Pretty Kitty

First of all, great response on the Mystery Stitch! I think Sue May may have figured it out. She asked if it was a Peking Knot, and after doing an image search on Google, it certainly looks like it.  She even posted a nice little photo tutorial on her blog on how to make a Peking Knot. I had never visited her blog before, and I’m glad she left a comment, because she’s made some really cute stuff! Be sure to take a look when you have time.

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a project, but today is “Sew & Tell!” This is the first of a few projects I’ve finished recently.

Project: Birthday project for Alina.
Stitching Time: Approximately 4 hours.
Date Started: May 2011
Date Completed: May 2011
Well, OKC is in a tornado watch this afternoon, and I’m keeping things short and sweet around here. Wish us luck, and send lots of love to those in Joplin.

Hand Embroidered Pillows

Just checking in with a couple of photos of a new project I started last week. I’m so in love with it, I just have to share it with you!

Isn’t she sweet? I have 3 more all stitched up and I’m hoping to get them sewn and stuffed tonight. Hopefully I’ll be able to put these in one of the local shops, along with some more new plush I’ve been working on. (This project was made with the Cute Little Heads pattern by Sublime Stitching.)

I have more to share with you, but I’m really short on time right now. I just wanted to pop in and say hi and tell you I miss you! *sniff*

Busy just never stops around here. 😉

Hugs & Stitches,

Hand Embroidered Doll

Keeping with my last post of embroidered snugglies, here’s another one I made over the weekend.

For this doll, I used the Black Apple designs for Sublime Stitching. The artist series are not part of the licensing program, so I guess I’ll just have to keep this cutie for myself, or give it away to someone special. 😉

Guess what? Mr. Fox was purchased this morning, so he’ll be headed to his new home tomorrow! The hedgehog is still available, though. 😉

Lesson 2: Back Stitch

Welcome to Lesson 2 of Embroidery 101!

I apologize for posting this so late in the day, but it’s been non stop crazy around here.

Enough of that, let’s get on with the show, shall we?

Today it’s all about the back stitch. In my opinion, this is the perfect starter stitch. It’s very simple and beautiful. Don’t underestimate the simple beauty of the back stitch. Some of my favorite projects have been those worked almost entirely in back stitch.

Pattern source: Krazy Kitchen transfers from Sublime Stitching.

Pattern source: Baby Bib Embroidery Kit by Jenny Hart

I’ll post the written instructions, accompanied with step by step photos. Here we go!

Step 1: With your fabric hooped & ready to go, insert your needle, coming up from the underside of your fabric & pull your needle until the knot catches. (It’s a matter of personal preference when it comes to knotting your thread. I prefer it.)

Step 2: Reinsert your needle about 1/4″ ahead of where your needle came up previously.

Step 3: Again, coming up from the underside of your fabric, insert your needle about 1/4″ ahead of the previous stitch.

Step 4: Reinsert your needle in the hole that meets the previous stitch.

Hopefully the photos help give you a clearer vision on how the moves are made. Again, let me know if you have any questions and comments are always appreciated. That’s the only way I can learn to make things better for you.

Also, to make up for being so tardy today, I’m going to give you a bonus lesson Monday! Get ready for the stem stitch, and another exciting announcement!

Hugs & Stitches,

Lesson 1: Transfer Techniques

Welcome to Lesson 1 of Embroidery 101!

So you’ve taken the time to shop around & you’ve found the perfect pattern for your embroidery project, right? Great! Now let’s figure out the right transfer technique.

If you’re using an iron-on transfer pattern, like the one pictured below from Sublime Stitching, just follow the instructions that came with your pattern.

But just because I love you, I’ve taken a few photos to show you how to transfer a Sublime Stitching pattern.

Pattern example is from “Unicorn Believer.”

When cutting out your pattern, be sure to leave enough room around the image, so you can hold it securely during the ironing process.

When you have the image cut out & you know where you want to place the image, PRE-HEAT YOUR FABRIC FIRST. This is a very important step & should not be skipped. This is almost always the first question I ask when troubleshooting, “Why didn’t my pattern transfer?”

After pre-heating your fabric, put the transfer face down on the fabric, and iron. Hold on to your image securely, & press your iron on top of your image for about 10 seconds. Try not to move your iron, because you just might “ghost” or smudge the image, and that’s not fun. The image will be permanent.
Be sure plenty of fabric still surrounds your image, so you can allow for hooping.

An embroidery hoop has 2 pieces. The adjustable ring will be the top piece.

Once your fabric is hooped & you’ve got the fabric tight like a drum head, you’re ready to start embroidering! That’s all there is to transferring an iron-on pattern. By far, this is the easiest way to go.

But perhaps you’ve found an embroidery pattern on Etsy, or you’ve found another image online, or you want to embroider one of your own drawings. That’s what we’ll talk about now.

Pictured above: various transfer tools.


Method 1: Carbon transfer paper

If your design has lots of fine lines and details or if it’s a large pattern, I would use the carbon transfer paper method.

Method 2: Iron-on Transfer Pen

Pattern of your choice
Iron-on transfer pen

When you first get your Sulky transfer pen, the tip will be white. Each time you use the pen, you’ll need to press the tip down about 3 times to get the ink to flow in to the tip. Don’t over do it though, because sometimes the ink tends to pool up.

That’s why I recommend testing your transfer pen on a different piece of paper before you start tracing your design.

Remember to pre-heat your fabric first, and hold on to your design, to prevent smudging. This method is also permanent.

You can see the Sulky transfer pen leaves chunkier lines, so you’ll need to learn not to use a heavy hand when tracing your design. I use the transfer pen method A LOT. I really love this product, and highly recommend adding it to your embroidery toolbox.

Method 3: Transfer pencil

Pattern of your choice
Transfer pencil (usually found at any craft store.)

I have to be honest, this is my least favorite transfer method. The lines are just too faint for me, and sometimes they don’t transfer at all after ironing. But I will use it if I’m in a pinch.


The above photo shows all three of the transfer methods I just discussed. You’ll have to play around and decide what works best for you!

Please feel free to leave your questions in the comments. If you do leave a question, be sure to leave your email address, or check back in the comments for my response.

I think I’m going to make Thursdays our lesson days. So be sure to come back next Thursday, April 15 for our first stitch lesson, the back stitch!

Hugs & Stitches,

Chain Chain Chain

Tonight while working on the bunny snuggly, I decided my favorite stitch right now is the good ol’ chain stitch. I came to this realization while stitching the bunny’s hair.

When stitching hair, I usually like to use either a stem stitch or a chain stitch.

Stem stitch hair:

Chain stitch hair:

Above photo: Floral fantasy tote bag.

You can see, both stitches create a great effect for hair, yet they each give such different textures.

The first stitch I learned was the split stitch, and I thought that was the stitch I had to use for every project, if I wanted to classify it as embroidery. Silly girl. That’s SO 2002.

Now, the split stitch is one of my least favorite stitches. Sure, it still has charm and beauty, but it’s very moody. If you don’t get the split just right, or go too far to the left or too far to the right when following your line, it tends to look wonky. Oh split stitch, sometimes you’re so unforgiving, but I forgive you, and we can still hang out sometimes.

I tweeted my love of the chain stitch, and my pal Dani asked, “What gives, Aims? They’re practically twins.” (Ok, so I’m paraphrasing her tweet.)

Yes, it is true. The split stitch and the chain stitch do look very similar. But I like to think of Chain as Split’s chubby sister. They look a lot alike, but they are both so different. In my opinion, Chain is more forgiving with her curves, filling in more space and giving a little chunky appeal to your design.

Don’t be fooled by their similarities though. The chain stitch and split stitch are acheived in two very different ways. You have to do a slightly fancier move with your needle to acheive the chain stitch, but it’s not anything you can’t handle. Sublime Stitching has a nice little diagram showing you how to create Chain & Split.

Hopefully this gets you in the mood to try some chain stitching for an upcoming project. Please let me know if you have any questions or need advice on making the right moves.

Hugs & Stitches,

Sugar Skull Onesie

Thank you all for leaving such sweet words about Harper’s arrival. Each one makes my heart swell with even more pride, which I didn’t think was possible.

I told you I would share my last embroidery project before having Harper, and here it is!

I decided to stitch the Sugar Skull design from the wonderful new book, Embroidered Effects by Jenny Hart. If you don’t have this book yet, get it ASAP! It is amazing and full of inspiration. I’m not kidding when I say I want to stitch everything in the book. And as it turns out, I did stitch 3 projects for the book! I just had to keep it a secret until the book was released. Be on the look out for the Fan Dancer Shower Curtain, the Bird Jeans, and the Tattoo Work Shirt, all stitched by yours truly!

So on to the Sugar Skull! (Which was stitched by my talented friend Floresita, for the book.) I absolutely LOVE this design. I fell in love with it in the preview photos, and I fell in love all over again when I saw the beautiful pictures in the book.

I had some black onesies, and I decided to dress one up by making a felt applique using the Sugar Skull design. Here’s how it looks:

Unfortunately, this is a size 3 to 6 months, so Harper won’t be able to wear it this year. I’m thinking about listing it in my Etsy shop, since I don’t know of any other babies to gift it to at the moment. If any of my readers are interested, just email me and let me know!

Oh! If you haven’t seen it already, take a look at my friend Kristi’s stitched version of this Sugar Skull. It’s BEE-YOO-TIFUL! Her macro embroidery shots are drool worthy.