Thursday, April 24, 2014

Swap Partners

Stitchy Swap with &Stitches

Hello! Just a quick FYI for those taking part in the swap. You should have received your swap partner information. If you do not see an email from us about the swap, please check your spam/junk filters. Of course, if you don't see it there either, please email us and we'll resend. :-)

Please check that your address is correct and let your partner know if you have any address changes.

Thanks! :-)

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

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Links we love - April

On this month's Links We Love list:

Set of 6 Sewing Kit Temporary Tattoos - I am too chicken to get an actual tattoo, but these temporary sewing ones are pretty cool. Who says embroidery isn't bad ass?

16 new DMC colours You may have heard it last year, that DMC have brought out 16 new colours - the first new colours in 15 years! Sadly, the colours are only available in the US at the moment, but hopefully they will make them available in the rest of the world soon. (Pretty please, DMC?!)

Gingher Applique Scissors I quite like doing appliqué, but I'd never heard of this kind of scissors before the other day when I stumbled upon them. Apparently, the strange looking blade helps you to only cut fabric you meant to cut. Definitely going on my wish list.

Do you know Kitschy Digitals? It is a site where you can buy all kinds of digital goods, such as printables, blog templates, craft patterns and embroidery patterns. They have a nice collection of both free form embroidery and cross stitch with a contemporary feel. Definitely worth a visit.

The Home Sweet Home cross stitch pattern is the one you can juuust see in the screen shot.

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

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Colour Inspiration: Spring


These colours remind me of meadows in Spring, the pink of blossoming trees and happy yellow and orange coloured tulips!  From left to right: DMC 703, 3854, 4075, 700 and 963.

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

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Image transfer tutorial - inspiration for the swap

Are you taking part in the Stitchy Swap? You can sign up until tomorrow! Today we have some inspiration for your stitchy swap pieces. Jane from Flaming Nora is giving us a tutorial on how to transfer images to fabric. I can think of so many fun things I'd like to do with this technique!

Thank you, Jane!

We all have a sense of place, of belonging to a particular place at a particular time. Very few of us haven’t moved at one time or another in our lives. Some of the places we have lived we return to more often in our memories.

A while ago I started work on a series of embroidered pieces that would explore this. The first of them is now finished; the second is in its beginning stages. It seemed perfect to share some of the processes I used to create “Growing up in the shadow of the Cathedral” while &stitches are exploring the theme of place.

Flaming Nora tutorial 1
The piece is about Janet and Jane who met on the first day at primary school and became inseparable. It is about the adventures we had growing up on an estate just below Guildford Cathedral. [Do check out the whole story of this piece; it is quite moving! -Carina]

Flaming Nora tutorial 2
I used some old photographs of Janet and my self, some from that time, some from when we were teenagers’ intent of conquering the world to compliment the embroidery. It is these that I would like to talk about here.

Flaming Nora tutorial 3
There are many methods of image transfer but this is the one that works for me. I use quilter’s freezer paper. I bought mine very reasonably via Amazon, but I think you can buy it in many places online and in large craft stores.

You should use a fine fabric, not too thick as you will be printing on to it using an ordinary inkjet printer. Once the fabric and the paper are bonded together it shouldn't be thicker than ordinary card stock. If it is you may have problems with it jamming up in the printer.

You place the paper on to the wrong side of your chosen fabric shiny side down. Carefully line the edges of the paper with the grain of the fabric. Otherwise your image may become distorted once printed. Iron the paper on to the fabric, I use quite a hot setting cover it with a press cloth if you are worried about delicate fabrics.
Flaming Nora tutorial 4
I used an old tablecloth, it is slightly stained and marked, but for me this just adds to the patina.
Trim your fabric so it is exactly the same size as the paper, re iron it at this point to make sure its all completely bonded and is laying flat. Then its time to print.

Once you have printed the images carefully peel the paper away from the back of the fabric. The utter joy of freezer paper is you can use it again and again. Now you are ready to embellish the picture however you want.

Flaming Nora tutorial 5
These images will be forming part of my next in embroidery about maps and memories.

Flaming Nora tutorial 6
I went with a simple date this time, but really the sky’s the limit. I’m sorely tempted to give every one embroidered dresses, Spanish Flamenco postcard style next time!

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

Monday, April 14, 2014

In the Hoop with Anna Scott

'Happy Easter Brother Rabbit'
Anna Scott is an extraordinary embroiderer, designer and teacher in Australia. She talked to &Stitches about her current projects:

“What's in my hoop?  Which one?  I never have just one project on the go – I usually have (at least) one that is fine and challenging and another one that is bigger and bolder.

“I have just finished this piece of raised embroidery, which I named ‘Happy Easter Brother Rabbit’. The inspiration for the design came from William Morris’s ‘Brother Rabbit’ and features strange flowers drawn from some of my crewel work.

“This was fabulous to stitch. What I really enjoyed about this particular piece is that it incorporates so many different ways of creating dimension.”

Read more about this piece on Anna’s blog here, and find out how she made the wrapped bead berries via her fabulous tutorial here.   

“Now that ‘Brother Rabbit’ is finished, I am picking up my long-time ‘in between’ piece of crewel work. It makes for a nice change to work on something where I don’t have to sit at my work table with super-strong light and a vast array of tools and bits and pieces around me – this one just requires needle and thread.

“I call it my ‘in between’ piece because it has been in and out of my hoop for a very long time. I pick it up each time I am in between other things. I think I might finish it this time!"

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

Friday, April 11, 2014

Stitched maps

We are all very excited about the first &Stitches swap, and pleased that so many of you have signed up already. If you haven't signed up yet, don't worry, sign ups are open until the 18th. Find out more here.

Our swap theme is 'Places' -we wanted a theme that could be interpreted in lots of different ways. Today I'm sharing some inspirational embroideries that fit the theme of places perfectly because they are all stitched maps!

Map 1

Flickr user hampton300 stitched this beautiful map using a huge range of different stitches. I love how intricate it is. Can you spot all the buttons and beads hiding among the stitching? It makes me think of each stitch representing something different like the key on a map.


FlamingNora stitched this gorgeous piece inspired my her childhood neighbourhood check out her blog post here. This picture is a small detail of a beautiful larger piece.

Soil map detail

This soil map by Flickr user Nicola Searle  is worked on netting. I am feeling very inspired by the possibilities here and I think the colour palette is perfect (I think grey and lilac may be my new favourite). She has produced a series of stitched and embellished maps so if you like this one check out her Flickr photo stream and get 'lost' there for a while (see what I did there... lost...maps... ;) ).

I hope that these embroideries have got you thinking about how you would interpret the theme of 'Places'. Come and join us, you will get to be part of something fun and make a new stitchy friend in the process.

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

Monday, April 7, 2014

Sign up for the Stitchy Swap!

Stitchy Swap with &stitches
So we told you last week that we're excited about hosting our first swap. On Friday Julie shared some inspiration that is related to the swap theme. It was fun to read your guesses on what the theme might be! And I think one or two actually came pretty close. ;-)

The theme for the swap is 'Places'. It could be anything: the place you live, the place where your swap partner lives, somewhere you'd like to visit, your favourite holiday destination. Maybe an imaginary or fictional place! The place has to be somewhere tangible, and we count Hogwarts and the Forest Moon of Endor as tangible even if you can't actually visit them. ;-)

You can share your swaps in the &Stitches Flickr group. You're also welcome to share on Twitter and Instagram. Use the tag 'andstitchesswap' so we can find your photos.

Important Dates
April 7th: Swap sign-up will open, woohoo!
April 18th: Last day to sign up
April 23rd: You will receive the name and address of your swap partner
May 26th: Deadline for sending!

Important Rules
1) Sign up by clicking this link. When you sign up please make sure that you use the correct email address and postal address (including the country, please!). And please write the full state or county, don't use abbreviations.

As you will notice, there is a small fee for taking part in the swap. There are two reasons for this. We hope that a small financial commitment means that no one will flake out and not do their part of the swap. It takes time and effort to organize and manage a swap. The money will not be frittered away on ice cream or beer, instead it will support this blog and future things like giveaways.

2) This is an international swap.

3) Make an embroidered piece for your partner. The size or type of object is up to you, but do make it at least 2"x3" ( 5x7.5cm). The piece must be predominantly embroidered but you can use other techniques as well.

4) You will make a piece for one person and you will receive a piece back from him/her.

5) Remember to send your swap partner a nice note with the piece. Introduce yourself, maybe tell her a bit about the inspiration for the piece.

6) Please send the piece on time. Don't let your partner (a new friend!) down by sending it 2-3 weeks late.

Feel free to tell your stitchy friends about the swap! We even have a wee button you can share on your blog.
Stitchy Swap with &Stitches

Copy this code and place it in the sidebar of your blog.