I cannot count my day complete
'Til needle, thread and fabric meet.
~Author Unknown

Sharing a common thread with those who love the art of hand embroidery

Monday, February 27, 2012

The stitching is finished and the cut work

has been completed. As you remember from my last post, I had shown you how to work eyelets easier. Now I will show you how to work"cut work" after you have embroidered the design in closed buttonhole stitch. If you are unfamiliar with the closed buttonhole, you can research it easily on the Internet.

After all stitching is in place, use a very sharp pair of embroidery scissors and make a small hole in the area to be cut with the point of scissors.

Carefully and slowly cut small cuts at a time,  the blank area that you wish to cut away, staying on the edge of embroidery stitches and taking care not to cut any stitching.  Cut underneath the embroidered bar across cut work area.

Carefully cut out the entire cut work area. Don't worry. If you accidentally cut your stitching. Stop cutting and go over the damaged area with the same color of floss worked and simply work the closed buttonhole stitch over it until it has been repaired.

Now one section has been cut away,

Continue cutting the remainder sections away, always looking out for your stitch work.

A completed cut work rose.
Now for those of you who told me you were afraid to cut on your work..........
I used to be the same way. Before you start a project, just make a sample piece on a scrap piece of fabric and embroider it and work the cut work. Once you get the hang of it, I promise you will be fearless in this technique!!!
Trust me!

Here they all are in the group, with the center of the leaves cut away as well.

Now here is the completed piece.
Doesn't cut work make a difference compared to basic embroidery?
This is what I love to do in embroidery work. I love to create linens, brand new for the home, with the vintage look of "yesteryear" but can be used every day................
So come on blogging friends...........
grab you scissors and just take the big step snip!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

This time of year makes me want to work with muted colors

in hues of yellow, like the Italian Jasmine that is blooming on the grounds,
and in pinks and creams.

This is still a work in progress which has cut work and eyelets stitched.
I chose 3 different muted and soft yellows for the large cut work flowers. A soft olive green for the stems and leaves, and

a very pale and soft pink for the daisies.
I wanted to show you and easier way to make eyelets instead of having to cut the fabric for the hole.

I have learned this technique that works wonderfully. Take a large upholstery needle and push it through the eyelet hole.

Keeping the upholstery needle inserted, come up with your stitching needle right against the large needle and whip all the way around, keeping stitches close together. Remove the needle and you find the perfect round eyelet. Push your stitching needle to wrong side and finish off.
Sounds a little easier? Maybe?

Here is the beginning of the cut work which I will show more of in my next post. The portion of fabric marked with small X's is the part that will be cut away once stitching is complete. The stitching used in the project is the closed buttonhole stitch. The string part you see is also threads that have closed buttonhole worked along them to create a bridge to hold the design once the fabric is cut away. How about you?
Do you like bright vibrant colors or do you like muted and pastels best?
I would love to hear!
*******just to let you know, I removed word verification for those of you who had problems commenting on my last post. Thank you for letting me know.

Friday, February 17, 2012

There is an archway

standing at the entrance walk that leads to the back grounds
and greets anyone who comes to visit. Ever since we moved out to the country years ago, I have wanted the grounds to have an "enchanted" look. One that when one does come to visit,  they will be pulled in and made to just want to walk around and enjoy for awhile....................
this is still a work in progress.  

I have always wanted this archway to be the "greeter" of the grounds and  to say "welcome!" in a bright and cheerful way, overflowing with lush flowers and twirling vines. I have  planted various flowers throughout the years at the base of it. With it being partially shaded, I have not found the right kind of flowering plant that has grown over it enough to give it that effect. Being in a drought ridden and high heat area as West Texas, makes it even harder to find such plants.
Any suggestions or good plant ideas??

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have several designs that I love to embroider over and over again. I have cross stitched this particular pattern a couple of times, always stitching it onto linen towels and given away as gifts. I have always wanted a stitched copy for myself. This time, I want to frame it and hang it in the back entry of our home...........as a continuation of the grounds.
What do you think?
I would love flowers much like these in the stitched piece to be on the outside archway.

The wall paper I had ordered for my grandfather's trunk arrived and I spent the day wall papering the inside of it! I am so happy with it and today I will be placing my embroidered linens into it!
To see more photos or to read a little more about it, you can visit my country blog
by clicking on this link
How about you??
Do you have a particular way you like your grounds to look and what plants do you like the most to achieve this?
I would love to hear!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love is in the air

Everywhere you look! For those who love to embroider.........Colonial Patterns is having a wonderful offer...........this precious kit
that includes this design

along with pencil, floss and napkin.
Click on link to go and visit and have a wonderful
Valentines Day!
Valentine's Day may be February 14th, but WE LOVE YOU ALL MONTH LONG!! As a token of our appreciation we are giving away a special Valentine's Day Embroidery Kit (see picture above) that will come complete with a traceable design, transfer pencil, floss, and a napkin. Anyone who orders over $25.00 from us this month (2/13 - 2/29) will receive this special kit for FREE!!

You are so important to us, and we want you to know it! Thank you so much for your love and support over the years! Without you we would not exist!
We hope your life is filled with love!
All of us at Colonial Patterns

 I have always love Aunt Martha's transfers from Colonial patterns! How about you?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

White work and cut work have always been my passion

in embroidery work. Years ago, I researched every thing I could
to learn how to do this wonderful kind of work. This is a small tablecloth that I am currently working on and off on.

this is the center design

but I am still trying to think of what would look good on the corners .

This is one out of the pair of pillowcases I am also working on. I plan on giving these to my daughter one day as a wedding gift..............

when that day arrives.............there is no hurry.
And I will wait to monogram the initials on when that day arrives.
 She is off in the world right now

having one adventure after the other in the Navy. These and things like the tablecloth will be waiting for her and my other children, when their lives slow down and settle. As I stitch away on these linens,
I am planning on storing them away in an old trunk that used to be my grandfather's.

I am currently waiting on this wall paper to arrive. I just ordered it..........isn't it just perfect

for the inside of this old trunk?  Although, I am not sure how pleased my grandfather would be to see his trunk fancied up with roses............hopefully, he's looking down from heaven and smiling........
 I can just imagine how it will look with the wall paper and the linens I am busily stitching and placing in here! I can't wait to get the trunk and the linens both finished.
Hopefully in a couple of weeks I will have at least the trunk finished and ready...........the linens take a little longer.
How about you?
Do you have a special technique in stitching or any other hobby that you love to do?
What do you do with your creations, once you are finished with them?
I would love to hear.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Embroidery can be worked onto hard surfaces........did you know that?

Several months ago, while browsing in a store,
I came across this pretty ceramic box...........
These kinds of things always speak to me....................

" take me home............make me into something...........
lovely"........it seemed to say.
 Perhaps a lovely cross stitch flower on top........I pondered.

 the pattern was already in my mind..........

This pattern comes from Leisure Arts Magazine....Cross Stitch. I loved these magazines, didn't you?
Volume 7 Number 7, pg 8-9. designed by Diane Brakefeild.
I have always loved this particular pattern.

This little rose pattern was just a snippet pattern that a friend had mailed to me a long time ago..........I am not sure what pattern it came from or who designed it, but it is one of my favorites to cross stitch.

I affixed the top lid with cotton fabric so that I would have a foundation to sew the cross stitch onto.

and here are the results!

All ready to set on the vanity and to place jewelry in perhaps?

I wish I had purchased a few more............there are so many other pretty designs that could go on them.
What do you think?
Have you placed needlework onto a different type of surface?
I would love to hear.

**** Thank you all for your comments of support on my efforts to publish my embroidery design book in my previous post. For those of you who asked..........yes, my own designs and patterns will be in the book along with instructions on how to work the stitch technique.  I still have work to do to see it to it's completion and then there is that "publisher" issue to deal with. I will let you know as soon as it blossoms from a dream into a reality.