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What do you get when you combine fabric, fine art illustration and a bin full of embroidery floss? Amazing pieces of ART!
Japanese fiber artist Kimika Hara uses needle and thread to bring colorful illustrations to life with expert hand stitching on colorful illustrations that she has worked in acrylic paint directly on the fabric.
Careful shading using multiple colors gives the characters in her designs depth while adding a touch of humor and whimsy. Kimika describes her work as happy and cute, and her work definitely brings a smile to my face.
Born in Kyoto and inspired by her culture and surroundings, Kimika adds texture to her designs by adding beads, sequins, pailettes, buttons and other found objects to each piece.
Colorful fabrics are tacked to the illustrations with contrasting embroidery threads and freestyle hand stitching. Bits of lace add additional, interesting layers to her work creating a collage effect.
Two of my favorite pieces are the patchwork on the dog and chubby kitty shown above. The fabric scraps, happy floss colors and the expression on the animals’ faces are joyful and fun.
Kimika’s work features animals and florals, as well as vegetables and fruit. Almost anything is fair game for the artist’s paintbrushes and needles.
You can see more of her amazing work on her web site. The site is in Japanese, but a scroll through her amazing posts will definitely inspire you.
Konnichiwa Kimika for such beautiful inspiration!
This week I came across an extraordinary site, created by multimedia needle artist Janet Browne of the UK.
She has developed an unusual style of mapping the places she visits, working from a diary filled with observations and sketches, which she transforms into places, towns and landscapes worked in fabric and thread. Essentially, she creates a journal in fabric, needle and thread.
The image to the left is part of her Tour de France series, and features Day 1 of her journey. The image to the right shows an allotment with a garden gate.
Click the image to visit her web site, then select the image to see the details in a larger format. Visit the main page of her site to see a full list of the subjects she works with.
Janet selects cotton calico and silks to create her maps, often over-dying them to achieve the colors she remembers in her mind’s eye of the places, objects, animals and other things she saw during the journey she’s memorializing in needlework. Once the artist has the design perfected and pieced, she then works hand embroidery and machine embroidery to create the details.
I’ve featured a few of her designs here – click on the image to visit the page to see the designs covering each subject.
Like most stitchers, I like to change things up when I stitch, based on materials I have on-hand. Here are some downloadable PDF’s from DMC Threads featuring helpful information to help you organize your thread collection, or to make product substitutions when working on a project.
Click on the text link or the image to download and print the material. You can then 3-hole punch them and keep them in a binder, where they’ll always be handy.
Want to substitute DMC Embroidery Floss for Satin Floss or Light Effects Floss? Consult the DMC Thread Color Conversion Chart. This 11-page chart has been formulated as a guide to assist you in selecting thread substitutions by color from the DMC family of products.
Bear in mind that the colors may not be exact across all products, due to variations in the materials used to produce or dye them. Use your best judgement when selecting substitutions for the threads listed in your project instructions.
Check off the items you already have, then bring the checklist with you on your next trip to the needlework store. You’ll always know what you have – and don’t have – and be ready to start your next stitching project.
If you’ve ever wondered what the name of each color of floss is, download the Color Descriptions for DMC Embroidery Floss file. It contains a numerical listing of all of the available colors of DMC’s open-stock embroidery floss. The list does not contain the colors for threads that are not yet available in individual units
If you want to see the names given to our set of 16 brand-new new colors, available as a boxed set, click here.
Color Descriptions for DMC Light Effects Floss including Jewels, Antiques, Pearlescent, Fluorescent and Metallic flosses can be found here, and includes a numerical listing of available colors can be downloaded here.
You can also find these items any time on the DMC web site on the Conversion Charts page.
I’ve been on the road again… It happens every year around this time – sometimes it’s work-related, other times it’s just for fun. This time I was down in Southern California, and had enough free time to visit a few shops on my trip.
On a sunny Saturday morning I dropped in at Needlepoints, LTD in Garden Grove, located just a few blocks west from Beach Blvd and the I-22 Junction. I had an awesome visit with owner Diana Hardner and her daughter, and managed to find a few new goodies to bring home with me – but definitely wish I had room in my suitcase for a few more!
The shop is definitely a stitcher’s candy store – the selection of eye candy is amazing!
In addition for carrying a complete wall of DMC Needlework Threads (this image shows our pearl cotton), the shop carries a huge – make than gargantuan – selection of patterns for cross stitch, embroidery, needlepoint, counted thread and other needle arts.
Trust me – You can’t be in a rush to look through the patterns – it will take you a while because there’s so much to choose from. The wall of patterns shown here is chock-full of ideas and is just the beginning… wait until you see the binders. Oh my!
You’ll also find an impressive selection of fabrics and linens, plain and hand-painted needlepoint canvases, beads, buttons and charms, as well as stitching organizers, gadgets and frames – and don’t forget the necessities like scroll frames, needles and tools.
Needlepoints, Ltd also features a large, well-lit classroom area and offers classes from their own experienced instructors as well as top designers in a wide range of needlework types. Visit their classes page to see what’s going on before your visit.
Feel free to drop on by the shop the next time you’re in town as well. Bring your needlework and visit for a while… I’ll definitely be dropping by again on my next visit!
Greeting stitchers! I’ve been on the road again, and as usual I like to visit the LNS in the area while traveling. A few weeks ago I found myself in cold, breezy and beautiful Ogden, Utah, where I had an opportunity to pop into The Needlepoint Joint.
This store actually takes up two store fronts on historic 25th Street, just down the street from the museums in the old Ogden Depot, and just a short drive to Promontory Point and other historic sites. I couldn’t help but think of the snappy Hell on Wheels theme tune while walking from the train depot to the shop…
This beautiful retail shop carries quality supplies for all types of needlework, from cross stitch and needlepoint to lacemaking and yarn crafts. They’ve been in business since 1973 and carry a huge array of threads, yarns, tools and needlework fabrics. They feature not only common items, but some unique and hard to find things.
Owner Judy Jones and her staff were welcoming and I had a great time visiting with them, admiring all the needlework goodies, and enjoying the shop. I’ll definitely be visiting again on my next trip to the area.
Here’s a photo of their wall of DMC Needlework Threads. They pretty much carry it all – and their selection of books and patterns is awesome!
Oh, and some of the more unusual items I found at the store were bobbin lace books and packages of quality wooden bobbins. These can be hard to find without special ordering them.
So, I’ve decided to learn bobbin lacemaking this year – wish me luck!
Visit our New Products page to see the latest addition to our selection of exclusive patterns, kits and booklets using our popular embroidery threads.
Light Effects is a glistening, 6-strand metallic thread that catches the light and adds reflective qualities to any needlework or craft project. It has been used in these projects to add a hint of shimmer and shine to different elements in the designs.
These kits are complete and ready to stitch and include all DMC Embroidery Threads, 16-count Aida, needle as well as complete instructions for working the designs.
Visit the Shopping Center to see more of our new designs and hot new products for stitchers and needleworkers.