Monday, December 22, 2014

11th Day of Stitchy Goodness: 11 Quick Stitchy Makes

The big day is only a few days away now, and I'm sure many of us are scrambling to get those handmade gifts together on time! Here's eleven tutorials for quick stitchy makes - lovely ornaments, a few cute wrapping ideas, adorable cards and tags. Use these tutorials to add a personal touch to the gifts you've already prepared, or whip up a few quick gifts to add to the pile!

Quick Stitchy Makes at &Stitches!

Row 1:

1. Ribbon Candy Felt Ornaments by The Purl Bee
2. Festive Felt Gift Card Envelope from Paper & Stitch
3. Three Snowflake Gifts - by our own Christine, here at &Stitches!

Row 2:

4. Cross-Stitched Gift Tags by About The Nice Things - this tutorial is in Spanish, but is very clearly illustrated!
5. Printable Cross-Stitch Wrapping Paper by Minieco
6. Folded Fabric Star Ornament Tutorial by Betz White
7. Using Every Wee Bit (of scrap fabric and threads) from Just Jude - not specifically a holiday tutorial, but wouldn't this technique make wonderful ornaments in reds or greens?!

Row 3:

8. Felt Snowflakes by Paper(Bullet)
9. No-Sew Fabric Gift Bags from The Red Thread
10. Stitched Greeting Cards - again, by our own Christine!
11. Embroidered Tag Printable by Cheryl Fall - use them as is or stitch over them for a handmade touch!

What are your favorite last minute holiday crafts? Please share in the &Stitches Flickr group. We'd love to see them!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Tenth Day of Stitchy Goodness: Ten Stocking Stuffers

&Stitches - 10 stocking stuffers 2014
Christmas is just around the corner but you may still be looking for that last little thing for a stitcher in your life. Or yourself, ahem. ;-)

If you're out of ideas here are a few we put together. And wouldn't mind receiving ourselves. We've been very good this year, Santa!

1: T-shirt Kittens tool case from Sublime Stitching.
2: Silver Lining Cloud needle minder from Beadeux
3: Scissors in Betsy print case from Liberty
4: Clover Thread Cutter Pendant from Sew and So
5: Liberty covered pocket mirror from Alice Caroline
6: Pink curved Squissors from Sew and So
7: DMC perle cotton from Cloud Craft
8: Sunshine Embroidery Sampler from Dropcloth
9: Pink and purple variegated Sashiko thread from Quilting Foxes
10: Liberty Tana Lawn scrap selection from Alice Caroline

Ok, we may be partial to a bit of Liberty prints, but they are just so pretty, right? What's on your stitchy wish list this year?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Ninth Day of Stitchy Goodness: Nine Favorite Stitches

When I stitch my embroideries, I tend to stick with three or four stitches. This works well to translate my pencil drawings into fiber arts, but sometimes it's good to think a bit further outside the box. For this ninth day of stitchy goodness, I decided to create a pattern that uses nine of my favorite stitches together, and what better image to use for this stitch sampler than an ugly Christmas sweater?

So everyone can join in on the fun and use my nine favorite stitches, we have the pattern available to download here. You can also find tutorials for each of the stitches below.

Stem Stitch: This is my favorite outline stitch, as it is very economical with thread and goes around curves beautifully.
Running Stitch: This is a great stitch for a light fill in a shape or for outlines that you want to be more understated.
Chain Stitch: This stitch works well as either an outline stitch or a fill stitch, and it gives great texture to your work.
French Knots: These can work well as small details, like in this embroidery, or bunched together as a fill stitch.
Straight Stitch: These small and simple stitches add nice detail to your pieces and can be used in a lot of different ways.
Satin Stitch: This is a classic fill stitch, and with good reason. Use it to quickly fill areas with solid color.
Long & Short Stitch: This variation on the satin stitch is a perfect way to add shading to filled-in shapes.
Lazy Daisy: This little stitch is fun and easy and works well for lots of natural shapes, like flowers, leaves, or the snowflakes pictured above.
Feather Stitch: This is a new favorite to me that has a pleasant, organic feel to it.

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

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Eighth day of Stitchy Goodness: Eight ways to SPARKLE!

It's Christmas!!! There is no getting away from sparkle at this time of year so here are some ways of bringing the glitter to your festive stitching:

photo by RSN Durham

1) Gold work is an embroidery technique in which metallic threads and wires are couched down to create beautifully blingy embroidery. You can easily find specialist goldwork threads online try The Golden Hinde for a brilliant selection. There are some really informative video tutorials on Sarah Homfrays site if you fancy giving it a try.

2) Why not stich yourself a sparkly star? There is a great tutorial for making the cutest stars or snowflakes on Needle'n Thread. Once I've mastered this I'm going to be stitching little stars on everything!

3) Or you could make your own glittery fabric- I can't wait to try this technique

photo by flickr user spacecurry

4) Metallic floss can be tricky to work with but Weelittlestitches share some great hints on their blog

5) Or Nue is a goldwork technique in which coloured silks are used to couch gold threads. It is very time consuming but gives stunning results so is well worth the effort. It works really well for small projects such as stitched jewellery. You can read all about Or Nue on Needle'n thread.

6) I found a really simple tutorial for adding shisha mirrors or sequins to your stitching on Joyful Abode. It's the perfect way to make your embroidery twinkle

7) If you want something more modern why not make an embroidered piece that actually lights up? Our very own Rebecca provided us with a brilliant tutorial on how to do this during the summer.

8) Finally for even more sparkle Stitch School tell us how simple it is to add beads to your embroidery- ooooohh pretty!

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

Monday, December 15, 2014

Final sale on the &Stitches ZINE

&Stitches zine sale
We interrupt the regular December posts to let you know that we have decided to stop selling the &Stitches zine from January 1, 2015.

If you are new around here: the zine was published by Nicole and I (Carina) a couple of years ago. We stopped writing the zines but the issues were still available.

However, because of some new EU legislation (we won't bore you with the details, but search for VATMESS or VATMOSS and you'll find plenty about this hot mess), we have now decided that it sadly doesn't make sense for us to sell the old issues any longer. There would simply be too much admin to make it worth our while.

So, we've put the zines on sale, single issues are reduced by 20% and you can buy all five in one go for just £15 which saves you 35%. The zines are already reduced, you don't need a code or nuthin'.

The sales of the zine helps towards the various costs of the blog, so if you buy one, you will be supporting this blog. Visit the shop where you can find all the zines individually or all together.

Thank you big time to everyone who has purchased copies of the zine in the past! xo