Saturday, October 27

Traveling Threads

Totally ready to move on from this shading experiment to another crazy one thread only project! I think I need one or two more sessions to put some final touches to this piece and than it should be done. Today I filled in some more of the clouds in the background and added two light pink flowery things in the foreground and a pink flower too.

The back of this piece is a bit uhm..chaotic.. I'm sure some people get shivers when they see this:

But then I'd rather pay more attention to the front of the embroidery and less to the back of it. As most of this embroidery is covered with fill stitches you can't see the 'traveling' threads going from one place to another. Obviously you need to be more careful when you do an outline only embroidery. :)

Tuesday, October 23

Just so you know...Stitch A Long coming up!

Doubtful Guest being especially Doubtful..

Last weekend I posted an update of my Doubtful Guest embroidery on Instagram (find me there! I'm Followbunny) in honour of the addition of the fringe on the scarf (great excuse to use the Turkey Stitch!). Most of my Instagram pics are forwarded to Twitter (where I happen to be Followbunny too!) and I'm not sure how it happened but for some reason the subject of a Edward Gorey Stitch Along came up on Twitter. Not now, now is not a good time for a lot of people (with Christmas Stitching to do etc) but starting the first of January 2013!

So I just thought I'd let you all know... If you are not familiar with Edward Gorey's work take a look here or here. I have created a Flickr group for those of you interested in Stitching A Long next year (what a great way of starting 2013!) you can find it here.  The Stitch A Long after that will be all about Tim Burton's work. I can't wait!

Friday, October 19

Here's one I didn't finish earlier...

I think I started this embroidery based on an illustration in Edward Gorey's Doubtful Guest about a year ago and it resurfaced when I went through my craft basket recently.  Probably at some point last year I wasn't sure how to proceed with this piece. Often I abandon a project for this reason for a little while and then  'a little while' turns into a few months and hey a year has past without finishing it! I'm determined to finish it now though as it is too cute to leave in the WIP basket for another year. And I'm eager to make a Turkey Stitch fringe on his scarf  :)

P.S. if you haven't bought the new issue of &Stitches yet (I can't imagine why not!) you have a chance to win a copy on Julie's blog.

P.S. P.S. I have some rather fabulous giveaways coming up myself soon to celebrate my 500th blogpost!

Thursday, October 18

Scandinavian inspiration

Not able to squeeze in a visit to Scandinavia for some Stitchy inspiration? No worries Carina & I will take you there with our latest issue of &Stitches! (read on to find out where to get a discount code!)

See that adorable Polar Bear on the cover? That's made by Emily Wilmarth the creative talent behind The Flossbox. You will find the pattern in our Scandinavian Issue! It was a pleasure to work with Emily, she is a lovely friendly person! Putting together an original and uhm.. awesome zine like this is hard work (there's only the two of us) but it's also inspiring. With each issue I learn new things about embroidery (Hello Raised Herringbone Stitch!) and get to 'meet' (if only by mail) fabulous new people (like Emily). We hope that our enthusiasm for stitching shines through on the pages of our zine!

There is much to tell about this Scandinavian issue but I would only be repeating myself, so please check out my blogpost on the &Stitches blog to find out more. You will also find a discount code in the blogpost so you get 10% off the regular price (for the next two days only)!

Thursday, October 11

Fancy Floss Storage

IKEA calls my new floss storage place HELMER: Drawer Unit on casters but I prefer to call it my Floss Cabinet. It's perfect if you have a rather large floss stash that you mainly keep in skeins (not on bobbins). I keep scissors and needles and such in the top drawer and one drawer is reserved for current projects. The other four drawers are filled with floss (still in the zip locks in which I stored them previously). 

Many thanks to all the sweet crafty folk who offered to make my little Pindsvin something (read the details here). As you can see in the photo below my Pindsvin stuffy is not finished yet, but I'm making good progress. The quills are quite a lot of work and I had to order some more felt to finish his spiky 'do'. :) 

So...for the peeps that are going to knit/sew/craft something for this little fella: I will put together a fact sheet with Pindsvin's measurements etc in the next couple of weeks so he won't end up with a tiny scarf and a huge bag or something ;) I'd really like to have your e-mail addresses so if I can't get in touch with you via your comment: please send me an email with your name and project. Thanks! 

On the 18th of October the new  &Stitches e-zine is out. In the next week me and Carina are busy putting the final touches to this fabulous fourth issue which is all about Scandinavia! A theme that is dear to my heart as I have lived in Norway for a couple of years and have fond memories of my time there. check out the &Stitches blog  this week (and we'd appreciate a follow there too!) because this week it's Scandinavian Week. We have a giveaway, a free pattern and sneak peeks of the (fab!) new issue. Hope to see you all there!  

Sunday, October 7

Pindsvin, the next chapter

Are you familiar with Pindsvin? Pindsvin is a brave Danish Hedgehog who travels by teacup. I made a Pindsvin embroidery pattern a couple of years ago (and spotted quite a few other animals starting to use a teacup as way of traveling after that...)  and since then Pindsvin has developed into a real character.

drawing of Pindsvin (not the pattern!)

Yesterday I was 'playing' with some felt and made not very elaborate try outs of a tiny mitten and a tiny shoe. Then I thought it would be fun to have a 'real' Pindsvin to dress and make things for and to keep me company while I sew and embroider. And maybe it would be even more fun to have other crafty folk making things for Pindsvin (more about that later)

So this morning I started making a Pindsvin stuffy based on a pattern in Hillary Lang's book called Wee Wonderfuls 24 Dolls to Sew and Love. To be honest, I bought this book last year I think and wasn't expecting to use it soon but there you go..

My Pindsvin is roughly based on the bears Melvin and Marian. The ears will be smaller and placed on the side of the head rather than near the top. The snout and nose will be adjusted (still flat though) and obviously Pindsvin will need clothing fit for a sailing Hedgehog! I also need to figure out how to do this quills...

I didn't have enough felt in one colour so I had to do his legs in a different colour and his body is made of a quite nasty acrylic felt (I really need to stock up on quality felt!). So far it hasn't been too difficult making my Pindsvin. The instructions in the book were easy to follow. I traced the pattern pieces onto tracing paper which was a breeze because they were the right size so I didn't need to enlarge or anything. I always find that a bit off putting to be honest and craft book publishers should really make every effort to print pattern pieces to size.

Back to the idea of making stuff for Pindsvin...if you are particularly good at a craft then I would be thrilled if you could make something for Pindsvin. I already have an offer for a knitted scarf so that's covered. ;) Other possible items: an apple (maybe needle felted), a map or a lantern (thank you Georgia for those suggestions!), clothing, a little book, a blanket, travel items. It has to be '3D' so no flat apples etc.! I can't offer you money but the idea is that I will feature your item here on the blog and if you have a blog or a shop related to what you made for Pindsvin then I will not fail to mention that as well.  It's all just for fun and there is no hurry. As you can see Pindsvin isn't finished yet so I'm thinking of starting these features from early 2013. Send me an email at with your idea (so I can check if it fits Pindsvin's image) a link to stuff you make and an idea about when you think you can have your item finished. Don't start just yet because naturally the items should be the right size and I will need to inform you about Pindsvin's measurements first...Wouldn't it be fun to have a photo of Pindsvin a year from now with all the fabulous handmade goodies he 'collected' from all over the world?

Friday, October 5

Vintage Patterns

About once or twice a year I get Vogart Embroidery Pattern Fever. I frantically search Ebay and Etsy for missing patterns in my collection. There are a lot of missing patterns in my collection so that makes searching easy but, true to my Dutch descent, I don't want to pay too much for them. Also I prefer some patterns to others and I especially like patterns with animals (who would have thought?!?!) and Fairy Tales too (see Hans & Gretel on the photo) although these are rare.

Nowadays you can buy copies of all these patterns (apparently that's legal?) but I want the real thing. Over the years I have also bought lots of vintage patterns that aren't Vogart patterns (because they were in the same lot on Ebay for example) like this one:

For women who sew it says on the back... so definitely not a pattern for men who sew ;) Anyway, the lion looks a bit freaky but that horse in the right bottom corner is pretty cute! So are vintage patterns your thing or do you happily leave them behind in yard sales?

p.s. Oh and by vintage I mean 'older than me' (which is before the 1970's) because as I understand it you can call stuff 'vintage' when it's only 20 years old!