embroidery: owl tote

owl tote, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

This is something I bought from Sublime Stitching last year and just got around to. It was kind of a palate cleanser after finishing the hurricane tracking map, it only took one afternoon/evening of work last Sunday.

The pattern was stamped on the tote with water-soluble ink, so once you finish the stitching you just throw it in the wash and the pattern washes out, leaving just the floss. I prefer that to the iron-on transfers, which don’t wash out. Sometimes the lines are too thick, or your stitching is a hair off, and you can see the pattern creeping around the edges, and that really bugs the perfectionist in me.

Next project (which I’ve already started) is a design from the House of White Birches Celtic Crosses book. The one I’m doing isn’t actually a cross, it’s a medallion that has one of those twisty bird designs. The backstitching is so complicated that I’m actually doing it piece by piece, instead of doing the whole design at once after I finish the primary stitches, like I usually do.

I’m doing it on 18-count Aida, which I haven’t used in a while. I prefer evenweave, because it’s more flexible and cloth-like. But they only make that in high stitch counts like 28 and 32; usually I use 28 and work over 2 squares for each stitch, which gives me a 14-count design. But I wanted this to be smaller because I’m probably going to use it on a piece of clothing somehow. I thought it would be fun to buy an old blazer from a thrift store and put it on the breast, like a private school crested blazer. But at 7″ x 7″, it might be a little too big for that. I won’t really be able to judge until it’s finished.

(You thought old cameras were the only thing I was obsessive about, didn’t you?)

more recent embroidery finishes

I got this cute half apron a while back at Hobby Lobby. I had a hard time deciding what to put on it, because a lot of it is covered in stripes. I needed something simple that wouldn’t look awful with the stripes. I was saving this for a lampshade, but what the hell, the transfers are good for several applications. I stuck with primary colors so as to not clash with the bright stripes.

I’ve been wanting to do a design entirely in red (a style which is called, amazingly enough, redwork). This is from the Sublime Stitching Craft Pad. I went with a slightly darker red than is normally used.

I really wish I was better at lazy daisies.

Cocktail cocktail napkins!

peacock cardigan

In the Embroidered Effects book Jenny Hart has this stitched on a yellow satin bomber jacket, but satin bomber jackets are a) hard to come by in my size, and b) not really my thing. So I stitched it on a very lightweight yellow cardigan.

It was tricky stitching on this material, because of course cardigans are always very stretchy. I had to be careful to pull each stitch tight enough so it wasn’t slack, but not so tight that the material puckered. I think I did a pretty good job, and it went faster than I’d thought it would.

Mostly I followed Jenny Hart’s color suggestions (and these colors are not true because for some reason the flash gave everything a weird purplish cast), but I wanted something with green in it for the tail feathers (she used dark gray), and I didn’t have any iris sequins so I used dark blue. Oh, and my beaks are orange–hers were dark yellow, but the cardigan was a darker yellow than her bomber jacket and I didn’t think dark yellow would show up.

For the eyes I used those little stick-on jewels with the adhesive base that you melt with a special tool; I’ve had that set for a year and never used it, and they were the right size so I figured hey why not.

The little squiggle underneath the heart is… I forget what you call that stitch; it’s not cording because that’s when the base is tacked down with the top stitches. It’s basically plain ol’ split stitch like the rest of the design (what can I say, I like the classics), but with a second color woven through it.

black apple throw pillow

Pillow #2: the Black Apple embroidery transfers from Sublime Stitching. I chose somewhat more muted colors than I used for the Julie West pillow.

I think that’s actually supposed to be a fly, but flies are gross so I turned it into a bee.

I wish I had set those trees up a little higher so there wasn’t such a blank space between the girl and the bear, but overall I’m pleased.

Detail! I couldn’t resist throwing a woven spider web onto her apron.

flour sack kitchen towels

Okay, so this is basically the most awesome thing I have ever embroidered. It’s a flour sack kitchen towel using the “Meaty Treats” pattern set from Sublime Stitching. MEAT!

Some close-ups…

And for the other towel (they come in pairs) I used the “I Love Veggies” pattern set.

They had mix & match faces.

The lemon is making a sour face. Heh.

“dress up” embroidery pattern from sublime stitching

I’m only making one of my Christmas gifts this year, my grandmother’s. There isn’t a whole hell of a lot a 91-year-old woman wants or needs, but she’s always happy to get something I made. And since she started my obsession with needlecrafts about a quarter century ago, by teaching me the basics of cross stitch one afternoon, it always feels fitting to give my work to her.

These are “cocktail napkins”, 10″ squares of hemstiched light blue cotton. She can use them as napkins; or to put perfume bottles and the like on top of; or even as handkerchiefs, although the fabric may be a little rough for that. It’s okay with me if she does though, I’m not one of those prissy control freak stitchers who thinks everything should be kept immaculate forever and never used. The cross stitched apron I made for myself last spring is already pretty stained, because cooking is Serious Business in my family.

Instead of the usual birds/flowers/butterflies-type design, I thought why not something a little different. This is the “Dress Up” transfer set from Sublime Stitching. (The napkins also came from there.)

This is how they were shipped to me, and I thought it was a pretty presentation for a present. So I kept the piece of cardboard and the white ribbon; and as soon as they were stitched, washed, and ironed I did them back up in a stack and tied the ribbon around them.

kokeshi doll tea towel

I bought this from Sublime Stitching last week, and it only took a couple of hours. It came with the design drawn on in that blue water-soluble ink that washes out the first time you wash the towel. I used split stitch, again. I guess a lot of modern day stitchers are kind of snobby about split stitch? Whatever, I like it. I think it looks cleaner and less “bumpy” than back or stem stitch.

This was simple and fun, and had personal meaning for me because I actually have a set of kokeshi dolls that are in storage, and I miss them. (I bought them at Daiso, which I also miss. Horrendously.)

Apparently Sublime Stitching puts out new products like, weekly. This may be a problem for me–although almost all of them are less than $10. This morning I bought the new Epic Alphabet transfers. I’m going to make some monogrammed shirts — a couple Ss and a couple Gs — but I also might embroider some totally random word on like a tote or camera bag. Any suggestions? (Jenny Hart asked the same question when she was getting ready to unveil the alphabet; although she went with “merci”, one of the runners-up made me LOL IRL: “tacotastic”.)

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