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!
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 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!
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, Apricot and Buttery for the birds and Ascot, Cherry Blossom, Chartreuse 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
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
- wipe off transfer pen
- 7" embroidery hoop
- DMC stranded cotton thread in blanc, 310, 317 and 700. All stitching is done with 2 strands of thread.
- embroidery needle
- 100% wool felt (I used Baize, Popeye's Gal and Forest)
- Small, sharp scissors
- Be Lucky free downloadable pattern and guide
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!
Below you'll find our free pattern to stitch this botanical beauty. The design involves 10 stitches, from easy to more advanced but everyone can join in, from beginners to pros!
If you'd like to join us, over the next few weeks starting on 22nd June, every weekend I'll be sharing a video on Instagram and Facebook, showing you how to stitch each botanical element. I'll also be covering how to transfer the design onto your fabric and how to frame your finished piece.
I'm hoping this will be the perfect project to take with you on your summer adventures and that we can learn together and share our work #summerstitchalong.
You can stitch the sampler in any colour combination with the threads you already have in your stash but, if you'd like to use the colours I have, you can find everything in our shop or we have a special bundle with all the supplies I'm using. If you are using your own supplies, you'll need:
- A4 sized piece of fabric (approx 21x30cm or 8.3x11.7 inches. I like to have 2 so I can double up for extra stability)
- 7 colours of stranded cotton embroidery thread (or you could use more or less, depending on what you fancy). I used DMC 791, 825, 834, 321, 415, 680 and Blanc). We'll be using 2 strands for most of the stitches.
- A hoop to embroider (I like to use a 5" one)
- A way to transfer the pattern (I've been using an iron-on pen but if your fabric is light enough you can trace it)
- An emboidery needle (I like a size 7)
- An oval hoop to mount the finished piece (12.5x23cm)
- A printed copy of the pattern below
- embroidery scissors
I really hope you'll join me in this Summer stitch-along! Please get in touch if you have questions.
We are so excited that designer Larissa Holland of MmmCrafts has released a wonderful new festive ornament series called 'Twas the Night'. The first design in the series is Santa Claus, complete with rosy cheeks and a Christmas stocking!
The downloadable pattern is available for purchase at www.mmmcrafts.etsy.com and it's such a well thought out and clear set of instructions. The trickiest thing about this make is sourcing all the bits and bobs you need so we have put together the supplies you need to get going. The supplies pack makes one Santa in the the colour version shown here - if you want to make him a different colour, please get in touch! We know that you and your family will want to treasure this very special ornament so all of our packs contain our heirloom quality 100% merino wool felt, which is a pleasure to use and can stand the test of time.