Have you seen the movie "Singing in the Rain"? One of the songs from the movie that I love is "You are My Lucky Star." It's such a beautiful song and when I was thinking about stars for this month, I thought it would make a sweet pattern.
And I NEEDED to have a pattern to share with you today because it's World Embroidery Day! A day dedicated to my favorite craft? The only thing that could come close would be World EPP Day.
So grab some fabric, a hoop, a needle, and your favorite colors of floss and start stitching and celebrating!
The more that my 10-year-old sister gets into crafting, the more she takes notice of the things that I work on. The other day she discovered that making things is actually my job (as in, I get paid to do this!). Then yesterday she looked at the new fabric I just ordered.
My sister: Why does this fabric have faces on it?
Me: Because I designed it.
My sister: How did you do that?
The discussion faded away, but I just know that she is now thinking about what this means for her. I’m fully expecting special fabric requests soon.
All of this to say, I designed some new Spoonflower fabric, and it’s officially available for anyone to purchase. Hooray!
The collection came about because I was thinking about how great it would be to have some super cute kawaii low-volume fabric. I never seem to choose low-volume when stash-building, and when I do, it’s usually pretty basic.
Then it occurred to me that I could design my own! So I started with the Hexagon Tinies that I designed in June. And since I entirely agree with Stacey’s Cute Tip that making things rainbow is cute, I chose a rainbow palette.
And there’s some gray in there too for a nice neutral low-volume. The houses are my favorite!
I scaled all of the prints so they could be fussy cut to fit on 1-inch hexagons…some will fit smaller hexies! And if you’re going to use prints like these to make EPP hexagons, why not have some of the designs actually be EPP hexagons?
Again, these are each in a single color, but with a rainbow of color choices.
And while we’re talking rainbows, I HAD to make the rainbow into a mini collection of its own. The full color version reminds me of fabrics from my childhood.
Is it strange to have single-color rainbows? Maybe. But even if it’s in all blue or yellow or gray, it still looks like a rainbow, and that seemed like it could be useful to me. Actually, on all of the gray prints, I think you could stitch over the lines like a pre-printed pattern.
The samples that I had printed are on Kona cotton, so for the most part, Kona's basic white is the color you have for the fabric…just with a bit of color for the designs. I’m pretty smitten with these swatches!
Now, here’s where I need your help!
If you were to order these fabrics, would you be most likely to…
A) Order fat quarters or yardage of individual prints as needed? (You can already do this!)
B) Order a yard that has a small sample of every print?
C) Order a fat quarter or yardage that has a sample of a particular print (i.e. hexagons)?
D) Order a fat quarter or yardage of a particular color (i.e all the reds)?
I’d love to make it easier for folks to buy more than one design. Buying a yard at $19.00 (and getting several designs), rather than than buying separate fat quarters, is more cost effective for you. But to make special panels available, I need to order them first and I want to have options that you want!
Notes on color: I tried to have these photos come as close to the fabric as possible, but all computer monitors are different. Also, take notice that in the rainbow collection, other than the red, the colors are deeper than the other fabrics while still coordinating.
Welcome to the second installment in the Cute Tips series! Today we get a very colorful tip from a maker who is completely adorable.
Stacey from FreshStitches describes her site as "cute. crafty. fun." and that couldn't be more accurate. She designs the super sweet amigurumi crochet patterns, and on her blog she shares some really great helps for learning crochet and adding new techniques.
Her tip is simple and so much fun to use in crochet or just about anything: Make it rainbow!
Here are a few of her most rainbow creations!
Does this remind you of the rainbows we loved from Lisa Frank while we were growing up? I bet you can put this cute tip to use right away. Thanks, Stacey!
A note to all my bloggy friends: Cute Tips contributors are generously sharing their cutest secrets with us. Be inspired by them, but please, please, please don't try to steal their style! Be your own cute self!
Today marks six months since my book Stitch Love: Sweet Creatures Big & Small came out. Six months! I can hardly believe it.
Big thanks to everyone who has already purchased a copy! If you have a moment, I'd love it if you leave a review on Amazon (especially), Barnes & Noble, or elsewhere.
If you don't have a copy yet, you may want one soon, because next week I'll be sharing the details for a stitch-along to go with Stitch Love! A Stitch-Love-Along, perhaps? We'll have three rounds, with each one focusing on a specific type of project, and special gifts for participating. I'm so excited!
A photo posted by Rebecca (@hugsarefun) on
The first day Stitch Love came out I ran over to my local Barnes & Noble and found a copy to take crazy pictures with. Since then, I check my local JoAnn every time I go, and have still never found it (although yesterday someone spotted it at their JoAnn!). But my favorite "in the wild" Stitch Love moment was when my friend Becca found it at the Japanese book store near us.
Japanese craft books were a huge inspiration for me as I was working on Stitch Love, so having my book on the shelves at the store where I go to grow my collection? Well, that was the best compliment I could receive!
I've been loving (stitch loving?) this journey so much, and I can't wait to see what will come next!
Do zippers intimidate you when sewing? I've sewn them with success, but I still get nervous. This is a zip pouch that is completely the opposite of scary. The zipper is stitched in by hand, so it's practically an extension of the embroidery on the front!
I saw a pouch similar to this once, but it required buying die-cutting templates to cut the pouch. This is something you can embroider with a starscape or your own favorite design...then cut it out and stitch it up. Easy peasy!
You will need:
Wool or wool blend felt
Sulky Sticky Fabri-Solvy or tissue paper
Stargazing Zip Pouch PDF Template
Note: Be sure to print the pattern at 100% so that the zipper will fit the opening. Measure the 1-inch test square to check for accuracy.
Print or trace the starry embroidery design onto Fabri-Solvy or tissue paper, then attach it to the felt so you can stitch through it. Embroider the stars and constellation with three strands of embroidery floss. I used french knots, straight stitches, running stitch, and the star stitch featured in this tutorial from Hands Occupied.
Soak away the Fabri-Solvy or tear away the tissue paper. If you're soaking it, remember that wool and wool blend felt will shrink in hot water. I used barely warm water and mine still shrunk just a bit. Blasting it with cool water was a better option.
Iron the fusible interfacing to the cotton fabric that will be your lining. Then iron it to the back of your embroidered felt. I like using paper-backed fusible interfacing, so that's what you see here. If yours doesn't have a paper back, you'll iron it to both pieces in one step.
Adding the "lining" will cover and protect the back of your stitching, which will keep it pretty longer.
Cut out the paper pattern, pin it to the embroidered felt, then cut out the shape.
Pin the zipper into the cut out opening.
Stitch around the zipper with running stitch. Take care to get a stitch or two into each side of the ends.
If hand sewing isn't your thing, you can do this part with a sewing machine. If you use matching thread for sewing, you can go back and add some hand stitched details just for cuteness' sake.
Trim the zipper ends so they are at least 1/4 inch in from the edges.
Fold the pouch in half and pin or clip the edges so they are aligned.
Stitch around the edge with running stitch. Again, you can do this on a sewing machine if you'd prefer.
Check that everything is secure and that your knots are hidden between the layers, and your pouch is finished!
The pouch is large enough to hold pens and a small note pad...
...or even some stitching supplies!
Of course, necessities like a phone, keys, and cash are always good for a little pouch.
Stitch one or stitch a bunch...use the star patterns or your favorite embroidery motif. You could make yours plain or add some felt applique. You could even reverse the pouch so that the felt is on the inside and the fabric is on the outside. So many ways to customize!
What will you keep in your pouch?
I love planners and paper and stationery of all kinds. However, I buy them and never use them. Okay, so I use them a bit, but never like I should or want to. Certainly not like the people who are making their planners cute. Seriously, do a search for "make your planner cute" and you'll see what I mean.
When it comes to planners, I do some of my planning on Google Calendar, I check in on the family calendar my mom keeps, and the rest of the time I fly by the seat of my pants. Most of the time this works for me. It's just not too cute. (Why can't you add emoji to Google Calendar?!?!)
For now, I'm going to add some little clips to my notebook, and be happy with making that a little cuter. You can make some of these embroidered clips too...they're fast, and you can stitch any tiny design you like!
You will need:
Wool blend felt
Sulky Sticky Fabri-Solvy or tissue paper
Large paper clip
Trace or print your chosen embroidery pattern onto Fabri-Solvy or tissue paper, then stitch through the material and felt.
The little kitty I'm using is part of a larger pattern from Amy Sinibali's book Sweetly Stitched Handmades. Any small pattern will do!
Cut around the embroidery, leaving some room so you don't get too close to those stitches. If you used Fabri-Solvy, soak it away, and if you used tissue paper tear away the tissue.
Cut a second piece of felt to match the shape of the embroidered piece. Keep track of which side needs to be up to match up with the front piece.
Apply a layer of fabric glue over the plain piece of felt, then lay the non-clipping side of the jumbo paper clip in the glue.
Smooth the embroidered piece onto the glue and allow it to fully dry.
Now your clip is ready to add onto your planner, your journal, your sketchbook, etc. (I am entirely smitten with this kitten and its eyes in two sizes!)
Your clip will mark your spot and hold groups of pages together! Or you know...you could use it like you would a normal paper clip!
I recently came across this fishy clip that seems really familiar to me. Like, maybe it was mine when I was a kid? It's not unusual for bits and bobs like this to magically appear at just the right time.
Fishy does look incredibly happy for an animal that is so close to another animal that might eat him. I'm guessing that they've become friends and all will be well. I hope.
I see many more stitched clips in my future. They are quick to stitch and put together, and they're such a fun extra to send to a friend!
I've been doing embroidery on and off since I was a little girl, and seriously for nearly ten years. And yet, it wasn't all that long ago that I learned something mind blowing. Now it's time to pass it on to you.
There is a right and wrong end to your embroidery floss.
Embroidery floss has a "grain" to it. And for a smoother, happier embroidery experience, you should go with the grain. Threading the floss through your needle the wrong way will pull your thread against the grain, which will make the floss get roughed up. Stitching with the grain keeps it smooth.
So how can you tell and make sure that you are starting with the right end?
Well, usually the end that is sticking out of a skein of DMC floss will be the right end to thread. That's not always the case with all embroidery floss. To check, run the floss through your fingers, there's a subtle difference, but going with the grain will feel smoother. You'll want to pull the floss through the fabric with the grain, so thread your needle accordingly.
I find that it's easiest to tell on a cut that is all six strands. After I separate the strands (when I'm doing so), I try to keep track of the "right end".
Do you stitch with the grain? Were you in the dark on this fact for as long as I was?