Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Embroidered Wedding Hearts

My little sister got married this month (April Fools Day!) and when I learned of her engagement, I immediately got to work on a surprise garland of embroidered hearts. I started with the colors she had chosen for her wedding bouquet, a fun colorful blend of bright pink, green and purple.
I made a total of 14 hearts, each one with a different color combination of blended wool felt, buttons and matching threads. Two of the hearts were embroidered with their names and date and place of their wedding. I then put foam board in between each heart and a back heart to make them more rigid, and blanket stitched them together.

I actually ran out of time and wasn't able to stitch the hearts to the ribbon before I flew to Oregon, but was able to get it finished on the drive to the wedding location - whew!  Then, while my sister was out, I hung them up in the cabin where her reception was held. They looked great with her coat, too - how cute is she?! 

Congratulations, Jen and Clay!! xo


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Purple Stuffed Kitty!

I made my first stuffed kitty, wow, it was a challenge! I don't own a sewing machine so I hand stitched everything.  The first one is always a learning experience, right? Still, I think she turned out super cute! She is about 10" long, made with blended wool felt. I had fun adding a braided necklace and the delicate gold whiskers.

I also discovered a new chain stitch I absolutely love! It's called interlaced chain stitch and looks more complicated than it is, but is actually quite easy! If you want to give it a go, you can find how to do it here, at the wonderful Needle 'n Thread, the best online resource I have found.

Written by Mary Corbet, you will find loads of written instructions and videos of basic and advanced stitches, thoughtful book reviews of a huge library of how-to books, project lessons, free patterns, informative and interesting blog, I can go on and on. Subscribe to her blog, learn and be inspired!

Here is a close up of the interlaced chain stitch. I followed her instructions but used three colors instead of two, and eliminated the final step of couching the threads. Sweet, huh?

Interlaced chain stitch with green split stitch below, click to enlarge!


Saturday, February 18, 2017

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Progress on Gazelle Embroidery

I just finished embroidering the details of this gazelle and his bird friend. Next I will stitch together some felt framing to go around it and will either turn it into a wall hanging or make it into a pillow.


Friday, January 20, 2017

Transferring Embroidery Design onto Felt

I have been experimenting with techniques on how to transfer a design onto wool felt. The first one I did was on white craft felt and since it was not quite so dense and a light color, I was able to hold it up to a window and trace the design onto it. 
Last month I made this dog ornament on blended wool felt and since it was small, I poked holes into the paper design, laid it on the felt, and then colored in the holes with a marker so I ended up with a dotted design. It worked pretty good, actually, but thought it would be too time consuming to do with my current design.
So I decided to try something new and trace the design onto tissue paper, pin it to my felt, and then embroider right through both tissue and felt. Two things I learned from this technique: One, I really enjoy the tactile experience of embroidering through felt. It's soft and soothing and peaceful even. The added tissue paper takes that feeling away. It's not smooth stitching and it's crinkly sounding! As subtle as it is, it takes away from my enjoyment.
The second thing I learned is this technique is much better suited to a simple design, not one with lots of stitching close together. Tearing the paper away was tricky, especially in tight spaces. In fact, there is some tissue that will live in this piece forever because I simply couldn't get it out! Even with my trusty tweezers and dental pick.
It does look nice though after all that effort, but I won't be doing it again this way. I just purchased some water soluble stabilizer that I will experiment with on my next project. Since I am using wool felt, I may need to pre-soak the felt to ensure it won't shrink later. I will do a couple of test runs first - perhaps the stabilizer will only need a little water spritzing to get it off. I do like the idea of printing the design onto the stabilizer rather than tracing the design. Such a time saver.
Any experienced embroiderists have any pearls of wisdom to share?!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Embroidered Ladybug for Ginny

I wanted to create something special for my friend Ginny who loves ladybugs and this is what I made. I'm so glad I researched what ladybugs look like close up because otherwise I would've drawn a simple red circle with black spots! They are far more interesting looking than that.
It had to be on a heart shaped leaf, of course, because this is a long time dear friend we're talking about!  I used chain and split stitches for the leaf veins and blanket stitched the edges together. Love, love, love the blended wool felt. It is about 7" in size. I love how it turned out and Ginny did, too!