There’s a title I would never have expected to type when I first started stitching! Today I’m sharing my favourite embroidery piece of all time!!
What do you get when you mix an obsession with furry felines and an insatiable urge to stitch… The Cat Lady Embroidery book!! 380 ways to stitch a cat.
I fell in love with this book when it crossed my desk at work. It’s a joyous creation filled with different breeds, silly characters, alphabets and borders. From the realistic to the surreal, there is something for everyone.
I started with the hilarious Hawaiian trio! Featuring one cheeky ukulele player and two swishy hula ladies its delightful to look at and I’ve hung it in the hall to make us smile every day.
Made almost exclusively of satin stitch my favourite details are the little strings on the ukulele, winky eyes and grass skirt details. There’s a few french knots thrown in and a little bit of long and short stitch. I’m especially proud of the quality of my stitches on the little grey cat.
Since finishing this design I’ve also made the baker and the sailor characters!! (That seagull was mega cute to stitch.) More on them later.
I had this big plan before my wedding to create a hoop that would double as a ring cushion. It was going to be a ring of florals inspired by my bouquet with ribbon ties in the centre.
My adorable Godson would carry it down the aisle and once we were married I’d remove the ties and stitch our wedding date in the centre. I bought a pattern and floss but then flash forward to a couple of weeks before the wedding and I couldn’t fit in work on the project. SO we just used a ring box! And it was fine.
I still fancied making a hoop to commemorate the date so started the hoop a few weeks after our honeymoon. I worked methodically through August and September slowed by tweaking my floss colours slightly as I worked.
The pattern is the Delicate Roses pattern from Namaste Embroidery shown below with a couple of omissions to keep the centre free. Jessica who runs the brand was even super kind and helped me tweak the colour choices by recommending shades over email!
As you see below, my version features pink and coral roses with sage green and lime details. I loved building the satin stitch to showcase the colours but my lazy daisy greenery isn’t my best and my back stitch is a little wobbly. I say it every time but French knots are very satisfying to make.
Hilariously in the final stages of the hoop I put ths wrong month in the centre… traced it, stitched it and photographed it hahah. I had only been married two months so had no excuse. Quick unpicking and I got it fixed in no time.
I think the colour chart in the pattern is a beautiful finish and while I’m pleased how this reminds me of my bouquet the pink roses aren’t quite as dynamic as the coral ones. I’m super pleased how I altered the direction of my satin stitch to give them depth though. I’m still a relative embroidery newbie!
I put the finished embroidery in an orange hoop and have hung it in our hallway so we pass it each day.
As we come close to our first anniversary we’re both giddy to celebrate and are planning ideas PLUS we’re excited to eat our top tier from my mum’s gorgeous cake (white choc and raspberry)!! Its so good having a professional baker in the family. Want me to save you a slice?
Okay so I know I’m the queen of delayed blogging with a whopping 50+ unblogged makes but I realised I never blogged this heart embroidery and it turned out so sweet that I wanted to share it. If you follow me on Instagram you’ll have seen my embroidery posts and I have a story highlight so you can see my most recent pieces but this was one of the my VERY EARLY attempts at embroidery and helped me perfect some of the basic stitches.
It’s a pattern download from Oh Sew Bootiful which you can get here. After trying two of their kits where pre-printed fabric, a crazy amount of thread and very clear instructions are all packaged up for you, I wanted to see if I could work out good colour combinations on my own and practice transferring the design onto the fabric myself.
The benefit of a PDF pattern is that you can resize it to fit your ideal hoop or if you’re short on hoops, make it work for whatever you have to hand. I like to use a frixion pen and a window as a light source when tracing. A couple of pins hold the paper and fabric layers together and any mistakes can be rubbed away with the rubber on the end of the frixion pen. I got mine as a Christmas present but have seen them in lots of stationary sections of shops.
This design really makes you practice French knots (I like to do a double curl around the needle), lazy daisy (worked best when I remember to rotate my hoop as I go) and pinwheel roses (magic stuff).
Hello everyone. It’s nice to be typing today as I’m feeling rather deaf and croaky from some mysterious lurgy that hasn’t fully taken hold (thank god) but is making me feel pretty crummy. Whenever I’m feeling sorry for myself, I love indulging in a hot bath and a g&t to cheer myself up. Sewing always makes me happy but some days there’s just not the time to get started before you have to stop! Other things that perk me up are good looking plants, a Fox’s chunky choc chip cookie (the ones that are half coated in chocolate and are life changing), a cuddly cat, watching my fella do the swish swish dance and Summer Breeze by the Isley Brothers. Even just writing that list lifts my spirits.
There’s not been much sewing I can share online or on social media but hopefully you’ve been enjoying tidbits from my honeymoon sewing activity and my embroidery. I thought I could share a hoop today. I am a huge fan of Amanda’s work and the Brynn and Co brand! And I actually mentioned the LOVE embroidery hoop pattern on the blog before. Well surprise surprise, I’ve finally finished it. YAY!
It actually came as a free kit with Mollie Makes just before Christmas too, so I got to see pictures of other people stitching it before I got started which helped me plan my version. I decided to use the same colours as the pattern suggests to get that great mix of contrast but I may make it again in other shades. There’s a beautiful lilac version on Hello Hooray’s blog – Clare’s blog is amazingly inspiring and colourful so go check it out.
The hoop comes together really quickly because you’re repeating a few key stitches but then the magic of the negative space lettering shines through. When I do embroidery I work in one length of colour and when it runs out I switch to another colour… even if I haven’t finished that section. This helps me stay energised with the piece instead of getting burned out on a load of green work, or exhausted with French knots.
On the Love hoop you’ll master satin stitch on curved leaf edges that still need to finish in a crisp shape around the letters. The French knots add a lovely texture and I like to do a double knot to really make them pop. A little bit of split stitch makes the blue stems stand out and I went off book and used lazy daisy stitch for the lime green leaves.
The mix of zesty green and teal green is really satisfying – like the right kind of clash. The blue looks really fresh in the mix. Most of the Brynn and Co designs are more traditional which makes this colour palette really grab your attention. There was also a limited run with this design as a needle catcher which is a fun idea to show your needles some love heehee. Fingers crossed they come back in stock.
Next up in terms of embroidery I’m working on this adorable cat from the DMC pattern archive! I decided to use black felt instead of long and short stitch to speed things up. I’ve prickstitched the cat onto the background and will start filling him(?) in with fun colours.
Hope you like the hoop! And feel free to steal any of my perk up tricks if you think they’ll help you. I mean who wouldn’t be happy with a gin in one hand, a biscuit in the other, belting out “Oh Summer Breeeeeeze” while in the bath ?
I’ve spoken a lot to people about the importance of letting yourself be a beginner sometimes. I’ve written pieces on it for the magazine and reassured new sewists I’ve met that we’re all tackling new challenges in our own way and that’s great thing. To me being a beginner, keeps you fresh, keeps you humble and keeps your enthusiasm up. I’d certainly be pretty bored if I didn’t try to push out of my comfort zone.
My embroidery skills are slowly growing and although I know I’m still learning it’s exciting to practice each stitch and get better. The first time I did a great French knot I was so stoked. I wanted to get better at satin stitch so settled on this bike design to stitch up next.
It’s heavily inspired by Truefort who is an amazing embroiderer and wows me with their work. They have a bicycle embroidery pattern created with Martha Stewart but I didn’t really like the style of the bike or the flowers coming of both ends. I combined a few different images to sketch something myself. I used my Frixion pen to transfer the design. (I’ve heard people pronouncing it Frix-ee-on but surely it’s a pun on friction since that’s how you remove the marks?)
The problem this caused was having to come up with the design for the flowers when I don’t really know what I’m doing. I decided to put a few straight stitch blooms with leaf stitch greenery, lazy daisy and French knots. Adding the chain stitch for the chain was funny even if I didn’t stitch it that neatly.
I mixed dmc and anchor threads plus some of the vintage threads my mum gave me from her old sewing box. I really enjoyed mixing the colours. And I have to say stitching on to cotton suits me over working with aida. The sunshine yellow cotton background makes me so happy!
I used quite a large hoop so not to crowd the bike and already have it hung on my wall before I’ve even covered the back! I asked on Instagram about adding some words above the bike but got a strong no response.
Any tips for what I should include on my embroidery posts? Do you want thread colour codes? Greater stitch details? Progress photos? Up next I have this Love design by Brynn & Co but haven’t got round to starting yet. Watch this space!