New in the shop
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!
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
For a bit of fun I always like to see what the Pantone Institute chooses as their colour of the year. They choose a shade which they feel reflects the mood and attitude of the moment. Whilst I'm not a dedicated follower of fashion, Pantone is very highly regarded and you do see their influence spreading though all areas of design.
For the first time, this year Pantone has chosen the blending of 2 colours for 2016 - Rose Quartz and Serentity. They say 'As consumers seek mindfulness and well-being as an antidote to modern day stresses, welcoming colors that psychologically fulfill our yearning for reassurance and security are becoming more prominent. Joined together, Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace.' Bobbins? Well, maybe but I think we'll be seeing a lot of these colours this year, which is no bad thing. x
Have you seen the lovely new woodland themed cross stitch kits by Bobo Stitch that we have in the shop? They are bright and modern with a twinkle of metallic thread and are perfect for beginners as well as more experienced stitchers. Bobo Stitch are all about bringing great contemporary design and quality materials together to create gorgeous things to be proud of. Hannah and I recently met up for a cup of tea and cake and had a chat about her beautiful new book, Modern Cross Stitch.
This book is packed full of inspiring projects and gorgeous photos. I'm a big fan of stitching with materials other than the usual embroidery threads and fabrics and Hannah has some great ideas for this. My favourite is this chair, stitched with velvet ribbons. Genius!
Tell us about Bobo Stitch and how you got started
I love to cross stitch. I have always enjoyed the process. I started when I was young and I found it a simple, very relaxing thing to do and I liked the fact I could do it while curled up in front of the television. Time pressure in my 20s meant that the hobby went by the wayside a little, but as my friends began to have children, I started thinking how nice it would be to make something as a bit of a keepsake and so I looked for something to cross stitch. I searched and searched for patterns that weren’t overly cutesy or full of Care Bears but I couldn’t find anything. I had reignited my passion for stitching but was frustrated with the lack of choice, especially given the craft revolution that appeared to be going on in every other genre. I couldn’t believe that I was the only one feeling like this, so just after having my second child (nicknamed Bobo) I started designing and putting together simple but effective contemporary cross stitch kits. I dipped my toe in the water by launching a small shop online (www.bobostitch.co.uk) and it has grown organically from there.
What inspires your designs?
Colouring in!! I launched the business just before the craze for adult colouring kicked in, but when I first started designing I thought back to how much I used to enjoy having a simple outline and filling it with abstract patterns using loads of colours. I enjoyed that so much as a child and wanted to recreate that experience for stitchers of my kits. I love colour - that is my biggest influence. Often I can see a group of colours together and think that I have to come up with a design that utilises them.
Do you ever get ‘designer’s block’ and what do you do to fix it?
Occasionally I know what I want to achieve but struggle to breathe life into a design. Usually I will give it a go, then walk away. In a few days I’ll whack on some really upbeat dance music then revisit it again. More often than not it comes good after that.
Tell us about your new book
When Cico Books approached me to write Modern Cross Stitch I was flattered and terrified all at the same time. Designing, stitching and writing the instructions for more than 30 projects in 4 months was quite a tall order but in the end the ideas flowed really freely and quickly. I wanted to stay true to the Bobo Stitch brand and so used bold outlines, beautiful fresh colours and contemporary patterns to create simple and stylish pieces that would be a pleasure to stitch. I wanted to create a book that an absolute beginner would pick up because they liked the patterns but didn’t feel intimidated by the instructions and that an experienced stitcher would be drawn to by some great new ideas. It was also important to me that lots of the projects in the book weren’t just pictures to hang on the wall, but ways to really use cross stitch, so I included things like bags, bunting, chair seat bases, phone cases and even washi tape wall art. Hopefully I’ve pulled all that off!
Other than cross stitch, what’s your favourite stitch?
That’s quite a tricky one - I feel so ingrained in crosses now! I would love to learn how to do machine embroidery. It can be so unbelievably intricate and effective. I’ll get some lessons soon.
What’s your favourite tool in your sewing box?
It’s not so much of a tool as a material - soluble canvas. I love the stuff. It makes it so easy to sew onto all sorts of fabric to give a really neat finish. It opens up a whole new world of possibilities when browsing vintage fabric shops!
What’s your favourite thing that you’ve stitched?
That’s another really tough question. I get really attached to most of the things that I sew. I love the new Woodland Collection as they look so effective and are really simple to stitch. I also really enjoyed stitching my glow in the dark Nursery Collection. I loved using glow in the dark thread - I was able to come up with designs that meant the thread was hidden and so the finished stitched picture changes from day to night. I love the reaction when people see them for the first time. And the thread really does glow - it’s so fun to use!
Do you have a stitchy top tip to share?
One that I pinched from the lovely Nicole at Follow The White Bunny. Ever noticed that sometimes when you pull your lose end of thread from a skein of thread it can tangle the whole thing and other times it will come free beautifully? Well, when using DMC thread, pull it from the end where the colour number is printed - it really works! Although I hear it is different depending on the brand of thread!
What are your hopes for Bobo Stitch in the future?
From 2016 I hope you will start to see more of my designs stocked in great little online and high street shops. Bobo Stitch is still so young and as a small business owner I am learning all the time. The best thing about it is there are so many opportunities still to take, so many designs to come up with, so many avenues still to explore. I can’t wait.