Blooming heart embroidery

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.

Almond rock hand embroidery hoop art oh sew bootiful

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.

Almond rock hand embroidery hoop art oh sew bootiful

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.

Almond rock hand embroidery hoop art oh sew bootiful

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).

Almond rock hand embroidery hoop art oh sew bootiful

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All you need is LOVE… and a G&T

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.

Almond rock cat plant marks and spencers

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!

Almond rock brynn and co love embroidery negative space

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.

Almond rock brynn and co love embroidery negative space

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.

Almond rock brynn and co love embroidery negative space

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.

Almond rock brynn and co love embroidery negative space

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.

Almond rock dmc cat embroidery

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 ?

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On your bike embroidery

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.

Almond rock embroidery hoop bicycle dmc anchor threads

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.

Almond rock embroidery hoop bicycle dmc anchor threads

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.

Almond rock embroidery hoop bicycle dmc anchor threads

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!

Almond rock embroidery hoop bicycle dmc anchor threads

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.

Almond rock embroidery hoop bicycle dmc anchor threads

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!

Almond rock embroidery hoop bicycle dmc anchor threads

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Busy bee embroidery 

Hello ladies and perhaps a few gents. I’m away at Alison Smith’s sewing school learning the secrets of bridal couture. It’s an amazing three day workshop where you make a crazy sample that incorporates lots of techniques that you might use in bridal but probably not in one dress! More to come on that.

If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen I’ve been trying out some embroidery lately. It started with a boost to put more embroidery in Love Sewing and then the etsy team offered me a kit to try as a thank you for supporting the site. They sent the rainbow sampler from Oh Sew Bootiful which was a fun intro to the basics.

I then jumped on the pre-sale for the Flowers and Bees kit when I saw it. This wasn’t long after the Manchester attack and the thought of embroidering bees, the symbol of the city brought me some comfort.

Both kits feature very clear step by steps with photos and vector style illustrations, a stitch guide (which doubles as a template if you trace it), a pre-printed piece of cotton, spongy wadding, more than enough floss wound on a card, a practice piece of cloth plus two gold eye needles. Phew! Well worth the money I say.

Almond rock embroidery oh sew bootiful

I worked sporadically and threaded each of the needles up with a different colour so I could choose as my mood suited what to stitch. Only a couple of areas dictate the order you work in, e.g. where a stem stitch is then covered by a flower petal on top. I targeted easy stitches first like French knots and split stitch to gently get going. Towards the end it was then mostly satin stitch so I used five pre-threaded needles to keep up momentum.

Almond rock embroidery oh sew bootiful

Stitching during my lunch hour was very calming but not always possible. A good session in the garden during the hot spell saw a lot more get done and then a week in centre parks with my in laws saw me complete the rest.

Almond rock embroidery oh sew bootiful

As I moved around the hoop my technique massively improved and I went back and did two daisies again for a better finish. The bees are absolutely wonderful with the shade of eggy yoke yellow singing out at you. The centre of the poppies were quite hard to keep defined and I will say there’s A LOT of lazy daisy stitch to do. With lazy daisies and French knots you really need both hands so a table to work on is a must for a neat finish.

Almond rock embroidery oh sew bootiful

I’ve hung this hoop in my sewing room and it always catches my eye as I pass it. I’d really recommend this pattern. And honestly think the kit is worth the money for the quality and quantity of supplies included. I had to source my own felt for the backing but that was easy and now I’m itching to start another project.

Almond rock embroidery oh sew bootiful

Mindbogglingly a photo of my rainbow hoop shared on social media won me a of pattern of my choice from Oh Sew Bootiful’s online shop. Steph the owner picks four winners a month so get sharing your pics if you make one of her designs!! I chose the Hearts and Flowers template so watch this space for that one.

Almond rock embroidery oh sew bootiful

Have you ever tried embroidery? There are LOADS of fantastic free patterns on offer at DMC if you sign up to their newsletter. I’m going to try some of the florals and succulents soon. Maybe also this tiger!! What do you think?

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