Friday, October 17, 2014

Spooky Patterns

There's still time to stitch up a spooky design before it's Hallow's eve! I've collected some of the best and original designs for you.


I love these Halloween Biscornu Designs by Emily of Flossbox.


The ladies over at The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery ('seriously cute cross stitch patterns') have several great Halloween designs available, including this Mysterious Halloween Town Club.



Andrea Zuill (aka Badbird) has a fun Halloween pattern set but the shop is temporarily closed. Let's hope it opens in time for Halloween!

A 'Nevermore' cross stitch pattern (via The Cottage Needle) with extra ornaments.


This Skull Trio from Flossy Bobbin caught my eye as well. I especially like the blackwork style eyes on the skull on the right.




Are you stitching Spooky patterns? Please share in the &Stitches Flickr group. We'd love to see it!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

In the hoop with Mother Eagle

In the Hoop With - header
I caught up with Katie from Made by Mother Eagle about her latest work. You can also read more about this epic project on the Made by Mother Eagle blog 

The completed crab

This is my latest piece of stumpwork, which I have called The God of Crabs. It's constructed in 4 pieces - the ground fabric with the legs, then 3 slips embroidered seperately and sewn on the ground over felt padding and then stuffed with extra padding. He is quite a different direction for me as I am more known for making embroidered miniatures, but I had an urge to stretch myself and do something big and bold! In his shell there are 'barnacles' made of African turquose which are attached using shisha embroidery - a new technique for me. There are also loads of french knots, buttonhole stitch, split stitch, beading and chain stitch. I am now working on another big piece - a toad, which I plan to embellish with stumpwork.

embroidery is worked around the shisha barnacles

Thank you to Katie for telling us about this piece - we can't wait to see your stumpwork toad!


What are you stitching? Please share in the &Stitches Flickr group. We'd love to see it!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Found on Flickr: Spooky Portrait (Untitled)

Untitled

I've featured work by Brinley Froelich before - I'm still so entranced by her embroidered view of the moon that I posted about back in June. This time she's shared this eerie (self-)portrait - I love the way her stitches interact with the image. It's the kind of piece that I love more the more I look at it.

And perfect for October, no? I hope you'll check out more of Brinley's fantastic work in her Flickr photostream.

What are you stitching? Please share in the &Stitches Flickr group. We'd love to see it!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Cross stitch on cereal

Cereal_sampler-JudithGKlausner
Here's some unusual inspiration for those of you taking part in the Old Stitches, New Tricks competition.

This piece, called Cereal Sampler #2: The Most Important Meal, is made by Judith G. Klausner. It is cross stitch embroidered on cereals! Isn't that awesome?

Judith has made other interesting combinations of art and food. Another stitching related piece is Toast Embroidery #1: Egg on Toast.

You should definitely pop over and check out her work. Even if you're not taking part in our competition.

Personally, I'd love to see some embroidery on foods for the competition! :-)



What are you stitching? Please share in the &Stitches Flickr group. We'd love to see it!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Colorful Stitchery Giveaway


Roost Books kindly provided us with a copy of Kristin Nicholas' new book Colorful Stitchery to give away to one reader. Check out our review here, in case you missed it.

To enter the giveaway:

Leave a comment on this post.
- you can not get extra entries by tweeting, liking on Facebook etc etc. One person, one entry.
- we'd love to hear about what kind of embroidery you'd like to try, but that is optional!

There must be a way to contact you, so make sure to either leave an email address, a link to your blog or somewhere else where an email can be found. We will not notify the winner by leaving a comment on your blog. You can also leave your Flickr name or Twitter @.

Entries by 'Anonymous' can not be accepted, we must have atleast your first name - and a way to contact you as mentioned above.

The giveaway is open to anyone, anywhere.

The giveaway closes Friday October 17 at 12pm UK time and the winner will be notified by email. 

Good luck!


What are you stitching? Please share in the &Stitches Flickr group. We'd love to see it!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Colorful Stitchery Book Review

Colorful Stitchery by Kristin Nicolas was originally published in 2005 by Storey Publishing and a reissue edition was just published last month by Roost Books. The projects are the same but the book has been redesigned.

This was my first encounter with Kristin Nicolas's work and I was really impressed with the wide range of techniques covered in the book. It begins with information about different types of fabric and threads, transferring patterns, different stitches, and even a basic color theory section.

The entire first section is devoted to pillows, each using a different stitch. There are patterns for the pillow designs as well as instructions on how to sew them yourself. I really love the sampler pillow, each row is a different stitch. It is a fun twist on a traditional sampler that also leaves you with a functional pillow when you're done!

One thing that Kristin encourages is to explore stitching on different fabrics - felt, plaid, velvet, corduroy. I know that I always reach for either linen or muslin when I am doing embroidery, so it definitely made me consider other fabrics I wouldn't have considered otherwise.

There are also sections on kitchen and bedroom projects and then one called "Thinking Outside the Box." This section literally has projects that are embroidered boxes but also has projects stitching on materials like cards and shoes.

This book is a great inspirational resource, there are a lot of great ideas and Kristin really encourages the reader to branch out and explore color and texture. I know it has me itching to try out crewel!


What are you stitching? Please share in the &Stitches Flickr group. We'd love to see it!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Thread Festival - part 2: What Delilah Did

This is the second instalment of Christine’s visit to the Thread Festival of Textiles. Find the first part, the festival review, here.

Tucked at the top of the Farnham Maltings, with a vaulted, beamed ceiling above, I found one of the Thread Festival’s main attractions: What Delilah Did. Sophie Simpson, the creative force behind the name, was all smiles on her stand, her mum helping at her side.

Many of you will recognise Sophie Simpson’s exquisite cross stitch designs, featured in her first book Storyland Cross Stitch. The black silhouettes are so striking...

...and many of the patterns were brought to life on the stand. Just look at those little badges!

Sophie was signing copies of Storyland Cross Stitch as well as her newly released book, Stitch the Halls!. (See Nicole’s review here.) She filled the other side of her stand with designs from this new publication, a merry mix of cross stitch and surface embroidery.

In between Sophie’s chats with the many visitors flocking to her meet her, we had a great discussion about contemporary cross stitch and the current state of the craft. She answered a few specific questions for &Stitches:

&S: Cross stitch and surface embroidery are such historic, traditional crafts. Do you see anything new? What makes it contemporary?

SS: The materials are mostly the same. There have been some improvements in certain materials – evenweave fabrics and linens, for example, are much more even and easier to work with – and metallic threads, while not perfect, are tending to split less.

The designs are new. There are so many interesting, modern patterns available now. I started designing because I liked to cross stitch, but I didn’t like the ‘cute’ designs that seemed to be all that was available.

&S: Who is your audience? Younger people who want a modern design? Older people who have been cross-stitching for years? A mix?

SS: I see a variety of people interested in cross stitch and embroidery. It’s a mix of all ages. My designs appeal to younger people, yes, but I have also found a lot of older people are buying my pre-printed kits – they still enjoy the technique, but many had been stopped by poor eyesight. The aida fabric has tiny holes! But they like that they can still do cross stitching with the pre-printed kits, because the ‘x’s are much larger. So yes, the audience has a wide age range!

Thank you for your time, Sophie, I can't wait to get started on my own Christmas cross stitch bunting!



What are you stitching? Please share in the &Stitches Flickr group. We'd love to see it!