Improv Stitching on Wool #4

sheep5There seems to be a color theme going on here. Using more French Knots and Bullion Knots (Size 8 Violets pearl cotton thread), I latch on to the rainbow color scheme for the sheep’s body. And I fully embrace this color theme. Why? Cause I have no other ideas right now.

poppyflower2Maybe it’s the heat. My brain goes into low power mode in the weather and refreshing visits to the garden aren’t happening. My Princess Louise poppies are quickly leaving the scene but I managed to get this photo of one early in the morning. It looks so happy!

Improv Stitching on Wool #3

sheep1In keeping with the theme that I’ve lost touch with reality, my embroidered sheep acquires green fleece. French Knots and Bullion Knots (Size 8 Lime Frappe pearl cotton thread) placed closely together resemble the curl of sheep’s wool, don’t you think? These stitches also have the advantage of lifting off the surface of the fabric evoking the cushy texture of a woolly sheep.

sheep2This is what I love about free form embroidery. Like a good mystery novel, you discover as you stitch. Each stitch gives you a clue as to what the next stitch should be. And as you progress through the embroidery, you become more confident of how it will end.

Stay tuned for more fascinating sheep stories soon.

Improv Stitching on Wool #2

woolimprov1I’m a picture person. An odd shape of fabric or random doodle on paper always conjures up an picture or image in my mind. These few random stitches on wool above suggested an image to me. Can you guess what it is?

woolimprov2I think its a sheep. Now, I don’t know much about sheep or goats or any of those animals with curly horns. But when you improvised a stitched image, who cares? I’ve extended the original couched thread shape to form the animal’s body. Now that I have an outline, I can fill it in and hope to becomes a creature of some sort.

Wool Stitchery Class Work

woolclass8Recently, I taught a new class called Improvisational Hand Embroidery on Wool. As you can guess, it is a slow paced class. (Hard to race around the classroom with a sharp needle in your hand.) You would also expect it to be a quiet classroom.


A simple design with very lovely hand work.

But I was happily surprised by the amount of chatter. Like an old fashioned quilting bee, students sat, stitched, and visited with each other all day long.

woolclass7In this class, students make original designs and learn about the joy of hand embroidery on wool. They also meet new people, share stitch ideas, and make artwork at the same time. Seems ideal to me.

And now I must apologize. I did not make note of who made what. So I can’t attribute the designs above to the people who actually made them. It was such at thrill to see them at work, I forgot to make a list of the stitchers and their designs.


Stitch as Accent


Whimsy Land #9 before stitching.

A big advantage of adding hand embroidery to a small piece of art work is the way it adds fine detail to the quilt that you can’t get with fabric shapes alone. Here you see Whimsy Lane #9 before hand or machine stitching.


Whimsy Lane #9 by Laura Wasilowski

And here you see it after hand embroidery and free-motion machine work. Notice how the hand work adds definition, detail, pattern, and texture to the piece. Without it, the quilt is really rather plain. I loved dressing up this little quilt and I’m so happy with it!


Stitching Pinked Edges #2

vase2This flower looks rather forlorn, doesn’t it? But you’ll note that the tips of the flowers are rather jaunty. That’s because they are cut with a pinking blade used on a standard 45mm rotary cutter handle. (If you want to see how similar flower petals are made with this blade, check this out.)

vase3To give our flower a little flair, long embroidery stitches travel from the peaks and valleys of the pinked edge to the center of the flower. This is done with the Sunflowers colorway in a size 8 pearl cotton thread. That same thread couches down the long strands of thread holding them in place.

vaseontable3c French knots added to the pinked flower tips dress up our bloomers even more and our forlorn flower is now fabulous!

More tips on adding hand embroidery to pinked fabric edges coming up soon!