Needle Weaving and Give-Away Winner


Tasty Bite of Apple (detail) from Joyful Stitching by Laura Wasilowski

Want to build texture and hide the background fabric with embroidery stitches at the same time? Try Needle Weaving. This stitch is a combination of embroidery and weaving (without the loom). Here you see heavy patches of Needle Weaving using a Size 8 Asters pearl cotton thread . The variegated Asters thread gives lots of festive color to the humble tabby weave. Isn’t it cute?

needleweaving4To complete your Needle Weaving you may need a long stretch of time. I suggest a good movie or engrossing book on tape. What ever you do, don’t needle weave in the car! (Ask me how I know.) Here are directions for Needle Weaving.



And the lucky winners of our wool and thread give-away for the Tasty Bite of Apple project from my new book, Joyful Stitching are Judith M. and Denise W. I’ll contact you soon.Congratulations!

Give Away: Purple Wool and Thread


Tasty Bite of Apple from Joyful Stitching by Laura Wasilowski

There is a poem that begins “When I am an old woman I shall wear purple”. Well, being a young filly, I’ve changed it to “When I am a young filly I shall stitch on purple”.

The wool fabric for the Tasty Bite of Apple project in Joyful Stitching, was picked for the stunning way it shows off the threads. Purple is a perfect backdrop for colorful threads. It really lets the hand embroidery stitches shine.


And now the the Give-Away part. Leave a comment on my blog today and you may be the lucky winner of this gorgeous purple wool fabric. It comes with Asters Size 8 thread and a thread ring. I’ll announce the winner next Thursday.

Read more about the projects in Joyful Stitching here.

Satin and Cross and Give-Away Winner

joyfulstitchingembroiderydiThere are 21 embroidery stitches illustrated in my new book, Joyful Stitching. I’ve found these to be the most useful stitches for free-form embroidery projects. Most are simple, easy stitches but I’ve added a few zingers to liven things up. With detailed step-by-step written directions and images showing how to make the stitches, you can’t go wrong.


Rare Songbird (detail) by Laura Wasilowski from Joyful Stitching

Lets say you are making a bird with very attractive legs. Then the Satin Stitch and the Cross-Stitch are a perfect combination. Put together, they make a lovely striped pattern that any bird would envy. Heck, I’d like to have striped legs like that! Here’s how to make the Satin Stitches and Cross-Stitches for your next bird leg adventure.

giveaway1And the lucky winners (I couldn’t resist giving away 2 sets of the blue wool and orange thread) for the Rare Songbird project are Janet of dragonflyquilts and Lesley G.   Congratulations! May your bird legs always be attractive.

Give-Away: Wool and Thread


Rare Songbird by Laura Wasilowski

To kick off the new year, I’m planning on giving away a lot of stuff! It’s a way to celebrate my new book, Joyful Stitching, and a way to share the happiness of hand embroidery. One of my favorite projects in the book (also on the cover) is this sweet little bird. Rare Songbird is stitched on gorgeous blue wool with lots of colorful thread.

giveaway1Here’s the Give-Away part. Leave a comment on my blog today and you may be the lucky winner of the blue wool fabric, Oranges Size 8 thread, and thread ring above. I’ll announce the winner next Thursday.

Read more about the projects in Joyful Stitching here.


A Project List and Give-Away Winners

joyfulstitchingmaterialsDo you make a materials list when you start a new project? A list forces me to search through my stash for materials, saves a few trips to the store, and helps me plan and visualize the project. Plus, a good list ups my anticipation for the project and makes me feel organized. And the endorphins from feeling organized makes me even more enthusiastic!

needleguidecoverFor each project in my new book, Joyful Stitching, you’ll find the fabric, threads sizes, and color recommendations for that project. Directions show you step-by-step how to stitch the design. Think of all those positive endorphins ready for you to feel!

And speaking of endorphins, the winners of our Sewing Needle Pocket Guide are about to get some. (There were so many responses I decided to give away 3 guides.)

Congratulations Christi T, Valerie U, and Rachel of the UK  you are the winners! May your needles never loose their identity.

For the rest of us, the Sewing Needle Pocket Guide is available here on the Artfabrik Notions Page.

Hoopless,Totally Hoopless

embroideryhandsLike many of you, I learned how to embroider as a youngster using a hoop to hold the fabric. But those days are long gone and I’ve been hoopless, totally hoopless for years. In fact, all the projects in my new book, Joyful Stitching, are made hooplessly.

bird3hThere are several reasons I don’t use a hoop for hand embroidery. First, clamping a hoop on my fused art quilts while stitching will fray the raw edges of the fabric. The quilt top is fused to batting for stability and is easy to grip.

Second reason? It’s easier on my stiff old hands. By gripping the fabric rather than a hoop I can twist and turn it while stitching.

embroideredpeardetail3Third reason, I like the “folk art” imprecise look of hand stitching. If things are too perfect, the embroidery looks machine made to me. Handmade tells me you spent a lot of time loving what you do. So call me hoopless! I don’t care.