February is the month of love but 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!
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'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
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!
The Colour Gurus at Pantone have spoken and their colour of the year for 2017 is Greenery!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!