June 27, 2013

Poetry and embroidery

Olá! Portugal is not only a country of embroiderers... It is also well known for being a country of poets... And I believe that embroidery and poetry make a unique combination...

This week I leave you with my stitches, using a pattern from agulha não pica inspired by Viana do Castelo Regional embroidery - a beautiful flower known as "japoneira", and the words (in Portuguese) of Fernando Pessoa - one of the most famous Portuguese poets.

In Portuguese the words sound very popular and sweet. In English it does not sound so beautiful, it is very difficult to translate such graceful words...

I dedicate it to each you...

De regresso com novidades... Coming back
Japoneira, my photo
Tome lá, minha menina,  
O ramalhete que fiz. 
Cada flor é pequenina, 
Mas tudo junto é feliz. 
                  Fernando Pessoa

Take it, my little girl, 
This bouquet I made.  
Each flower is tiny, 
But joyful when together. 
                  Fernando Pessoa

June 20, 2013

Flying from pottery to embroidery

Olá! When I started my project agulha não pica (needle does not prick), I decided that my embroidery patterns would be inspired by Portuguese culture, that they should have a "Portuguese soul". Soon I discovered that although the inspiration from Portuguese Regional embroideries would be endless it could be very challenging to bring some motifs from arts & crafts other than embroidery. One of those arts deep rooted in Portuguese tradition and culture is pottery, that you'll find from the North to the South of our country.

I bought this (and many other) pottery plate 20 years ago in Redondo, a beautiful small town in Alentejo, in the South of Portugal, renowned for its clay products and wine. It was made by an artisan, Adriano Martelo, that claimed to use ancestral techniques.

The richness of the work of the artisans from Redondo comes from the use of traditional patterns like floral motifs, portraits of the daily life from rural Alentejo region and reproductions of antique plates from the 17th century. Flower baskets, small cottages, birds, cork oak trees and shepherds deserve special attention.

Pottery from Redondo, Portugal
pottery plate, my photo
I love this plate and decided to transform it into an embroidery pattern. I asked the help of a friend with better drawing skills and I was delighted with the final result of this pattern inspired by rural pottery.

Recently I used it to decorate a linen/cotton apron made in the region of Guimarães and embroidered it with cotton pearl size 8 from Limol, choosing the pastel colors box.
Tranferring the pattern
Using carbon paper to transfer the pattern, my photo
Transferring the pattern
Transferred pattern, my photo

Bird Pattern and pastel colors
Patel colors, my photo

Embroidering "bird from Alentejo" pattern
Embroidering... My photo

Embroidered "bird from Alentejo"
Embroidered bird from Alentejo, my photo.
And here you have how a beautiful bird flew from pottery to embroidery... 

Do you have a special embroidery pattern's story, too? Share it with us...

June 19, 2013

For the Love of Metal


Most people would be cowering in the corner if they had to work with metallic thread... not Sewphie T! She kicks its butt and has it crying for mercy. I am completely blown away.

June 18, 2013

Tutorial Tuesday

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

I have a tutorial round-up for you today. I love seeing how these talented ladies infuse embroidery into fun and functional items, and I think you will, too. Hope you are able to give them a try!

If you are looking to give your t-shirts an update, Kelli Murray has a beautiful embroidered t-shirt tutorial over at A Beautiful Mess.

Maybe you want to add embroidery to your sweaters, as well. Meredith over at One Sheepish Girl has a great tutorial on how to embellish a sweater with embroidery. 

If you are looking for a fun embroidered item that you can wear everyday, Julie Schneider over at the Etsy Blog has a super cute tutorial on how to make merit badges! I think these would be really cute to give as an anytime gift to friends and family. 

I have been spotting embroidery on paper quite a bit lately, but this is one of the most adorable. Debra over at She is My Sister put one of Jenny Hart's Sublime Stitching patterns on a paper doily. A few of these would look great on a tablescape, or strung together to make a garland. 

Hope you enjoy these as much as I did and are able to try one or all of them out!

Have a great Tuesday!

June 17, 2013

Arrested Development sampler

What a Fun, Sexy Time for Me!
stitched by Beadgirl

I, too chose to commemorate my watching of the 4th season of Arrested Development (all of it) with stitching - but this project by Beadgirl is so, so fabulous. I love that a lot of her favorite quotes are my favorite quotes. And that she included a banana.

Be sure to check out her post for more on her inspiration. Awesome work, Beadgirl!

June 16, 2013

Patterns: Dorothy and Toto

One for the wall this week; I so do love paired embroidery pieces that can go together like the Dorothy and Toto embroidery pattern from April Heather Art. Ooh and a little touch of applique to!

June 14, 2013

Sweet bear

stitched by Kristen Donegan

This little guy just makes me smile. Just like this little fox made me smile, last week. Wonderful work, Kristen!

June 13, 2013

Lucky winners of Embroidery supplies with Portuguese Soul

Olá! Passing by to announce the winners of last week's giveaway.

I'm very happy to inform Crystal Prior that she will receive a pack of Portuguese embroidery supplies with pure linen, a box of "vibrant" (her words...) pearl cotton balls from Limol and two Portuguese patterns. And I look forward to see how she will use them on her wool felt embroidery...

I believe that receiving a box of pearl cotton balls inspired by Guimarães embroidery will remind Deb H of Portugal. She was the lucky winner!!

And I was so happy with her comment... Knowing that Deb already visited Portugal was very special to me. She stayed in Ericeira, a little town near the sea, very well known among surfers... I have to quote her words: "Oh, how I loved that little town and it's people. Every morning, I would take a walk and talk to shopkeepers and residents. How lovely it was. I long to go back."

Pastel colors,  another choice from agulha não pca - not so traditional but still beautiful
Both winners gave the correct answer about the Portuguese traditional embroideries that inspired my color choices for the pearl cotton boxes... Guimarães embroidery has precise definitions on the colors that should be used in order to preserve the tradition: red, blue, gray, black, white and ecru. And these are the colors in the box that Deb H will receive.

Love or fiancé' embroidered handkerchiefs were the inspiration to the color choice of the pack won by Crystal. Although they do not have a rigid color palette and many colors can be used, primary colors predominate.

But Crystal and Deb were not the only winners... I was so surprised with all your kind comments, that I'm feeling like a real winner...

I loved to know that you think these pearl cotton balls look divine and have a pretty shine, that these collections are amazing and great color combinations that make you smile, that the traditional Portuguese embroideries inspired the work for an art lesson, that some of you recognize similarities between regional Portuguese embroidery and the stitching traditions of your country, that you've been learning and feeling inspired by my posts and look forward to reading more. And, of course... I was even happier to know that some of you have already visited Portugal and others will do it soon (contact me if you need some help...)

Heavy weight Portuguese linen
Portuguese heavy weight linen by agulha não pica
I loved your care... And how you took your time not only to apply for the giveaway but also to leave some kind words about my new products an my work...

You made me feel like a winner... Thank you so much - Muito obrigada!

June 11, 2013

Come for tea and stitch with me

my embroidered border designs
Stitched by Monika Kinner-Whalen

Isn't this little border sampler by Monika of My Sweet Prairie just gorgeous? And better yet, if you're in Saskatoon (Canada) you can take a stitch class with her and learn how to do this. Read about it on her blog. Lovely work, Monika!

June 9, 2013

Patterns: Time's a ticking

Time's a tickin

Stitched by me

Check out this lovely freebie from Monique Jivram, I think it makes a great bedroom pillow pattern for all those mornings when you just don't want to get up!

June 6, 2013

Portuguese embroidery supplies - giveaway

Olá! Today is a giveaway day!!

My shop, agulha não pica has been searching for Portuguese embroidery supplies and researching their history and I am now very happy to announce that we'll become a very proud seller of embroidery pearl cotton size 8 and pure line fabrics. Both made in Portugal!

Some weeks ago I talked about Limol pearl cotton and last week I introduced you to the long lasting tradition of linen production in Portugal.

This week agulha não pica is giving you the opportunity to see the beautiful colors of the pearl cotton with your own eyes and feel the amazing touch of pure linen with your own fingers...

From now on you'll be able to find in agulha não pica's etsy shop both light weight and heavy weight Portuguese linen, made in Guimarães - a region well known for the excellence of its linens for more than one thousand years... And a new pack of embroidery cotton pearl, size 8 is available now, too.

To celebrate the good news, agulha não pica will be offering a pack of embroidery supplies with Portuguese soul... One fat quarter (20"x20") of heavy weight linen and one fat quarter (20"x30") of light weight linen with a beautiful box of six pearl cotton balls size 8 and two Portugese traditional patterns printed on tracing paper.

Embroidery supplies with Portuguese soul
"Embroidery supplies with Portuguese soul" - which regional embroidery has inspired the color choices?

And agulha não pica is so delighted and proud that we will also be giving a box with six balls of cotton pearl size 8: blue, white, gray, black red and ecru...

Collage pearl cotton guimaraes
Pack with six balls of cotton pearl size 8 - which regional embroidery has inspired the color choices?

To win, check both posts: "pack of embroidery supplies with Portuguese soul" and  "pearl cotton balls box"  There you will find information on which regional Portuguese embroideries inspired the color choices of each box.

Leave a comment on this post with the two regional embroideries that inspired the color choices of the pearl cotton boxes in the photos. You have until 9 PM Central Standard Time, Sunday, June 9th to enter. Just one entry per person, please. And there will be two winners!!

Boa Sorte! Good Luck!

June 5, 2013

Hoopla Along

Over at our amazing members have been busy stitching. The needlework board is hosting a monthly Hoopla Along . Each month we have a different theme. May's theme was Your Favorite Thing, and let me tell ya, I was blown away by the stitching! Don't believe me? Check it out!

French Knots by DeathbeforeDishes
Sugar Skull by Lindyv321
Family lego minifigs by silentblair

Gnome Riding a Unicorn by DeathbeforeDishes

Dr. Who, the first and second doctor by Alwaysinmyroom
Jaba the Pug by Monty
Grandparents initial love tree by Meleriffic
You're My Best Friend by Pottermouth

The theme for June is Summertime and once again we will have a random prize drawing at the end of the month. C'mon on over and join in the fun! 

June 4, 2013

Tutorial Tuesday

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Today's tutorial is a quick and fun way to create a little something for Father's Day. The men in my life are real no frills kind of guys, so if I make anything for them, it has to be utilitarian or they just have no interest in it. These little sunglass cases/bags are easy to create and can be put to good use.

Before you begin this project, I recommend embroidering the fabric before you cut it into rectangles.

To make one sunglass case you'll need:

-Four pieces of fabric measuring 8x5-inches
-Two pieces of batting measuring 8x5-inches
-Embroidery supplies (hoop, floss, needle)
-Sewing machine with coordinating thread

The sunglasses pattern comes courtesy of a freebie from Women's Day Magazine from a few years ago. They didn't use it as an embroidery project, but it works great for embroidery.  I couldn't find the original link on their website, so I linked it to the copy of the pattern I still have.

Step 1: Transfer the embroidery pattern to your fabric of choice. 

Step 2: Cut four pieces of fabric and two pieces of batting into 8x5-inch rectangles.

Step 3: For the exterior of the case, take one piece of batting and place a piece of fabric on top of it with the wrong side of the fabric on the batting. Place the embroidered piece of fabric face down on top of that, so that the right sides of the fabric are facing each other and add the other batting piece on top of that. Stitch a 1/4-inch seam around three sides of the rectangle, leaving one shorter end open.

Step 4: Take the two interior pieces of fabric and place them right sides together. Stitch around three sides, leave a 2-inch space unsewn along one longer side. Clip the bottom corners.

Step 5: Clip the corners of the exterior piece and flip. 

Step 6: Place the exterior of the case inside of the lining. Align the side seams and sew along the top.

Step 7: Use the space left in the lining to flip the case out. Once flipped, stitch this space shut. 

Step 8: Tuck the lining into the body of the case and top stitch along the open edge.

Step 9: Gift the sunglass case to the dad's in your life, or keep one for yourself!

Hope you enjoy and have a happy Tuesday!

June 2, 2013

Patterns: Wild Olive Summer Stitching Club

Wild Olive Summer Stitching Club sneak peak

This coming Monday (June 3rd), Wild Olive is launching her Summer Stitching Club. Each week between June and August club members will receive a mini embroidery pattern, small enough to fit on a paper pieced hexagon and the ideal size to take with you to the beach or the pool side. They'll also receive instructions on how to do the paper piecing, so by the end of the summer they'll have a lovely table mat or wall hanging. What a lovely way to remember the summer of 2013. You can sign up here, hurry, if you sign up before tomorrow you can join for an absolutely bargain rate!