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!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Found on Flickr: Spooky Portrait (Untitled)


I've featured work by Brinley Froelich before - I'm still so entranced by her embroidered view of the moon that I posted about back in June. This time she's shared this eerie (self-)portrait - I love the way her stitches interact with the image. It's the kind of piece that I love more the more I look at it.

And perfect for October, no? I hope you'll check out more of Brinley's fantastic work in her Flickr photostream.

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

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Cross stitch on cereal

Here's some unusual inspiration for those of you taking part in the Old Stitches, New Tricks competition.

This piece, called Cereal Sampler #2: The Most Important Meal, is made by Judith G. Klausner. It is cross stitch embroidered on cereals! Isn't that awesome?

Judith has made other interesting combinations of art and food. Another stitching related piece is Toast Embroidery #1: Egg on Toast.

You should definitely pop over and check out her work. Even if you're not taking part in our competition.

Personally, I'd love to see some embroidery on foods for the competition! :-)

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

Friday, October 10, 2014

Colorful Stitchery Giveaway

Roost Books kindly provided us with a copy of Kristin Nicholas' new book Colorful Stitchery to give away to one reader. Check out our review here, in case you missed it.

To enter the giveaway:

Leave a comment on this post.
- you can not get extra entries by tweeting, liking on Facebook etc etc. One person, one entry.
- we'd love to hear about what kind of embroidery you'd like to try, but that is optional!

There must be a way to contact you, so make sure to either leave an email address, a link to your blog or somewhere else where an email can be found. We will not notify the winner by leaving a comment on your blog. You can also leave your Flickr name or Twitter @.

Entries by 'Anonymous' can not be accepted, we must have atleast your first name - and a way to contact you as mentioned above.

The giveaway is open to anyone, anywhere.

The giveaway closes Friday October 17 at 12pm UK time and the winner will be notified by email. 

Good luck!

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

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Colorful Stitchery Book Review

Colorful Stitchery by Kristin Nicolas was originally published in 2005 by Storey Publishing and a reissue edition was just published last month by Roost Books. The projects are the same but the book has been redesigned.

This was my first encounter with Kristin Nicolas's work and I was really impressed with the wide range of techniques covered in the book. It begins with information about different types of fabric and threads, transferring patterns, different stitches, and even a basic color theory section.

The entire first section is devoted to pillows, each using a different stitch. There are patterns for the pillow designs as well as instructions on how to sew them yourself. I really love the sampler pillow, each row is a different stitch. It is a fun twist on a traditional sampler that also leaves you with a functional pillow when you're done!

One thing that Kristin encourages is to explore stitching on different fabrics - felt, plaid, velvet, corduroy. I know that I always reach for either linen or muslin when I am doing embroidery, so it definitely made me consider other fabrics I wouldn't have considered otherwise.

There are also sections on kitchen and bedroom projects and then one called "Thinking Outside the Box." This section literally has projects that are embroidered boxes but also has projects stitching on materials like cards and shoes.

This book is a great inspirational resource, there are a lot of great ideas and Kristin really encourages the reader to branch out and explore color and texture. I know it has me itching to try out crewel!

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