November 23, 2014

Patterns: Aotearoa Tree of Life

Tree of Life

Aotearoa Tree of Life by Liz Smith

When I spotted this piece in the Flickr pool by Liz Smith, I was curious to see if it was a pattern, so I checked out Liz's Flickr profile and I found her online store, The Stitchsmith, which as well as having the lovely pattern above (which in the sample in the store looks great as white work on black fabric), also has loads of colourful birds and New Zealand themed patterns to! I will definitely be bookmarking that site!

November 19, 2014

Home Sweet Home

As we get ready to dive into the holiday season, I believe we must slow down for a minute and remember what is important to us: our family, friends and a warm place to gather with them. This House Pillow created by Isabel Freire is a beautiful reminder of saying, Home Sweet Home. The textures are amazing. I can almost smell the wood burning from the fireplace. This is just one of many  designs Isabel has created. You can see more of her work on her Flickr account

November 16, 2014

Patterns: Wild Olive Christmas Sampler

Wild Olive Christmas Sampler 2014 by Wild Olive

Wild Olive has created a very cute red work Christmas sampler; on her blog she says she hopes they become a yearly thing, ooh I hope so! Check out Wild Olive's blog to for a great tutorial on how to frame your embroidery in an Ikea frame as well.

November 10, 2014

Hand and Lock Prize 2014

Hand and Lock Prize 2014

1. Meta Mckinney, 2. Myra Chung, 3. Justine Bonefant, 4. Justina Moncevicute, 5. Krista Terauda, 6. Maria Alina Hera, 7. Julia Titchfield, 8. Eranga Bandaranyake, 9. Ana Maria Restrepo, 10. Umme Salma, 11. Katrina Viper, 12. Wan Hung Cheung

Feeling Stitchy was very kindly invited to the Hand and Lock 2014 Prize Giving at the historic Bishopgate Institute in London, UK. Hand and Lock is a fusion of two embroidery companies dating back to 1767. M Hand was a Hugenot refugee, who added embroidery to his range of laces and his company M Hand and Co continued for the next two centuries, creating beautiful embroidery for the military, royalty and tailors, throughout the Commonwealth and beyond. Whereas S Lock started life in 1898 as CE Phipps and Co, an embroidery business that supported London's growing couture houses. In 1956, the designer Stanley Lock took over from Mr. Phipps on his retirement and the company was renamed S Lock Ltd. For the next 45 years the company worked on commissions with couturiers including Christian Dior, Norman Hartnell and Hardy Amies. S Lock Ltd was awarded a Royal Warrant and they made gowns for both the Queen and the Queen Mother, as well as the wedding ensemble for Princess Anne. Princess Diana was also a big fan. Their embroidery also hit the stage, working on productions from Barnum to The Lion King. In 2001 M Hand and S Lock merged to form Hand and Lock.

So, as you can imagine, a competition run by such a prestigious embroidery company would have high standards, so it was an exciting opportunity to see the finalists work in person. The embroidery and attention to detail in the pieces was exquisite. It was great to see hand embroidery used in such innovative ways.

There were two categories, student and open and we were all given voting cards to choose which from the two categories we liked best and the audience's votes were combined with the judges votes before the prize giving ceremony itself. The winner of the student prize was Myra Chung (2nd from top left in the mosaic above) and the winner of the open prize was Julia Titchfield (middle row, 2nd from the right). Well done to the winners and to all the finalists, the standard was amazing and a massive inspiration.

The Hand and Lock Prize is an annual event, you can read the design brief for next year's competition here and read how to enter here, who's tempted to give it a go?

November 5, 2014

Craftster November Hoopla Along

It is time for the November Hoopla Along over at This month's theme is Vintage, Retro and Nostalgia. Do you wish for the old days? Feel like you are living in the wrong time? This month's stitch along cries out for the days of long ago. Stitch up your favorite retro or vintage image...something you are nostalgic for. It can be any time period, any image. 

You have until November 30, 2014 to be eligible for random drawing

This month's prize is: Craftster mug filled with goodies
You can read more about this month's theme HERE. 

November 4, 2014

#crafttheparcel - envelope quilt block (free pattern)

Feeling Stitchy was very kindly asked by InPost UK to take part in their #crafttheparcel, you may have seen my tweets about it on Feeling Stitchy's twitter account. The idea was for each blogger to make a quilt square, could be anything, a traditional quilt block, applique, knitting, you name it and each week the growing quilt would pass from blogger to blogger via InPost. InPost is a new service in the UK and as someone who gets quite fed up of waiting in for couriers (and post office counter queues!), I think it could be quite handy. The idea is that you leave your parcel in one of InPost's lockers, with a prepaid label to the nearest InPost locker of the person you're sending it to. InPost then pick it up and take it to the new locker and your friend / relative / customer, gets a text message to say that the parcel is ready to be picked up, along with a special code to allow you entry into the locker.

For my quilt block I decided to go with a post theme to match the idea of #crafttheparcel and I made an applique, openable envelope, with a little 'letter' inside with an embroidered quote from Phyllis Theroux, which I thought was quite apt.

To send a letter is a good way to go somewhere without moving anything but your heart.

If you would like to make your own envelope and letter, you can download the pattern and tutorial here for free (personal use only). You could embroider the quote or maybe something else that is important to you. We'd love to see what you made!

And if you would like to see what more blocks get added to the quilt (there are actually two of them going round at the moment), don't forget to check out #crafttheparcel on Twitter.

(Sponsored post)

November 2, 2014

Patterns: Alphabet Motif Club

Alphabet Motif Club

Carina is half way through her alphabet motif club, but you can still join in and download the earlier letters. I love how colourful these are and I think they'd make a great quilt!

Edited to add (sorry, me being forgetful and forgetting the link!) - you can find Carina's Alphabet Club here.