Thursday, September 30

Bear & Fish in the shop & peeps too and a tiny purchase

I can't believe it almost took me 2 months to finish this pattern. But I do think it was worth it. It's turned out so wonderfully odd and cute!  The original plan was a three piece pattern set, but I decided to just go with Bear & Fish for now and throw in a cute little 'shell' key pattern as an encore. I have also improved the lay out of the pattern and the colour and stitch guide. The picture does not do it justice, my printer ran out of several colours of ink during the printing process. Anyway if you'd like you can purchase the Bear & Fish pattern here.

Also available (but not yet in my store) are the two Castle Peeps Embroidery Patterns that I made with Lizzy House. Both these patterns and Lizzy's Castle Peeps Quilt Patterns are available in her shop.

And today I made a tiny purchase too. Look at this amazing embroidery of a Tiny Tom Waits wonderfully stitched by Shannon (also known as Giggly Mama).

Sunday, September 26

Even more fur stitching and confessions of a rubbish quilter...

...would be an apt name for this blog. If I wanted to rename it. Which I'm not planning to do actually. ;) The fill stitching on the Bear's fur is in that 'this looks awful should I quit or continue stage'.  I decided to just finish it and if I still don't like it I will try something else. Moving on to the quilt...

First I had planned to make a diagonal lay out with these 5 inch squares. It actually looked very nice when I had laid it all out on the floor. However a diagonal lay out leaves triangles on the sides and I made some miscalculations which left me with not enough fabric to follow through with my original plan. : /  What you see on the photo is Plan B. Or rather the part of Plan B that I have now finished. Anyway, I do think the Hope Valley fabrics look very nice with a touch of Momo Wonderland and some tiny accents of Cloud9 fabrics. I have now moved my sewing machine to a (round!) corner of the bedroom near to my ironing board on the same floor which saves me a lot of walking up and down the stairs. :)

Wednesday, September 22

Not sure

See this bear looks actually quite  nice stitched with only two strands of floss and a stem stitch. But after I finished the outline I started to fill stitch the bear's fur with lots of tiny stitches and now I'm not too sure if that was a wise decision. I do think it gives the bear more 'character' and it could turn out great when it's all finished but I'm not convinced yet. What would you do?

Tuesday, September 21

Fox in pieces

I often have many crafty projects on the go at the same time. Too many to count embroideries (of which this vintage Owl Pattern is the latest), three quilts (and enough fabric in my stash to make 10 more) and now this 'Semi-fantastic Mr. Fox' pattern by Bird and Little Bird. O.k. my version may not look fantastic or even semi-fantastic...yet. But when he's all done he should look something like this.

Don't tell Mr. Bunny but I find Mr.Fox irresistibly cute! ;)  The pattern has detailed instructions on how to make your own version of Mr. Fox. Or even two, because I'm not sure if I will be able to part with Mr. Fox once he is finished. He may have to stay in my craft room to keep me company. Annie from Bird and Little Bird also has a wonderful blog. It has this warm welcoming feel to it as if you are visiting a good friend. It's full of books, lovely photos, every day life stories (hello overflowing laundry basket!) and good crafty stuff too!

Thursday, September 16

The True Story behind Bear & Fish

Today I finished my Bear & Fish embroidery. I have to re-draw the pattern because I've added lots of details along the way that were not on the earlier versions of  Bear & Fish. I think the pattern will be in the shop sometime in the next two weeks. :)

This embroidery was heavily inspired by our stay on the coast of Bretagne (Britanny, France) last summer.You can see that Bear wears the original Breton striped shirt. I'd like to think that Bear lives on a little island off the coast of Britanny where he works as a light house keeper. In his spare time he likes to talk to fish.

Of course I had to include a shell in the embroidery because we found so many of them on the beaches in Britanny!

And some wonderful plants found on rocks near the seaside. I changed the shape and colour a bit and now the vegetation in the embroidery actually doesn't look anything like this plant anymore!

Moving on to the all important Fish. Sure, there is lots of fish and seafood in Britanny but what really inspired this particular 'Pose with Fish' was a couple of early 20th century postcards I bought on a Vide-grenier (an event much like a garage or jumble sale)

Sending funny postcards on April Fools Day (the first of April). to friends and family of people holding fake fish was a French tradition in the early 20th century. My Bear is holding a 'real' fish though and he's stroking it gently. So there you go, the The True Story behind Bear & Fish. I hope you enjoyed it!

Wednesday, September 15

To fill...

or not to fill? I have a hard time doing embroideries with just outline stitches. There's always at least one little detail I have to fill or an whole animal as was the case with the Doe on the photo. It's  an old pic of my Cherry Blossom Doe Pillow case I stitched last year. To fill, I used a very wonky going-in-all-directions-back stitch then. Fill stitching takes time but I think it often makes the embroidery more interesting.

Castle Peeps Royal Sampler Alphabet  in Back and Satin Stitches   

I have a little repertoire of fill stitches that I use, depending on the subject and how large the area is that needs to be filled. Besides the wonky back stitch fill, I like to use the Satin Stitch for small areas (that are not too narrow). I also like to use the Brick Stitch. It's not very well known but very handy so I might do a little 'how to' on that soon. And the Long Short Stitch is another favourite all though I often mess that one up. I haven't tried fill stitching with the French Knot yet. Somehow that only seems appropriate to fill stitch a sheep. Or a cute hibernating bear maybe?

Hibernating Bear embroidered by Georgia Mc Donald

So I'd like to know what is your favourite fill stitch (if any)? Next time I'd love to share some of my favourite 'semi' fill stitches!

P.S.  Thanks so much for all the attention and nice comments for my Lazy Daisy Peacock Feather Stitch and my Bear and Squirrel Drawing. I appreciate it immensely!

Sunday, September 12

And she was supposed to make an embroidery pattern...

Squirrel: "..and she was supposed to be making a new embroidery pattern starring us two,  not a squiggly and dotty black and white drawing! And just look at my tail and back, totally not filled in with hair either!"

Saturday, September 11

Lazy Daisy Peacock Feather Stitch Variation

Yesterday I wrote a blog post on Feeling Stitchy about the Lazy Daisy Stitch. I kind of regretted that the post didn't include pictures of this stitch  used not in a flower context but it was really hard to find any. This afternoon I came up with this Lazy Daisy Peacock Feather Stitch Variation.

Click on the photos to enlarge to study the details or read the text (most of the text is also repeated underneath the photo). I am left handed but this stitch is really easy so I think it's pretty clear for right handers how it works anyway! Please remember that all the images and content on my blog are not to be used elsewhere without my permission but you are free to link to this page from your own blog. :)

 First make a little loop, hold it down with your thumb. Pull the needle through from underneath at the spot where you want to secure the loop to the fabric.

Pull the needle and thread through...

...and insert the needle at the other end of the loop.

You have made a Lazy Daisy Stitch!

So now for the Lazy Daisy Peacock Feather Stitch Variation. 

1. Make a Lazy Daisy Stitch. (I used all 6 strands of floss here)
2. Make another Lazy Daisy Stitch in the other direction inside your first Lazy Daisy Stitch. (I used 4 of 6 strands)
3. Make a little French Knot inside the two Lazy Daisy Stitches (or use yet another Lazy Daisy Stitch!) (I used 2 strands)
4. Add a couple of Back Stitches around your Outer Lazy Daisy Stitch and your Peacock Feather is all finished!

Let me know what you think of this stitch! And if you decide to use it please post photos in either the Follow the White Bunny Flickr Group or on the Follow the White Bunny Fan Page on Facebook.

Friday, September 10

Unfinished business

Most of the time me and my little Follow the White Bunny enterprise are hovering between 'hobby' (a very intensive hobby for which I sometimes get paid) and 'almost like a real business'. I guess I quite like being somewhere in the middle. I don't want to be overly commercial,  I only make stuff I genuinely like and I want to enjoy the process. While I can work perfectly well with a deadline when I work with others, it somehow does not work that way with my own patterns (released under the Follow the White Bunny banner). They  are not released on schedule but only when I think they are finished.

This week was a not so good week craft wise, so little progress was made on my pattern set of 3. Again lots of unpicking and restitching there. But I think it's coming together nicely. On the photo you see them on top of an unfinished quilt. I had put on the binding by machine and was hand sewing it on to the back but the corners turned out terribly wonky so half way in the process of unpicking it all I kind of...stopped. To be continued for sure sometime soon.

For sometime I had been admiring the fabulous mixed designer fabric bundles on Fabricworm. Many times I had put various bundles in my online basket and had put them back again (this is only something I do in online shops, I would never do that in a 'real' shop) but recently I couldn't resist any longer and purchased this 'grassy' bundle:

These are all half yard cuts and besides the lovely Tufted Tweets (the chair/couch with birds fabric) there are quite a lot of solids in this bundle. Which is good because I rarely buy solids. Anyway if any of you have a great idea for a (not too difficult) quilt pattern with these lovelies, please let me know!

p.s. thanks for all your votes in the poll. I will get back to you about that! I do think the new set ticks at least a few of the boxes (cute, small, set of 3)! Also I'm seriously thinking of doing a pattern with the Bear and the talkative Squirrel you see in the side bar. :)

Sunday, September 5

Something old, something new...

Last Friday I went on a little shopping excursion to Amsterdam to visit my favourite shop and this knitted peacock blue Polar Bear Dress is one of my purchases. I absolutely heart my new dress and I don't think 39 is too old to wear dresses with Polar Bears on, right? ;)

Moving on to another purchase which was quite an Ebay bargain for only 2.70 GBP!
This book was originally released in the 1930's but this version is from the 50's. Mary Thomas's dictionary is a classic and it's actually still available in a new revised version. My version is not new but I don't mind. :)
It has all these charming  animated illustrations that you will not find in modern day embroidery books! This one is for the brick stitch. One of my favourite filling stitches that I used a lot in the Castle Peeps Sampler piece. This book covers all the basic stitches and many other 'new' (to me) stitches to be inspired by. As this was a popular book for decades you should be able to pick it up somewhere for a good price!

Wednesday, September 1

The other one

So...I posted this poll (it's on the left you can still vote) on the blog a couple of days ago. Many thanks to those who voted! Clearly there is interest in a more complex or challenging pattern. First I'm finishing the set of three though. Yep the set of 3 is the least popular choice thus far but that is because you don't know you really are going to want it. Don't worry you will have time to get used to the idea because I'm not exactly speeding towards completion. ;) But here's another little peek. I'm keeping all three patterns in one colour palette with lots of grey and blue shades.

Have any of you had a change to purchase the new book by Alicia Paulson yet?  It's called Embroidery Companion and there's a really generous preview on Amazon.

P.s. see the not so classy pen on the photo? I collect those. They are called floaty pens and have water in them so (for example) little boats can float from one side to the other. I only collect the tourist pens from cities and countries. Not the ones where ladies knickers fall down if you keep the pen upside down. ;)