Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Apron Collection and a new Retro Apron

There was a fun little gift shop with handmade items for sale in a little town I used to live in. One crafter made aprons and other sewn crafts and I loved to go in each month to see what new aprons she had made. I collected several of them, but don't have my goal of twelve, one for each month or holiday. I love to hang them on my fridge for kitchen color. I bought Cindy Taylor Oates "More Retro Aprons" and made one for my daughter for Christmas - she loves to bake. Aprons are one of my favorite things.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Spring Daffodil Embroidery Bookmark Tutorial

I was browsing through a gardening catalog and saw beautiful gardens of daffodil flowers in full bloom was very inspired for spring. I decided to make a daffodil embroidery pattern and try to make a tutorial. Above is the pattern for you to print and trace using your favorite method.

I like to use a light box and Pigma Micron pen that leaves a very nice light black mark that is covered easily with the threads.

The pattern can be stitched using back stitch or stem stitch. I like the stem stitch because I like the pattern it makes and it covers the traced line completely. For the stem stitch work from left to right and position thread below the needle as you stitch. Pull the stitch snug before starting a new stitch. Bring your needle up along the line you are stitching. Insert your needle down along the line 1/8" or so from the previous stitch, come up in the middle of the previous stitch. Make sure the excess threads us below and to the left of the needle. Go down again 1/8" or so from that stitch, come back up at the end of the last stitch and so on.

The only other stitch used is the lazy daisy for the center of the flower. To make a lazy daisy stitch bring your needle up through the fabric and down again right near where you came up. Pull your thread until you have the size of loop you want. Bring your thread up at the top of the loop on the inside. Pull the thread up all the way and go down on the other side of the loop making a small tack stitch to secure in place.

I picked out a few scrap pieces of fabric out of my scrap box collection. To make the bookmark trim the embroidery piece to 2 1/2" x 6 1/2". Cut two pieces for the top and bottom measuring 1" x 2 1/2" and sew those on using a 1/4" seam. Press seams.

Cut two pieces of fabric for each long side that measure 7 1/2" x 3/4" -or thereabouts - sometimes mine don't match up perfectly, but I tell myself that is okay... sew those on and press.

Cut a piece of fabric for the back the same size as the front and pick some pretty ribbon or cotton Cluny lace - great stuff - for the top decoration. Pin the pieces together with the ribbon/lace on top. I think the shabby look is fun sometimes so I decided to leave my seams exposed and use one of the decorative stitches on my machine and some variegated sewing thread to finish it. If you like the other way better press the edges under and stitch around. Or you can make it into something else entirely, have fun and I would love to see your finished project!

I think I will use mine in the book I am reading now, "Atonement" by Ian McEwen. Have you read it?

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you enjoy!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Stitchers Village and Larkspur

I was inspired over the weekend to make a larkspur flower embroidery in a shabby chic style with some fabric pieces I have - I don't like to throw out fabric especially if it is beautiful expensive stuff. I have a pastel colored ice cream style cardboard container I put them all in and I used some of them on this embroidery. I added some old buttons my husband finds for me when he is out exploring the desert. Very fun project. Did you know the new site "The Stitcher's Village" is now open! www.stitchersvillage.com/ Very happy and excited to go browse around.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Mirabilia and Tea Cozies

I've decided I MUST finish my Mirabilia cross stitch pattern early this spring so I have it out in plain view to inspire myself. Although it doesn't take much to get inspired - I love her patterns! I have two others I would like to start this year, one of her Pixie Couture Collection - Fern and one of her new letter series "C". Better get busy I guess. I am also working on some embroidery for tea cozies. Teacups with silk floss - Thread Gatherer silk floss, wonderful colors! I love silk and it takes colors so well. This is "Mermaid Shoes" - such great names too. Have you heard that white tea is supposed to be even better for you than green tea. I read that it is pure right off the plant and hasn't been processed at all therefore really good for you. Tazo has a great blend -white tea and apricot.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Vintage Vavoom and Cute Skirts

I've been out browsing the fabric shops and book shops the last couple of weekends and had a great time. Wonderful reprieve from being stuck in the house all the time. Not fun to get out when it is cold, windy and gray skies even if it is not raining or snowing. I went to a great used book store in Reno called Zephyr books and found two fun decorating books that I have been wanting; Shabby Chic and Vintage Vavoom from Romantic Homes magazine. Great pictures in both of them, especially Vintage Vavoom. Really like that one. I have been wanting to sew myself a new skirt for spring and love "Favorite Things" patterns. I found their "cute skirts" pattern and some rose red flowery fabric on a pretty blue background. Hopefully this pattern will work out for me. I tried making a corduroy jacket and almost finished it and the facing didn't fit! maddening and made me feel like a complete beginner again and not want to try hard sewing patterns - although that was supposed to be an easy one. sad face... :( oh well I won't give up and hopefully my skirt will be posted on here looking just fine!


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