Dare I Cut?

flowerbud1This is about as far as I go for this hand embroidery on felt. Or is it? Should I fill in the surrounding blue area with more hand stitchery? Or dare I cut it out with a decorative rotary cutter blade and apply the embroidery to another fabric?

flowerbud1a Here goes nothing! (My big fear is that I cut into the stitching. Then what would I do?)

flowerbud1bSo, gritting my teeth and sending a prayer to the St.Ethel of Mertz, I trim the embroidery and place it on a yellow background fabric. Whew! that was close!

What to Do with Size 3 Thread

couching1Size 3 pearl cotton thread is huge! And by that I mean thick, much thicker than your regular size 8 pearl cotton thread. Size 3 is also a little difficult to stitch through fabric. So how do you stitch this bulky thread to your fabric? Use couching.
 
Couching is a method of securing thick threads, like the yellow Size 3 pearl cotton thread above, to the surface of fabric. The heavy thread lays on the fabric and a finer, easier to handle thread, like a Size 8 pearl thread, is stitched over it to fasten it to the fabric.

Here’s how to add Couching to your fabric:

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  1. Come up at point A with the Size 3 thread using a Size 1 embroidery needle. Come up at B, about 1/4’’ from A, with a lighter weight thread like a Size 8 or Size 12 pearl cotton using a Size 3 or Size 5 embroidery needle respectively. (See the Needle and Thread Chart here.)

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  1. Stitch the big needle into the fabric to hold it out of the way. Bring the smaller needle, used with the finer thread, over the thick thread and insert the needle back into B. Draw the thread through the fabric. The finer thread traps the heavy thread into place.

 

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  1. Bring the small needle up at C about 1/4’’ from B. Insert the small needle on the other side of the thick thread and back into C. Draw the thread through the fabric.

 

couching2

  1. Continue to couch down the thicker thread to make shapes, draw lines, or outline shapes. To end the stitching, bring both threads to the back of the fabric and tie them off.

During the month of June I’ll be giving away a skein of hand-dyed size 3 pearl cotton fabric with any purchase from the Artfabrik store. Give it a try!

Stitch Combo Exploration

stitchcombo2Lately, I’ve been exploring stitch combinations to make my free-form hand embroideries. In free-form embroidery there is no pattern or set of instructions to follow. You make it up as you go along. So I can easily spend hours agonizing over what stitch and what color thread to use on a project.

stitchcombo1I’ve tried to approach this exploration logically and made a sort of chart for various stitch combinations that build line, texture and pattern. They range from the simple Blanket Stitch plus French Knot plus Running Stitch like you see above to more complicated combinations.

stitchalong1aWell, this has turned into a major rabbit hole! There are endless combinations. And even though I’ve tried to limit the number of basic embroidery stitches to use in exploring the combinations, it looks like there is no end. Maybe that’s the beauty of hand embroidery. There are endless possibilities!

Wish Upon a Card

songbird2detail1Soon 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 Quilter’s 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

songbird2

Songbird #2 by Laura Wasilowski

My donation this year, Songbird #2, 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.

joyfulstitchingfrontcoverSongbird #2 began its life as a step-out. It was made to show  a certain stage in the making of the songbird project in my book, Joyful Stitching. He is a distant cousin of the original songbird found on the cover and evolved into a bird more interested in flowers than bugs. Hope to see you in Sisters!

Winner of Beaded Embroidery Book

beadbookcoverToday I’m happy to announce the winner of the Beaded Embroidery Stitching book by Christen Brown. The winner of the ebook give away is Cindy P. Congratulations!

I know you and others will love this book. And for those of you who didn’t win the book you still have a chance. Check out these upcoming blog posts about Christen’s great book:

Or, if you want to read more about her book even though the winners have been chosen visit these sites:

 

Win This Great Book on Beaded Embroidery

beadbookcoverWould you like to win a great book on beaded embroidery? Today I’m giving away a book called Beaded Embroidery Stitching by Christen Brown. Just leave a comment below and you may win a free ebook version of her book.

I’ve never added beads to my embroidery work. Why you ask? Because if I get started, I may never stop! Those shinny glossy bits of glass are so tempting and I’m afraid I’ll soon become addicted. But if there is anything that would lead me into bead temptation it is Christen’s colorful book on beaded embroidery.

She gives you terrific instructions on how to make basic embroidery stitches like the Lazy Daisy with beads. Pages are devoted to making flowers with stitch combinations, beaded edges, and the peyote stitch. But wait, there’s more!

beadbookpageEight projects are included with the book so you can put all that great bead knowledge Christen has given you to work. Create beaded broaches, bracelets, sewing caddies, and more. They are all beautiful and full of color and light.

Christen has put together an informative book on beading that even a novice like me can understand. If you’d like a free ebook version of Beaded Embroidery Stitching , please leave a comment below. A random number will be chosen tomorrow. If you win, I’ll request your email address and send a link for the ebook. Good luck!

More posts on the Beaded Embroidery Stitching blog tour are listed below. Note the dates. If you don’t win today you may have a chance to win on the following days or read the previous posts to learn more about the book.