Monday, August 3

More Simply Shading!

I have so many things to share with you: about the wonderful class I attended in July at the Royal School of Needlework for example and the new/old sewing machine I got for a bargain a couple of months back... But first I need to tell you about the new Simply Shading Workshop that starts mid September!
Example from one of the lessons

You can read all the details here but the long and short of it is: it's an online workshop for 'the uninitiated' about shading with regular six stranded floss. We'll talk colours, stitches and techniques and it's an excellent starting point if you want to know more about shading.

From personal experience I know that there is no greater gift you can give yourself than to learn a new skill!  And, if you use code FREESHADINGSHIPPING * you get free shipping for your kit so even more reasons to sign up soon. :) The kit includes the iron-on Flower and Bird pattern, a floss organiser, fabric and needles.

The workshop concludes mid October so there is  plenty of time to use your new skills to make some extra awesome hand stitched goodies for Christmas. Hope to see you in class soon!

* free shipping offer ends August 12, 2015

Wednesday, July 8

Bee & Hive

There's an extra pattern in my Simply Shading Workshop, based on a quote from the Lorde song 'Royals': "You can call me Queen Bee". It's fun to stitch, it has shading and lettering and some shiny satin stitches too.

Right now I feel more like a worker bee than a queen bee though. A very tired worker bee. Tomorrow is the last Shading Workshop. I really put a lot of energy into writing and revising the Workshop. I got help with editing the text which was such a good decision! All the Dutch-isms and other odd things were weeded out by a native speaker/reader. :)

Then suddenly, last week, amidst all the busy workshop-last-minute-editing and end of the year at school activities, our youngest was admitted to hospital. She's back home now and on the mend but it was all a bit worrying and unexpected. It has definitely tipped the balance and I'm going to take a break for a few weeks. I'm go to tend to the 'hive' more than anything else now, and read,  do crafty things for fun and play lots of games with the youngest. Hope to see you all back in a few weeks. :)

Tuesday, June 23

A squirrely update

No, my Blue Squirrel isn't on fire or victim of a vicious attack. The orange thing underneath him, is supposed to be some sort of toadstool, something similar to this.  The colours are fairly bright and a little out of my comfort zone, but it's good to challenge yourself sometimes. The only regret I have, is that I used just a scrap of fabric to stitch on. It's a bit of a hassle with that tiny hoop... The squirrel is from this retired pattern. Looks very different in blue doesn't it?

In other news: my Shading Workshop started last week and the good news is that I'm running it again this Fall! Sign up will be open early August. :)

Thursday, June 18

Secret Garden Embroidery

My stitchy friend Sophie (aka What Delilah Did) has released a new book called Secret Garden Embroidery and it's really lovely so I'm excited to share some of the wonderful projects with you today. The best thing about Sophie's books is that each book is a little different from the one before, but still has the same timeless, unique style that many of us love. Secret Garden Embroidery is no exception and with its 15 projects a fabulous resource for both beginning and more advanced stitchers.

One of three Lace Wing Butterfly patterns in the book
Sophie's first book, Storyland Cross Stitch had a lot of her signature style silhouette designs in mostly muted colours. Stitch the Halls, the Christmas book, featured more colour and lots of fun stitch ideas for Christmas decorations. Secret Garden Embroidery is all about botanical and garden themed projects, framed in stories about Miss Merriweather's Thistledown Farmhouse. The book is elegantly illustrated by Katt Frank and the beautiful photography is by Rachel Whiting.

Are you ready to join me for a short walk to Thistledown Farmhouse and have a look around? Be prepared for lots of delicate stitching and gorgeous muted colour palettes!
First, we visit the Vegetable Garden...

And are some cute bugs (and a spider too)!

You cannot leave Thistledown Farmhouse without meeting Miss Millicent Hare...

The first chapter of Secret Garden Embroidery deals with stitches and supplies used for the book's projects. All of the projects are counted embroidery or cross stitch. The larger patterns are included in an envelope at the back of the book, the other patterns are printed in the book.

I think the real fun is in how to make the lovely designs work for you. If you are not into belts you can stitch the pattern on a bag. And colours are easily changed too. The bugs look fabulous on a magnet but would look great on a table cloth or on napkins as well.

I hope you enjoyed this peek into What Delilah Did's Secret Garden! Secret Garden Embroidery is published by Pavilion Books and available now. You can buy the book from Sophie's store (and have it signed too!) and many other bookstores.

Thursday, June 11

Designer Insights!

A little while ago I was asked to answer a few questions about my design process. I chose some craft/embroidery favourites as well. If you are interested you can read more below or here. :)

For some reasons I couldn't find links in the article for my 'Top Choices'. So from one to five (although I didn't put them in a particular order):
1. Satsuma Street Patterns. This one is called Pretty Little San Francisco and just this week Pretty Little Hong Kong came out.
2. Sophie Simpons' new book Secret Garden Embroidery (which I will be reviewing next week!)
3. Heather Ross' new fabric line Tiger Lily 
4. Needlepoint kit Kumo by POMPOM Design. I interviewed POMPOM Design founder Helena on the &Stitches blog last week.
5. Lovely The beaks, the birch and the bees design by Hanna Mason found on Spoonflower (via Pinterest)

Courtesy of: Terrys Fabrics

Tuesday, June 9

A Fine Pen: Trying a New Iron-on Transfer pen

A few weeks ago I received a new Sublime Stitching invention: the Fine Tip Iron-on Transfer Pen.* Sounds pretty good doesn't it? Could this new pen resolve the issues I have with Iron-on pens? I think it does!

My main problem with iron-on pens (I used Sulky Pens in the past) is the thick lines they produce. You need a minimum of four strands to cover the design. Another issue is the uneven distribution of ink when tracing a design. I tried out the Sublime Stitching Fine Tip Pen with a small Squirrel design, which I traced without blobs or other unwanted side-effects onto tracing paper. The ink is permanent so make sure you trace the design carefully.

I followed the instructions on the package and pre-heated my fabric (a small scrap of lovely quality cotton satin) and then put the tracing paper on top, with the ink-side down. After pressing briefly with a hot iron (no more than 10 seconds) this is the result:

The lines of the transferred Squirrel are nice and even. Maybe not as thin as the original design but definitely thin enough to cover if you stitch with two strands or more. I'm fill stitching my Squirrel so the transfer works out fine for me. The ink transfers several times and you can always re-trace the design of course. For really detailed or delicate work I will still use a regular pencil to trace a design but I'm charmed by Sublime Stitching's Fine Tip Pen and think it's a great addition to my embroidery tool kit. The Fine Tip Pen is available in five different colours and costs $6.50 (or $25 for a set of five)

Oh and this is the Squirrel with a little bit of stitching done.

It's supposed to be a Turquoise Squirrel but he looks more Blue to me. Either way, the colour choice is very different from what I usually would choose to stitch a furry creature but I so enjoy stitching this!

*I received this pen without obligations to try it or write about it. As always all my opinions are my own. So if I like something, I really like it :) 

Friday, June 5

Say Hello to Wave Goodbye with 20% off!

It happens to be very warm today here in the Netherlands and I thought it would be fun to offer you my most Summer-like pattern with a discount. Only this weekend (and only in the Follow the White Bunny Shop) you can purchase the Wave Goodbye Iron-on pattern with 20% off! All you have to do is enter the code 'WAVEGOODBYE' on checkout. Offer ends Sunday at 12 PM CET. Happy Summer Stitching everyone!