I love vintage embroidery patterns. I love their kitschy goodness. Vegetables dancing the tango or an elephant washing dishes. That’s the great thing about these patterns. Typically the subject matter makes little sense. Why would anthropomorphic vegetables be dancing? Why not!
But the thing about this older patterns, in order to save on ink, they typically are very basic outlines. It’s up to the stitcher to fill in all the things that need to be filled in. This sometimes leads to images looking a little…off. So when I showed my friend this vintage squirrel pattern, she was immediately creeped out. And then asked me to stitch it for her on a bag. And to make the eyes red so the true demon inside the squirrel could come out.
Tuesday was my friend’s birthday and the day she finally received her demon squirrel.
Creepy, eh? Demon squirrel will eat your soul.
The eyes are satin stitch with red satin thread. I don’t care to ever work with that again. No matter what I did, the thread snagged and knotted with nearly every stitch. The majority of the outline stitching is chain stitch.
My favorite bit, other than the demon eyes, are the sweet little french knot flowers. I adore making french knots. I think I feel a french knot project coming on.
So Happy Birthday Nadine! Enjoy your Demon Squirrel Bag. But don’t turn your back on it.
Last week my sweet mama shipped me a huge box of destashed goodies from her house. The ginormous box included ribbon, paintbrushes, beads, embroidery thread, some costume jewelry from my mamaw, and one box of amazing, beautiful, gorgeous thread.
Beautiful, eh? A fiber artist’s dream. As far as I can tell, most of the bobbins are made by a company called Wood and Needle, Inc. Unfortunately, an internet search has revealed absolutely nothing to me about it. According to the vague instructions included in the box, this stuff is used for something called punch embroidery which lead me to this site. Interesting isn’t it?
So far as I can tell, punch embroidery is used to create elaborate “thread paintings”. However, I don’t know what the advantage would be of doing punch embroidery over traditional embroidery. Is it faster? How does it create a more detailed scene? It’s still a little confusing.
Mostly all I know is that I’ve been given a box of absolutely gorgeous threads that I plan on showing off to everybody. Thanks Mom!
There’s a new item for sale in The Mustachery. Gunner Rosenquist.
A while back, I ran across this website on the International Beard Championships. I was immediately enamored. Look at all that gloriously constructed facial hair! When I happened upon the quote on my piece, I was in love. That is without a doubt, the best piece of sporting event commentary ever uttered in the history of sporting event commentary. I knew I had to use it somehow.
Gunner Rosenquist is stitched using 3 strands of embroidery floss. The magnificent, flowing beard is stitched using one strad of three different colors to give it that added dimension ebroidered hair needs.
The blue felt is a new eco-felt made from recycled plastic bottles. Gunner is framed in a 9″ embroidery hoop and is ready to hang in your home. If you like unique art, this is definitely the piece for you. Gunner is available for purchase here.
There are tomatoes I grew, ripening in the window.
Justin is being stalked by a predator. Can you see her?
My favorite spinning spot is on the deck, in the sun.
Photographers in the city at night. Turns out when you want to do long exposures of cars driving by, you should pick a night when people are actually driving around downtown. They sure aren’t out on Monday nights.
And finally, I’ve entered my Happy Little Tree into this contest and it’s been featured here on this blog.
What started out as this,
An idea, 1 bajillion split stitches, and about 2 weeks of very obsessed stitching has produced something that I couldn’t be happier with.
The original idea was merely to expand my skills in doodle stitching. I had an idea of a happy, stylized tree and I worked it up. But once I finished the outline, it still felt empty. Probably because it was. All the bright blue was showing up through the tree.
So I started filling in the leaves with circles. And I added in random greens. And it started coming to life.
When I got to the bottom part of the picture, I had a vision. A Van Gogh-esque painting with embroidery thread. So I swirled the bottom in all directions. I think it’s just lovely. Definitely the most beautiful piece I’ve made.
There was no rhyme or reason to the pattern. I just picked up a random green floss and started stitching. There are some swirls, some blocks of colors, some repetition. I made sure never to linger on the decision, just pick something and go. I worried that if I sat trying to pick the perfect color or tried to pick the perfect design, it would never get finished and never be as pretty as it could be.
Details: Stitched on bright blue felt using all DMC embroidery threads. I nearly always stitch with 3 strands of thread. Six is too bulky for me and less than 3 is too light. The tree trunk uses 2 strands of color 801 and 1 strand of 400. The leaves and field are DMC colors 701, 702, 703, 905, 906, 907, and 16256. All those teeny, tiny stitches are split stitch. My favorite.
I wish you all could feel the texture on this piece. It’s dreamy.
This is a piece of embroidery that was inspired by an episode of The Powerpuff Girls. (this is the best example my googling powers can come up with.)
I really liked the trees used in the background of the cartoon so I got out a piece of felt and picked out some thread colors I liked.
Using a dark pen, I drew a basic outline of what I wanted on the felt and embroidered in split stitch around it.
From there it started becoming its own piece. I decided to fill in the leaves and the trunk. I’m going to be adding grass and a few other elements as well. No Powerpuff Girls though. I’ll save them for a different piece.
It still has a long way to go but I’m really enjoying watching it grow.
I haven’t been knitting a whole lot lately. No real reason why. I’ve just had a lot of ideas of things to make and do and few of them have involved knitting.
I have been doing a lot of work with felt and other general crafty-type things. For example, I saw this tutorial on Craftzine about turning a dowel rod and a candlestick into a pretty, convenient ribbon holder. I have a lot of ribbon. I’m not sure why. I rarely use it. But I do. And so far it has been laying in my crafting toolbox taking up loads of much needed space. So I set out on a mission to find appropriate candlesticks. And couldn’t find any. But I did have the bottom to a terra cotta pot. So with a little paint, some hot glue, and a piece of dowel, I made my own.
Ta da! Now ribbon is up out of the way and I can see what I have on hand when I need to use it.
Since confessing to you that I joined the Plush You Olympic Challenge, I embarked on making my own first-ever plush. And I did. And it’s pretty cute. You may have noticed it as the new blog header and my new ETSY button to the right.
It’s not bad for a first try. There are definitely some things I would do differently and some things of which I am proud. Like his little smirk. How cute is that?
I’ve also been working on a big update for my shop. It’s not ready yet but here’s a little sneak peek at what’s coming.
Some very pretty felt brooches. And for a not very pretty brooch, mosey on over to CraftFail for my recent tale of woe. And don’t forget to sign up for my Valentine’s contest if you haven’t already!
This week’s round-up of crafty links is inspired by embroidery. Because I can’t seem to get enough of it lately. Last weekend, I made this adorable squirrel sampler from Andrea Zuill’s free patterns.
Adorable right? I used my complete knowledge of embroidery stitches on this one. Pulled out all the stops. There’s back stitch, stem stitch, french knots, running stitch, satin stitch, and chain stitch. Ok. So I don’t actually know a lot of stitches. But look at this cool thing I made!
Also, please forgive my overuse of the 1960s filter from Paint Shop Pro. I love it dearly and put it on every photo that I can. I am not ashamed.
I hung the sampler in a wooden embroidery hoop for a couple reasons. 1. It was what I had on hand and thus free. And 2. I think it’s rather charming that way.
Since it’s hung next to the Dramatic Squirrel photo of Justin’s, our living room is starting to look decidedly…squirrelly.
And on to the link love!
There is of course, Andrea Zuill’s adorable patterns that I mentioned above. I’ve got several more planned to make as soon as I get some better transfer paper.
Speaking of transfer paper, I plan to buy this from Sublime Stitching. The transfer paper I have is chalky and rubs off after about 5 seconds. I found myself having to go back over the design with pencil before it was completely gone. I love Sublime Stitching so much. I have this book. And 4 or 5 of the pattern sheets.
I don’t remember how I stumbled upon this one but I’m sure glad I did. Free vintage transfers. How awesome are these?! They’re kitsch and perfect.
This post over at Craft details how to use leftover bits of yarn for embroidery.
The Mr. X Stitch store on ETSY has some original and unique designs for cross-stitch and embroidery. I love the “Leave Britney Alone” pattern!
Another great ETSY shop is Revi Devi. I’ve linked to the embroidery section (holy cow, how cute are those patterns?!) but you should really take a look at the rest of the shop. It’s cute over load.
Have a great weekend and happy stitching!