Monthly Archives: January 2012

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A Free Pattern: Downton

My twitter stream and Google reader are both abuzz with comments about Downton Abbey.  I am completely in love with this show and those that know me will be un-surprised to hear that I am captivated by the costumes.  So, for all of you that love it as much as I do, here is a set of free embroidery patterns just for you, inspired by the costumes of Downton.  “Mary” is inspired by a black beaded choker.  It would make a nice edging embroidered on something with french knots for those beaded chains.  “Anna” is a detail from the edge of a tiny lace collar. “Dowager Countess” comes from a green and purple ensemble with ribbon embroidery.  “Sybil” is inspired by the embroidered bodice of the infamous “harem pants” outfit.  “Edith” is from a detail on the sleeve of a black and gold evening dress. These aren’t exact replicas, but my take on the design.  Click the image above to download a full sized .pdf you can print and use.

Made me smile today.


Happy Birthday


Me n’ Beth (and great grandma), ca 1977

I have two very cool sisters.  This one has been my very best friend since the day she was born.  (We don’t pay any attention to those years around junior high school when she was a lowly elementary school kid and I thought she was annoying.)  We frequently run across a book or cute something on etsy and send it to each other, only to find the same thing in an email from the other one crossed in cyber space.  We know all the same words to all the same songs (R-E-S-C-U-E, Rescue Aid Society, Heads held high, touch the sky, you mean everything to me…) and can carry on a conversation via text message that no one else would be able to make any sense of.  She is smart and funny and has a nearly endless supply of patience and compassion.

Anyhow, it’s her birthday today and I just wanted to say Happy Birthday little sister.


68 more kids learned how to make felt today.

“Kids don’t remember what you try to teach them. They remember what you are.”
— Jim Henson

Three of my very favorite fiber artists showed these kids what it is like to be super excited about fiber art.  Job well done, ladies.

Review: &Stitches

I just learned about a new e-zine all about embroidery that launched just in the last week or so.  It’s called &Stitches.  I am not really up on all of the embroidery blogs (I am not sure why not!), so I am glad I heard about this!

The blurb on the &Stitches website says:

This issue (the first one!) is all about colour! How to find colour inspiration for your stitchy projects, a bit of colour theory and of course we have patterns too. One pattern is by our guest contributor and first interview-ee, Corinne McHie of SeptemberHouse.

We also asked a few other stitchers where they find their colour inspiration and we also manged to fit in a couple of book reviews.

&Stitches is written by Carina Envoldsen-Harris (Polka & Bloom) and Nicole Vos van Avezathe (Follow the White Bunny), both avid stitchers and embroidery pattern designers.

I was intrigued and so I bought a copy.  (You download it as a .pdf.  Super handy. )

The verdict:  It is beautiful!  The color theory article is worth the price alone.  I know color theory pretty well, but trying to explain to other people is sometimes a challenge and this is a really visual guide.  I am going to add a link to this “Colour” issue to some of my class handouts as a reference.  I also learned a new embroidery stitch that I didn’t know and I really like Corinne’s fishes pattern (but you know I am pretty fond of fish).  I am really looking forward to future issues.

On the wings of butterflies

If you read the comments for that previous post, you will see that Corinne is one smart cookie.  Both patterns were made from this photo of a butterfly, taken while walking the dog this summer.

I like that second pattern well enough that I think I am going to order some printed fabric and make a summery blouse.

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