Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Top Three Favorite Embroidery Stitches

I really do have more than three top embroidery stitches, but this will get me started for now. More favorites are coming

1. Stem stitch
This is my go-to stitch for lines of all sorts - stems, rings, swirls and more. It's simple and relatively quick. I prefer it to back stitch for lines mostly because much more of the thread ends up on the top of the fabric compared to back stitch.

Stem stitch makes a really  nice line and can be stitched either with small, neat stitches for a perfect rope like appearance (no I'm not especially great at making even stitches!)
 Or it can be made with larger, less even stitches for a line with a little more texture.

And stem stitches make a great filling when made in rows. I've done this many times on many projects.

2. Satin stitch
That should really be padded satin stitch because I love the extra texture a little padding adds. In any case, this is definitely my go-to stitch for fillings. I've made it with 1 strand of thread for a very fine appearance.

And I've used all six strands for a chunkier look that has great texture.

There is no one right way to do it. Always do it your way!

I've made projects that are almost exclusively satin stitch.
I just love the stitch!

3. Beads
An embroidery stitch you ask?  Sure, it is. In my stitch samplers I've given many examples of stitches that can have a bead added for interest and sparkle, so a basic bead stitch is simply a straight stitch with a bead attached. Ok! Maybe you didn't need to be convinced, but I do love adding beads to my projects.

They are great as berries.

And they are always terrific eyes for birds and other creatures.

And I do love to add them simple as decoration and texture to my projects!

So that sums up my three favorite stitches and how I like to use them. I do have many more favorite stitches, as I said, and I'll be writing about them very soon. 

For now... Happy stitching!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Winter Wreath Crewel Embroidery

My latest finish is done!
This is a crewel version of my earlier winter wreath. I made a few changes to the pattern. Switching from white to tan fabric gave me some trouble, and I can't tell you how many times I felt compelled to take out stitches and change colors. That's sometimes the way it is though.
It is a fun project though with a bit of sparkle. It's available as a pattern with full instructions or as a kit.

I'm also re-writing the instructions for the original project, or rather, making full instructions, as I am for some of the other stumpwork wreaths I have made. And there will be more!

Right now, I'm keeping busy with plans for new designs and I'm hoping to create some classes too finally of different sorts.  They should be fun! I've wanted to for a long time.

I hope your day is great! :D

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Ten Things about Embroidery for Beginners to Remember

I have a new list of things I've learned about embroidery!  This list are things for beginners (and all of us too) to embroidery to consider about their new art. Remember it's not just a craft, but an artform and there is much that can be done with it.

1. Embroidery is always an adventure to be enjoyed. Slow down as much as you can, breathe and relax. Take pleasure in the stitches and watching the project develop.

2. No need for expensive supplies! Compared to other mediums, embroidery doesn't require much investment to begin - piece of fabric, some threads, a needle and scissors, and a hoop is handy too. A pencil is sufficient for transferring a design.

3. If your life feels out of control, then pick up your embroidery. Your art is one thing you have full control over. You get to decide everything about how it turns out.

4. The great thing about embroidery is that it's so tactile. Textures you can actually feel not just see. Learn to use them to create interest in your work.

5. New friends! Look around online and maybe in your local area for others who have the same hobby or even a related one. Stitchers are super nice and extremely supportive people. Reach out whenever you can and enjoy the companionship of like-minded people.

6. So much to learn, so many styles and techniques to try. You can satisfy your thirst to learn and develop your skill and your style. It's great fun to see where this journey leads you. It may surprise you!

7. Practice makes perfect - or sort of perfect. Keep on working and trying and you will improve quickly. Perfection should never be the goal, always just do your best and remember the journey really is the important part.

8. There is no right way - any way is right. Take a chance and do a crazy and wild design that is for fun, or try something traditional and serious. Whichever you like, whichever speaks to you. The important part is to go for it.

9. And some practical advice. Where to get supplies? If you happen to live near a craft store like Michael's or Joanne's you can find many supplies there, such as hoops, needles, fabric, and floss. If you don't, then they internet has many very nice stores which will deliver all these supplies to your door. Pattern transfer is important too. The simplest way is the light box approach which is why it's my preferred method - no need for extra supplies.  Just tape your pattern to glass (a window), then tape the fabric over and trace with a pencil or water soluble pen.

10. Embroidery is what you make of it. There are no rules, no musts, only what feels right to you to do. If you love to paint, it can be included in your embroidery. As can beading, sewing, knitting and even paper crafts too. Just let your imagination fly.

 Be sure to check my first Book of Embroidery for lots of advice about using the stitches and embroidery in general!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Winter Wreath Embroidery

This is one of my designs I did some years ago. I posted it this week on Instagram, and wow what a response I got. The most likes of anything I have posted so far. It's funny, but sometimes you just really cannot predict what people will react to. Projects that I think are great sometimes get no response. But I will say, it's also a matter of your audience. Somethings get lots of likes on Facebook but not elsewhere, and that sort of thing.

I have also found and try to remember this every time I make anything. The number of likes you receive is in no way related to how good or nice the project is or even how well it will sell. Some get lots of likes and no sales, others get very few likes and lots of sales.

Of course, these are only a couple metrics.

There are other things that I think are far more important! Like what you learned from the project, how you felt, and how enjoyable it was to make. I strive hard to only do projects that I really enjoy, ad that includes the pattern, the stitches and the colors.

I can definitely say, every thing I make comes from the heart, and I truly do enjoy the process of making.  And I think it's so important to record this journey we call life in some form or another through writing or pictures.

Tell your story!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Strawberry Thief Crewel Embroidery

This is my latest finish and I'm very happy with how this out.

I really love pinks and greens on this one, they are so soft and yummy and a delight to work with.
Developing the details on this one was loads of fun. Making the strawberries with the trellis is one of my favorite ways to make them and I always like how they turn out.

On the sidebar now I have a signup for my newsletter that I am finally going to start sending. Be sure to signup for it, so you get all the updates. I'll be making special offers in there.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

10 Reasons to do Embroidery

I thought I would have some fun today, so here is my top ten list:

1. It's relaxing! I always get energy back after working on embroidery for awhile.

2. It's meditative.  The repeated movements becoming a pattern, creating a picture. It's a great way to destress and be creative.

3. Working with tactile materials.  The yarns and fabrics are so delightful to touch, so many different feelings.. soft wool, cool rayons, smooth cottons. Try them all and see what they add to your work!

4. It's all about color! Reds, greens, browns, blues, variegated! So much beautiful shades to combine and play with.

5. Collecting. If you love collecting, embroidery is definitely the thing! So many types of threads to collect and enjoy.

6. It's great for decorating. Embroidered pictures, wall hangings, pillows, quilts, clothing and on. Add a personal touch to your home with your own handicraft.

7. It's an art form. Like all art forms, embroidery allows for endless possibilities for self-expression. Use it to show the world what's on your mind!

8. Connect with an ancient tradition. Embroidery has an amazing history. It was once the primary way to decorate fabric. Museums, books, and online resources are a great way to learn more.

9. Working with sparkly stuff. Yes, this is the super cool part, the beads, the metallic fibers, it's all so fun! And it can add a lot of interest to your work.

10. There is so much to learn! So many styles, so many designs and materials, so many ways to show the world your work.

Give embroidery a try if you haven't yet! I'm always willing to answer beginner questions, and inspiration is always free!

Friday, August 26, 2016

A Sheepish Halloween Crewel Embroidery

A Sheepish Halloween is a project I've had completed for a long time, or maybe it wasn't quite complete. I knew it was missing something, so finally I picked up my needle and added french knots to it, even a bunch of them! (Hard to go wrong with french knots, isn't it?)

The little sheep looks so huggable there next to the scary pumpkin!
I really love the warm fall colors. They are so nice to look at and work with.

I'm still working on this blog thing, there is a lot more I want to do with it, but I'm still trying to find what it is exactly that I want to say. I probably just need to sit and really think it over, but I promise it's coming. I really do want to share what I've learned about inspiration and creativity with others. Right now I feel like I have more books in me. I really enjoyed writing the first two, and I know the next one will be even better. I learn a lot myself too as I write them.

For now, I will leave you with this thought! Don't let the negative thoughts win and kill your creativity (yep, I've been there!). Push them out of your life, it's way to short to let them limit you in any way.