Thread-u-cation Thursday: Sheaf Stitch

silkstitchalong24The Sheaf Stitch is another embroidery stitch that heaps thread on the surface of fabric.(Here you see it being used in the Silk Stitch Along Tutorial .) A tidy bundle, long stitches of thread are cinched together and look like sheaves of wheat.

silkstitchalong25But my wheat sheaving days are over so I like to top the Sheaf Stitch with a French Knot or a Bullion Knot to make a flower. Here are directions for making the Sheaf Stitch. Have fun!

Thread-u-cation Thursday: Bullion Knot

bullion7There’s a lot of bulk in a Bullion Knot. And on small pieces of artwork it, has many uses. For instance, it takes a Bullion Knot to make cattails growing by the swamp next door.

woolbird18It also takes a large coil of thread like a Bullion Knot to crown the crest of a fancy bird. These concentrated hits of thread lift off the fabric creating texture and dimension to your work. Check out these directions on how to make the Bullion Knot.


A Gift for Your Stitch Along

woolbird20In celebration of having a new book almost published (Joyful Stitching comes out in February), I’d like to get you warmed up for embroidery with a free tutorial on making this Wooly Bird. Sadly, he didn’t make the cut for the book but you’ll find his free pattern and stitch directions on the Wooly Bird Stitch Along.

wool3And in further celebration! (Cause I’m such a party gal.) I’ll be giving away a free swatch of wool along with a free pattern for the bird with every order placed on the Artfabrik Store. This offer is good now through the end of the year. It’s our choice of color but the wool is just the right size and weight for your Wooly Bird project.

Thread-u-cation Thursday: Running Stitch

runningstitch2It’s been a windy, chilly week here in Illinois. How can you tell? Because the trees are turning blue. And, when stitching a sky, your Running Stitches curve and sweep across the fabric like the wind on a blustery day. It takes the humble Running Stitch to make this a blustery or calm day.

runningstitch8The Running Stitch, the most basic of embroidery stitches, is often under rated by the embroidery raters. But after reading these directions for making the Running Stitch, you’ll find a few inventive ways to use it, including a tip on marking the fabric for stitching.


Exciting News!


Joyful Stitching, new book by Laura Wasilowski

I have a secret I can finally share with you. In February, my new book called Joyful Stitching: Transform Fabric with Improvisational Embroidery will be available! 

This book has been a long time in the making. With 6 embroidery projects, it seemed to take forever to produce all the step-outs necessary for the photography. For months and months I was parked in a chair, bright light over my shoulder, stitching my little heart out.

joyfulstitchingstitchstepouAnd I enjoyed every minute! This is a small sample of the many step-outs made for the embroidery stitch directions. There are 21 stitches with anywhere from 1 to 6 images (plus instructions) showing you how to make each stitch.

It’s a really colorful, fun book and I’ll share more with you soon. Plus, there be giveaways afoot!

A Thanksgiving Knot for You

colonialknot4It’s that time of year again,Thanksgiving. So put on your powdered wig, buckle your shoes, and grab your knickerbockers! We are about to learn the Colonial Knot. (OK, the knickerbocker reference may not be historically correct but grab something.) Colonial Knots are faster to make than French Knots and you can easily toss them in as a background filler with the Scattered Seed stitch like those above. (It also gives you and excuse to wear knickerbockers.)

colonialknot1Here’s how to make Colonial Knots: Begin the thread on the top of the fabric at A. Form a small loop like a backwards letter C with the thread. With the needle to the right of point A, slip the needle tip under the thread coming out of A. The shaft of the needle will lay on top of the lower end of the thread.

colonialknot2Shift the needle tip in front of point A. Wrap the thread across the needle and slip it under the tip of the needle. It should look like a figure 8 around the needle.

colonialknot3Gently pull the thread around the needle as you scoot the needle tip across the fabric to insert it back into the fabric. Insert the needle tip very close to point A. Draw the needle and thread through the fabric.

Congratulations! You are now an official Colonial Knot Maker! You may now remover your knickerbockers and invite the neighbors over for Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving!