May Your Bumpy Combinations Rock


Tasty Bite of Apple by Laura Wasilowski

It’s true what you’ve heard. A chapter in my new book, Joyful Stitching, was mysteriously removed before publication. Sure, I’m making this all up but the chapter called Combinations Rock! was a great idea! It was all about combining embroidery stitches and included the merging of stitches to create texture on fabric.

tastybiteofapple3A good example of this texture building is found in the Tasty Bite of Apple project. Adjacent rows of Blanket Stitches create small squares like the light green threads above. Each green square is filled in with a red French Knot. This is my favorite stitch combination. I love how the bumpy texture created with complementary thread colors really zings. Don’t you just love a bumpy combination?


A Mysterious Chapter

embroideredpeardetail5Did you know that there is a missing chapter from my new book, Joyful Stitching? Yes, it mysteriously disappeared one dark and stormy night.

embroideredpeardetailThis “tell all” chapter (with the cheerful title Combinations Rock!) was mysteriously dropped from the book. Some say it was due to lack of space. I say, that they were scandalized by my combinations rocking.

Combinations Rock! explored the combining of different embroidery stitches to create texture, pattern, and shape on fabric. Happily I have saved my notes and have examples of that missing chapter to show you over the next few days. Hope you’re not scandalized!


Embroidered Pear by Laura Wasilowski

It’s common practice in hand embroidery to combine stitches to create pattern. Repeated stitch motifs or patterns are useful for filling in large background areas like the table in Embroidered Pear. This pattern of embroidery begins with rows of linked Cross Stitches in blue thread on the wool background fabric. The blue threads make diamond shapes across the fabric. French Knots (in yellow thread) fill in the diamond shapes to complete the pattern.

This simple stitch combination builds a delightful pattern across the fabric and keeps that pear from falling over. Stay tuned for more combinations rocking in the near future!

Paint Brush Stitch Along

brush16Ready for another Stitch Along? Using techniques from my new book Joyful StitchingI’ll show you step-by-step how to make this lively paint brush. It only uses 7 hand embroidery stitches and there is a pattern ready for you to print and trace.


There is also a Stitch Kit available for the Paint Brush Stitch Along. You can select one or all of the items to make the brush:  the wool background fabric, hand dyed threads, and embroidery needles.


Click here to begin your Paint Brush Stitch Along. If you can’t join the Stitch Along today, you can always find it and other Stitch Alongs here under Tutorials.

Yellow House in NZ and a Winner


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.


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.


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.


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.



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


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.


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!



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. 


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.