May 25, 2014

Patterns: Beautiful vintage pattern embroidery photography


Untitled by Bang Kao

There's some beautiful in progress style embroidery shots in the Embroidery pool on Flickr at the moment. It's hard to choose but I think this one by Bang Kao is my favourite. She doesn't list where the pattern is from, but I see she also has the photo in the New Embroidery with Vintage Patterns pool, so I'm guessing it's a vintage pattern, it looks like it. You could probably find something similar in the Hoop Love Vintage Transfer pool.

Hi, I'm Jo - I feature new embroidery patterns Sundays on Feeling Stitchy. I also post on our Twitter and Pinterest.

Is there a new pattern you'd like us feature? Email me!

May 20, 2014

Tutorial Tuesday

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

I have a super fun tutorial for you today. Embroidery on paper! This is more of a how-to and this technique can be used to turn almost any pattern for stitches into a pattern for embroidery of paper.

To embroider on paper you will need:

- Paper (I used notebook paper, but card stock works well, too)
- Foam core (I used a scrap piece from a different project)
- tape
- Chenille needle
- 6-strand embroidery floss in 3-ply
- Sharpie or marker of choice
- Star pattern

Step One: Print out the star pattern, or your pattern of choice. Use your marker to create dots evenly spaced apart on the lines of the pattern. The dots will be the places where the needle and floss will pass through the paper. (I used the stars available as auto shapes in a word document, and couldn't remove that shadow, so I apologize if it makes the photos appear blurry. The dark thick line is the one we're working with).

Step Two: Place the paper with the pattern on top of the notebook paper and tape it where you want to transfer the pattern. Place the foam core underneath the notebook paper. 

Step Three: Using a chenille needle, or thick needle with a sharp point, punch a hole through each dot along the pattern line. You may want to use thimbles for this, depending on the thickness of the paper.

Step Four: Carefully remove the tape and pattern from the paper, and move the foam core. Your pattern should look something like this.

The notebook paper should look like this.

Step Five: Thread a needle with 3-ply floss, and you can begin backstitching the pattern. Be careful not to pull the floss too much or it could rip the paper. Move slowly and flip the paper back and forth in order to make sure you are stitching along the correct place in the pattern. 

Step Six: Send this as a note, or use it as a very sophisticated doodle! Use this technique on card stock for birthday or special occasion cards. 

Hope you enjoy and give this a try!

Hope you have a great Tuesday!

Hi, I'm Kristen! I am a lover of all things stitchy and crafty. I have been sewing for as long as I can remember. My grandmother taught me how to sew Barbie clothes when I was young and I have been sewing ever since.

You can find me at Bobbypin Bandit, on Instagram, and my Etsy shop.

May 13, 2014

Craftster Sew Lovely Old Hollywood Glamour Challenge

You guys know I LOVE Sew Lovely Embroidery. Those ladies rock my socks! Now they can rock yours with this awesome challenge. It is time to glam it up!  Head over to Craftster and participate in the Sew Lovely Old Hollywood Glamour Challenge. Save the pattern on the site and stitch it up. Go tradition glam or maybe you are feeling a little zombie glam coming is totally up to you! Just grab a hoop, some rhinestones and get to stitching! 

The Details: 

What: Sew Lovely Old Hollywood Glamour Challenge. You MUST use the Marilyn pattern on the Craftster website.. NO EXCEPTIONS! You can alter it any way you wish. 

When: You have until  May 27th to stitch. Entries on due May 28th-June 3rd. Voting will happen from June 4th-10th. Winner announced June 11th. You must sign up for a Craftster account, but it is easy to do and any moderator can help you with uploading your pictures if you need it. 

Now for the good stuff.....

The Prize!  You win all the goodies in the picture below. How awesome is that? 

You can read more about the challenge HERE.

May 7, 2014

Cats and Crafts Experiment

Hi all! To all of you visiting from other places for the Cats and Crafts Experiment - I'm floresita, and welcome to Feeling Stitchy! Penguin & Fish kindly provided an adorable pattern, with no instructions except: be creative.

This idea was so much fun that all of our bloggers took part, and I am proud to present to you Gabi's version:

Gabi says about her piece:
Only 100% Portuguese materials... Cork fabric and cotton perle 8 made in Portugal! And the fastest ever stitching mood!

Next up is Kristen's project!

From Kristen:
I think the new, "Here Kitty Kitty," fabric line from Penguin & Fish is adorable. I particularly enjoy the geometric cat head print (to quilters it would be the fabric with the 9-patch cat heads on it). The embroidery patterns that come with the purchase of a fat quarter bundle are darling - they really coordinate well together for a variety of projects. 

I didn't have the fabric, because it isn't out yet, so I improvised and used what I had to create a "Crafty Cat" Mug Rug. I transferred my embroidery pattern using a light box (I used to find a sunny window and tape patterns and fabric to it in order to transfer, but my sister gave me a light box for my birthday, so that has become my method of choice). 

I decided to use yellows and oranges in this project because the cat reminded me of the family cat we had when I was really young. We called him Butterscotch, and he was an orangey-yellow. I made a small 9-patch piece with 3-inch squares and attached it to the embroidered cat panel. I used 3-ply floss and a backstitch for the majority of the embroidery, with french knots on the cat's quilt. 

Next up is Jo's project:

From Jo:
I enlarged both patterns slightly and printed out multiple copies, so that I could cut out the shape of the cats and use it as a template to cut the cats out of felt. I then appliquéd the felt shapes onto the fabric before transferring the rest of the pattern using a light box. For Knitty Kitty I used tapestry wool as the wool, couching it with a single strand of matching embroidery floss. The knitting needles on Knitty Kitty, each have a bead end. 

For Crafty Cat, I used small scraps and 0.5cm seam allowance to create a quilt top roughly the same shape as the pattern. In this case I appliquéd this onto the fabric before appliquéing the cat. The cotton reel thread was six strands of embroidery floss, couched with a single strand of embroidery floss in the same colour. For both cats and the quilt I stitched around the appliqués, for the cats I used the pattern as a guide to embroider the fur and outline and for the quilt I stitched around and between the different fabric squares.

The bags are lined patchwork (on both sides) drawstring bags and are big enough to hold an embroidery hoop and a few bits and bobs or a few balls of wool.

Next, here is Pam's adorable version - I really love the knit like texture on her knitted square:

 And last up, here is yours truly, floresita, with what I stitched up:

Cats and Crafts Embroidery Experiment

For my versions, I went hunting in my mom's fabric stash and found this nice teal chambray-ish fabric. For Knitty Kitty, I used light pink yarn in a sport weight and knit up a tiny garter stitch square on size 4 needles, casting on a teeny 5 stitches. I used the same yarn to create the ball of yarn shape, adding layer over layer until it popped out into a ball-like texture. I filled the kitty with a combination of embroidery floss and white sport weight yarn - I liked the chunky texture that it gave the fill stitches. The knitting needles are couched pink metallic floss.

For Crafty Cat, I used my zero quilting knowledge to create a teeny crooked quilt top consisting of the gingham square and 4 polka dot squares. I couched white yarn in between to look like piping, and filled in the corners with satin stitched embroidery floss in pinks. I wanted Crafty Cat to be all black yarn, but I filled in embroidery floss here and there in dark gray and olive green to add a bit of texture. Overall, it was super fun, a super quick stitch, and a great excuse to get creative!

Thank you, Penguin & Fish for sharing your cute pattern with us and including us in your tour!

Hi, I'm floresita, editor of Feeling Stitchy. I'm an avid stitcher, knitter, and crafter. You can see more of my stitching on Instagram and my blog. My vintage transfer collection is on Vintage Transfer Finds.

Feel free to email me with any ideas for the blog!

May 6, 2014

Tutorial Tuesday

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

I am really getting into Spring right now and thought it would be good to bring back a tutorial for embroidered button covers that can be used as pins! I love that these covered buttons can be totally customizable. I created some Springtime sketches of a bee, flower, and ladybug to share with you here, but I know these button covers would look great with monograms or even the year and school logo for the students who will be graduating in the next couple of weeks. These don't have to only be used as pins or buttons either! If you add this to the end of a bobby pin, it can be worn as a hair pin.

This tutorial might be a refresher for some, but I think it's a fun and easy way to infuse embroidery into very unexpected places!

In order to make these Springtime button covers you will need:

- button cover kit (found them for under $10 at the local fabric store)
- embroidery hoop, scissors, floss, and supplies
- Muslin or fabric of your choice
- Water soluble marker
- Scissors
- Safety pins
- Springtime pattern

The kit comes with everything you need to cover buttons with fabric of your choice. There is also a template on the back of the package that serves as a cutting guide, to ensure fabric is the appropriate size to cover the button and be secured at the back.

Step One: Using a water soluble pen and the template from the button kit package, transfer the template to the fabric. Place the button front in the center to measure out where the pattern should go. There should be about 1/2 and inch of space between the edge of the button front and the cutting line.

Step Two: Transfer the pattern to the center of the circle. Place in an embroidery hoop and stitch. Repeat for all patterns.

Step Three: Once your stitching is complete, cut the fabric. Trim any excess floss from the back. 

Step four: Place the fabric face down in the large part of the attachment tool. Then the backing over that. Make sure the button back covers the edges of the fabric. Then use the plastic cap attachment tool to snap the button back into the button front. You'll be able to hear and feel the back snap into the front.

Step Five: Repeat the process to attach the stitched fabric to the buttons. 

Step Six: Take a small safety pin and thread it through the loop at the back and attach it to your blouse or place of choosing. This can also be tacked in place with needle and thread, if you prefer not to use a safety pin.

Step Seven: Enjoy the Springtime critters and blooms all day long!

Hope you enjoy and give this tutorial a try!

Hi, I'm Kristen! I am a lover of all things stitchy and crafty. I have been sewing for as long as I can remember. My grandmother taught me how to sew Barbie clothes when I was young and I have been sewing ever since.

You can find me at Bobbypin Bandit, on Instagram, and my Etsy shop.

May 1, 2014

Two carnations and one country

Olá! Today I bring a story with 40 years history, celebrated last Friday, the 25th April - the 40th anniversary of the Revolução dos Cravos - Carnation Revolution.

"Celeste worked in a Lisbon cafeteria at the time, which on 25 April 1974 was to celebrate its first year of business. The manager had laid on cigars to give to customers, and flowers that happened to be scarlet carnations - "because they were the cheapest", recalls Celeste with a smile.

But when he saw tanks in the street he decided to close for the day and send the staff home, telling us to take the flowers with us.

Celeste was curious to see what was happening, and went to downtown Carmo Street where at 7.30am she came face to face with armed troops who had seized a nearby barracks.

"Do you have a cigarette?" one asked me. Well, in those days it was not usual for a woman to go to a tobacconist. So I said "have a flower" and he took it and put it in the barrel of his rifle. I was happy as I was against the regime, and I walked on and gave the rest of my carnations to other soldiers," she said.

"It was such a simple gesture. I never dreamt it would be something important," "I just did it on the spur of the moment and then I began to see everyone wearing a carnation, and it became the symbol of our revolution." in The Independent, 26th April, 1996

Carnation from Castelo Branco Embroidery

Since those days, the scarlet carnation became the symbol of a people, the Portuguese people, that changed their destiny with a peaceful revolution... And the beauty of the carnations on the barrel of the solders' rifles has inspired many photographers and many artists.

On the left, an image that was hung on the wall of my room when I was a child.
On the right, details of a gift I received at my wedding.

But the carnation has also been, for a much more longer time, an inspiration for other artists... the needle artists from Castelo Branco Embroidery. In the naturalistic imaginarium of this regional embroidery, the carnation is the dominant element. Sometimes it appears flattened, others from the side, with separate petals and cogged edges. In this embroidery the carnation is the man's symbol of love and virility. The silk thread helps to translate the natural beauty of the carnations into art and the stitching, the frouxo stitch and other filling Castelo Branco's stitches, make this nature's representation absolutely unique.

And so we have two representations of the carnation in Portuguese culture, traditions and history... One, the Castelo Branco's carnation, with a long history and tradition that needs to be nurtured and preserved in our days... The other one, the 25th April's carnation, much more recent and that showed that we can choose to change history and that only the traditions we freely decide to keep are the ones that deserve to be preserved...

I wish you all a week full of freedom to make your own choices!