Monday, 20 April 2015

Free Flower Embroidery Pattern

Today I'm sharing the embroidery pattern for the flowers I stitched recently - scroll down to the bottom of this post for the free pattern!


My flowers were stitched in (and are shown photographed in) 6 inch embroidery hoops. To stitch each flower I used half strands of embroidery thread / floss (i.e. 3 strands from 6 stranded thread) and stitched the whole design in backstitch, sewing small stitches around the curves.

I chose a plain backing fabric, holding the pattern and fabric up to the light (I secured them both to a window using washi tape!) and tracing the design onto the fabric with a sharp pencil. If you're stitching on dark fabric or on felt, use tissue paper as shown in this project.

I stitched two versions of the flower. One simply follows the pattern as it's drawn. I used olive green thread for the leaves and dark plum thread for the flower outline, with a dusky rose pink for the inner line and a salmon pink for the flower centre.

For the other version I stitched the pattern then filled in the shapes with freehand lines of backstitch.

I used two shades of coral to sew the flower outlines, then filled in the petals with lines of peach. Similarly, I stitched the leaf outlines with a leafy green then used a lighter spring green to fill them. The stamens are stitched with a light, bright orange - I worried at first that this orange didn't stand out clearly enough from the backround stitches but actually now I'm very happy with the finished result. 

Which version will you stitch? :)

Click here to view the pattern, then print it at 100%. I've included a scale line so you can see if your pattern has printed out at the "correct" size, but of course you can enlarge or reduce the pattern if you prefer.

This embroidery pattern is for non commercial use only: you can use it to stitch as many flowers as you want for yourself or as gifts, but please don't make any for sale. You may borrow a few photos if you want to blog about this project, but remember to credit me and link back to the original source, and do not reproduce my entire post or share the pattern itself on your site. Thanks!

P.S. Fancy making a felt version of this flower? Click here for the tutorial

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Tea and Felt Biscuits

On the way back from the Post Office the other day I picked up a copy of the current issue of Creativity magazine, which includes a tea-and-biscuits themed project designed by me:

Bigger than an ordinary coaster, this colourful mug mat has plenty of room for your mug of tea (or coffee) and your biscuits of choice.

The mat is made from canvas and felt, and decorated with pretty woven ribbons and fun felt biscuits. The biccies were especially fun to sew! Of course, I had to eat lots of biscuits while working on this project - purely for research purposes, you understand :)

I'm looking forward to flicking through the rest of the mag during a teabreak... and deciding what to make with this month's cute cover gifts. Hmm...

Can't find docrafts Creativity Magazine in your local newsagent? You can subscribe here or buy individual issues here.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Book Review: Ladies of Letterpress

Today I'm reviewing a gooooooogeous book: Ladies of Letterpress.

Ladies of Letterpress "is an organisation that champions the reviving craft of letterpress, and seeks to showcase the work of women printers". This book is a collection of that work - from greetings cards to posters and from calendars to coasters.

This is a big book! Here's one of the pages next to a biro, to give you an idea of the scale.

The book is a cross between a stylish coffee table book and a poster book, as all the pages are perforated so you can (should you wish) tear out the pictures you like the best and put them up on your wall.

Over 80 different printshops are featured, with one main image then (overleaf) a selection of smaller images of their work. So, when you tear out a page all the info about the printer is on the back.


There are also short profiles of each printshop...

... and details of the paper, inks and press used for each piece:

The book also includes five interviews, with printers chatting about how they fell in love with printing, their favourite tools, business tips, etc.

There's a wide mix of different styles represented, and dozens of pages that I wanted to tear out and put up on my studio wall immediately.

My only niggle about this book is that the info about the main "poster" image is always printed in the gutter of the page (so it's quite hard to read) and on the "wrong" side of the perforations (so if you tear out a page then the information about that design is left behind). Honestly though this doesn't get in the way of my enjoyment of this book as I'm not a printer myself or a student needing to know that info... I just want to ooh over all the lovely designs!

This is a beautiful book whose contents would look equally great on your coffee table or your walls, and it would be a great buy if you're looking to decorate a space on a budget.

Ladies of Letterpress is published by Ivy Press. RRP £24.99. It's available from Amazon UK, Amazon USA, The Book Depository and many other bookshops.

Please note: I was sent a free review copy of this book. The Amazon & Book Depository links in this post are affiliate links.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Important To Do List Tasks

There are lots of things on my To Do list at the moment, but three of them are in ALL CAPS with lots of exclamation marks:




I need my To Do list to "yell" these three things at me because they have been on my list for aaaages and yet I have not got around to doing them.

As you've probably noticed (unless you're reading this via email, an RSS feed or on your smartphone) I've already made a start on revamping my blog. The finished result is not going to be anything super fancy, but I've got dozens of small changes that need making - links that need updating, text that need re-writing, etc. - that I've been meaning to get round to for a long, long time. It feels great to be finally tidying things up around here!

Hopefully (with the help of my shouty To Do list) my blog will soon be looking spick and span, I'll have lots of finished projects to share with you guys and there will be lots of fabric and other crafty bits and pieces popping up in the destash section of my Etsy shop next week.  

In the meantime here's a peek at one of the projects that has been "in progress" for months (maybe even a year or more??? sigh)...

 ... and some of the stuff that will soon be added to my crafty destash sale. I'll be sure to announce here on the blog when everything's listed :)



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