Monday, November 23, 2015

Tutorial: Using bright check purl

&Stitches Shiny

Bright check purl is a goldwork wire that gives a really sparkly effect. Here's how to use it to bring a little bit of glitter to your work!

First gather your supplies, in addition to your bright check purl you will need a fine thread, some small scissors and your hooped fabric.

You need to cut the check purl into small pieces using your small scissors (don't use your best embroidery scissors for this- you don't want to damage them!) Because bright check purl is actually a tiny coil once you have chopped it up the little pieces have a hole through the centre just like a bead.

Then stitch your little bright check purl 'beads' to fill your chosen area of your design. They don't need to all lie in the same direction, in fact the more haphazard they are they more angles there will be reflecting the light. They do need to be quite tightly packed though as you don't want the fabric peeking through too much. I've used goldwork couching thread but sewing thread would be fine providing you match the colour to the fabric. Shiny!

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

Saturday, November 21, 2015

&Spotlight: Becky Hogg's adorable metalwork kits

&Stitches Shiny

Last summer, when I was attending a course at the Royal School of Needlework and was browsing the RSN shop, I came across a fabulous metalwork kit of a fox, designed by Becky Hogg.

You can choose from four different metalwork kits in her Etsy shop and they are all adorable! Besides the fox and badger, there are also squirrel and song thrush kits available.

According to Becky, the kits (which include materials and instructions) are suitable for all skill levels. I think it's a great way to get familiar with metal- and goldwork techniques! And if you live in the UK (or are willing to travel from abroad like I did), Becky also teaches metalwork classes at the Royal School of Needlework.

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

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Colour inspiration: More Shiny Threads

&Stitches Shiny

These threads, from the DMC 'E' ('E' for Effect I guess) series, imitate precious metals (like gold and silver) and jewels. And they do it well, because this bunch does has a very luxurious feel about it in my opinion! From left to right: E135 Jewel Effects, E3747 Pearlescent Effects, E3821 Precious Metal Effects and E415 Antique Effects.

This type of thread can be quite difficult to embroider with. It's not as soft as regular six-stranded floss and it tends to divide into its separate strands very quickly. A bit of Thread Heaven can help you 'tame' them though. If you have any additional tips for stitching with 'difficult' threads like these, let us know in the comments!

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

Monday, November 16, 2015

Shiny: My Favorite Shiny Threads

&Stitches Shiny

I want to share with everyone my favorite type of shiny threads, Kreinik metallic threads. This thread is a braid which means that all the different strands are woven together, so there is no risk of fraying or unraveling like I have experienced with other metallic threads. There are a variety of different thicknesses, the blending filament is one tiny strand that is almost like stitching with Christmas tinsel!

A is for Astronaut
I use the thin braid for the text on my space cross stitch flash cards and I love the extra little sparkle it gives.

Solar System Cross Stitch
I also used the metallic thread for the lines in this solar system cross stitch that I made for our very own Carina in the first &stitches swap!

So there you have it, Kreinik metallic braid is by far my favorite way to add a little shiny to my stitching projects! What about you, do you have a favorite metallic thread I should try out?

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

Friday, November 13, 2015

Shiny: Snowflake Ornaments

&Stitches Shiny
When thinking of something "shiny" to make for this month's theme, I immediately thought of  sewing up some snowflakes ornaments. This was a pretty simple project that would make an easy gift for this upcoming holiday season.


 I gathered up some supplies: a piece of black linen-like weave fabric, some vintage sequins I had in my stash, some white glass seed beads I picked up at the craft store and some linen embroidery floss. I had some of dandelyon's little hoops in my stash so I grabbed those and painted them silver.


I outlined the circles to mark my stitching area, but the rest of the stitching I embroidered free-hand. I attached the beads on top of the sequins to give them that extra bling.


I really love how they turned out and honestly I think painting the hoops took longer than the stitching did!

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