Yellow House in NZ and a Winner

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Yellow House Landscape by Janet

I am delighted to show you this version of the Yellow House Landscape project from my book Joyful Stitching. It was stitched by Janet. Janet has written a series of posts about her process and the changes she made to suit her methods of stitching. You can read about it here on her blog, Embroidery Muse.

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Cactus #1 (detail) by Laura Wasilowski

For all you other radical stitchers out there, you’ll find a final chapter in Joyful Stitching called More Ideas for Free-Form Embroidery. Free-form embroidery is all about choosing stitches and stitch combinations to create original art work in an improvisational manner.

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Embroidered Landscape #1 (detail) by Laura Wasilowski

There are no patterns or directions for the eight improvised embroideries in this chapter. But I do discuss the importance of background fabrics, variations on a stitch, and creating the stitch motifs and patterns found in the free-form embroideries. The eight projects also demonstrate different ways hand embroidery can create texture, shapes, and line.

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Embroidered Pear by Laura Wasilowski

Most importantly, the More Ideas for Free-Form Embroidery chapter is about inspiration. It’s purpose is to trigger your next embroidery design and inspire even more joyful stitching.

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Winner Announced

And speaking of joyful stitching, the lucky winner of my new book, Joyful Stitching is Ellen L.

Congratulations! I’ll contact you soon.

Read more about the projects in Joyful Stitching here.

What You’re Up To and a Give-Away

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Love at First Stitch by Elizabeth S.

Thank you so much for the positive feedback on my new book, Joyful Stitching. I’m so glad you are enjoying it. And now you are sending me images of your work inspired by the book. Wow!

Here you see a beautiful heart stitched by Elizabeth S. on cotton fabric. It was inspired by the Love at First Stitch project from the book. Elizabeth says this: I really like that you encourage people to do what they feel like doing. Your designs are fun and creative and you give enough instructions so that people who want to duplicate them exactly can do so, but you give permission to change things up, too.

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Rare Songbird by Elizabeth

Elizabeth, you have hit the nail on the head. The whole point of the book is to give you a starting point, a method of working, and the tools to create even more stitch work. Above, you’ll recognize Elizabeth’s version of the Rare Songbird project. She made it as a gift for a coworker and says: I like my little spotted caterpillar. I had grass tufts like yours but with a little too much space between the rows so I filled the gaps with random stitches….. This was a fun project. I will probably make more fabric postcards, some with your designs and some just doing what I feel like using your stitches and ideas.

Thank you for sharing your work with us, Elizabeth!

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And now the the Give-Away part!

Leave a comment on my blog today and you may be the lucky winner of my new book, Joyful Stitching. The winner will be announced next Thursday.

Read more about the projects in Joyful Stitching here.

Pistil Stitch and Give-Away Winner

fernstitch1You ask, the Pistil Stitch, that’s only for making flower pistils, right? Of course not! In the world of hand embroidery, stitches are free to do what ever you like. Here you see a favorite stitch combination: the Fern Stitch and the Pistil Stitch happily creating lots of thready texture in the Hand of Fortune project from Joyful Stitching.

handoffortune2But wait! Isn’t the Fern Stitch for making climbing vines, veins on leaves, and other plant forms? Again, stitches don’t have to be representative of any specific shape. You can use them to create pattern, line, and texture. Embroidery is a way to mark the fabric, like a pen drawn on paper. 

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Winner Announced!

And the lucky winner lucky winner of a pre-printed hand shape used to make the Hand of Fortune project is Nancy N.

Congratulations! I’ll contact you soon.

Read more about the projects in Joyful Stitching here.

 

Your Future and a Give-Away

handoffortuneHow is your future looking to you? With the Hand of Fortune project from my new book, Joyful Stitching, you can design your own destiny. You take control and tell your own fortune with embroidery stitches. In the book, you are given a palm shaped pattern ready for stitch exploration and for telling your own story.

handoffortune3After all that intense stitchery of your future life, why not surround it with a great filler stitch, the Scattered Seed Stitch? It’s fast and an easy way to add texture to the background fabric. Directions for the Scattered Seed Stitch and 20 other embroidery stitches are included in the book. Give it a try!

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And now the the Give-Away part.

Leave a comment on my blog today and you may be the lucky winner of this pre-printed palm shape used to make the Hand of Fortune project. I’ll announce the winner next Thursday.

Read more about the projects in Joyful Stitching here.

 

Felt Like Stitching and Give-Away Winner

folkartgardendetail2Have you felt like stitching lately?

Then try embroidery on felt. It is so easy to stitch. I love how the threads glide through the felt saving my old, creaky hands. And it’s available in colors from bright to neutral. (As you can see from the felt used in the Folk Art Garden project from my new book, Joyful Stitching, I’m trying to bridge both camps.)

 

 

folkartgardenAnother attribute of felt?

It doesn’t fray. I like to cut it with decorative rotary cutter blades to embellish my designs. The blades come in pinking, wave, and scallop. (A pinking blade was used around the edge of the Folk Art Garden project.)

Want to learn how to load those decorative blades on your rotary cutter handles? Check out this tutorial.

 

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Winner Announced!

And the lucky winner lucky winner of a 45mm pinking blade used to make the Folk Art Garden project is Caroline P.

Congratulations! I’ll contact you soon.

Read more about the projects in Joyful Stitching here.

Cutting Felt and a Give-Away

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Felt Like Gardening by Laura Wasilowski

Have you worked with felt? Felt has a cozy, folk-art look you associate with the flat, non-reflective texture of penny rugs. Felt is a non-woven fabric made from fibers pressed together. Hand felted wool is lovely to work but not readily available. So I use commercial felt. The best felt for stitching is made with a high percentage of wool combined with some synthetic fibers.

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Felt is so easy to stitch.Thread glides through it like butter. Use a Size 8, 5 or 3 pearl cotton thread.

And it doesn’t fray. Cut felt with scissors, decorative rotary cutter blades, or even a die cutter.

In the Folk Art Garden Project from Joyful Stitching, I used a pinking blade in the rotary cutter to trim the edges of the pink felt. This decorative edge is then embellished with a Fly Stitch.

 

pinkingblade

And now the the Give-Away part. Leave a comment on my blog today and you may be the lucky winner of a 45mm pinking blade used to make the Folk Art Garden project. I’ll announce the winner next Thursday.

Read more about the projects in Joyful Stitching here.