bunny! Called My Favourite Blanket, the pattern not only features a Union Jack bed cover but also American Flag and 'folksy' versions. Very cosy!

January 10, 2013

New Stitches with Portuguese Soul - part I

Olá! Last months I've been talking about Portuguese embroidery from "old times", but I would like to begin this year showing new and fresh stitches from "our times"... As so, for the coming weeks I'll fill these posts with the works of very different embroiderers that have in common their Portuguese soul.

While trying to introduce each embroiderer and their stitches I felt how poor my English is... I would need many more adjectives to describe how I feel about them! But I'll do my best!

And I will begin with the most difficult job... Introducing Avó Méri  (grandmother Méri - aunt Méri for me) is not easy. I need more time and I will have it soon... You have my word! For now I would like to tell you that I believe she is the best ambassador possible of Portuguese embroidery. Her work and fidelity to our stitching traditions are known worldwide... And it's even more difficult to choose one of her pieces of embroidery. Her hydrangeas would be perfect, the linen bags embroidered with a kind of baker's twine are truly original and what to say about drawn thread works... But this embroidered needlebook touched my heart and I had to follow it...

Embroidered needlework by Avó Méri, blogged here.

Luisa embroideries are only one of her needles' interests... The beauty of these stitches makes it so difficult to believe that she is also such a great knitter,  powerful with crochet hooks and an expert in quilting/patchwork. That's why her blog (de ponto em nó), her shop and workshops  are so inspiring for many Portuguese crafters.

Embroidered paisleys, by Luisa, blogged here

The next picture is from Adriana's work . Belonging to her Herbarium Collection, these bookmarks are embroidered on linen using her ferns' drawings. Although bags are her most famous product, I've chosen this photo because I was delighted about it. But, please, follow the links and get to know her work. I love all the details and how embroidering makes her projects so special. Even when she chooses the most unexpected themes... You'll be lost in her blog (mundo fio)...

Fern bookmarks
Embroidered bookmarks by Adriana, blogged here
A less advised look at Isabel's work would found no traditional inspiration in her stitches... But that isn't true and this photo proves it. The simplicity of her charming patterns and stiches made my job of choosing a photo almost impossible. I was tempted to choose one of the world or houses embroidered pillows. And the bookcovers could have been a great option, too. But since I saw this hoop picture I could not get my eyes off it. I love the switness of Isabel's pattern and the minuteness of her stitches. And I believe I've made the perfect choice from all her work in rosa e chocolat (pink and chocolate).

"Hand Stitched" Embroidery SWAP
Isabel's stitches and own pattern from her hoops' set in flickr

I'm happy with today's post... So many different and beautiful stitches with Portuguese soul...

January 9, 2013

Way Back Wednesday

The Kraken

Although this is not vintage, Danidot's use of tinting gives this piece a wonderful warm, rich "old" feeling. The fabric is coffee stained and she used colored pencils for the fill. Her stitching is amazing!

January 8, 2013

Tutorial Tuesday

Happy Tuesday, everyone and Happy New Year!

I have a tutorial roundup to share with you today. Each tutorial has some great instructions for how to create a fun and functional item using embroidery.

If you want to add a little color to your table now that the holiday decorations are packed away, Anna Maria Horner has an excellent tutorial for a table scarf. This is a pdf file, so make sure you have Adobe reader in order to access it.

Kylie Hunt provided the Flower Press blog with an excellent tutorial for creating a floral brooch using vintage fabric as her pattern. Access the tutorial here

Urban Threads has a great tutorial for creating silhouettes using a satin stitch. Check out their tutorial here. 

Lilipopo has a darling embroidered glasses case tutorial over at her blog. It's a super cute case and quick to make.

Hope you get to try some of these out. Hope you have a happy Tuesday!

January 6, 2013

Patterns: Cross stitcher

Untitled by All The Live Long Day

Awww I love it when I see Cross Stitcher patterns in the Embroidery pool! These are so cute and definitely have to go on my to stitch list! Great use of different coloured fabrics to stitch on to by All The Live Long Day.

January 3, 2013

Stitches with Portuguese Soul - 2012

Olá! In the beginning of this new year I thought of reviewing "stitches with Portuguese soul, my participation here in feeling stitchy... It has been such an incredible experience...

I loved to know that so many of you already visited Portugal (and loved it...), that others still care for the strong relationship their families have with this country, that some knew Portuguese embroidery, and even others that have never heard about our "little spot planted by the seashore” are generous and kind enough to read me each week.

Vintage Stitches
Estremoz Flea Market, photo by ZPmoreira
We've started our journey with a very beautiful book, the first from Anchor's book series, Traditional Embroidery of Portugal... Do you remember?

I've been learning a lot... For this year's posts I will never forget the groups of women embroidering rugs sitting outside, in Arraiolos; the beauty of "Pauliteiros de Miranda" costumes beautifully decorated with picado; the young girls from Nisa that began working at early ages on their bridal trousseau and how their work helped them to begin a new life; how a treasure kept in a chest changed so many lives in Castelo Branco; how the natural beauty of the island inspired the first embroiderers from Madeira and the exuberance of these embroideries conquered the all world some years later; how embroidery can be a men's story, too as in Póvoa de Varzim; how a piece of embroidery can be a love letter as in Portuguese fiancé kerchiefs; and how a woman in difficult times was able to innovate by helping to create what we nowadays know as Viana do Castelo Embroidery.

Vintage Stitches
Estremoz Flea Market, photo by ZPmoreira

I've also tried to show you some of my projects... embroidered necklaceembroidered card stock bookmarksembroidered notebooksbook cover tutorialChristmas lacing cardsChristmas memories notebook

And there is still so much to know... I will not forget to talk about regional embroidery from Caldas da Raínha, Tibaldinho, Guimarães, Lixa and Azores... I promise! And I'll bring in Portuguese cross stitch, too...

I also would love to show some more recent trends... And I'll begin doing it next week, showing the work of some new (not from old times...) embroiderers... 

Vintage Stitches
Estremoz Flea Market, photo by ZPmoreira

I have to confess mixed feelings... I'm so happy because I know better Portuguese Embroidery and how in the past Portuguese people always felt so "stitchy" :). But at the same time, while trying to find some new embroiderers, I discovered that their number could be counted by the fingers of my both hands (maybe only one...), at least those that show their work in the web. Embroidery is still an industry, like in Viana do Castelo and Madeira... But other arts & crafts, not so traditional in Portugal, are taking the place of embroidery... And I feel said about it it... I truly would love to do something to change it. So... Here come my new year's goal!!

This year I would like to prove (above all to Portuguese people) that Portugal is a living museum of embroidery. In each home  there are so many treasures that we must show and be proud of. I believe that will inspire new embroiderers...

My motto for 2013 will be embroideries out of the drawers!!! I will challenge all of those who have Portuguese pieces of embroidery to show them and take pictures... If you are one of those lucky ones, are you going to join me???

But you can help me anyway... Tell me about what you liked (or disliked) the most in this journey... Or what would you like to read about in the time left... Can I count on your help??

Vintage Stitches
Estremoz Flea Market, photo by ZPmoreira

I can't forget to thank you for being with me in this trip, for your kind comments and your emails... And the interest shown every week in the stitches coming from our small country...

And here you have some Portuguese words I've been talking about...  saudadelivro, obrigadajaponeiralençovestidobordadeiraenxovalbelezasentido artísticomãefilha, tapetestapeçariaorgulhosainspiradorpaicolchasmontepãotaleigocamisolaspicadoFeliz Natalamor