Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Stitching something for myself...

I rarely make anything for myself, so I am excited about my current project... A small zipper pouch FOR ME!

I'm using a cherry blossom pattern that my husband drew for me, a vintage natural nubby linen, and embroidery floss from BareFootShepherdess, whose beautiful hand-dyed floss I featured in a previous post.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Embroidery Find of the Week: Vintage FLORAL Monogram

I am in love with the beautiful monogram pattern on this vintage hankie (from seller PixieDustLinens)

At first glance I thought it was just a multi-colored monogram or a clever use of variegated floss... But each section of the letter is actually a FLOWER! I love it! I've seen many stitchable alphabets with flowers worked around the letters, but never a letter actually made of flowers.

My sister's name starts with E, so she might have to have this.

And I am on a mission to find this pattern!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Embroidery floss...

Over the years I've had various methods for storing my embroidery floss. My most recent was a blue multi-drawer box that was intended to hold screws. I've used it for about 4 years, actually, so I feel pretty callous just putting it aside. However, the little drawers simply don't hold all the floss I need for them to hold!

I decided to buy some new sectioned craft organizers when JoAnn had them for 50% off recently... Check it out...

Unfortunately, I didn't buy enough of them, so this is the coffee table in my office (where I do most of my embroidery, sitting on my "nap-couch"):

And of course, I haven't even started sorting the box of vintage floss I bought a couple of weeks ago, or the other vintage floss I have sitting in my "embroidery fabric" box....

I'm trying to keep it all together and easily visible, though. I'm tired of having to open little drawers every time I need a new color!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Finished products and new projects...

Finished Lyndsie's "B" monogram towel and mailed it this morning...

On to a slew of pin up girl towels... Here's #1, ALMOST finished. I just need to iron it and hem the edges. I like using the huck toweling because of the quality, but hemming is probably the most boring sewing you can do... Fold, iron, fold iron, feed through machine. Repeat. *zzzzzzzzz*

I did all of the detail on her clothing in a black-outlined satin stitch, and it turned out really nice. I also did a girl holding a paint palette, but I haven't photographed that one yet.

I'm working on this Petty style girl now... I will probably finish her tomorrow.

There's my pink embroidery hoop again. I think I'm going to use purple and blue for this girl's outfit and hat... I was leaning towards orange, but I did a girl in orange not all that long ago.

And yes, you are correct... I embroider a lot.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Work in progress...

I'm working on a huck towel with a satin-stitched "B" for Lyndsie ... Here it is "in progress"...

I love my pink plastic embroidery hoop. I know a lot of people swear by wood hoops, but I am attached to plastic. I don't do a lot of embroidery that isn't washable, though, and I think that's part of it. Take this piece for example-- It is made to be used and washed (it's going to be a kitchen towel), so I don't need to worry about hoop marks. I'll just wash them out before I mail it!

This lettering is from a vintage embroidery monogram pattern set I found at the Fairgrounds Flea Market here in Raleigh... It has three different sizes, and this large size is fabulous. I originally envisioned adding stars from a different vintage pattern, but they just didn't look right. The harsh angles of the stars clashed with the curves of the lettering.

Here's an "S" I made from the same pattern:

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Embroidery Find of the Week: Hand-Dyed Floss!

Check out this amazing hand-dyed embroidery floss

The seller, barefootshepherdess, lives in Japan and uses natural plant dyes... Amazing! I just ordered some today, so I will post my own photo when it arrives.

Here are just a few of her natural dye ingredients... indigo homegrown in the hills of Japan, hand-harvested, and hand-dried... mugwort ("yomogi") collected from her neighborhood... sakura (cherry blossom) leaves collected with her son...

Japan is definitely on my "to visit" list, so I especially love the idea of plants from Japan being used in these dyes!

Vintage patterns...

I love vintage embroidery patterns, and I always scoop them up when I find them at local flea markets or thrift stores. Unfortunately, this happens rarely! My cousin gave me quite a few that belonged to her grandmother, now in her 90s, who was a professional seamstress and drapery maker. Some of them are duplicates, and some I know I will never use, so I'm sharing some on Etsy.

I also found some amazing transfers from a great Etsy seller in England... I've been scanning, tracing, and using a lot of these lately. They were giveaways in craft magazines in the 50s, and I just LOVE them. She has a few left, actually.

Happy stitching!