March 31, 2013

Patterns: Easter Round Up

Bunny in a hoop by Down Grapevine Lane

Happy Easter everyone! I know it's a bit too late for even the speediest of stitchers to stitch anything for Easter now, but here's some suggestions to bookmark for next year! First up is Bunny in a hoop by Down Grapevine Lane, a free pattern that comes with a great tutorial. I love the french knots, they remind me of hama beads!

Next up is this free pattern by LiliPopo, isn't she sweet? Here is in an in progress shot of me stitching the pattern through paper onto felt.

Lilipopo work in progress

And finally and not just for Easter, how about Wendi Gratz's Spring Bird? You can download the free pattern by following the link here.

Flora the Spring Bird

Flora the Spring Bird by Wendi Gratz

March 30, 2013

New Embroidery with Vintage Patterns - March Interview

Hi everyone!  As usual I'm back again on the last Saturday of the month with another interview featuring new embroideries with vintage patterns.  This month I am featuring 2 very generous flickr members, loves to sew and mmaammbr, who have shared tons and tons of copyright-free vintage embroidery patterns in the hoop love group (membership requires approval by the group's administrator) on flickr.  And like my last interview, I am thrilled to sprinkle in new embroideries from vintage embroidery patterns that other flick members have stitched up from patterns that were shared by loves to sew and mmaambr!  Hope y'all enjoy!  And as always, I invite you to join our New Embroidery with Vintage Patterns group.  Now that our contest has ended (wrap-up info here), our monthly stitch-alongs have begun again again!  The March SAL (gallery photos here of those who participated) is just about over, but you are just in time to join us for our April SAL!

Interview #1 with loves to sew

Deer and Flowers, from Vintage Embroidery Patterns
Stitched by giddy99
1. When and why did you first begin collecting vintage embroidery patterns?

My mom started teaching me how to embroider when I was 4 years old, so I’ve always have loved embroidery designs. I started collecting them in the 1970’s. In the 1980’s, my mother-in-law gave me a box of things from Aunt Nettie and there were many old transfers in it. Most of the Walkers and Royal Society transfers that I have, came from her.

peacock clutch
Stitched by lacers life
2. Do you try to seek out specific vintage embroidery patterns with certain themes or do you just collect whatever you are able to?

I mainly collect patterns that I like. But I have bought patterns that I didn’t know what they were until I looked through them at home, I love the surprises I have found.

Puppies Change Purse
Stitched by CraftyHippy
3. Where do you find all your vintage embroidery patterns? Estate sales? Garage sales? Ebay/etsy? Thrift stores? Another source?

My mom, grandmother, Aunt Nettie and a very dear friend of mine were my main source until a couple of years ago. In the last year or so, the more resent patterns that I’ve posted I have found at Thrift stores and on Ebay.

Bipartisan Buddies
Stitched by xperimentl
4. Okay, let's talk about the Hoop Love Flickr group, you've generously shared over 950 copyright-free vintage patterns in this group! What motivates you to share these patterns?

I love the all of the designs that are out there. The tissue (Numo) type of designs are very fragile and hard to copy, especially the large ones. I figure that a lot of patterns would end up lost if we don’t share them.

5. With all the vintage patterns in your photostream, do you have any favorites that you absolutely adore? 

I do have a few favorites...
2-941 a168 Superior c

490 Laura Wheeler Design 3
82 WB rb   15 1/4" long

...there are so many to choose from it was hard to decide.

6. Do you collect any other vintage sewing/embroidery/craft items?

I mainly collect transfers though, I do have a few vintage Barbie Doll patterns, vintage coloring books, patterns for animals and dolls and vintage crochet and knit patterns.

7. Anything else I didn't ask that you would like to share?

I for one and I think a lot of us appreciate how hard you work for us. And I'd like to encourage anyone that wants to share their vintage patterns to do so. It's fun looking at new designs.

Interview #2 with mmaammbr

1. When and why did you first begin collecting vintage embroidery patterns?

I grew up among embroidery patterns. The embroidery hot iron transfers were very common and cheap in Brasil during my mother’s and grandmother’s childhood and adolescence. They had boxes with lots of them. Some of these boxes are mine now :D

There were many magazines, mostly imported from Europe, and with the Sunday’s newspapers, ‘feminine supplements’ with fashion clothes, embroidery patterns, cooking receipts, knitting, crochet and others crafts works. My grandmother and mainly my mother collected them.

During the 60’s, the importation were hardly restricted on Brasil. The embroidery hot iron transfers disappeared from the Brazilian market. At the same time, the women's growing participation in the job market and the expansion of the Brazilian market economy led to the progressive abandonment of the domestic realm, of the embroidery, knitting, crochet and others craft works. The ‘feminine supplements’ disappeared too.

In some families, as mine, the domestic realm, the embroidery, knitting, crochet and others craft works became a hobby to occupy the girls.

In my childhood, my grandmother and my mother did not use the embroidery patterns like hot iron transfers because they wanted to preserve the paper pattern sheets and leave them uncut. They copied them from the tissue paper and transferred them to the fabric with carbon paper. It was a pleasure to touch them or just to talk about them.

Even today the embroidery patterns have the power to evoke my mother's memory. I was a teen when she began to copy them in ‘paper butter’ to preserve the drawings [because the paper they were printed out began to deteriorate.

About 10 years ago I began to scan and to print up them. My mother approved but said that the copy doesn't substitute the original.

Then, about five or six years ago, I began to seek them on the web. And I found Colonial Patterns, the group Hoop Love, and some sites that sell original patterns (now ‘vintage’ embroidery patterns) and others sites that sell copies, hot iron transfers or not, of vintage embroidery patterns that are in public domain.

2. Do you try to seek out specific vintage embroidery patterns with certain themes or do you just collect whatever you are able to?

Berry Cheerful Pencil Pouch
Stitched by xperimentl
I purchase some vintage patterns in good conditions to substitute my mother’s ones that are in very poor condition or incomplete, and others (absent of my mother’s collection) that please me.

My favorite are: Mexican themes, Dutch themes, anthropomorphic, fruits, days of the week, pansies and everything with china, jars, pots…

Wooden Shoe with Tulips Embroidered Flour Sack TowelSummer Theme Submission "Saturday"
Stitched by oneplaidauntStitched by Danidot

3. Where do you find all your vintage embroidery patterns? Estate sales? Garage sales? Ebay/Etsy? Thrift stores? Another source?

Traveling bunny
Stitched by barncat1
The garage sales and thrift stores are not common in Brasil. On Brazilian estate sales it’s very hard to find them. I usually purchase original patterns on Colonial Patterns, on e-Bay and Etsy. Sometimes, I purchase vintage embroidery iron-on reprints online too.

I want to say that although I acquire some copies, I only scan and only share vintage embroidery patterns that me or my mother possessed the original, and of companies that stopped producing them.

4. Okay, let's talk about the Hoop Love Group, you've generously shared over 950 copyright-free vintage patterns in this group! What motivates you to share these patterns?

The pleasure of sharing. The idea of creating the group is brilliant!

Close up of veggie tote
Stitched by Danidot
I was scanning my mother’s embroidery patterns for some time and it’s charming for me, when posting them on the Hoop Love Group, sharing with others the same happiness that other people provide for me and my mother when we found embroidery patterns that ones we know and others that we ignored until be shared on the group.

I am vastly happy when some of them inspire someone to do some manual work or learning to embroider. It’s very gratifying to see the works done with some of them.
WB 550 72 b

5. With all the vintage patterns in your photostream, do you have any favorites that you absolutely adore? 

Some of them have a great meaning for me. I think Alejandro, this Mexican boy, perhaps is my first love. Freud would say that was my father, but I guess was Alejandro.

He’s beautiful, does all the chores and on Sunday plays a guitar! A perfect guy! :D

Tuesday DOW Stitch Along
Stitched by xperimentl
6. Do you collect any other vintage sewing/embroidery/craft items?

No. I don’t consider me a collector, but just a person that preserves and shares the embroidery patterns that belonged to my grandmother and the ones that belonged to my mother. I've also added some of the ones they never possessed but that please me.

7. Anything else I didn't ask that you would like to share?

I want to thank everyone who has shared vintage embroidery patterns!

These days I’m working as volunteer on Rede Feminina de Combate ao Câncer. I print and bring  the embroidery patterns for volunteers and our patients. You cannot imagine the therapeutic effect of looking a them and thinking about embroidery possesses!

I would also like to wish long life to Colonial Patterns: your embroidery hot iron transfers are the favorite of our volunteers and patients :D

Flower Arrangement
Stitched by CraftyHippy

March 29, 2013

Van Gogh dress

stitched by Maegen

How amazing is this Van Gogh Starry Night dress, made by Maegen? She takes you through her entire process, from inspiration to execution, on her blog.

She says that she is not an artist, but her artistry is clearly evident here! Her post includes detail shots of her intricate and beautiful stitchery, colors, and process:

Visit her post for more. Wow, Maegen, wow. Amazing!

March 28, 2013

Guimarães embroidery - a renewed tradition

Olá! This week I'm back to traditional Portuguese embroidery, bringing you one of the most famous Portuguese regional stitches. Guimarães is an incredibly beautiful and historical city known as the "birthplace of the Portuguese nationality" or "the cradle city" (Cidade Berço in Portuguese).

Guimarães Embroidery is known worldwide and I believe that it is due not only to the beauty and originality of its stitches but also to the work carried out in divulging it. And a very special book has its credits... It's not easy to find information about Portuguese embroidery in English and this special book not only is written both in Portuguese and English but is also available online. You'll find Guimarães Embroidery - a renewed tradition here. And if you want to know even more don't forget to read here, where you'll find instructions on the stitches and some videos.

I'm not going to review the book... I don't dare!!! Because two of my favorite embroidery experts have already done it!! What a coincidence!! After buying this book, Avó Méri explained, both in Portuguese and English, why she believes this is a great book to have in your library. And some months later, while visiting USA, Avó Méri mailed it to Mary Corbet allowing her to review what she calls a "gorgeous book".

I leave you with some photos of this incredible book - beautiful pictures, great design and thorough information. I'm happy to share the photos with you and even happier knowing that you can read the book, at least online... Hope these pictures help to make you curious...

Guimarães embroidery
Guimarães embroidery in red
Guimarães embroidery in blue Guimarães embroidery in blue an redGuimarães embroidery

Some weeks ago I've showed you some beautiful stitches made by modern embroiderers and inspired by Guimarães Embroidery. They are worth of a new visit... Check them here...

Hope you'll accept my invitation to get to know Guimarães Embroidery better...

March 27, 2013

Doodle Stitching Giveaway

Oh my goodness! I am so excited! Aimee Ray has a new book out! Doodle Stitching: Embroidery & Beyond: Crewel, Cross Stitch, Sashiko & More. It is fabulous! Not only does she give you great patterns, but also step by step instructions to so many different projects. You will find chapters on such techniques as stumpwork, Shisha, cutwork, stitching on felt and Sashiko, just to name a few. The book really has something for everyone, whether you are a beginner or a stitching guru.

The awesome people at Lark Crafts and Sterling Publishing were kind enough to not only offer up Aimee's new book but also a wonderful one of a kind Aimee Ray scarf (EEEEPPPP!) as a giveaway. All you have to do is leave a comment below and an email to contact you. That's it! Easy peasy!

You have until 9pm Central Standard Time, Sunday. March 31st to enter. Just one entry per person, please.

I am working on the Babushka doll Aimee has in her book. Check back to see the finished project and find out who the winner is.

Giveaway Recap:

What:       Doodle Stitching: Embroidery & Beyond and a scarf embroidered by Aimee Ray
When:      Enter now until Sunday, March 31st, 9pm CST

Good Luck!

March 25, 2013


If you say it loud enough you'll always sound precocious.
stitched by Emma Ruth Hughes

Yup, I adore this cross stitched piece by Emma Ruth Hughes. I love the fun way she's broken up her piece using color and lines, and I bet it looks super-awesome up on a wall.

See more of Emma's daily stitched words on her Tumblr blog. Great work, Emma!

March 24, 2013

Patterns: Wind and Water

SeptemberHouse has a new pattern set out, yay! I love the Japanese feel of this one and as usual her gorgeous choice of colours and stitches. As well as the three miniatures above there is also a lovely cherry blossom design.

And what got me really excited about all the possibilities, a repeating pattern.

You can find the pattern set, aptly named Wind and Water, here.

March 21, 2013

Pineapple stitch

Fish Soup - finished
stitched by sue tortoise

I love this gorgeous stitchery by sue tortoise. Such a sweet pattern, that she created herself, and such lovely colors. Sue even created her own stitch for this piece, she calls it a "pineapple stitch", and says it is "a slight variation of French stitch, a canvas-work stitch, adapted for counted thread embroidery on fabric." You can read more about pineapple stitch on her blog. Gorgeous work!

Edit - March 22, 2013: Sue wanted to clarify that she did not create this stitch, but that it is an adaptation of several stitches. Sue was even kind enough to create the following stitch diagram for the "pineapple stitch" and share it with the group!

Pineapple Stitch Diagram by sue tortoise
Pineapple stitch diagram

Thank you, Sue!

March 20, 2013

Super Butchie!

The winner for the Altered Photo challenge on Craftster was announced. Big congratulations to Lisa for her comic book version of Butchie.

Super Butch

You can read more about this piece over on

Check out the other amazing entries!

xperimentl's mom in rainbow piece is so cute! The glasses are killing me.

Irisfromholland's pearls of my heart is beautiful

I love the waves on kimmeranne's altered photo.

Kayeelle's Memorial is so haunting.

Fancybutch's Wolves remind me of ghosts in a forest. I love the red of the wolves.

A big thank you to everyone who entered!

March 19, 2013

Tutorial Tuesday

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Today's tutorial is a little basket, fun for Easter egg hunts and treats that the Springtime brings. I found a fun Spring and Easter Eggstravaganza PDF embroidery pattern pack over at The Split Stitch and used it to create the front of this Easter basket. 

This little basket came together very quickly. To make your own you'll need the following supplies:

-Two 10x10-inch pieces of exterior fabric (I used white cotton muslin)
-Two 10x10-inch pieces of interior fabric
-Two 10x10-inch pieces of felt for lining
-One 18x5-inch piece of fabric for the strap
-Embroidery pattern of choice (I used this one)
-Embroidery hoop and floss in Spring pastel colors
-Coordinating thread
-Sewing machine
-Iron and Ironing board

Step One: Begin by embroidering one of the exterior pieces of fabric. The pattern pack I used from The Split Stitch came with the font for the word "Easter," and I used those letters to create the word "eggs."

Step Two: With a finished embroidered exterior piece, now you can begin to build the basket. Create a sandwich beginning with a layer of felt, exterior fabric right side up, exterior fabric wrong side up, and another piece of felt. You want to make sure you have the right sides of the exterior fabric facing each other in between the pieces of felt. Then sew a 1/4-inch seam along the sides and bottom leaving the top open.

Step Three: In order to square the bottom of the basket, take one corner and press it flat so the seams are touching and it creates a triangle. The seams should be flat and pressed open, which I forgot to demonstrate in this step, but it's correct in Step Five. Stitch 2-inches down from the point or peak of the triangle. Repeat on the other corner and clip the excess. Set this piece aside.

Step Four: Place the interior pieces right sides together and stitch around the sides and bottom leaving a 2-inch unstitched space on one side in order to flip the basket inside out.

Step Five: Square off both bottom corners of the interior piece the same as the exterior piece from Step Three above, making sure to press open the seams.

Step Six: Now it's time for the strap. Take the 18x5-inch piece, fold it in half along the long edge and press. 

Open up this piece and fold each long side in halfway, so that the edge meets the fold line you just created, and press.

Fold the strap in half again, so the folded edges meet, and press. 

Sew a 1/4-inch seam along both long edges of the strap.

Step Seven: Now the basket can be assembled. Place the interior piece inside of the exterior piece, right sides together. Take the strap, place it inside the basket body, between the exterior and interior pieces. Making sure not to twist it, match each short edge with a side seam, pin in place.

Stitch a 1/2-inch allowance along the top. 

Step Eight: Pull the interior piece out of the exterior and flip the basket using the unstitched space in the side of the interior piece. 

Stitch the open space closed, as close to the edge as possible, backstitching at the beginning and end. 

Step Nine: Topstitch around the top edge of the basket opening, making sure not to catch the strap.

Step Ten: Fill with eggs or treats and have fun!

Hope you get to give this a try. Have a happy Tuesday!