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).
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!