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!
OK, I admit it, I've had a bit of a felty crush on Christine Leech of Sew Yeah! since I bought her book 'Felt Sew Good' back in 2013 so it was a huge pleasure for me to collaborate with her to produce our first ever felt floral kit. This kit has all the supplies you need to make this floral wreath banner, including Christine's beautifully illustrated instructions and lots of colours of our 100% wool felt!
If you've ever wanted to learn to make felt flowers then this is the perfect way to have a go. Christine shares her tips and tricks to make a variety of simple but very impressive blooms. Once you've got the skills you'll be able to use the templates over and over again to make a whole garden of flowers!
I've long been a fan of Mollie Johanson from Wild Olive and her super cute embroidery designs so imagine how chuffed I was when she agreed to collaborate with me to design the sweetest needle minder. This pair of smiley stork scissors is made of hard enamel and has a super strong magnet so you can attach it to your fabric and the keep your needle safe while you make a cuppa. I find mine so handy!
We've also turned Mollie's cute design into a lovely necklace, so you can show the world how much you love stitching!
I hope you love these as much as I do. Hop over to Mollie's blog - she has some gorgeous embroidery ideas, the sweetest stitching clubs to join in with and free patterns.
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.