We're super excited this week to be launching Snipsters, our very own signature brand of embroidery scissors! This range of great quality snips has been made with precision hardened and tempered steel so they will give you years of stitchy service. They are really sharp so you can accurately and easily snip your threads.
There are traditional stork scissors with a very modern palette of colours as well as ones which have a beautiful prismatic sheen thanks to a titanium coating. We also have super-cute 24K gold plated pineapple ones! All Snipsters come with an optional metallic leatherette pouch to keep them safe. Do you have a treasured collection of scissors?
The Colour Gurus at Pantone have spoken and their colour of the year for 2017 is Greenery!
Pantone have also chosen a selection of 10 colours that they feel represent Spring 2017, and we've put them together in a 100% wool felt collection called Bohemians Days (named after my lovely customer Kat, who runs a gorgeous bow-making business called Little Bowhemians and who had the idea for this collection). It's bright and bold and perfect for waking the senses ready for this new year.
Taken from the Pantone website, these are the colours in their selection and what they represent:
PANTONE 17-4123 Niagara
Comfortable and dependable, Niagara leads the PANTONE Fashion Color Report as the most prevalent colour for spring 2017. Niagara is a classic denim-like blue that speaks to our desire for ease and relaxation.
PANTONE 13-0755 Primrose Yellow
By contrast, Primrose Yellow sparkles with heat and vitality. Inviting us into its instant warmth, this joyful yellow shade takes us to a destination marked by enthusiasm, good cheer and sunny days.
PANTONE 19-4045 Lapis Blue
Conveying even more energy is Lapis Blue. Strong and confident, this intense blue shade is imbued with an inner radiance.
PANTONE 17-1462 Flame
A red-based orange, Flame, is gregarious and fun loving. Flamboyant and vivacious, this wonderfully theatrical shade adds fiery heat to the spring 2017 palette.
PANTONE 14-4620 Island Paradise
Island Paradise is a refreshing aqua that calls to mind a change of scenery. A cool blue green shade that speaks to our dream of the great escape, Island Paradise is emblematic of tropical settings and our desire to unwind.
PANTONE 13-1404 Pale Dogwood
Continuing the tranquil mood, Pale Dogwood is a quiet and peaceful pink shade that engenders an aura of innocence and purity. The unobtrusive Pale Dogwood is a subtle pink whose soft touch infuses a healthy glow.
PANTONE 15-0343 Greenery
Bringing forth a refreshing take, Greenery is a tangy yellow-green that speaks to our need to explore, experiment and reinvent. Illustrative of flourishing foliage, the fertile attributes of Greenery signals one to take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate.
PANTONE 17-2034 Pink Yarrow
Tropical and festive, Pink Yarrow is a whimsical, unignorable hue that tempts and tantalises. Bold, attention getting and tempestuous, the lively Pink Yarrow is a captivating and stimulating colour that lifts spirits and gets the adrenaline going.
PANTONE 18-0107 Kale
Evocative of the great outdoors and a healthy lifestyle, Kale is another foliage-based green that conjures up our desire to connect to nature, similar to the more vivacious Greenery. And, just as we see in nature, this lush and fertile natural green shade provides the perfect complementary background to the more vibrant tones in the palette.
PANTONE 14-1315 Hazelnut
Rounding out the spring 2017 colours is Hazelnut, a key neutral for spring. This shade brings to mind a natural earthiness. Unpretentious and with an inherent warmth, Hazelnut is a transitional colour that effortlessly connects the seasons.
There were so many people who were disappointed to have missed out on the limited edition Cindermice kits last year that I'm so pleased that we are bringing them back again for this Christmas. And this year they are dressed in fabulous new clothes!
Sophie Simpson, the designer and author behind 'What Delilah Did' has used her magic to update her gorgeous Cindermice designs to give a new twist to these gorgeous needlework projects. There are 3 heirloom ornaments to hand-stitch with a Cinderella theme - there's Cindermouse, Mouse Charming and the Fairy Godmouse!
And the best bit? You will be able to stitch-along with Sophie because she has put together video tutorials to take you through all the steps. We are also hoping that stitchers will join us again on Instagram and share their progress with #cindermicestitchalong.
The kits are available for pr-order now, and will be shipped on 21st October.
You can find out all the details for the stitch-along here. We really hope you will join us for some stitchy fun and extra magic to your festive season!
Tapestry kits have been given a makeover by Jessica Taylormade! The designer behind this beautiful new brand, Jessica Taylor, has recently launched a range of modern, graphic designs in kit form, carefully put together with Zweigart canvas and Appleton's wools.
There are 6 designs to choose from 3 in colour and, my favourites, 3 in monochrome, which would be sure to make a statement on any sofa!
Jessica has been passionate about tapestry since was bought her first kit by her Grandmother at the age of 7. Her aim with this collection was to design kits that would be not only fun to stitch but also ones that you would be happy to display or give as gifts. She has been inspired by her many trips to Morocco and Turkey and the beautiful patterns you can find there. You can also see her love of colour in this collection. Jessica is half Nigerian and is hugely influenced by her Grandmother, who would wear traditional, brightly coloured Nigerian dress everyday despite the cold British weather. Hurray for colour and hurray for this beautiful range of kits, which I hope will bring tapestry to a whole new generation of stitchers. So if you're looking for a new project to start as the nights draw in, pop over and see the complete range of Jessica Taylormade kits.
I've long been a fan of Jody Rice from Satsuma Street's cross-stitch designs - her distinctive, colourful patterns are a joy to stitch. Jody's modern style has become hugely popular but until very recently the only way to get buy the Satsuma Street patterns was via an online download. Not anymore! Jody has responded to requests for printed patterns and has reproduced some of her best loved patterns on heavy card stock, so they will last for years and not become dog-eared while you're working on them. On the inside there's a full colour chart on uncoated paper so it's easy to read in bright lighting and can be marked with pencil or pen. And I'm super excited that we are the first shop in the UK to stock these!
The Pretty Cities patterns would be a great way to remember a trip, celebrate hometown pride or decorate a modern nursery. The patterns also come with an insert detailing all the buildings featured in the designs.
You can find all our Satsuma Street printed patterns here - we also have the DMC threads and fabrics you need to stitch these designs so you can buy everything in one go! To celebrate this exciting launch, we are giving away the Christmas Ornament Set 1 together with all 20 DMC stranded cotton threads you will need and Zweigart Cashel linen fabric. To be in with a chance to win, hop over to our Instagram account before the closing date of 26th August for the details. Good luck!
OK, the sun has finally decided to show itself and it's time to take your hoops outside! I'm so pleased to be able to bring you this sweet Summer garden inspired project designed by Jenny Blair at Bloom and Sew, which would be perfect for some alfresco stitching. To get you started we will be giving away a pack of 100% wool felt and DMC threads for this project (see them here). Just pop over to the Bloom and Sew or Cloud Craft Instagram feeds for the details.
Thanks so much Jenny for this gorgeous project, now over to you!
Materials required: Summer garden pattern template page, 100% wool felt (we used Barbie, Aspricot and Buttery for the birds and Ascot, Cherry Blossom, Charteuse and Popeye's Gal for the flowers), DMC stranded cotton embroidery threads in shades 317, 3865, 307, 734, 604 (we have put together a pack of the embroidery threads and felt pieces for you here), cotton thread (optional), stuffing, embroidery needle, scissors, and wipe-off fabric pen.
1)Print out the Summer garden pattern template page and cut out each flower and bird. Next cut out the tail from each bird to create 2 templates for your bird decoration.
Using the fabric pen, draw around the body shape TWICE onto the felt and cut out.
Draw around the tail shape ONCE onto the felt and cut out. Note *When drawing around the tail template continue the line further than the cut out tail piece. This part will be sandwiched between the body parts and when sewn will keep the tail in place.*
Using the wing template, draw around this once and then cut out.
For the flowers, draw around each flower outline TWICE and cut out from felt. Then cut out the smaller shapes from the templates (the scalloped edge and circular middle) and use these templates to draw around. The leaves have been drawn individually for you to cut out and use as templates.
See below for the numbers of pieces required for each decoration.
2) Draw on the embroidery details with the fabric pen. If you don’t feel confident doing this freehand, simply place the template onto the felt and make guideline marks by pricking through the template and felt with your needle or pin.
3) Cut a 20cm length of your chosen material (for hanging the decoration), fold it in half and knot it at the bottom. Then pin the pieces all together, ready for sewing.
*Note on the template page the arrows which indicate the suggested place to position the hanging thread. You may need to play around with the position to ensure a balanced dangle!
4) Stitch the decoration together using whip stitch as shown below. The dots on the template page indicate the gap to leave for stuffing. When approaching the hanging thread, take care to stitch through the knot to prevent it from being pulled out when on display.
Once reached the tail simply continue stitching as before but taking your thread through the tail piece as well. This applies to the leaves of the flowers also.
The scalloped element of the flower decoration is sewn at the same time as the flower edge using whip stitch.
5) Stuff the decoration and then whip stitch the gap closed.
6) Now it’s time to embroider the details and add the finishing touches.The bird wings and the circle detail of the flower are attached by the embroidery detail.
Below is a stitch guide for the embroidery stitches used to embroider the decoration. The stitches suggested are all simple and commonly used embroidery stitches .The more seasoned stitcher may prefer to use the birds and flowers as a fun blank canvas to decorate using stitches and details of their own choice.
Use 3 strands of thread for all the embroidery details, except for the bird tummy details where only 1 strand of thread is required.
Click on the links to be taken to a step-by-step tutorial on each embroidery stitch:
7) Time to find somewhere in your home in need of a little summer garden zing!
*Make multiples of the bird and flower design and string together to make some sweet summer bunting.
*Create a lovely long dangly decoration by joining all the decorations together. Simpy knot both ends of the string/thread and attach to the top of one decoration and to the underside of another decoration...do this for all 5 pieces.
*Use the bird and flower designs as an embroidery design and stitch the bird and flower motifs onto your chosen fabric item.
Have fun with your Summer Garden stitching! x
I've long been a fan of Jenny Blair's bright and beautiful embroidery kits and patterns. As well as being a great designer, Jenny is also very generous with her knowledge and her website is packed with great stitching tutorials, tips and freebies.
Jenny's latest creations are Mr and Mrs Deer, which you can make with her PDF pattern and tutorial. I was so pleased to be able to team up with Jenny to put together a special pack of 100% wool felt and DMC embroidery threads to make this sweet couple, so you can get on with the fun bit!
And to share the love, we are giving you 15% off both the PDF pattern over at Jenny's shop and the thread and felt supplies you need from Cloud Craft with code DEERLOVE15 (valid until 14th February 2016).
When we first had Jenny's kits in the shop they sold out very quickly but I'm pleased to say they are now back in stock. This time we also have the Little Fawn kit, which is my favourite! I asked Jenny if she would tell us a bit about her business and stitchy inspiration.
Tell us about ‘Jenny Blair’ and Bloom and Sew and how you got started.
I've been creating, sewing and painting for as long as I can remember, and always had the dream of making this my 'job' but never knew quite how to go about it. Around 6 years ago, however, discovered blogging and 'Etsy' which suddenly opened the door for me to take my first steps. I was working part time as a midwife and my youngest was just a toddler so I would stitch and paint in whatever spare time I could squeeze in (usually when everyone was in bed) and sell what I made in my Etsy shop. Over the next couple of years I slowly developed my confidence and learned some new skills ( Photoshop & computer design), while also working out what I enjoyed making and what would actually sell (and looking after my family of course!). Fast forward to now and I've been self employed for 4 years with a growing sewing business. I offer my designs as embroidery kits and patterns, host stitch related workshops alongside selling original stitched items in my online shop and in some galleries around Scotland. It still surprises and delights me that I've made it this far!
What do you love the most about embroidery?
I can keep my fingers busy while letting my mind wander …....
What’s your favourite stitch?
Satin stitch hands down. It's so smooth and shiny....
What’s the most treasured tool in your sewing box?
My pinking shears, they were my Nana's and are still kept in their original box. I don’t use them very often (they weigh a tonne!) but I do Iove the occasional glimpse at them in my sewing drawer.
It seems that lots of your designs are inspired by the natural world. What’s your favourite place in the world?
I grew up in a small Scottish rural town nicknamed as the 'Gateway to the Glens', where childhood was spent outdoors roaming the surrounding countryside, and weekends/holidays spent hiking and camping in the National park. I spent a few years in my early twenties travelling around the world and despite discovering stunning new places I always hankered after those glens...that's where my heart belongs.
What would you most like to do, other than running ‘Jenny Blair’?
This is going to sound a bit clichéd but right now there is nothing else I'd rather do. When I left my midwifery post I made a promise to myself that from this point on I would only do what made me happy....and if not I would change it and find what did. So I guess if there was something else I would rather be doing there would be no more 'Jenny Blair'!
Do you have a stitchy top tip to share?
The one that has worked best for me is that enjoyment is the most important part of stitching rather than how neat the stitches are or how tidy the back is. Just have fun!
What’s on the cards for ‘Jenny Blair’ in the future?
There are a few things on the horizon, which I am excited about and involve sewing 3d things rather than embroidery. I'm also busy working on some new embroidery kits which I hope to launch later in the year. I have a few wild dreams that I'm working on to come into fruition in the future..but you know what they say about telling people your secret wishes ….... ;)
I hope you love Mr and Mrs Deer as much as I do. Thanks Jenny! x
Hello February! I can't believe that January is over already (hurray!). I was expecting January to be quiet month of taking stock, making plans and, if I'm honest, hibernating. It didn't turn out that way though; we were very busy (thank you lovely customers!) and got lots of great new supplies in for the shop, including glitter buttons, scallop edged wooden discs for stitching onto and...... 4 fabulous new colours of 100% wool felt!
As always, to save you time, we have matched the perfect colour DMC stranded cotton thread to our felt colours. We hope you like them x