It’s always a delight to see what your creative friends are making. Here you see a sewing kit made by my friend, Keiko Goke. Keiko is an artist from Sendai, Japan who also teaches quilt making and designs fun fabric like this.
Don’t you love how she embroidered around the fabric shapes to decorate the sewing kit?
Keiko and me
You can visit with Keiko at the Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival each January. She has a booth at this huge quilting event in the Tokyo Dome selling her printed cotton quilting fabric. You can even enter the quilt show! Check out their website for more info.
It’s such a delight to see how people are using my book, Joyful Stitching. Here’s a great example of the Hand of Fortune project made by Susan. Susan is from the Big Island, Pele, in Hawaii. She writes, “Your book is fun. I’m a life long embroiderer, make lots of Hawaiian crafts, feather lei, lauhala weaving, other things too.”
Susan finds needlework very “grounding”. And I couldn’t agree more! Her interpretation of the project warms my heart. It makes me so happy to see embroidery work from around the world whether from big or small islands.
Thanks Susan for sharing your work with us!
Pam of Ithaca and her artwork.
I get the best ideas from my creative students. Meet Pam, who attended my class in Ithaca, NY in April. To my delight she walked into the classroom with this gorgeous embroidery of her hand. She says her hand-embroidery on silk was inspired by the Hand of Fortune project from Joyful Stitching.
A tracing of my grandson’s hand, age 3.5.
And then she gave me a gift.
Pam suggested tracing those tiny hands of our children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews and stitching them too. What a great way to commemorate the growth of a child!
Thank you Pam for sharing your artwork and your stupendous idea.
With a Light Heart by Laura Wasilowski
Soon I’ll be packing my bags to teach in Sisters, OR. Sisters is the home of the largest outdoor quilt festival in the nation called Quilters Affair.
One of the many activities at the show is the opportunity to bid on art work by donors for the charity, Wish Upon a Card. My donation this year, With a Light Heart, measures about 4″ x 6″ and is free- form hand embroidered on wool. Loved making it, love that it’s helping out someone in need, and love that it will go to a good home.
Here is a quick video about this little free-form embroidery. Enjoy!
See that little blue spot on the right of this quilt? That little blue spot is a bird. Or at least it will be a bird after a few hand embroidery stitches make it so.
From head to tail the little bird measures about 1.5″. He’s just a piece of blue fabric cut in the shape of a bird. He needs stitchery to make up the details of his parts. Make yourself a little bird and follow these steps:
- Outline the shape with the Outline Stitch and a few Blanket Stitches for the belly of the bird. Stitches are place on the purple background fabric and snugged right up to the bird shape. Use a contrasting thread colorway like Sunflowers. (Size 12 pearl cotton thread with Size 7 embroidery needle.)
- Stitch the front curve of the wing shape with the Outline Stitch and then swing into a few elongated Blanket Stitches to indicate feathers. (Size 12 Evening Greens thread with Size 7 embroidery needle.)
- Use that same Evening Greens thread and add 2 long straight stitches down the center of his tail for tail feathers.
- Use a fine (50 weight) black sewing thread to make the pupil of his eye. Small straight stitches or a heavy duty French Knot will work. Surround the pupil with tiny Outline Stitches. (Size 12 Aquamarine thread with Size 7 embroidery needle.)
- Make the beak with a set of straight stitches that radiate in a triangle shape from the edge of the bird’s head to the tip of the beak. (Size 12 Oranges thread with Size 7 embroidery needle.)
- Use the same Oranges thread for accent marks and to repeat the color of the beak. Add straight stitches around the wing and 2 long stitches to the tail. Place 3 French Knots to the cap of the wing for decoration. He is a fancy bird.
- Make a jaunty crest for the bird’s head out of 3 Pistil Stitches. (Size 12 Sunflowers thread with Size 7 embroidery needle.)
- Breath a sigh of relief and move on to other areas of the quilt.
Rare Songbird (detail) by Laura Wasilowski
And now for a final (and favorite) stitch combination. The Fern Stitch lends itself to many stitch combinations that you’ll find my new book, Joyful Stitching. It evokes the shape of leaves, climbing vines, or even a bird’s tail feathers.
In the Rare Songbird project, three vertical lines of Fern Stitches are outlined in Stem Stitches using the same orange thread. French Knots, in a light blue thread, fill in the spaces between to make a decorative tail for the bird.
I hope the examples of stitch combinations we’ve reviewed in the last few weeks will come in handy and add to your own free-form stitchery arsenal.
May your combinations always rock!