Archive for the 'embroidery' Category

Nursery projects part 3

{part 1 here} {part 2 here}

Baby due date is just a week away now. I don’t think he or she is going to arrive for a while yet though so there’s still a bit of time to finish up some crafting.

This will be a bit of a whistle-stop tour of all the latest projects as some are so simple they don’t need much explanation.

First up: burp cloths and blanket.

Yes that's my 39-week belly

The blanket is simply one layer of flannel hemmed all the way around (it’s approximately 40″x40″).

The three burp cloths are made from two smaller fabric squares. I sewed the two layers, right sides together, leaving a gap to turn it through. Then I top-stitched all the way round.

I have a matching quilt in the works but I’ve run out of thread so hopefully I’ll be able to finish it and show it to you soon.

Next: owl bookends

These are simply two rectangles of linen with an owl applique made from vintage fabric applied to one of them. I used freeehand machine embroidery and a couple of buttons to pretty them up. Then I stitched the two rectangles together (right sides together) leaving a gap to turn and fill them. They were then filled with cheap rice and the gaps sewn closed.

Not forgetting: teeny tiny baby hats

I used a tutorial by Alisa Burke to get the basic idea. They’re simply made from an old jersey t-shirt, decorated with some pretty fabric paint and stitched together (or you could use fabric glue like Alisa). I didn’t leave the end long enough so instead of tying a knot I sewed it down so it kinda looks like one instead.

Last but totally not least: freehand machine embroidered owl picture

I sketched this owl a little while ago so I decided to play with my favourite craft technique and make a little framed picture.

I backed brown fabric with some heavy interfacing and cut it to fit my frame. I decided to use freezer paper to transfer the basic outline to the fabric. I just ironed it to the fabric and sewed over the top of it. You could use a fabric pen instead. Once I had the outline I tore off the paper and then filled in the details. I’d quite like to make some more of these as they’re so easy.

I’ve got a couple more projects to finish so hopefully I’ll have time to get them done and I’ll be able to show you soon. In the meantime I’ll keep crafting to distract me from the wait until we meet our little boy or girl!


{week 9} smocking

Well the observant amongst you will have noticed I haven’t been around these here parts for a while. Crafting and blogging sometimes have to take a back seat behind family and work (where are my priorities?). But here I am with my newest project and week 9…


I love the colours aqua and hot pink together, don’t you?

I used this really easy tutorial to make this little project. I think I’ll turn it into a cushion cover.

Have you ever tried smocking? What embroidery techniques have you been trying this month?

You can comment here, on Twitter (using the hashtag #52crafts52weeks), or upload your projects to Facebook or Flickr. Or you can add it via the link tool below.

Flashback: week 9 in year 1 was all about porcelain beads!

It’s month 3 – time to embroider

I think embroidery is one of my favourite crafts. It’s so relaxing – I love the meditative hand sewing and the sketch-style machine embroidery.

This is my schedule for month 3. Feel free to follow along or try your own projects.

Week 1: smocking
Week 2: blackwork
Week 3: crewel
Week 4: machine embroidery

Do you have a favourite style of embroidery?

{week 27} cross stitch

This week’s project was a freebie – or at least it was only the cost of a magazine. The cross stitch heart kit came free with Cross Stitcher magazine and at first glance it looked very simple.

Cross stitch is just how it sounds – a serious of small sewn crosses that you sew following a chart. This pattern was just one colour so a simple design but the slight complication was instead of using the traditional fabric – aida – it used gingham. Undaunted, I got stuck in. The main problems were: wonky stitches (no holes to guide me, just the gingham design), tangled threads, knots and pulled fabric.

But I got there in the end and I think it’s a very pretty result:

Cross stitch Christmas heart

Do you cross stitch? Do you have any favourite kits?

EDIT: Just seen this useful list of cross stitch resources, looks good.

{week 15} sashiko embroidery

I love the look of sashiko embroidery – its clean lines and elegance have had me wanting to have a go for some time.

1. Sashiko apron, 2. sashiko envelope inside, 3. Sashiko pouch, 4. sashiko, 5. Sashiko Pillow, 6. sashiko embroidery

Traditional sashiko uses a special needle, thread and thimble. I substituted them for a normal embroidery needle and thread – and I don’t have a thimble so had to manage without. The traditional designs, like this one from Purl, are lovely but I wanted to do something very simple, and colourful. I decided to make a simple envelope cushion from simple linen and a colourful backing fabric (by Anna Maria Horner).

Sashiko uses just a simple running stitch where all the stitches are equal width. I picked three colours of embroidery thread to match the backing fabric. I drew lines on the linen with a water soluble marker so I kept my stitches straight and arranged the leaves that I’d cut out of the backing fabric until I had a design I was happy with.

Embroidered cushion cover

The design came together very quickly – you don’t need an embroidery hoop and you work several stitches at a time.

I’m very pleased with the finished cushion – I definitely want to do more sashiko embroidery and try out a more traditional design.

Sashiko embroidery

{week 2} freehand machine embroidery

I’ve always been too scared to have a go at freehand (or freestyle) machine embroidery as I thought you needed fancy threads and a large degree of accuracy and precision that I just don’t possess. But ever since I got my lovely Bernina (Nina) I’ve been thinking about giving it a try and this thread sketching tutorial was enough to give me the kick I needed.

Before I show you what I did, I thought I’d share some inspiration I found on flickr:

1. End of Season Poppies cushion, detail, 2. 3 flower side, 3. ‘Eastbourne Promenade’ (Detail), 4. Bunting Cushion (C365: day 64), 5. fabric, print and stitch, 6. Roach, 7. Yellow Spinebill Blanket Cushion- detail 2009, 8. Leaves – stitched monoprint

If I can achieve an ounce of the gorgeousness demonstrated by these artists I’ll be happy!

I wanted to do something fairly simple for my first attempt so here’s my sketch:


I then drew the design on to some gorgeous screenprinted fabric by Lu Summers and got ready to sew.

Ready to sew

As I’ve got a darning foot and can drop the feed dogs I decided to be brave and use both facilities. According to the tutorial I used, it doesn’t matter if you don’t have them and you can just use your normal foot (sewing foot, not actual foot, it goes without saying that it’s best to use your normal, actual, attached-to-your-leg-foot when sewing).

Wibbly wonky lines
It’s a good job I’m aiming for a sketched effect!

And here’s the finished stichery!
Finished flower

Let me know what you think in the comments and share any of your own freehand machine embroidery. See you next week!


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