Posts tagged ‘embroidery’

July 14, 2012

New Project

I was baby sitting for a friend earlier this week… a good excuse to do some crafting.  I didn’t really get much done but set up a new project that I can pick up and put down and do whist watching the TV.  The aim is to practice and experiment with embroidery.

I have this beautiful fabric that I got from Seamstar (a great place for fabric and haberdashery shopping), probably about a year (maybe more) ago.  It’s so nice that I haven’t wanted to cut it up, so I thought I would use the pattern as a base and embellish it with embroidery and maybe some beads and turn it into a picture.

So here it is at the beginning.  You might just be able to make out a line of back stitch along one side of a blue stem to the right of the centre flower.  I’m thinking it’s going to take a while to complete but I’ll keep you updated.

May 13, 2012


At the moment I seem to have ‘crafting attention deficit disorder’!.  I just want to try everything and do everything.  One minute it’s sketching, the next it’s jewellery making, then sewing and now embroidery.  I have so many ideas and new things I want to try, just not the hours in the day.  

I’ve been wanting to do embroidery for ages.  I got Aimee Ray’s book Doodle Stitching a couple of years ago and I love the way she uses embroidery to illustrate in a fresh and modern way.  I didn’t follow her patterns but decided to make up my own.  Inspired by the print on a top I had, my idea was to use swirls, hearts, dots and flowers to form the shape of a flying bird.  I drew it out onto paper then copied it onto the fabric (which I backed with iron on interfacing) using carbon paper.  


Looks vaguely like a bird

I wanted a fairly subtle end result so I decided to use variegated thread in the same colour as the fabric.  Using back stitch, satin stitch, french knots and lazy daisy stitch I worked over the lines I had drawn.  It took me a couple of evenings in front of the telly to finish it off.  


I hadn’t really thought about what I was going to do with it but I had this frame which didn’t fit something else I made and I think it looks quite good in there.  I need to remember to think these things through before I start them really but I was just too eager to get going!


I will definitely do more embroidery, I have lots of ideas of what to do, but it might have to wait in the queue behind the other things I’m planning on doing.  Which craft next…?

April 22, 2012


I read about ‘thrifting’ on other people’s blogs and have this romantic idea of going into second hand shops and coming out with armfuls of beautiful vintage fabrics, quirky objects and items that can be up-cycled into wonderful new things.  The reality however, in my experience, is not like this.  I’ve popped into the local charity shop and come away empty handed many a time.

But recently I’ve had a little success!  Nothing too amazing but it’s a start. Last week I managed to pick up this decent sized piece of blue material for £5, which might become the back of a boy quilt sometime in the future, and some cotton dollies to add to a couple I got a few weeks ago.  I have a few ideas for these, and one now lives under the glass on my coffee table.

I also got some embroidery and needlework books from a few different shops when I was away in Norfolk last week.   All a couple of pounds each.

They’re all from the 60s/70s but my thinking was that the techniques will still be as relevant today.  In fact some of the designs are quite timeless, or they have come back into fashion.

I like the colour and the pattern of this front cushion


Interesting embroidery image


One of the few colour pages in 'Enjoying Embroidery'. Sadly most of them are black and white

So I am now inspired to carry on hunting out finds, but think I have learnt a couple of things:

  1. Know what you’re looking for.  That way you can go in and hunt them out.  I found that without an idea of the sort of things I wanted I was in danger of ending up with a load of stuff that I had no purpose for just because it was cheep,  or (more often in my case) coming away with nothing because nothing stands out.
  2. It makes a difference where you shop.  Thinking about it it’s obvious that the contents of the shop is going reflect the people in the local area who donate to it so it’s worth shopping in different places.
  3. Go often.  Because things change and you never know what you’re going to find.

Also while I was away I went into Jarrolds, an independent department store in Norwich, which has a lovely little haberdashery section.  I couldn’t resist getting some grosgrain ribbon in aqua, grey and flowers, some buttons and a length of this lovely patterned binding.

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