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 lovely Circles vintage pattern posted by Brian Campbell on Flickr looks just like festive fireworks, doesn’t it?
I’d love to interpret this pattern with a lot of buttonhole stitch outlines and lazy daisies! This would be a perfect pattern to go crazy with color, and a nice stitch to relax with on a family picnic or cookout.
Using a teeny crochet hook and silver hoop earrings you can craft a sweet and festive last-minute accessory. You can easily swap out the Light Effects floss for DMC floss in festive red, white and blue, too.
This Hand Embroidered Pin Cushion Tutorial on Make it Handmade is another quick and lovely way to while away the time while chatting with family and friends today.
Quick, concentric lines of running stitch form the simple design, and any fabric scraps make the shape.
Learn how to create this gorgeous pattern by Rebecca Ringquist with the Adding Embroidery Tutorial on Oliver + S.
I spy some gorgeous DMC threads in the supplies used to create these beautiful textures, including our DMC Pearl Cotton, and I am also in love with the color palette Rebecca chose.
This sweet free Festive embroidery pattern on Speckless says it all, I think!
Go out and celebrate on this beautiful day, and however you celebrate I hope it’s a wonderful day, for all of you!
I’ve put together a basket of fresh summer flowers you can trace and stitch on a variety of ready-made items. Stitch them on pillows and crisp, cool cotton sheets, or embroider them on a tablecloth to drape over the picnic table.
The colors used are just a suggestion – feel free to use your favorite color of DMC Embroidery Floss when working the designs. The blossoms would also look lovely worked in DMC Color Variations Floss or our Satin Floss, featuring a bit of shine!
Stitch the flowers in easy, basic embroidery stitches – lazy daisy stitches, the leaves in detached chain stitch, the stems in back stitch or outline stitch, and the small flower clusters and flower centers in French knots. Visit our embroidery page for diagrams for working the stitches, or refer to Emma’s Embroidery Stitch Tool.
This 4th of July Ombre Wreath on Tell Love and Chocolate is genius in its elegant simplicity. It’s a perfect project that little hands can help with!
A gathering of quilting cottons or better yet, scrap fabrics from the special people in your life (denim would make a gorgeous blue), an embroidery hoop, and scissors are all that is needed to craft this special wreath.
This breathtaking Stars and Stripes Table Runner Pattern on The Cozy Pumpkin has all the directions you need to craft this beautiful centerpiece. I adore the sheer variety of fabrics in this lovely work!
If it’s a quick, lovely cross stitch project you’re after, look no further than this Free July 4th Cross Stitch Pattern on Plum Street Samplers.
It doesn’t get much simpler and lovelier than this 4th of July Primitive Embroidery on Chicken Scratch NY. Use a small scrap of burlap, an embroidery hoop, a bit of red floss (my personal favorites being DMC 321 or 666, if you’re feeling sassy), and scrap fabric from your stash.
Again, a scrap of denim from those jeans with too many well-placed holes would work great here. This would be a great introductory project for the beginner and young embroiderer, too!
These Vintage 4th of July Embroidery Transfers on Q is For Quilter are wonderful for their nostalgia and attention to detail.
For a quick stitch, try working the vintage patterns in Redwork, with just one bright shade of red.
Pull out your stash of vintage linens and put them to good use during the summer months. Today I have some lovely suggestions on using and displaying them to add a summery feel to your rooms or for an outdoor gathering.
If you collect hand embroidered doilies, napkins or dresser scarves that are in less than perfect shape, you can salvage the pretty areas of the items and up-cycle them. Or use new linens you’ve stitched using DMC Embroidery Threads to make new ones!
Pillows are a wonderful way to use both banded areas and corners of a vintage piece. I made the ones shown to the left several years ago and enjoy them every year – although I have changed the pillows underneath the linens several times.
You can hand-stitch them to pre-made pillows, or make the pillows yourself. Tuck in a bit of lace and you have a romantic accent for a bench, settee or to display on the bed.
If you have a few worn-out pillow cases with embroidered bands, you can transform them into pretty kitchen towels. All you need to do is cut off the embroidered area with a seam allowance along the cut edge, turn under the seam allowance and applique the strip to a new tea towel. It’s a fast, easy and useful way to enjoy the fanciful embroidered design.
And speaking of tea towels, if you have a pair of them in good shape but you don’t want to use them in the kitchen, check out this adorable child’s jacket made using a puppy-themed set.
The jacket, and the tea towel above were both spotted on Pinterest, but unfortunately I was unable to trace them back to the original person who posted them due to the huge number of re-pins. To those creative folks, I’d like to offer a big Thank You for two awesome ideas!
If you’re squeamish about cutting into old linens, you can always make your own from scratch using DMC Cotton Embroidery Floss and pre-printed linens, or use iron-on designs on ready-made items.
You can even make your own designs by tracing a pattern onto the fabric using our Embroidery Transfer Pen. I use these for a lot of my designs because the ink completely washes out of the fabric (emphasis on wash, not just spritz or dab).
Even small bits of linen can be put to another use. I love this little business card case posted by Renee at Sewn with Grace. The tiny little yo-yo accents and buttons finish it off nicely.
There are so many fun things you can do with a stack of old, worn out or vintage linens – these are just a few of the many inspiring items you can make or up-cycle. I’d love to see what you’ve done with vintage linens. You can email me your ideas – and if I get enough of them, I may turn it into a fun prizewinning event later in the summer!
There’s a wonderful free Jane Austen cross stitch pattern on My Hobby Gallery, and a lovely Jane Austen stitchalong, on the same blog!
The Jane Austen Stitchalong pattern has so many delightful classic sampler elements and motifs.
I’m sure it will be breathtaking when it’s all stitched up in DMC threads!
This free cross stitch pattern is so charming – Jane Austen’s House on Gazette 94.
With a comforting, warm palette of seven DMC shades, this lovely little sampler would look perfect as it is, or with just the words and border stitched, for a faster finish.
This Elizabeth and Darcy Sampler on Kincavel Krosses features some lovely, cheerful shades.
A perfect gift for a true Austen lover, or something sweet to keep for yourself!
But if it’s strictly Mr. Darcy that you love (and who doesn’t love some Colin Firth), why not commemorate it with this I Love Mr. Darcy pattern, also on Kincavel Crosses?
All you’ll need is one shade of floss, and a bit of Aida cloth - perfect for a rainy afternoon and some marathon Jane Austen movie-watching!