Wednesday, March 25

Simply Shading Online Embroidery Workshop!

Often when I post a (progress) photo of one of my embroideries online I get comments like 'I wish I could embroider like that'. That inspired me to start writing and preparing my new workshop Simply Shading. It's aimed at embroiderers (I think even adventurous new embroiderers could join) who want to try their hand at shading but need a little push in the right direction. :) You will learn how to choose colours and shades and use them effectively.

The workshop starts on the 18th of June and will end 4 weeks later. A kit with fabric, needles, floss holders and the Flower & Bird iron-on pattern (finished embroidery pictured above) are included but thread is not included. The lessons will be available as downloadable PDFs and there will be a student and teacher only forum for feedback and questions. And... as my former Furry Nice students know I'm always happy to answer any questions you have via e-mail or on Instagram.

Shading is really a lot of fun and not incredibly complicated but it takes time, practice and patience. I look forward to tell you all about it in the workshop!

You can sign up for the workshop now and if you use the code EARLYBIRDY before the 3rd of April, you will receive a 10% discount. Yay! Hope to see you many of you in the workshop!

Monday, March 23

Little Lady Liberty or How I overcame my Fear of Sewing with Zippers

Alice Caroline has written a book with a bunch of beginner friendly patterns called Little Lady Liberty.* In her gorgeous online fabric store, Alice sells Liberty Fabric so it's no surprise where the inspiration for the book came from! I have a soft spot for Liberty Fabric, hoarding fat quarters (and smaller pieces too) for special projects. And sometimes I use them to embroider on too, although that can be a bit tricky. You may remember that I was lucky enough to attend a talk at Liberty two years ago which definitely increased my love for Liberty fabric design!

lots of eye candy in this book for fans of Liberty fabric!

This household doesn't have Little Ladies anymore (the youngest turns 10 in two weeks time) so no skirts and dolls to sew from the book for me but there are various projects that are very suitable for not-so-little-ladies too. There are pencilcases (that can easily double as craft pouch or make up bag), lamp shades, fabric baskets, cushions and floor pillows.

Now I'd like to think that I'm somewhat past the 'beginner' stage when it comes to sewing except for one thing: sewing with zippers. I have totally avoided it for the past 8 years.

So when I saw these quite simple looking pencil cases (with zipper) in Alice's book I decided in a moment of bravery to try the pattern and overcome my zipper-phobia.

I'm happy to report it worked! It was so much easier than I thought it would be. So many thanks to Alice for helping me with that. :) I used Liberty fabric obviously....

On the inside I used a fabric from my 30's reproduction stash. I think it goes brilliantly with the outer fabric of the pouch. As you can see the pencil case is turned into an embroidery/craft pouch. :)

You can find more posts about this book in the Little Lady Liberty blog hop list and there's a giveaway of the book too. On Alice's blog you will find lots of sewing inspiration.

*I received an e-book version of this book from the publisher, all opinions are my own, as always :) 

Thursday, March 19

A Different Kind of Thread

Can you embroider with regular sewing thread? Absolutely! It's probably not for everyone but for quite detailed work it's definitely worth investigating. Just a little while ago I was thinking about trying new techniques for embroidering my furry animals. From different sources I learned that some embroidery artists (including Chloe Giordano, she embroiders the sweetest animals!) use sewing thread instead of embroidery floss or silk. So I ordered a few bobbins in various shades of brown, put a few pencil lines on fabric as a rough guide and started embroidering. So far I'm happy with the results but I really need more shades to bring more subtlety to the shading in the bear's fur.

If you were a student in my Furry Nice Embroidery Class last year and you feel adventurous: you can use the techniques you learned in class and replace the regular floss with sewing thread. :)

Monday, March 16

X & Plus part one

Apologies for sharing this non-ironed quilt top attached to a mossy looking garden fence, I hope the overall impression is good. I'm really pleased with it :)  It's a (single) bed quilt but in the photo it's hanging sideways...

About 2,5 years ago I joined a European Quilt Bee and when it was my turn to be Queen Bee I asked my fellow bees to make the X and Plus Block for me (well two blocks actually). I don't think I had many restrictions except for the colours, which as you can see were black, white, grey and a dash of colour here and there.

The blocks I received were fabulous (the only thing I recall that one pair of blocks was 1/2 an inch smaller than the others) but for some reason (new quilt projects probably) I didn't get round to putting together the quilt top. Sewing the quilt top was quite easy really because the blocks are so big (12,5"). Now to decide on how to quilt it....

Next week, in  X & Plus part two,   I will be including links to the tutorial I used and show you what you can do with 'leftovers' from making an X and Plus Quilt!

P.S. Maybe it's time I'd join another bee? Nothing too complicated or ambitious though, I like a relaxed bee. :)  If you have tips for Quilt Bees let me know!

Tuesday, March 10

Small fabrics, Big ideas

© Lark Crafts

I'm so excited to have a project in the new book Fat Quarters. Small Fabrics More Than 50 Big Ideas. I sent in my project about one and a half year ago, because making books takes a lot of time and this one in particular, but it was well worth the wait. This book is jam packed with fun ideas and fresh designs. The starting point for each project was to design something with Fat Quarters. I often buy my fabric in Fat Quarters, rather than (half) yards. It's a good size of fabric to have in your stash. :)

© Lark Crafts

A good few of the 'big ideas' can be sewn quite quickly (because sometimes it's nice to make something that takes hours rather than weeks or months, right?) and many of the projects make great gifts for friends or family. My project, a toddler pillowcase and matching sheet with paper pieced and appliqued hexagons, is not exactly a quick sew. It is all hand pieced and hand sewn although I do think you could applique the hexagon flowers and hexagons by machine, if that's more your thing. There is also a touch of embroidery involved to add the 'Sweet Dreams' lettering.

The idea behind my project was that it would enable you to use up the very last pieces of your most favourite Fat Quarters! I also had fun playing with the colours and let the colours gradually flow from one to another by carefully selecting and organising the little hexagons. You'll find my project in the 'Babies & Kids' chapter, alongside cute toys like the Worm & Apple (by Abby Glassenberg) and Bunny (by Wild Olive's Mollie Johansen) you see on the cover of the book.

In the section 'Quilts and pillows' you can find these lovely pillows, designed by Amy Friend.

© Lark Crafts

One of my favourite chapters is called 'Give & Use' which has lots of practical things like a sewing machine cover, fabric baskets, hot pads and these re-usable bowl covers, a project from Jessica Fediw.

© Lark Crafts
You will also find various bags and totes in this book (there's a book tote that I especially like!) and ideas to add interesting touches to existing clothing or even make your own wearables (scarf, tie) with Fat Quarters. Or tiny bits of Fat Quarter like with these Embroidered buttons by Cynthia Schaffer.

© Lark Crafts

Fat Quarters. Small Fabrics More Than 50 Big Ideas is published by Lark Crafts and out on the 17th of March in the US (and later in other countries) but you can apparently already order it at the Bookdepository (free shipping worldwide, although in my experience they are rather slow).

Tuesday, March 3

Early Bird

 This is the piece I've been working on since January in preparation for the class later this year.  I like how it's turning out although it's taking me a little longer than I planned to because I'm writing down a lot of details. After I have finished this (and I'm guessing there's about 8-10 hours of stitching left) I really want to embroider another small furry creature! 

Tuesday, February 24

Birds & Bears looking for a New Home

Soon I will have to clear out my craft/sewing room. We need to install a new bathroom (which is in the space next to my room) and obviously I can't leave all my precious supplies and work as there will be lots and lots of dust. A good opportunity to go through all my stuff and let go of some of it. So in March I will be listing several embroideries in the shop!

Most of them will be small to medium sized and some, like the sea bird, are even hooped and ready to hang. Prices will be friendly, I just hope some (or all) will find a good home and make someone happy instead of being kept in a drawer... :)