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Jacks and Skulls Inspiration

Friday, October 17, 2014

Jack O Lantern Hoop on The Pink SamuraiJudging from all the fantastic crafts I see out on the web this week, the spooky season is almost upon us! This week is coming up Jacks and Skulls in terms of craftspiration, so I hope you enjoy this spooky roundup!

This Jack O Lantern Hoop on The Pink Samurai is cute, quick to make and delightful, indeed! This would be a perfect craft to repurpose some orange fabric, be it an old t-shirt or corduroy. In lieu of stitching with black embroidery floss, you could cut out your shapes in black felt and glue in place – a perfect way to “carve” a pumpkin with a lot less funky smells and mess.

Better yet, this pumpkin can go in your closet all year, and your closet won’t smell any funkier for it!

Skull Sweater Pillow on A Beautiful MessThis fun Skull Sweater Pillow on A Beautiful Mess looks like another quick, wonderful stitch. Of course it would be just as fun (if not more fun) stitched on an actual sweater for an awesome addition to your Halloween wardrobe!

The free cross stitch skull template offers so many fun possibilities – for a little more structure, you can stitch it up using some handy Waste Canvas.

I’d love to see this skull on a kid’s sweatshirt – or maybe just my own!

Potted Jack O Lanterns Free Pattern on Primitive BettysThis Potted Jack O Lanterns Cross Stitch Freebie on Primitive Bettys is so adorable – stitched up by Betty in 3 shades of DMC floss, it makes a sweet addition to Halloween decor!

I think this would look lovely on any natural linen or a gray Aida cloth.

Mini Sugar Skull Pattern by Shannon on Crafty PodThis lovely Mini Sugar Skull Pattern by Shannon on Crafty Pod would look wonderful small or large.

It looks perfectly spooky in all-white embroidery floss, but it would also be wonderful to get creative with your favorite bright shades of floss on this project, too!

Scrappy Halloween Table Mats on So Sew EasyI’m loving the elegantly spooky feel of these Scrappy Halloween Table Mats on So Sew Easy – Deby provides a video tutorial, helpful step-by-step photos, and links to a free file of downloadable spooky shapes like this Jack O Lantern, black cat, haunted house, witch, and bat!





 


Stitched in Space

Friday, November 8, 2013

Space Flag Stitched by Astronaut Karen NybergHow many of you are aware that we have a stitcher in space? American astronaut Karen Nyberg, who is currently aboard the International Space Station just happens to be an avid quilter and crafter.

Karen shares many breathtaking pictures snapped from the station in her Pinterest account, along with her hand-sewing.

In this wonderful video, Karen talks about the extra challenges of sewing in zero gravity (wow!) and how she keeps her tools organized. She’s invited stitchers to contribute a star-themed quilt block, which will be joined to the block she created in space. The completed quilt will be displayed at the Fall 2014 Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas.

 

Constellation Runner by Jessica Marquez on Design SpongeIn honor of Karen’s stitching, here’s a round-up with a stellar theme! This constellation runner is a free pattern by Jessica Marquez on Design Sponge, and uses DMC thread in 3866 and sequins for stars.

This would look beautiful as a wall hanging or stretched on canvas and I’d love to try Light Effects Glow in the Dark thread.

 
Moon Phases Cross Stitch by Liz StigletsI’m also loving this gorgeous, simple cross stitch pattern of the lunar phases by Liz – I love the polished look of it on navy blue Aida cloth in an unfinished wooden hoop.

You can find the lunar phases and many other lovely patterns in her Etsy shop.

 

Felt Ball Necklace on Blitsy CraftsThis lovely necklace idea is on Blitsy Crafts – simple needle-felted balls joined together with embroidery floss.

There are so many color options you can play with, but how wonderful would it be if you made a colored felt ball for every planet in the solar system?





 


Sprite Stitch Charity Quilt Project

Friday, July 26, 2013

Dune quilt square by La Ptite BeteThis incredible Dune cross stitch quilt square was created by La Ptite Bete for the Sprite Stitch Charity Quilt project. I love the way she so neatly arranged her DMC flosses on a ring, and the earthy color palette she chose.

You can see her project come to life, from start to finish, in a time-lapse gif on the Sprite stitch blog, view it here.

 

The Sprite Stitch blog is an awesome place for anyone who loves video games and stitching – crafters of all kinds gather on the forums to share their amazing, gaming-inspired works.

Quilt blocks for the Charity Quilt project are stitched on 16 count white Aida cloth, must measure 96 x 96 stitches (with every square stitched), and must feature a stitched scene from a video game. Visit their forum for more details.

Finished blocks are then assembled into a beautiful quilt like this one. Gorgeous work!

 

Here’s a few more squares contributed to the Charity Quilt project by forum members Jadely, TheMainlander, Merrywether, and Funkymonkey – click the image for a link back to the Sprite Stitch blog and forum posts:

Super-Mario quilt square by jadely Crystalis Quilt Square by TheMainlander
Link’s Awakening square by Merrywether Mario Kart square by funkymonkey

 

Are you feeling inspired to create your own themed quilt? Have a look at our Aida cloth, and don’t forget to share your stitching with us!





 


Embroidered Quilts

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

They say all Quilters embroider, but not all Embroiderers quilt. I’m not sure if this rings true or not, but I do know many quilters use embroidery in their quilted creations. Embroidery adds detail, texture, or helps the maker tell a story.

This quilt made by Debby Schnabel -a retired ICU nurse who runs the Debby Quilts blog -has created this masterpiece feauring her favorite psalms, and has used embroidery extensively in her project.

Debby has used pearl cotton to embroider her masterpiece with  a variety of interesting embroidered designs. The artists has used embroidery not only for the lettering in the text, but to also enhance images in the fabric, such as the tree show here, and to accent bold circles of color in the design.

As I look closely at Debby’s photos, I can see that she has painstakingly spaced rows of running stitch and bullion stitch, French knots and straight stitches in her circles, and has enhanced her trees with satin stitched fruit and detached chain stitch leaves.

The embroidered details are worked in basic stitches familiar to nearly anyone who embroiders or quilts, and really make the quilt come alive!

Quilt artist Allison Aller – one of the winners of DMC’s Trips to France –  also uses embroidery to enhance her quilts and add incredible detail to her projects.

She recently completed a piece titled Twenty Years in the Garden, using a variety of embroidery threads and ribbon to stitch the abundance of vegetables, flowers and plants in her quilted garden beds.

In the photo shown here, you can see the marigolds in-progress. Simply gorgeous.

Allison has used so many different hand embroidery stitches in her project that it’s hard to count them all, but I see French knots, straight stitch, stem stitch, detached chain stitch and lazy daisy stitches, running stitch, couching and more.

It’s amazing what embroidery can do for a quilting project, and I can hardly wait to see what these two incredible textile artists create next!





 


Creative Process: Stitching Printed Fabric

Friday, April 5, 2013

I’m thoroughly loving the delicious floss colors chosen for this project, as seen on the blog Archie the Wonder Dog. I love how Helen has stitched over the outlines on her fabric to create sweet moments of bright color and texture. She used 35 different shades of floss, and my eagle eyes spotted many DMC Threads – yay!

Helen was also kind enough to give some background on her project:
The squares are 7″ square (and backed with cotton interfacing) and will be trimmed to 6.5″ square before they’re pieced into a quilt. The two fabrics are from Summersville by Lucie Summers for Moda –  it was her first collection (came out last year) and her new line ‘Summersville Spring’ is available now.

About her process, Helen said:

I don’t have a set image in my head when I start a square, I just pick features that I think would look good ‘coloured in’. (I want it to look like the pages in a partially completed colouring book.) I try to make sure I’ve got a good variety of colours and stitches, that there’s a balance on each square and that I’m not making them all look too much alike. Eventually the squares are going to be pieced into a quilt but I think it will take me several years to get to that point!

My favorite 2 blocks are these – I love the texture she’s achieved on that sweet orange car and the rainbow stitching on the houses and bus windows:

As I mentioned in our previous profile – I love when stitchers include little peeks like these into their organization methods and process. Thanks, Helen, for allowing us to share your creativity with our readers! For more on her stitching, visit her blog.





 


More Inspiration from VAM

Monday, February 20, 2012

I had such a wonderful visit at the Visions Art Museum, and wanted to share a few more inspiring quilted and appliqued works of art with you.

Take a close look at this adorable quilt block, shown at right, featuring a paper doll and her wardrobe of pretty party dresses.

If you look closely, you will see that the artist embellished the block with hand embroidery using a metallic embroidery thread.

Small stars have been embroidered in the background area, and the dresses have been carefully embellished with stitching.

You could create a similar effect using DMC Light Effects threads using double cross stitches or small eyelets in the background, and assorted embroidery stitches in the clothing.  The embroidery really adds a nice twinkle to the piece!

The unusual piece to the left features hand-dyed lace flowers embellished with embroidery and beads.

Embroidery floss, pearl cotton and metallic embroidery thread can really dress up a quilt block, as this gorgeous piece illustrates.

The final example shows a small, appliqued quilt accented with hand embroidery around the perimeter of the circle.

It’s a bit hard to see, but a multi-colored thread was used in this area, and picks up the assorted colors of the background fabric.  DMC Color Variations Floss or Pearl Cotton could be used in a similar way.

Running stitch in solid colored embroidery floss has been used to highlight the pattern in the fabric near the center of the piece.

There are so many different ways we can use both common and unusual embroidery threads in hand embroidery and quilting projects.

Visiting an exhibit and seeing projects like the ones shown here can be so inspiring! Check with your local art museum, needlework or quilting guild to find out what’s going on – and on display – in your area.

~Emma





 


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