It's the first day of Spring and it's time to shake off all the dark and embrace all things bright and beautiful!
Here's a project to bring some fresh greens to your home. It involves a bit of applique with wool felt and embroidery with straight, chain and whipped back stitches.
You will need:
Essex Linen in Ivory
DMC stranded cotton thread in blanc, 310, 317 and 700. All stitching is done with 2 strands of thread.
What to do
1. Start by transfer the design (all except the green clover leaves) onto your Essex Linen fabric by putting the fabric over the pattern and tracing the lines using a wipe off transfer pen.
2. Stitch the 'be happy' with DMC 310 using a chain stitch.
3. Trace the green clover shapes onto the Bondaweb, cut roughly around the Bondaweb and iron onto the felt pieces.
4. Cut arround each shape and then remove the paper from the Bondaweb. With the Bondaweb-side down, iron the clover shapes onto your fabric in the correct locations. If you like, you can add a whipped stitch around the clover leaves.
5. Add the white detailing to the clover leaves using DMC Blanc and a straight stitch.
6. Add the dots around the clover leaves using French knots and DMC 700.
7. Stitch round the circle using DMC 317 and a back stitching. Then add a whipped stitch to the back stitch using DMC Blanc.
8. With a damp cloth, remove any pen lines you can see.
9. Centre your fabric carefully in your embroidery hoop and when you are happy tighten the screw as much as you can . Trim around the hoop, leaving a 2cm border. To gather the excess fabric behind the hoop, use a running stitch all the way round the circle of fabric and pull tight.
10. Hang your masterpiece and feel the luck flow to you!
February is the month of love and I think it's also really important to look after ourselves so what could be better than learning a new skill? My friends over at the Charles and Elin Academy have 2 wonderful on-line architectural embroidery masterclasses, where you can learn via their step-by-step videos how to use hand embroidery and thread painting to learn the skills to turn your favourite buildings into beautiful works of art. Charles and Ein are embroidery artists who's passion and enthusiasm for teaching inspiring. And they are ridiculously cute and in love! Their courses are perfect if you'd like to try something different with your embroidery and create your own piece to be proud of. And, to make things easy we have teamed up with Charles and Elin to provide kits with the materials you'll need for the classes.
From 8-14th February 2019 they have a special bundle offer on both courses. Hop over and take a look and please let me know if you try it!
I'm so excited to announce the launch of our new kids' embroidery brand called StitchPop. StitchPop aims to inspire kids to pick up a needle, chill out and learn something new. It's something very close to my heart and a project we've been working on for 2 years now so we could get it just right!
Our first 3 kits, called ‘Party Animals’, have been designed by Sophie Simpson, author and needlework Queen behind What Delilah Did. They have been road-tested by kids and contain all the top-notch supplies needed to make learning embroidery fun and frustration-free.
These embroidery sampler kits each teach 5 stitches as you get the animals dressed up for their party. They are aimed at kids aged 8+ (although big kids love them too!). The designs and stitches are printed onto cotton fabric and we have space in the balloons for getting creative and practising new stitches. They come with the perfect sized needle, a needle threader, hoop and 15 colours of DMC Perle cotton (no separating strands required!), so kids can choose the colours they want to use, just like colouring in. And, because we know that instructions are often not written with kids in mind, we have beautifully illustrated instruction booklets, with clear step-by-step diagrams for each stitch.
I hope you and the children in your life like them!
Are you dreaming of sunny days in the garden or by the pool with nothing to do except stitch? Well, these new kits by the Make Arcade could be your perfect companions! They are a selection of bright and beautiful cross stitch and embroidery kits, all bang on trend.
They contain all the supplies you need and instructions so you can get going straight away, making them perfect for beginners and crafting pros.
And, the best bit? They are designed and assembled here in the UK by the fabulous Ruth Oliver, who I met earlier this year and is really lovely. I totally want her in my Girl Gang!
I was recently sent a brand new embroidery book to enjoy. It's called 'Mandalas to Embroider - Kaleidoscope Stitching in a hoop' and it's the 3rd book by the queen of bright, beautiful stitching, Carina Envoldsen-Harris. It's an inspiring book if you are looking to do some meditative hand stitching, with lots of gorgeous photos to get you in the mood.
There are 24 designs in the book - 12 larger and 12 smaller ones. The great thing is that the small ones fit Dandelyne 5.5cm mini hoops perfectly if you want to display your finished piece in a tiny hoop. They would also work well in our round mini wooden display frames. They book would suit beginners and more experienced stitchers - there are 10 different embroidery stitches to use and each is really well explained with clear diagrams. You could easily follow the instructions to the letter and end up with a beautiful piece but Carina encourages readers to experiment to come up with their unique piece using different colours and stitches.
Apart from the beatiful, insipiring mandalas the thing I like the most about this book is that every design (as well as a hidden bonus one!) is available in the book as an iron-on template. This means that all the designs can be simply ironed onto your fabric, saving you the hassle of transferring the design by hand. Fab!
You can buy this gorgeous book directly from Carina, where you'll get a signed copy, and I'm sure lots of good book shops will also carry it. I'm sure it would be a very well received gift for a stitchy friend or a lovely Christmas treat for yourself!
After years, DMC have released 35 new colours of stranded cotton thread and they are all lovely! These new colours include lots of modern greys and browns, some pastels and greens, and delicious fuschias and deep purples. And, at the moment, you can get the whole set of 35 new colours in a beautiful gold collectors tin.
So, now that there are 500 colours to choose there's bound to be the perfect shades for your project!
Introducing our latest needle minder, the smiley hexie! It's been beautifully designed for us again by Mollie Johanson at Wild Olive, who has a big thing for stitching, hexies and smiley faces (well, who doesn't?!). Just like our stork needle minder, this hexies is enamelled and has a strong magnet to attach it to your fabric. You can then pop your needle on top and it will hold it until you're ready to get back to stitching! Saves lots of lost needles in your sofa or nasty surprises on the floor!
As the nights draw in it's the perfect time to cosy up with a new craft project (and your glue gun!). Christine Leech from Sew Yeah has designed a brand new colourway for our gorgeous felt floral wreath kit. Doesn't it put you in mind of foraged blackberries and autumnal warmth? It's super-easy to make - you get all the supplies you need including metallic copper wool felt, all you need to get is a glue gun, scissors and a big pot of tea to enjoy!
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