Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Eureka! Super Simple Knot


There's one thing you should know about me as a stitcher, I'm a knotter. I've tried to break the habit so the backs of my work would be neater, but I ultimately decided it doesn't matter and I should just embrace it. A few months ago Lisa posted a video on Instagram showing off a new way to knot thread, it has completely changed my life. Ok, that might be a little overdramatic, but it's seriously amazing.

You can see Lisa's original video on Instagram here.

What are you stitching? Please share in the &Stitches Flickr group. We'd love to see it!

Monday, October 27, 2014

New inspiration from Old resources

With our contest theme of Old Stitches, New Tricks in mind, I thought I'd share some interesting online resources of historical needlework with you today.

The Gutenberg project is host to many free e-books (in different formats) including some interesting Needlework books. These are mainly older books in English that are in the public domain. If you search for 'embroidery' or 'needlework' you will find a few interesting books like this book about Jacobean Embroidery and the famous Encyclopedia of Needlewerk by Therese Dillmont.

The Antique pattern Library is another interesting resource for all kinds of non-copy righted publications for different types of Needlework (as well as other crafts).

More and more museums are putting their collections online too, some of them are very extensive like the Metropolitan (6173 hits when I searched for Embroidery, 10494 for Needlework!). The collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum is definitely worth browsing too.

Perhaps somewhat more difficult to search for most is the Dutch Rijksmuseum online collection. However I found some lovely examples using the dutch word for embroidery (which is 'borduurwerk') like the late 19th century silk shoes you see pictured above.

And how about this allegorical embroidery  from ca. 1800,  made by Louise van Ommeren? Check out the furry stitching on the man's cloak and the shading on the lady's robe!

There's so much amazing embroidery work and knowledge to discover online and what I shared here today is just a tiny bit of it so go forth and (re)discover what was created by stitchers from the past! And if you have any useful links to share please let us know in the comments.

What are you stitching? Please share in the &Stitches Flickr group. We'd love to see it!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Color Inspiration: Halloween!

&Stitches: Halloween Color Inspiration

I'm a purist when it comes to Halloween colors - just black and orange for me, thanks! Here I've put together a very minimalist color palette of DMC threads for my favorite holiday: midnight black (310), gloomy spooky gray (3799), bright pumpkin orange (740) and a nice soft neutral to brighten them up just a touch (ECRU). Simple but perfectly Halloweeny!

What's your Halloween color palette? Please share in the &Stitches Flickr group. We'd love to see it!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Spooky Patterns

There's still time to stitch up a spooky design before it's Hallow's eve! I've collected some of the best and original designs for you.

I love these Halloween Biscornu Designs by Emily of Flossbox.

The ladies over at The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery ('seriously cute cross stitch patterns') have several great Halloween designs available, including this Mysterious Halloween Town Club.

Andrea Zuill (aka Badbird) has a fun Halloween pattern set but the shop is temporarily closed. Let's hope it opens in time for Halloween!

A 'Nevermore' cross stitch pattern (via The Cottage Needle) with extra ornaments.

This Skull Trio from Flossy Bobbin caught my eye as well. I especially like the blackwork style eyes on the skull on the right.

Are you stitching Spooky patterns? Please share in the &Stitches Flickr group. We'd love to see it!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

In the hoop with Mother Eagle

In the Hoop With - header
I caught up with Katie from Made by Mother Eagle about her latest work. You can also read more about this epic project on the Made by Mother Eagle blog 

The completed crab

This is my latest piece of stumpwork, which I have called The God of Crabs. It's constructed in 4 pieces - the ground fabric with the legs, then 3 slips embroidered seperately and sewn on the ground over felt padding and then stuffed with extra padding. He is quite a different direction for me as I am more known for making embroidered miniatures, but I had an urge to stretch myself and do something big and bold! In his shell there are 'barnacles' made of African turquose which are attached using shisha embroidery - a new technique for me. There are also loads of french knots, buttonhole stitch, split stitch, beading and chain stitch. I am now working on another big piece - a toad, which I plan to embellish with stumpwork.

embroidery is worked around the shisha barnacles

Thank you to Katie for telling us about this piece - we can't wait to see your stumpwork toad!

What are you stitching? Please share in the &Stitches Flickr group. We'd love to see it!