Friday, August 15

5000 French Knots

I've been working on this project on and off in the last month or two.  I think there are at least 5000 French Knots in this project, probably more but I didn't really keep count.

The idea for this piece came from a brief for the 2014 Hand & Lock Embroidery Prize. It had a theme I really liked 'Floral: pattern & geometry'. Obviously I wasn't going to enter the competition but I did feel inspired to do my own Floral/Geometry Embroidery experiment.

I started by pixelating a photo of a rose (I will post a tutorial on how to pixelate a photo later this week) I made the pixels quite large, so when you see the piece close up you probably won't recognise it as a rose. But when you see it from a distance it starts to look more like a rose. At least I think so...

The image was ten by eight squares after I pixelated it (so 80 squares to fill in total). I then simple drew a grid onto fabric with a regular grey pencil and a ruler and made the squares 1" each. That was the idea anyway, some squares were slightly smaller, others slightly bigger. Up till that moment I didn't know how I was going to fill the squares but I quickly decided on French Knots. I liked the idea of filling the straight lined grid with soft round shapes, adding an almost organic feel to the pixelated piece.

I mostly used 3-4 strands of floss and about 35 different colours (or shades). Lots of pinks (including a not particularly pleasant colour I would call 'dusty liver') purples and reds of course and shades of grey and green too. At first I tried to match the floss exactly to the colour on the pixelated picture but that didn't really work out very well, there were just not enough floss colours available to make exact matches. And there were instances where I thought I'd found the perfect colour but when I started stitching it turned out much lighter/darker/duller than expected. So I just tried to get the colour about right and paid more attention to comparing the value of the colours (light, medium, dark) right next to the square I was about to fill.

I think it all worked out quite well in the end. And to think I had such hard time mastering the French Knot when I first started with embroidery years ago.... :)

Thursday, August 14

And Flossy the Sheep goes to...

Pippirose! Congratulations. I will contact you soon so I can send you some embroidery goodies, including Flossy the Sheep. :)

Many thanks to all embroiderers who entered the giveaway, I really wish I could send Flossy the Sheep to each and everyone of you! Remember you can find Flossy the Sheep and other adorable bobbins at Missy's Shoppe Sugar Cookie 

Friday, August 8

Furry Nice Class Reminder

This is my second version of my Polar Bear pattern (see my first version here) because after stitching him on regular fabric  I wanted to try to and embroider him on patterned fabric as well. I chose a rather busy Liberty print. Obviously this Polar Bear is far from finished but I will stitch along with the students of my second Furry Nice Class that starts late September so he definitely will be finished in the next two months.

If you are interested in joining the class too you might want to do that today or tomorrow as the Early Bird discount ($40 instead of $45) expires after tomorrow! Find more info about the class here.

Tuesday, August 5

Fabulous and Flossy (and a giveaway too)

While I'm normally more of a 'cat' person, I'm smitten with Flossy the Dachshund! He's an excellent helper when it comes to holding half used skeins of embroidery floss. Flossy the Dachshund was sent to me by Missy of Shoppe Sugar Cookie along with Flossy the Sheep (see photo below). Both are absolutely adorable and it's a shame that I can't store my whole floss collection on Flossy Animals. Missy has lots of other Flossy animals as well in her shop including bunnies!

I'm so tempted to keep both the Flossy Animals but I promised I'd share one of these with you. So Flossy the Sheep is looking for a new home and the good news is that you don't have to have a farm or land to take care of Flossy. Just feed her some thread (or even twine) from time to time and keep her with your other embroidery supplies. I will throw in some floss and possibly other stuff in the envelope as well to make a neat little package for one embroidery-loving winner!

Simply leave a comment on this blog post before Monday the 11th of August, noon (Amsterdam Time) if you want to have a chance of winning Flossy the Sheep (and some other stuff) and let me know why you love embroidery. :)  Be sure to leave a 'trail' (e-mail, link to blog, twitter etc) so I can track you down in case you are the lucky winner.... Good luck everyone!

Tuesday, July 29

Quilty as charged

I'm sure many of you 'suffer' from the same 'offence' of starting more quilts than you finish. For me quilting and sewing is probably more about enjoying the process of buying fabric, cutting it up and sewing it back together than about finishing something. Obviously I always have the intention of finishing a project and occasionally I manage to do just that :)

Now this fox pictured above is not part of a new quilt, it's a try out for a new quilt. I bought this lovely Fancy Fox Pattern by Elizabeth Hartman  as soon as it was released and I can't wait to make more foxes. The block is very easy to assemble which is a good thing as lap size quilt that I have in mind needs 42 fox blocks in total! The quilt in the pattern also features Liberty fabrics and it looks fab so I'm simply going to do something along the same lines.

A little while ago I wrote about my favourite Scrappy Quilt Patterns which included a mention of an attempt I made at making a Low Volume Postage Stamp Quilt. I'm perfectly capable of making these blocks but I just didn't have enough Low Volume fabrics. Anyway when I opened the shoebox where I had hidden my Postage Stamp Attempt it was much fuller than I expected! I have now continued my work on this quilt but it's not going to be just Low Volume anymore. I'm adding vertical and horizontal colourful strips in the blocks to make up for my lack of Low Volume fabrics. :)

Tuesday, July 22

More French Knots

I've made lots of progress on my Big French Knot project and I think about three quarters of the squares are filled now. Stitching the same stitch over and over again was kind of therapeutic and helped me a bit to take my mind off the sad events in the news of the past few days.

So here's the whole piece so far. I know what it depicts, but I wonder if you can see it too?

Thursday, July 17

Sign up for the new Furry Nice Embroidery Class!

I'm very excited to announce my second Furry Nice Online Embroidery Class! It's basically a repeat of the class I hosted earlier this year but with a few tweaks and improvements, based on my experience with the first Furry Nice Class and the feedback I received from the students. 

Together we'll be stitching the Polar Bear you see pictured above. My aim is not simply to let you replicate the original but to show you what's 'behind' my furry stitching. It's about shades and colours and creating depth in embroidery. To me one of the most striking things of the first Furry Nice course was how well the students were able to absorb and use the information and techniques I provided them with.  As a result some very lovely Polar Bears were stitched during class! 

In addition to the Polar Bear the class includes several exclusive patterns including a Sailor Fox, A wistful looking Bunny and smaller patterns to practice your newly learned shading skills. 

The Online Furry Nice Class starts on the 25th of September 2014 and will run for five weeks. The information and downloads will be available for much longer than that (at least until the end of 2014) so you can follow the lessons in your own pace. You can go directly to my store to secure a place in the class and you will also find more information about the class there. The price is $40 if you sign up before the 9th of August and $45 if you sign up at a later date. Hope to 'see' you in my class!