Sunday, November 28

Sunday morning stitching: one small canvas shoe

Usually I write the names of my children on the inside of their PE shoes with a sharpie but this is much prettier isn't it? It was a bit tough embroidering on the canvas especially since it's such a tiny size. I made knotless starts so she will not be bothered by knots on the inside of the shoe and improvised the embroidery 'design' (as is clearly visible) but I guess a water soluble marker would also work fine if you would want to draw the design first.

On the Embroidery Stitch Challenge menu today is the Cable Chain Stitch. Will report back in a few days time if it was a success!

Wednesday, November 24

Free Scrappy Owl Ornament Pattern!

I made a free Scrappy Owl Pattern today for you all to enjoy.  If you want to put a link on your blog please do so but link to this blog post not directly to the download link. Thank you! You can download the Scrappy Owl Pattern here.

I hope your owls will turn out slightly better than mine. I was just playing with some felt and trying stuff when suddenly this owl was 'born'! It's an easy & quick project so there's no excuse not have a Scrappy Owl in your tree this year. Would make a cute tag or bookmark too by the way.... Or how about a Snowy Scrappy Owl for Harry Potter fans? Of course I'd love to see your Scrappy Owls! Please post them in the Follow the White Bunny Flickr Group or on my Facebook Fanpage!

Tuesday, November 23

Scrappy Funky Owl Tree Ornament

Scrappy Funky Owl for the Tree

Today I made this Scrappy Funky Owl Christmas Tree ornament. Literally from scraps found on the floor beneath my sewing table. That and some felt, embroidery floss and a bit or ric rac. Any-hoo I think he is kind of cute and funky and you might like a similar Owl in your tree.  It's not really rocket science of course but if anyone is interested I could make a template for the shapes and so on and share it here on the blog. If you have young kids you know why felt and fabric ornaments are especially good to have on hand if the littlest ones want to 'help' decorate the tree. ;)

Oh and in case you missed it earlier today I have a *COUPON* for 10% off all my patterns in my Etsy Shop.

Update: a downloadable tutorial will be available later today on this blog!


Etsy has a new feature. You can create coupons to give your customers a discount! So if you use the following code: FTWBNOV2010COUPON10 in my shop in the next few days (until this Friday) on check out you will receive 10% off your order. On all items not just the ones shown here, yay!

Sunday, November 21

SundayStash #36 B&W fabrics

These are most of my Black and White Prints from my stash. Every now and then, but not often, I add something to the collection. I'm actually not sure if an all black and white quilt would be very nice. But  I don't like the idea of adding another colour either. If anyone has some good ideas for these or examples of Black and White projects let me know! In the mean time I will just continue building my Black and White Stash. :)

Saturday, November 20

And the Castle Peeps are going to.....

First of all thanks to all who entered the Castle Peeps Giveaway. It was great to read all your comments about your favourite books!  I had already read some of the books mentioned and others will definitely go on my 'to read' list. :) My daughter helped me pick the winners. This time from a pretty Art Deco Vase/Flower Pot.

The 'I already left a comment in October' Prize (A Limelight Bard Mini Quilt Pattern) goes to...Kerri! Which is very appropriate because I happen to know Kerri sings (very beautifully I might add) and plays the guitar. Not sure if she can play the Lute though.

The other Limelight Bard Winner Mini Quilt Pattern picked from the comments to the post last week is Liz who said:
"I love Castle Peeps and I would love to win this! My favorite book is "The Time-Traveler's Wife" by Audrey Niffenegger. It's such a good read!" 

Bard Peep is a time-traveler too he will travel straight from the Middle Ages to your mail box Liz!
The Royal Peeps are going to live with.....Kaye Prince who said:
"Oh no, bad idea to ask me what my favourite book is! I'm a librarian and a book hoarder! Okay, how about two favourite authors instead? I love L.M. Montgomery and Jane Austen! One of the best books I read recently was March by Geraldine Brooks."
Again very appropriate that the Alphabet Sampler goes to a librarian!

Congratulations to all the winners! I will try and contact you all later today for your addresses. Please feel free to email me first at followthewhitebunny [at] e-tropolis [dot] nl!

Friday, November 19

Sorting Scraps & the Loop Stitch

Scraps of fabric to keep are by my definition:"certainly a lot smaller than a fat quarter and must be big enough to possibly cut a 2 inch square from". Anything larger than that goes with the folded fabrics in my fabric cabinet and the small bits and pieces go in a ziplock bag so my daughters can make interesting art work with them. :) I had several (smallish) baskets full of unsorted fabric scraps and I have now sorted them into 'Cool colours', 'Warm Colours' and 'I'm not sure where to put it and that includes brown and grey'. I found some really nice scraps I forgot I had like a 5 inch square Heather Ross Unicorn and some Amy Butler Belle prints too. Totally in line with my (s)crap story of today is this giveaway (and sew along) on the Pleasant Home blog and this sew along for a Technicolour  Yawn Quilt, formerly known as the Scrap Vomit quilt,  on Katy's Imagingermonkey blog. If you have any other good scrap projects let me know!

I had not forgotten about my Embroidery Stitch Challenges, really! It just has been kind of busy here on the blog with giveaways and such that I just didn't get round to posting about it. The good news is that I loved the stitch I took on last weekend. It's called the Loop Stitch and is also known as the Centipede stitch. I used a cheery Rainbow floss and as you can see messed up a bit on the first few stitches but really got the hang of it later on. Now the bad news is, is that I have given up on making my sampler look pretty or outstanding. It will just be a piece of linen with lots of different stitches on. Maybe it will eventually inspire me to make a sampler pattern who knows?

This is what I had to share this Friday. Tomorrow I will be back with the winners of the Castle Peep Patterns Giveaway (there is still time to enter!). I'm totally loving all your comments about your favourite books! If you can't wait for the results: the Castle Peeps Patterns are now also available in my shop!

Wednesday, November 17

Give away week 3: Castle Peeps Patterns!!!!

So for my final giveaway this year I have something special that I'm very proud of: the Castle Peeps Patterns I made in collaboration with Lizzy House! There are three prizes, one Royal Sampler pattern and two Bard Mini Quilt Patterns. Now recently, and I honestly don't remember where, I saw a giveaway on a blog for which you could not enter. The winner was chosen from comments on previous posts on that blog. Now I will do the same with one of the Bard Patterns. If you left a comment on my blog in the month of October you thereby unknowingly entered the Giveaway for this pattern! The winners of the other two patterns will be picked from the comments on this post. ( You cannot choose which pattern, sorry! )

So please leave a comment before Saturday the 20th of November 8 pm Amsterdam time, and tell me what your favourite book is and why. It can be a crafty book, a childrens book, a cook book or a novel. This year I kept a book log of novels I read. I have a preference for slightly Gothic books and modern literature so this may not be to every one's taste. The list is surprisingly short actually when I look at it, I will try and read more in 2011! 

Don't forget to leave a 'trail' (email, blog) so I can find you in case you win. If I can't find you within a week I will pick another winner. Good luck every one!

Tuesday, November 16

Winner of Embroidery Mystery Giveaway!

True Random Number Generator  
26 Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Thank you for all the fun comments on my Embroidery Mystery novel giveaway! Of course I wished I could send each and every one of you a copy of the book but I'm sure you all understand that's not possible. Luckily I have yet another giveaway planned tomorrow! It's a real treat for all embroidery fans (and quilters too). :)

Because I didn't have time today to do my traditional Stroopwaffle Jar draw, I used the slightly boring Random Number Generator. I hope you all don't mind. So I put in the number of comments and commenter number 26 Connie, won the signed copy of Amanda Lee's The Quick and the Thread . Connie I will be emailing you later today for your address so I can send you the book and a typical Dutch treat for this time of year: a Chocolate Letter (the 'B' as it happens of 'Bunny' or 'Book')  as well!  Congratulations Connie!

Sunday, November 14

Fabric Gollum makes bizarre quilt top

Do you know the nasty Gollum character from the Lord of the Rings books and movies? He can't part with the Ring and cries 'precious, my precious' all the time. Well I'm like that with some of my fabrics: all my Denyse Schmidt's Katie Jump Rope fabrics and most of my Heather Ross fabrics are preferably kept nicely folded in my cupboard and only allowed to be stroked not cut into! 

Yesterday however I thought it was time to let go of a few of my precious fabrics as I suddenly felt the urge to make a special lap quilt for someone (who will not be named as that person might read the blog) Somehow I came up with this rather bizarre combination of fabrics. I think it works and I really like it. But maybe I'm the only one so I would appreciate some (honest!) opinions! I was also very surprised how much I like the darker tones in this quilt top of the Heather Ross fabric with horses and Amy Butler's 'Love' fabric.The squares are rather big (8.5 inch) so I was able to put this together in a couple of hours.

Saturday, November 13

Royalty on my Doormat! (& Embroidery Stitch Challenge #6)

Last a week I finally got to meet the Castle Peeps 'in person' as the Royal Sampler Patterns and Limelight Bard Mini Quilt Patterns arrived at my house. I'm absolutely smitten with how stylish and pretty the patterns turned out! The patterns hold a colour key, an example of the finished embroidery, an iron-on pattern and a large sheet with details about colours and stitch suggestions.

The Limelight Bard Mini Quilt also has instructions on how to make the mini quilt of course. I will list both patterns later this week in my shop but I will have only a couple of each in stock for now!

For this week's Embroidery Stitch Challenge I just picked a stitch that I didn't know from one of my books: the Loop Stitch.

P.S. don't forget: there are still a few days left to enter the 'Quick and the Thread' Giveaway!

Friday, November 12

Embroidery Wall

How do you like my small Embroidery collection on my living room wall? The Rabbit is one of my own embroideries but I bought the other two on Etsy recently and I'm so happy with my little collection so far! The Tiny Tom Waits was stitched (all satin stitches) by Shannon, also known as GigglyMama. You can find more awesome stuff (like a portrait of Christopher Walken) here.

The words, quoted from these lyrics, on printed fabric are beautifully embroidered by Gina of doecdoe. You can choose your own words and different printed fabrics and make a custom order in her shop.

Do you have an Embroidery Wall as well? I'd love to see it. You can post photos on my Facebook wall if you like!

Don't forget to enter the Embroidery Mystery Giveaway, thanks for the great comments so far! And I'll be back tomorrow with a new Embroidery Stitch Challenge!

Wednesday, November 10

Meet Embroidery Mystery Writer Amanda Lee & 2nd Giveaway!

Just a couple of weeks ago I wrote about how I had stumbled upon the book 'The Quick and the Thread' (via Feeling Stitchy) an Embroidery Mystery written by Amanda Lee. Well... a couple of comments, tweets and mails later Amanda, whose real name is Gayle Trent, kindly agreed to do an interview on this blog & sent me a signed copy of her book to give away to one of you! Details later in this post. First lets get to know Gayle a bit better. So get yourself a cup of tea (or coffee) and read all about cozy murders and whether Gayle is able to answer Embroidery Geeky questions as well.;)

For the readers who don't know you, could you describe in a nutshell who you are and what you do?
My real name is Gayle Trent. I write cozy mysteries under that name and under the pen name Amanda Lee. The mystery series I write under the name Gayle Trent has a heroine who is a cake decorator, and the series I write as Amanda Lee features an embroidery shop owner.

Can you tell us a bit about your latest book 'The Quick and the Thread'?
Marcy has just opened up her shop on the Oregon Coast. Things are off to a great start, and her best friends- who own a coffee shop, cater a grand opening party for her. The next day, Marcy and her Irish wolfhound Angus find the shop's former tenant dead in her storeroom. Marcy has to figure out who killed the man to clear her name and to avoid becoming the next victim.

I was pretty amazed to find out there was a whole sub genre of 'crafty mysteries' out there like Knitting, Quilting and Beading mysteries. Why did you specifically choose embroidery for your cozy mysteries?
Actually, my agent asked if I'd be interested in penning an embroidery mystery, and I jumped at the chance to reacquaint myself with needlework. "Research" is the perfect excuse to while away the day doing embroidery!

You call yourself a 'cozy mystery writer', what exactly makes your mysteries cozy?
Cozy mysteries are kind of a gentler mystery. The murder happens "off screen" rather than the reader experiencing it in gory detail, and there isn't any graphic language, violence or sex in a cozy mystery.

Do you have any idea what kind of people read your Embroidery Mystery Books? 
 I think the people who read my books are kind of like me. They enjoy a good puzzle with their novel, and the like to learn something or get a bonus with the book. For example, readers of The Quick and the Thread can go to my website and get cross-stitch patterns that correlate to the book. In the book Marcy made a tote bag featuring the head of her dog. I had an artist render a sketch of Angus' head, and then I used a program to turn the drawing into a cross-stitch pattern. If you'd like to check out the patterns, you can find them here. To me the embroidery projects on the site seem to be a little hard, so I'm working on making them easier in the future. I've prepared a cross-stitch sampler similar to the one central to the plot in 'Stitch me Deadly' , and I'll be putting that on the site in late January or early February to coincide with the book's release. 

Do you have a certain person or type of person in mind when you are writing?
I try to keep Marcy in mind. I sometimes veer away from her, and  I have to remember who SHE is and what she would do in a certain situation. Sometimes it's hard to make things work out becaus I have to get the character from Point A to Point B in order to move the story along; but if doing so makes Marcy look like an idiot, I have to go back and rethink things. :)

Any type of embroidery that you particularly like doing?
I enjoy cross-stitch, but I've recently discovered red work, black work and ribbon embroidery. I also enjoy needlepoint and candlewicking.

What's in your hoop right now?
Right now, I'm trying to finish the companion to this pillowcase (see photo above). After I'm finished with that pillow case I want to make another set with your Princess and the Pea and Bear & Fish patterns. I'm hoping to get at least one of them done before Christmas so I can share a picture on my blog and give the readers a link to your site. Before you wrote to me, I didn't know about your site and your gorgeous patterns. You need more publicity! :) (*blushes* Thank you Gayle! -N.)

There's one other project I'd like to show. I'm really proud of it. I did this angel (see photo below) last year, and I was really pleased with how she turned out. 

Just a fun question to test how much of an Embroidery Geek you really are! If  I say 321, 310 and B 5200 would you know what I'm talking about? 
I'd say they're floss colors, but I"m not sure. I'd think the 321 and 310 are DMC colors, but I'm not certain about the B 5200. Am I right? (Yep, absolutely right! These are the no's of resp. red, black and white floss-N.) 

Would Marcy have Follow the White Bunny patterns in her shop?
Of course! In fact I want to feature Follow the White Bunny in an upcoming Sew Deadly newsletter.

Anything else you'd like to share?
I'd just like to thank you for letting me be a part of your blog. Oh, one other thing! I almost forgot- please check out my blog and see if you might like to enter the contest currently up at the site. (scroll down a bit to the November contest post). If you'd like to enter, please sign up for my newsletter adn then send an email to gayle[at] once per day with 'November Contest' in the subject line to enter. The contest ends November 30. I'll have 's number generator pick a number from the entries on December 1 and announce the winner in a newsletter e-mail. There's lots of good stuff in the prize pack; so if you enter, Good Luck!

And I hope that whatever holidays you celebrate-Thanksgiving, Christmas, Kwanza, Hanukah, New Year's Day- that you are blessed with love, health and happiness.

Wishing you happy holidays too Gayle and thank you for patiently answering all of my questions!

I hope this interview has got you in the mood for reading some cozy (and everyone likes cozy, right?) embroidery mysteries! If you'd like to win a signed copy of Gayle's (or rather Amanda Lee's) latest book 'the Quick and the Thread'  leave a comment on this post before 12 PM Amsterdam time, Tuesday the 16th of November. In the last giveaway I had my AM's and PM"s mixed up but  I really mean noon. I'm not going to pick a winner at midnight! Anyway....I will add a special 'Dutch Treat' to the prize so you can nibble on something while you are reading. Winner will be announced on the blog shortly after. Good luck everyone!

Monday, November 8

When quilt binding experiments go terribly wrong... & Feathered chain stitch report

This is the second binding I made for this quilt. With the first one I really messed up the mitered corners, I thought I could 'save' the whole  thing by cutting into the binding that was already on the quilt (instead of just unpicking and starting over) and replacing the terrible corners with new nicely mitered ones. That was not a good idea and the thought of unpicking the old binding and making a whole new one wasn't very appealing. So I left the unfinished quilt in my WIP basket for a month until this weekend. I made a nice new green binding and sewed it on the front of the quilt by  machine. Then I thought I might try sewing it on the back by machine as well. I had read about it here and thought I should be able to do it too. Wrong! There were gaps, there was wobbly stitching, it looked horrendous. So I unpicked that too and went back to sewing the binding to the back of the quilt by hand while (half) watching Back to the Future and then the X factor and I'm still not done with the sewing. Hopefully I will be able to show you the finished quilt later this week!

Luckily my embroidery 'experiment' was more successful. I tried my hand at the Feathered  chain stitch and enjoyed it very much. I used Carina's  left handed version of her book Borders and Beyond (which I gave away to a lucky winner yesterday!) and basically it's a nicely arranged combination of Lazy Daisy Stitches. I tried to make the ones below a bit broader so it would look more like fern or something.

Ooh and I almost forgot to share a rather gross fabric stash experience! I have a very nice cupboard in which I keep my fabric stash. Some of the smaller cuts are in plastic baskets. It's all reasonably well organised.  I was rummaging through one of those baskets to find fabric for the quilt binding when I felt something odd. It was a dead fly. A dead fly! Not a tiny one either. In my fabric stash. Not on top but somewhere in between the fabrics. Eeeew! If you have any scary fabric tales to tell do share them in the comments. ;)

Sunday, November 7

Winners Pattern Parade!

Stroopwaffle jar this morning
I know most bloggers use the very reliable random generator to pick winners but I think a Stroopwaffle jar with handwritten names on paper in is such a cozy way to choose a winner (or 4)!  My youngest daughter picked the following four winners from the jar: 

  • Stitching Borders and Beyond by Carina of Polka and Bloom: Rafael's mum
  • Semi-Fantastic Mr. Fox pattern by Bird and Little Bird: Agypsyangel
  • Mostly Marvelous Ms. Rabbit pattern by Bird and Little Bird: JVC_Scout_Mum (please send me your email adress! followthewhitebunny[at] )
  • Pdf pattern of choice from MagpiePatterns: Carlie
Congratulations to the winners I will send you an email about your prizes shortly and many many thanks to my generous crafty friends Carina, Annie & Amy!

In a few days time I will have a very lovely interview on this blog which has everything to do with the second giveaway (yay!) I will be hosting. So make sure to check back soon!

Friday, November 5

The Book of Flosses

I almost always buy all my embroidery floss online. And it wasn't until I was in an actual brick and mortar craft shop that I learned about *insert dramatic tune*.... The Book of  DMC Flosses. Well it's officially called 'Color card' but I like the title *insert dramatic tune*....The Book of DMC Flosses more. Anyway, if you haven't seen it before: it's a big  folder kind of book with all the Mouline (six stranded) DMC flosses, the Light Effects Flosses, Pearl Cottons, Color Variation Flosses and Metallic Pearl Flosses. It has the actual floss in so you can really see what the floss colour is like. Obviously I got very enthousiastic about it and, being the optimistic person that I am, thought it was free. It's not free, it's actually quite expensive. In my local shop it was about 25 euros, which is over 35$! Eventually I bought one for a more reasonable price on Ebay and now I can order floss online and know what colours I'm ordering. :) Still dreaming about owning the whole set of 470 something flosses whole skeins that is, not tiny fragments stuck in a crazy expensive folder.

This week I shall try and do a better job of my Embroidery Stitch Challenge. I'm going to give the Chained Feather Stitch (#5) a go in the next couple of days. Have not even checked my usual little library if it's described in one of the books so I'm not quite sure exactly how challenging it will be.

Thanks to all the peeps who entered the Giveaway so far. You can still enter this one until this Sunday! Have a great weekend all.

Wednesday, November 3

Giveaway week 1: Pattern Parade!

In a few posts time my 300 th blog post will be up on this blog. To celebrate this small milestone and to thank you as a reader of this blog for your visits and comments I'm having a rather marvelous giveaway for the next three weeks. Yay!

I will have a different giveaway each week and of course you are free to enter them all. If you are not a blog follower already I  would appreciate it very much if you would become one! (update: just to be clear there's no need to follow, only if you like!) You can also find me regularly on my Facebook Fan page. All you need to do this week is to comment on this post and let me know your thoughts about my little blog. :) Any ideas for new stuff are very welcome too!  Please make sure you leave some kind of trail (email address, blog) so I can contact you in case you are one of the four lucky winners. You can enter this giveaway until Sunday the 7th of November 12 am CET. (update: by which I mean Central European Time) The winners will be announced later that day. Because I believe it's more fun to have multiple winners I'm drawing four winners (one prize each) from the infamous Stroop Waffle Jar. It is not possible to give preference to one of the prizes.

This week I'm giving away a wonderful selection of PDF patterns and an e-book, kindly provided by a couple of crafty and generous friends! I'm so happy to give these away because if have all of these myself and they are all truly fabulous!  Please make sure you stop by their shops for more beautiful patterns and items! Here are this weeks prizes (in no particular order):

Prize #1 a Fantastic Embroidery  E-book by Carina!
A little while ago my Feeling Stitchy mate Carina, of Polka & Bloom fame, released this awesome e-book called Stitching Borders and Beyond. I own a copy and it's absolutely delightful. The book has clear diagrams, fun stitches and the most amazing, pretty and stylish borders. This e-book is available in a version for left handed stitchers too. :)

Prize #2 Sew your own Mr. Fox with this fun Bird and Little Bird PDF pattern
If you have been following my blog you may have seen my half finished version of the semi-Fantastic Mr. Fox. Well, Annie of Bird and Little Bird offers not only the totally Fantastic semi-Fantastic Mr. Fox PDF sewing pattern but also the equally cute Mostly Ms. Marvelous Bunny PDF Pattern!

Prize #3 How about sewing your own stylish (Follow the White) Bunny with this adorable Bird and Little Bird Pattern?

Magpie Patterns has a wonderful selection of sewing, knitting and embroidery patterns. One lucky winner can choose any PDF Pattern from the shop!

Take your pick from the many Magpie PDF Patterns available.Like this cute felt cookie project by Sweetie Pie Bakery!

Good luck everyone! Please spread the happy Giveway news with your crafty friends. There are several buttons under this post which makes sharing on Twitter and Facebook etc. super easy! :)

Tuesday, November 2

Autumn view from my living room & a not so succesful Cretan stitch experiment

This is my view from the living room. I'm sure I have previously posted similar photos taken in a different season but the Autumn view is especially nice I think! Even if it's a bit grey outside... With each gust of wind it 'rains' leaves. :)

I quite enjoyed learning the Cretan Stitch (Embroidery Stitch Challenge #4). It was really easy to master and makes a decorative stitch.  I tried a couple of variations by making one 'leg' of the stitch longer than the other but that didn't turn out too great. I was actually trying to make this stitch, in combination with last weeks Chevron Stitch, look like a bunch of colourful rooftops in a busy city but I'm probably the only one who sees rooftops in these wonky stitches. ;)