Life’s been crazy. The blog is totally on the back burner until 2015…but then I have big goals and aspirations. Here’s a few glimpses from the past little while and a few words.
My custom birth announcement design got a lovely shout out from Urban Threads for the use of their animal patterns. I love their patterns and will use them over and over again. They are hip, simple, sweet and honestly they are just a great company to support.
I’m deep in the throws of a huge commissioned embroidery. This is a double wedding vows embroidery with a little applique in the middle. I’ve got big plans for that tree, but first I’ve got to finish all the text. Almost there.
I’m wrapping up my last few embroidered shoe orders for the year. If you would have told me at the beginning of the year that I would end up stitching so many pairs of shoes AND loving every minute of it I would have called you a liar. Honestly, it’s this little venture that has really helped me shape the direction I hope to go in the new year.
One thing I love most is the stories I get to be a part of. For example: this bride requested a sunshine on the side of their shoes because she and her groom met for the first time on a sunrise hike. What a fun way to remember that awesome memory!
That’s about it for now. Like I said, I’ve got big plans for 2015. It’s been an amazing year for me – learning what I love to do, learning what I don’t love to do and learning how to say no and also how to stick my neck out in big ways. I’m excited for the future and so hopeful.
On Thursdays I pull from my store of archives and take a look back at past projects, words and other fun memories. This week I remember one of my first custom typography embroideries. Back in 2011 the idea of “family rules” was all over the web and I had a client come to me asking if I could design a fun embroidery of their family rules for a gift for her dad. It was probably the second custom I had designed at that point and I had a blast doing it. Here’s a look back from November 2011.
Do you have some family rules that your family always quotes? This family did and requested a custom family rules embroidery with a wrapped hoop.
Figuring out how to pull your thread from a brand new skein can sometimes make you want to pull your hair out (see what I did there? ha!) Sometimes it turns out beautifully like the white skein still in it’s wrapper on the far left. Other times it ends up completely unraveled and in a huge knot of thread, see the middle example. And then other times I try my hardest to keep the wrappers on it (so I know the thread color number) and it ends up like the blue thread with a huge knot in the middle. Ugg!
Nicole at Follow the White Bunny did an awesome experiment with three different brands of floss trying to figure out which end to pull from. They were all different (go figure) but what a super helpful experiment! I generally use dmc so I have to ingrain in my head to always pull on the number end. Go check out the results!
I’ve wanted to try my hand and designing and making Christmas tree skirts for the past couple of years. This year, I was determined to make it happen. The stocking collection last year honestly had some pretty dismal sales. It did lousy on etsy, lousy in the local boutique and lousy at the markets. I’m still trying to figure that one out, but I’m crossing my fingers the tree skirts hit the big time…well sort of.
All of these skirts measure roughly 48 inches in diameter and are made from red felt. They have a velcro closure down the back/middle. Due to the mix of materials, they cannot be machine washed.
Here’s the details on each one.
This one is a mix of red, maroon and white felt flowers. The flowers are all machine stitched down and then it is hand beaded for that extra accent.
Harking back to my Norwegian roots I came up with this one based on a vintage skirt that I saw posted on flickr that was merely printed on cotton.
This one has a fun white pom pom trim around the scalloped edge and then felt ornaments are strung with colored ric rac all around the skirt. This skirt is machine sewn all the way around.
The last skirt has a beautiful satin snowflake trim along the edge that is machine sewn for durability and then snowflakes and vintage buttons are hand stitched all around the middle for that extra pop.
I love the simplicity of this skirt and I really think the vintage buttons were the best finishing touch.
You can find all of these skirts in my etsy shop (along with the said stockings and other holiday goodies) now until the end of November. I have limited spots available and the skirts are made to order with about a 2 week turn around.
On Thursdays I “throwback” by pulling from my archives and remembering where I’ve come from and this journey I’m on. Today I share one of my first commissioned embroideries. This Irish Blessing embroidery was the request of a customer and has become one of my most popular patterns and kits over the years. It’s a great pattern for beginners, is customizable because of the applique and makes a super gift for a baptism, birth or just because. Here’s the original post back from September 2011.
I was commissioned via etsy to embroider this Irish Blessing and I’m so happy I did it. It was a great experience designing where to put the applique and a great test of how much my hands can handle embroidering in one day too!
I’m really pleased with how it turned out. So much so that I listed it on etsy!
When I started really getting into hand embroidery, probably one of the things I had the most frustration with was transferring patterns. There are lots of opinions and options out there to transfer patterns, some work better than others and some probably work better FOR others than others.
For me, the biggest halleluiah was my purchase of a light box.
There are a handful of lightboxes out there and most of them are about this size and range in price. I actually bought this one at Hobby Lobby and with a 40% off coupon it ended up being very affordable.
There are things I like about it and things I don’t and at some point I would love to upgrade to a higher end box that lays flat on the table and is a bit bigger. For now, this one works just fine.
Basically you lay your pattern on the box and then your fabric on top of that and flip on the light. It couldn’t be easier than that. Obviously you can only use lighter fabrics, but this has worked well for me even with a light grey. It works well with linen or weaved fabrics too. Yes, you can hold your fabric up to a window (ouch! after a while) or I’ve seen people make these with clear lidded plastic storage boxes and christmas lights. It’s all the same idea and it’s a must if you are going to be transferring lots of patterns.
My second great investment was in the transfer papers that Sublime Stitching sells.
Now, DMC sells an “embroidery transfer paper” and honestly it’s crap. Don’t buy it. It’s like chalk and flies off the fabric as soon as you lightly blow on it. For a long, long time I had no good solution for stitching onto dark fabric. There are iron on pens, chalk pencils etc. None of these worked for me because they didn’t hang onto the fabric long enough. Enter Sublime Stitching.
Their carbon transfer sheets are nothing short of awesome. She has super fast shipping and the white transfer stays on (even for my super huge embroideries) and it doesn’t rub off very easily. Basically all you do is lay your fabric on the table, place your carbon sheet print side down, put your pattern on top of that and using a ball point pen trace your pattern. I like to gently life up the corners every now and then to make sure I’m getting a good transfer, but I’m telling you that these papers are miracles.
Those are my two favorite ways to transfer patterns. What’s yours?
I feel like it’s been forever since I introduced a new embroidery to the shop.
I’ve had this wedding hoop idea roaming through my head for a while now and I usually love to stitch up prototypes as gifts, rather than letting them hang on my walls forever. There’s an upcoming wedding coming up at my husband’s office, so I thought I would stitch up the design for the bride and groom.
I took what I knew of their wedding colors and style of wedding and chose some really light blush pinks, greys and champagne colors.
I outlined a 5×9 oval hoop and the initials of the bride and groom and filled in the hoop with french knots and lazy daisies. I’m absolutely in love with the idea of negative space and the trick it sort of plays with your eyes.
The listing is up in the shop now. It’s a perfect wedding or anniversary gift and can be stitched in the colors of your choice.
I typically wrap my hoops with fabric or ribbon, but this time around I thought I would try something different and used this satin trim. I love how it turned out, but as with any hoop you are welcome to have it left natural or wrapped with a variety of materials.