An Etui for Youi

etui12Traveling this summer? Then you need a portable sewing kit or etui like this to carry all your sewing needs. It’s easy to make and small enough to fit into your purse, glove compartment, saddle bags, or under the seat in front of you.

etui10This little etui measures about 5″ x 6″ and is made with felt and a stiff interfacing like Timtex. Stitched together by hand, it holds your scissors, thimble, needles, and pins. Click here for directions on how to make your etui.

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.

brush19 

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.

How to End the Thread

stitching13When adding hand embroidery to fused art quilts, you only need to stitch through the batting and top layer of the quilt. There are two advantages of embroidering the quilt first before adding the backing fabric. One is that without the backing fabric, you have one less layer of fabric to stitch through.

stitching12And the second advantage is that it’s easy to hide thread knots. Here you’ll see a few knots in the batting where I began a new thread color. And you’ll also see how to end a thread. Just slip the needle under previous stitches on the back and snip. It’s a good idea to snip the threads closely to the back of the quilt so they don’t catch other threads when your working new stitches.

Thread-u-cation Thursday: A Spiky Chain

spikychain7Lately I’ve been exploring a variation on the Chain Stitch that I’d like to share with you. It’s sort of a chain with a little bite to it; a combination of the Chain Stitch and Blanket Stitch.

spikychain6It probably has a name (and please let me know if it does) but I’m calling it the Spiky Chain. It starts out with the straight line of a Chain Stitch then veers off the path and then returns to the path. Here are the directions for the Spiky Chain. Happy Thread-u-cation Day!

Thread-u-cation Thursday: Herringbone

herringbone3Welcome to Thread-u-cation Thursday! Our featured embroidery stitch today is the Herringbone Stitch. I must admit that I seldom use this stitch. (Sorry for my lack of enthusiasm but the good old Herringbone Stitch is rather ignored in my embroidery life.)

herringbone4Unless I’m trying to spice up a straight piece of fabric like the green tree trunk above. Then I’m all about the Herringbone. What better way to add zip to a skinny piece of fabric? (Please note that tree trunk is a design detail from my new pattern, The Nut House.)

herringbone2And then there is the ability of the Herringbone Stitch to stretch out or compress to make shapes like this forest of trees on the lake shore. (You have to use your imagination.) OK, maybe the good old Herringbone Stitch deserves another look. Here are the directions. Please let me know how you use the Herringbone Stitch.

 

Making the French Fly Stitch

 pinkingstitch4 A favorite method of stitching a fabric cut with a pinking blade is to use the Fly Stitch. It gives a neat finish to the fabric and makes a bold zigzag line around a fabric shape.

flystitch6In this image you see 3 variations of the Fly Stitch. There is the trusty traditional Fly in the center in blue thread. The elongated version of the Fly surrounds the top purple fabric in orange thread. And below is the latest and greatest version in blue thread around the purple square featuring the French Knot.

I don’t know what this stitch is really called so I’m calling it the French Fly.

flystitch7Here’s how to make the French Fly. Start with the thread exiting the fabric at the tip or peak of the pinked edge.

flystitch8Insert the tip of the needle at the top of the next peak of the pinked edge.

flystitch9Skim the needle under the fabric to the valley between the two peaks. Trap the thread coming out of the first peak under the tip if the needle. Draw the needle and thread through the fabric.

flystitch10Make a French Knot inserting the needle into the fabric on the other side of the thread in the valley. This stitch over the thread holds it in the valley making a V shape that follows the pinked fabric edge adding decorative French Knot at the same time.Thus the term French Fly.