Friday, November 30

Sublime Floss

I'm sure by now you have all heard about the launch of Sublime Floss ?  Well I got a surprise package of flossy treats in the mail from Sublime Stitching a couple of days ago and I couldn't wait to go and try them out! You should know that while I got the floss for free there was no obligation to write about it or whatsoever. I just wanted to share my experience using Sublime Floss with you all here.

I must admit that it felt like Christmas had started really early here when I opened the envelope and all nine cute packages fell on my kitchen table. Each package holds a palette of 7 different colours six stranded floss with perfectly chosen names. 'Frosting' is supersweet, 'Portrait' is perfect for embroidering skin and hair, 'Parlour' (my favourite) has rich, intense shades with names like 'Absinthe' and 'Velvet Curtain'. I totally admire that kind of approach: colours and names that evoke feelings and images, I'd like to call it emo-floss! :)

The so called 'Mingles' floss (see photo above) is a novelty in the embroidery floss world. If you like to blend your threads (which I must admit rarely do) than these are pre-blended for you.

So I spent a day or so stitching a cute Fennec Fox I had in my sketchbook using Sublime Floss. Now I started out with the idea of using only one palette of colours to make a simple embroidery but I ended up using colours of several of the palettes and another furry fill stitched creature. I'm very much used to choosing from a huge set of colours and shades so it was a real challenge but I think I managed quite well! Mind you this Fennec fox fella is only 1.5 inches (ears and all) high so it's quite detailed for it's size.

The floss itself looks skinnier than my usual six stranded floss and felt slightly less silky but still soft to handle. It has a nice modest sheen to it. Usually before I thread a needle I run my thumb and index finger along the thread to feel which way is 'up' and should go through the eye of the needle first. I found that kind of hard with some of these threads, not sure why that is. I used 1-3 strands on most bits of my Fennec Fox embroidery, except for the 'branch' which is stitched with the 'Lilac twist' from the 'Mingles' collection. From the 'Taffy Pull' collection I used various shades within the 'Blueberry' and 'Grape drink' variegated skeins to create the impression of having different shades of one colour. 

For the kind of very detailed stitching I have been doing lately this floss may not be the most obvious choice but I can definitely see the advantage of having ready to go, well chosen palettes with gorgeous colours for lots of other types of embroidery. The instant palettes, unique approach and attractive packaging makes the product practically irresistible. So besides treating yourself to some flossy happiness, these would be great to give to aspiring young embroiderers. Paired with some cool patterns and a hoop and needle and they are good to go. (I already saw my daughters checking out the cute packages and pretty colours!) You can even use it to make friendship bracelets (just in case the embroidery thing doesn't work out)  I also would like to add that I think it's a great accomplishment for a small company like Sublime Stitching to come with their own brand of floss. Well done, Jenny!

Wednesday, November 28

Pattern parade: weelittlestitches Trilogy Giveaway

Hope you all enjoyed meeting the folks behind weelittlestitches yesterday! Clearly many of you are weelittlestitches fans too, just like me.

I'm actually in the process of stitching their Labyrinth pattern. My cross stitch skills are not all that great so don't hold that against them because the pattern is fabulous. It's detailed and gives you tips and instructions for stitches and colours. After this pattern I think I will stitch one of weelittlestitches Harry Potter patterns for my youngest as we have just started reading the first Harry Potter book to her and she loves it. :)

So...who would like to win a fabulous trilogy of weelittlestitches PDF patterns? (me! me! but I can't enter!)  The trilogy holds a super cute Kawaii sampler, a Star Wars 'New Hope' pattern (with the good guys) and a Harry Potter Pattern. (see picture above)

To have a chance of winning this wonderful set of patterns, please leave a comment on this post and let us know who (or what) you would like to see turned into a weelittlestitches pattern!

This giveaway ends on Monday the 3rd of December, 12 AM Amsterdam time. Remember to leave a trail so I can contact you or check back next week to see if you have won!

Good luck everyone!

Tuesday, November 27

Meet the people behind the Pixel people: weelittlestitches Interview

Jacqueline & Christopher
Meet Jacqueline and Christopher, the husband and wife team behind weelittlestitches, a business that (in their own words) 'was born out of our love of needle and thread'. weelittlestitches makes contemporary cross stitch designs (both custom design and patterns) and is home of the famous Pixel people. Many of their (sometimes slightly geeky) patterns are inspired by film and tv personalities and pop culture from past and present. weelittlestitches are also the generous sponsor of a fabulous giveaway on this blog starting tomorrow! Woohoo!

Harry's friends (2)

Tell us a little bit about weelittlestitches

weelittlestitches is the cross-stitch design company/Etsy shop I started with my husband, Chris.  We've been open since 2010 and are lucky to have customers all over the world.  We're based in the Niagara region of Ontario, Canada - only about twenty kilometers from the famous Niagara Falls.  This past January I was able to quit my "real" job as a fashion merchandiser/window dresser to concentrate on weelittlestitches full-time - it's been wonderful!  When Chris isn't working at his job as a zookeeper he's helping to design new patterns and stitch finished pieces for sale.

work space

Where does your passion for cross stitch come from?

My Mom taught me to cross-stitch when I was just a little girl - only five or six.  I think it was her way to get me to sit still for more than three minutes at a time. I grew up in an "artsy" household - my Mom knits, cross-stitches, and sews beautifully, and my father paints watercolours and is a DIY handyman with a passion for fixing up houses, so I was raised around an endless supply of fabric, floss, paint, wool, and tools.  My parents always encouraged me and my four siblings to be as creative as possible.  I did move away from cross-stitch for a good long while as I was growing up - I taught myself to knit and crochet, I dabbled with scrapbooking and embroidery - but I ended up coming back to cross-stitch again in my 30s - a real "full circle" moment for me.  Shortly thereafter my husband expressed an interest in learning cross-stitch too - so I taught him and we've been stitching together ever since.  I love that cross-stitch transcends language - I could walk in to any craft store anywhere in the world and purchase a chart and be able to immediately sit down and stitch it - there really aren't too many other crafts that can say the same thing!  I adore the process of creating something wonderful with my hands.  I love seeing the picture grow stitch-by-stitch.  I have a terrible time just sitting still without anything to keep my fingers busy (I guess I haven't really changed from that five year-old little girl!) and cross-stitch fulfills that need for me.  I find it meditative and relaxing. I was worried after I opened my shop that I would grow to hate doing so much stitching every day (anywhere from 4-10 hours a day) but my wonderful customers fuel my passion for it and through their enthusiasm I just love it more and more!  

Classic Movie Monsters

How did you come up with the Pixel people idea?

When I began cross-stitching again a few years ago it was partly because I was finding all these cool video game sprite inspired patterns online - those retro 8-bit characters that we grew up with and still love - characters like Super Mario and Pokemon -  and they were the perfect things to stitch up as gifts for my brothers, friends, and husband - all of whom are notoriously difficult to buy for!  Pixel People grew out of those old 8-bit video game characters - I wanted to stitch more modern characters in a similar simple pixelated style, but there weren't any patterns like that available.  So I sat down with a piece of graph paper and some pencil crayons and sketched one out - I wanted my designs to be simple, with the fewest possible stitches representing each character - not out of any particular design aesthetic, but because I hate big, complicated patterns.  I was always really great at starting new projects, but terrible at finishing them - so when I began to design I wanted my patterns to be as pared down and simplistic as possible.  The Pixel People represent that simplistic style to me - they're really very little more than basic stick people.

Initially when I began designing the Pixel People patterns I had no plans to sell them or base an entire business around them.  I was designing patterns for tv shows, comic books, and movies that I liked so that I could stitch them for my friends and family!  It was then that I began designing Pixel People patterns of my family and friends too, as gifts.  The decision to open a shop and offer those patterns to other stitchers actually came much later.

Describe your patterns/style in 5 words

Simple. Quirky. Easy. Fun. Wait... that's only 4.... um... Geeky!

What would you like to say to people who are afraid of trying cross stitch?

Don't be!  Compared to the supplies needed for most crafts (like knitting, quilting, or scrapbooking) cross-stitch supplies are cheap.  It takes a very small investment to get started and there are lots of simple patterns you can stitch (like ours) that don't require hundreds of hours of your time.  The beautiful thing about cross-stitch is that it's really just one stitch to learn!  There are thousands of really cool patterns out there and they are all based around one simple stitch.  My best advice to someone who is a little hesitant to learn is to ask around amongst your friends and family - I bet you know someone who knows how to cross-stitch and they can teach you in less than hour.  After all, if I could learn at five years old, anyone can.


Thank you so much for this interview Jacqueline (& Christopher too)! Tomorrow I'll be hosting a giveaway in cooperation with WeeLittleStitches. Be sure to check back because we have put together an awesome set of three patterns for one lucky winner! 

Monday, November 26


For one day only (today!) you will receive 20% discount on all items if you use code CYBERBUNNY at checkout in my Follow the White Bunny shop and in my Etsy shop.  And yes that includes the package deals as well!

Saturday, November 24 fabric!

A couple of months ago I joined a European Quilt Bee and in January it's my turn to be Queen Bee, (or Princess Bee or whatever) which means all the other bees will be making quilt blocks for me!  I chose this block:

It's called an X and + block, not an entirely original choice as I found out later. Apparently it's been going round in bees and stitch a longs since it's made it's (re)appearance in a quilt by Setsuko Inagawa on the Tokyo Quilt Festival in 2011. You can find a great tutorial for a smaller sized 7.5" block here. The block I made is 11.75" and is based on measurements found here.

Most blocks will have the colour scheme you see in the example block I made: grey, black white and red with a splash of colour here and there (blue, orange, green etc). Ideally the fabrics would have quite bold, graphic and/or retro prints. I did have some fabrics in my stash (even some long time stash dwellers like the sewing themed one in the upper left diagonal) that fitted that description but I also purchased some extra to send out to my fellow bees.

These are all from a fabric shop on Etsy called Sew me a Song. I love the unique and fabulous selection of fabrics they sell: stylish and fun prints, great basics and lots of 'texty' prints as well. I especially like this 'Happy Thoughts' fabric by Julie Comstock:

And the fabric with the Writing paper print (Sugar Pixie for Timeless Treasures) is perfect for stitching lettering on!

Hope you all are having a wonderful crafty weekend! I'm kind of stuck to the couch right now due to a inflamed joint in my toe so I'm embroidering, reading Cloud atlas (I'm halfway, it surely is intriguing) and looking at pretty fabrics in online stores. :)

Thursday, November 22

Experimental stitching and LIttle Tiger winner

The wonderful selection of floss I received from DMC Creative  has given my embroidery and design work a huge impulse this year. I think it helped and inspired me to refine my design style and embroidery techniques. 

Among the goodies I received there were also these bright colours:  

The label on the yellow and green floss says Fluorescent Effects. The light coloured floss in the middle is Glow in the dark floss. Now these are not colours or flosses that I would normally go for but at the same time I'm kind of drawn to them as well. I always like to try new things, so today I thought I would just go and try the 'crazy flosses' out on a free form embroidery type of thing. In a stroke of genius (ahem..) I chose this dark charcoal coloured cross hatch fabric. A perfect backdrop for the bright colours I think.

I have only just started but the first thing that really impressed me was how soft the Glow in the Dark floss feels. I have a set of other Glow in the Dark floss that feels hard and is difficult (read: near impossible) to make neat stitches with.  This particular floss feels more like Satin Floss (or the old DMC Rayon Floss) so it's a little silkier than your regular six strand floss. Even making French Knots was not a problem at all.  The Fluorescent flosses were equally easy to handle.

As far as I know these are the only colours available in the DMC Neon/Glow in the dark section of the catalogue and for my free form embroidery I really needed some more colour so I have added (bright) six stranded floss as well.  I will keep you up to date with the progress of this piece, unless it turns out not so great ;)

Thank you to all who left a comment on my most recent giveaway. I so enjoyed reading about your favourite tree ornaments. :)  Winner of the totally adorable Little Tiger pattern from Joey's Dreamgarden is commenter no.3 which is Em. Congratulations Em!  If you are looking for a cute and beautifully handmade gift a visit to Joey's shop is a must.

& thank you Joey for contributing to my 500th blog post celebration!

Friday, November 16

Pattern Parade: Little Tiger's Orangey Celebration Embroidery Pattern Giveaway

How cute is the Little Tiger?!? This fabulous embroidery pattern is made by Joey of Joey's Dream Garden and I'm giving away one Little Tiger's Orangey Celebration PDF pattern this week! Look at the variety of stitches and shades of orange you can use stitching this cute pattern! An embroiderer's dream for sure :)

Joey has heaps of cute and incredibly well made things in her shop, mostly felt ornaments and brooches. I have to show you my current favourite: this adorable (and very, very affordable) Festive Gingerbread Cat Felt ornament (or brooch):

Do check out her shop (there is much more fabulous stuff there ) and find Joey's blog here.

So what do you have to do to have a chance of winning the Little Tiger's Orangey Celebration PDF Pattern? Leave a comment on this post and as usual leave an easy to follow trail so I can find you if you are the lucky winner (which reminds me I haven't heard from last week's winner yet...)  Let me know what your personal favourite Tree ornament is! This giveaway ends on Thursday the 22nd of November, 12 noon Amsterdam time.

Good luck everyone!

Wednesday, November 14

Meet Boris E. Morley

Meet Boris E. Morley, formerly a Dancing Bear in a circus. When he ran away from the Circus he left his tutu and took the magicians silk kerchiefs instead which he made into a rather handsome scarf. Boris has a Russian mother and a British father and loves to read and drink tea. He also makes the best Vatrushka of the Forest.

After the long Rabbit shading experiment I was ready for a new and slightly smaller and simpler furry/shading challenge. Even though it's only a small portrait (approx 3") I used about 8 shades of brown for Boris' fur, ranging from a light cream colour to the darkest of browns DMC has available.

Via Instagram and Twitter I received various name suggestions (thanks everyone!) for my Bear and finally settled on Boris E. (for Edward) Morley because I think it suits him. :) I'd love to stitch more of these smaller 'portraits' and giving each character a name and history. Next would be Boris' best friend, I'm thinking that could be some kind of bird. A Robin maybe?

Monday, November 12

Winner Mostly Marvelous Ms Rabbit pattern!

Hello everyone, hope you all had a great start of the week! 

Lucky number 13 was very randomly chosen by's number generator as the winner of the Mostly Marvelous Ms. Rabbit pattern!

Congratulations Littlechrissy! Please send me an e-mail (see button in the sidebar on the right) so we can send Ms. Rabbit your way... & many, many thanks to Annie of Bird and Little Bird for sponsoring this giveaway!!!

Later this week I have yet another fabulous pattern giveaway for you. An embroidery pattern this time, yay!

Sunday, November 11

2B or not 2B or transferring patterns with a pencil

Regularly I get questions about how I transfer my embroidery patterns to fabric. For a long time I mostly answered it with 'a water soluble marker'. However recently I had noticed that some of my embroidery work had yellow-y stains. I wasn't sure what caused it until I read this blogpost on Mary Corbet's Needle 'n Thread blog. So while it isn't 100% proven that the blue water soluble markers caused the stains on my embroidery work I am definitely more cautious about using them.

I mentioned this on my Facebook page and Judith (a very talented stitcher, check her work here) suggested using a 2B pencil instead. Now the wonderful thing about the blue markers was that I could change a design halfway a project and wash away the lines (or so I thought) so I thought I'd do a little 2B experiment to convince myself this ordinary grey pencil could do the trick too.  I have also read that some people use a HB pencil for tracing which is a slightly 'harder' pencil. The higher the 'H' number a pencil has (9H for example) the lighter the mark. High 'B' numbers are soft pencils which give dark (black) marks. An HB pencil is right in the middle.

I traced the little envelope (it's from this pattern sheet) by sticking the pattern to the window, putting the fabric on top and tracing the pattern onto the fabric with the 2B pencil (photo on the left). After that I tried to wash it out by simple rinsing it with water (photo on the right). The traced image is not completely washed out but has faded a lot. After that (not pictured) I used some detergent for hand washing clothes (and water obviously) and the marks seemed even less visible after that.

So...all in all I'm not unhappy with the results. Tracing with a regular pencil has a lot of advantages. Pencils like these are always on hand and the transferred image has fine, delicate yet clearly visible lines. Certainly for designs that you are not planning on changing halfway this is a method of transferring worth trying out!

There's a few other things I wanted to share with you. I started a new (smaller) shading/furry stitching project. And yes I traced it onto the fabric with a 2B pencil as well!

More about this project later this week.

Recently I wrote about the fabulous Illustration Stitch A Long me and Bridgeen are hosting on Flickr soon (starting January 2013). You can grab the button if you are stitching a long with us or want to promote it on your blog.

P.S. Less than one day to enter for the Mostly Ms Marvelous Rabbit Sewing Pattern Giveway!

Thursday, November 8

Pattern Parade: Mostly Marvelous Ms Rabbit Sewing Pattern Giveaway

Have you met the Mostly Marvelous Ms. Rabbit yet? No? Well then it's about time you did! This fabulous Ms. Rabbit Sewing Pattern is designed by my friend Annie. Annie has a lovely blog named  Bird and Little Bird  and makes an inspiring e-zine called Alphabet Glue  (if you & your kids love books and reading related activities you must check Alphabet Glue out!)

I had the pleasure of making Ms. Rabbit's pal the Semi-Fantastic Mr. Fox a while ago (see photo below) and it was so much fun! The instructions were very easy to follow so you will not need any previous 'plush' making experience.

It's quite possible you don't want to stop at just one rabbit either....

If you want a chance to win this Mostly Marvelous Ms. Rabbit PDF Sewing Pattern, leave a comment on this blog post and tell me what the name of your favourite plush toy was (or is!). Mine was a teddy bear called Lappie which means something like 'small cloth'  :)

Again, be sure to leave an e-mail address or some kind of trail so I'll be able to find you. Giveaway ends this Monday the 12th of November at noon, Central European Time. Good luck everyone! Comments are closed, winner will be announced later today! 

Tuesday, November 6

Ofelia Owl Winner!

Hoot Hoot Hooray! We have a winner for the Ofelia Owl Embroidery Pattern... Congratulations to: 

You will receive the PDF pattern from Paloma soon. Thank you Paloma for donating this lovely pattern! Please take a peek in Paloma's Three Kitchen Fairies shop for this and other adorable patterns.

Many thanks to everyone who left a comment as well. I loved reading your stories, book suggestions (although I already have read the Book Thief!) and I appreciate the many congratulations on my 500th blog post. I have another fabulous giveaway for you later this week, all I can (or will) reveal is that it has something to do with a Rabbit. :)

Monday, November 5

Plus Quilts

If you are looking for a fun and easy quilt top, Plus quilts are a great option. Basically it's just squares that you sew together in rows so it comes together real quick. I made these quilt tops for my two daughters earlier this year so they would both have their own (small) quilt in the living room. I know I've shared some photos on Instagram of these but I don't think I have shown them here yet!

The quilt top on the right is for my teen, featuring some bold and bright Sis Boom fabrics (and a few fabrics that have been hiding in my stash for a long time) and the quilt top on the left is for my youngest. She chose Lizzy House's Outfoxed fabric from my stash and I added some (more or less) matching fabrics. I figured out how to do the pattern myself but wished I had come across this Plus Quilt tutorial on Jeni's In Color Order blog before I started...

For those who are interested in the progress of my Pindsvin plushie. I was just attaching his head to his body this afternoon. It was quite hard to get the stitching nice and even, not to mention invisible. I hope I haven't created a Franken-Pindsvin now! I'm not sure if it's my hand sewing skills, the felt, the not exactly matching thread colour or a combination of those things...Luckily he will be receiving a scarf from Julie so he can hide my stitches...

P.S. Don't forget to enter my Ofelia Owl Embroidery Pattern give away here , the giveaway ends tomorrow! 

Thursday, November 1

Pattern Parade: Ofelia Owl Pattern Giveaway

Throughout November I'll be giving away some cute prizes on the Follow the White Bunny Blog! Recently I discovered that I would be writing my 500th post here on this blog some time in November and I thought it would be fun to do some giveaways to celebrate. In the next couple of weeks I'll be giving a way patterns I love, donated by some lovely crafty folk I know.

First up in the 'Pattern Parade' is the Ofelia Owl PDF Embroidery Pattern by my friend Paloma of Three Kitchen Fairies! Paloma quilts, sews and embroiders. On her blog you will regularly find new sewing and quilting tutorials so be sure to visit it often. Ofelia Owl and other lovely patterns are available in Paloma's Etsy shop.

So...what do you do to have a chance to win this fabulous pattern? Simply leave a comment and share something nice with me: something about this blog, a book recommendation, a background story on Ofelia Owl, your favourite floss colour, anything will do as long as it's nice. I'm also curious for how long you have been following my crafty adventures here on the blog. I doesn't get you extra points though haha. Don't forget to leave a 'trail' so Ofelia Owl can find her way to your mailbox. Giveaway ends Tuesday the 6th of November 12 noon (I always, always mix my AM's and PM's up when I write giveaway posts ) Central European Time.  Give away is closed winner will be announced later today!

Good luck everyone!