7 February, 2012

Tiny Needlepoint

2012-02-13T19:33:47-06:00Embroidery, Everything Else|1 Comment

I made a few of these over the weekend.  I realized that I hadn’t really done any completely new pieces for my etsy shop in a while, so I wanted to think of something new.  This is 18 count aida (18 stitches to the inch).  It is pretty thick fabric, so it took some careful sanding to get it to fit in the tiny hoops.  A full “x” of cross stitch was just too much so I did a half cross or “tent” stitch on these with a little bit of backstitching.

31 January, 2012

A Free Pattern: Downton

2012-01-31T18:00:16-06:00Embroidery, Freebies & Patterns|Comments Off on 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.

16 November, 2011

Simple but effective

2011-11-16T07:36:29-06:00Embroidery|1 Comment

I had a request a day or two ago to make a tiny embroidery hoop with a candy cane in it.  Since my stitching area in these is about 3/4 inch, whatever I stitch has to be pretty simple.

This candy cane is done with a whipped back stitch, which I think fits the bill perfectly.  I love how this stitch ends up looking a bit like a raised cord on the surface of the fabric.  (If you click that link you will find some instructions on how to do it.)  I think a row of tiny stitched candy canes would be really charming along the edge of some holiday napkins or something like that.


12 November, 2011

Eye Spy

2011-11-12T00:04:28-06:00Embroidery, Gallery Exhibitions, Out & About, Sewing & Design, Spoonflower & Fabric Design|1 Comment

“Eye Spy”, digitally printed fabric and hand embroidery.  Cotton fabric, rayon & silk thread.  8″ x 8″.

I made this piece to donate to a fundraiser for the art center in the city where I grew up.  They have an anonymous auction every year where artists donate pieces but you don’t know which artist belongs to which piece until the end.  So I had to wait until after the event to show this off.  The owl is one of the education owls for the U of MN Raptor Center program.  He was very photogenic.  The “eyes” design I drew digitally and the “feathers” are a pencil sketch that I scanned.  Printed at Spoonflower.   I then went in and embroidered feathers on top in shiny silk and rayon threads, so it has a little depth and shimmer.  You may recognize the design from a skirt I made a while back; I liked it so well I decided to play around with using it in other formats.

21 October, 2011

This also is not finger weaving

2011-10-21T10:03:29-05:00Embroidery, Spoonflower & Fabric Design, Weaving, Felting & FIbers|3 Comments

This is ply split braiding.  I have been completely fascinated with this technique for about 2 years and finally was able to take a class from the Weavers Guild on Wednesday.

We made cool twirly ornaments and I sweet-talked the instructor into teaching me the “wave” pattern also.  It was a lovely group of students in the class and we had fun chatting as we worked.  Ply split braiding is an Indian technique, used by nomadic peoples to make camel tack.  Those must be some pretty well dressed camels!  The general idea is that you are using 4 ply cords and pulling the cords in between the plys of another cord.  You have a little tool called a gripfid that helps you get in between the plys.  It’s a little bit addictive.  I bought some cords from the Guild so that I can practice a little on my own before I decide if I need a cord maker.

After I had a fun morning taking a class, in the evening I got to teach a class on beginning embroidery.  I had a ball and I hope my students did too.  Three of the five students were named Tracy, which had to mean this class was special!  They let me take some pictures of their hands working.

They are stitching on some fabric I designed and had printed at Spoonflower.  On the right side was a “stitch along” section with colored dots.  Everyone could follow along – “put your needle down at the blue dot, then poke it back up at the red dot, wrap the thread around the back of your needle and pull it through.”  At the end of class you had this stitched sampler to go long with the handout, so you had a reference to remember how you did each one.  We learned back stitch, threaded & whipped backstitch, chain stitch, detatched chain & lazy daisy, and the chinese knot (which is way better than the french knot.)

Then the left side of the fabric had either a chickadee or a goldfinch, which you could embellish with all of these new stitches.  I had the idea to make the class about stitching on printed fabric because starting from a blank white “page” is so intimidating and it takes way more than a class period to finish anything that looks like something.  This way we added texture to the wings, outlined birds with backstitch and stitched lazy daisy snowflakes and you only had to master a few stitches to make a beautiful finished project.  I showed the class three different ways to finish off your winter bird (pillow, pincushion/ornament, wall art).

I am hoping to do the same class next semester and this class requested session number two where I teach them 5 more new stitches.  Alternating chain stitch, satin stitch, blanket stitch, feather….  Hmmmm.

29 August, 2011


2011-08-29T17:22:29-05:00Classes & Teaching, Embroidery, Out & About, Spoonflower & Fabric Design|Comments Off on Updates

I just updated my classes page with all the places I am teaching so far this fall.  Join me for one of these classes!

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