Friday, 30 July 2010

Buttonhole Bars

Buttonhole bars or detached buttonhole bars as they are also known are used in cut work embroidery to bridge a space. You usually work the buttonhole bar before cutting away the unwanted fabric. A row of buttonhole stitches are created which are attached to the fabric only at either end.

To work a buttonhole bar bring your needle up at 1, down again at and then up above 2 at 3. Take your needle down again at 4 and then up again just under 1 to start the first buttonhole stitch. Next work a buttonhole stitch from left to right over the top of the two long stitches you have just produced, without piercing the fabric as shown. Pack the stitches close together so that the buttonhole bar lies flat. When you come to the end of the row insert the needle just below 2 in order to fasten off the last loop.

Spiders web using detached buttonhole bars

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Me and My Shadow!

I have changed my profile image and just had to post it here too! This is a recent picture of me and my daughter Pippa. When ever I'm stitching she is always by my side. She loves the feel of the threads and she loves to feel the finished embroidery. I can't wait till she is old enough to teach her embroidery. Oscar my little lad used to love pulling the needle through the fabric for me when I was stitching but he is into drawing cars and monsters these days!

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Buttonhole Wheels

Buttonhole Wheels like Buttonhole Flowers are really easy to work and this is a quick tutorial on how to work them.

You will need to first mark a circle on your fabric with a fabric marker pen or pencil. Working anti-clockwise, turn your work as your work around the circle. Bring your needle up at 1 down at 2 and up at 3 with your thread beneath the needle. All the stitches radiate from one central point. Continue repeating all around your circle. To finish form the last stitch by passing the needle under first stitch on the outside edge and inserting the needle at the centre as before.

Book Review - Sew Liberated

I am doing a few book reviews for the Hand Embroidery Network so I thought for all those that weren't members who may read my blog I will put it here on my blog also!

Liberate your sewing with Sew Liberated

Are you looking for a stylish way to use appliqué or do you want to know how to apply appliqué for your sewing projects? If so this book is sure to be an inspiration. From the author of the Sew Liberated Blog, Meg McElwee, you will find 20 stylish projects for the modern sewist.

Each project has clear instructions from beginning to end with easy to follow illustrations. There are gorgeous photographs of the projects to get your creative juices flowing and once you have tried out all the projects in the book you are sure to feel confident enough to have a go at your own appliqué projects!

At the back of the book is an appliqué primer with step by step photographs for you to follow plus tips and techniques to have you as Meg says 'appliquéing with confidence'. There is also an embroidery stitch library if you are new to embroidery and want to embellish your projects. A useful part of the book is the section on useful stitches and techniques such as slipstitch, whipstitch and how to attach binding with mitered corners! All the paper patterns for the projects are included and stored neatly at the back on the book in an envelope. This really is a fab book that if you are wanting to have a go at making some projects for your home or as gifts for a loved one this is really a good place to start!

I have to say my favourite projects in the book are the Teacup Corset Apron and the Mother / Daughter Blossom Blouse which I will definitely be having a go at for myself and my little girl!

Sew Liberated by Meg McElwee is published by Interweave. For more of Meg's creative applique visit the Sew Liberated Blog.

Purchase a copy of Sew Liberated.

Monday, 26 July 2010

Buttonhole Flowers

Here is a quick tutorial on making Buttonhole Flowers. First you will need to mark an outer and an inner circle on your fabric. Bring your needle up at 1 on the inside circle then down at 2 and up at 3 with the thread beneath your needle. Work in this way all around your circle spacing as required. You can radiate the stitches regularly or irregularly. Try working in different thread thicknesses and also moving the inner circle off centre for a less formal effect.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Buttonhole Stitch

Buttonhole stitch is another of my favourite stitches and combined with bullion knots is one I use a lot! Buttonhole stitch is worked in exactly the same way as Blanket stitch except the stitches are worked closer together. Buttonhole stitch creates a firm edge used for cutwork (and of course buttonholes!). It can be worked on plain and evenweave fabrics. When used for cutwork it is the lower twisted edge that the fabric is cut away from.

To work a basic Buttonhole stitch bring your needle up at 1, down at 2 and up at 3 with the thread beneath the needle as shown in the photograph below. That is it, it's a really easy stitch to work.

Thanks to everyone who has entered my giveaway so far and for your lovely comments! 

Saturday, 24 July 2010

The Whittles Wittering's: Chips off the old block - artists and designers in the making!

The Whittles Wittering's: Chips off the old block - artists and designers in ...: "Here is Oscar and Pippa chilling out on Saturday night. Oscar is really interested in car design and wants to be a car designer when he is older. Pippa loves to sketch too as well as dancing."

Friday, 23 July 2010

First Blog Giveaway! Reader I Married Him.

Well here it is at last! After an arthritis flare up that made it so my neck didn't want to move and just this week a dicky sewing machine that nearly stopped me adding a backing! I have finally finished my Jane Eyre tinted embroidered postcard to giveaway as my first ever blog giveaway. (See the inspiration behind the postcard here).

So if you would like a Sarah Whittle original embroidery lol please leave your name and a comment below. You have until Sunday 1st August to sign up. I will use one of those random generator things to determine the winner which I will do so on Monday 2nd August. You don't have to be only in the UK I will post it overseas too.

Ok below are images of the finished postcard so you know what you are getting and if you love Jane Eyre and the Bronte Sisters then this is up your street! The text on the postcard is from the last chapter and it reads ' Reader, I married him. It's signed in the corner with my initials so you know it's by me!

I just started a new one on Wuthering Heights, it's a combination of an image of the church yard at Haworth and the lyrics from a Kate Bush song! Pics soon!

Bullion Knot Roses

Yesterday I showed you a tutorial on bullion stitch/knots and today I am following up on that with a quick tutorial on Bullion roses. Bullion roses are also known as Porto Rico Rose stitch.

To form Bullion knots into roses first start by forming a triangle. Next create a Bullion knot at one of the triangle corners and add extra twists to make it curl. Continue working around the shape adding knots till a rose is formed. You could work the roses in two or three colours to create a really nice shaded effect. They would look nice on an item of clothing like a wooly cardigan or worked as a border with a stem and Fishbone Stitch leaves.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Bullion Knots

Bullion Knots are one of my favourite embroidery stitches and I use them quite a lot in my embroidery. Bullion Knots also known as caterpillar stitch, worm stitch, grub stitch, coil stitch and post stitch. Bullion knots are at first a little tricky to do but once mastered they can give your work a lovely raised appearance.

To create Bullion Knots there a two methods you can do, it is entirely up to you and you should choose which method works best for you and which feels comfortable. 

Method 1
Bring your needle up at 1 and down at 2. Pull your needle through but leave a loop of thread. You need to leave the loop quite long because you are going to twist it around your needle! Bring your needle back up at 1. Your needle should emerge out of the fabric but not come all the way through. Next twist your thread around the needle point. This can be done 5 to 8 times, depending on the size of the space between 1 and 2. Next holding the twists in place pull the needle through. Pull the threads towards 2 and pack tight with the needle then take the needle down at 2 to finish the knot.

Method 2
Bring your needle up at A and insert it to the right at B, the required length of the knot, emerging again at A. Don't pull the needle through the fabric, first twist the thread around the needle. Again the number of twists depends on the size of the knot to be worked. Hold the twists in place and gently pull the needle and the thread through the twists. As you do this pull the thread in the direction of B, pull the thread to tighten the twists and insert the needle at B pulling through to the wrong side of the fabric.

Bullion knots can be scattered and formed into flowers as in the example above.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Blanket Stitch the Variations

Blanket Stitch and its variations of which there are a few, for example it can be straight, crossed, whipped, closed and worked long and short. It is a great stitch not just for edgings but for creating borders either straight or curved.

To work a plain blanket stitch, begin working from left to right. If it helps you can draw two lines on the fabric to follow as a guide. First bring the needle up at 1, down at 2 and up at 3, make sure the thread is looped under the needle. Pull through. Repeat the next stitch to the right. Fasten down the last loop by making a small stitch along the lower line. 

Double Blanket Stitch
Worked in exactly the same way as single blanket stitch only this time work a row of blanket stitches from left to right then turn the work and work another row of blanket stitches. Position the 'teeth' of the stitch between the 'teeth' of the first line as shown in the picture.

Whipped Blanket Stitch
As with backstitch you can whip the lower edge with a contrasting colour thread. Start at the right side and bring your needle up through the fabric close to the first stitch and then pass the needle from top to bottom through each of the lower threads without going through the fabric.

Long and Short Blanket Stitch
Long and short blanket stitch is work in exactly the same way as before only this time you lengthen or shorten the stitch. You do this by working the stitches evenly as in the picture below.

Closed Blanket Stitch
To create a closed blanket stitch work from left to right and bring your needle up at 1, down at 2 and then back up again at 3. The thread should be beneath the needle, then pull through. Take your needle down again at 2 and up at 4 matching the diagonal slope of the first diagonal.

Crossed Blanket Stitch
To create the crossed blanket stitch you once again work from left to right. To create the first diagonal bring your needle up at 1 and then down at 2 then bring your needle up at 3 with the thread under the needle to work the second diagonal take your needle down at 4 and then up at 5 as shown in the photo. To create the next stitch take the needle down at 6 and bring it up at 7 next to the bottom of the second diagonal stitch.

The Whittles Wittering's: New Website For Me!

The Whittles Wittering's: New Website For Me!: "Andrew has been working hard all weekend on a new website for me and it looks fantastic, so big thanks to my clever hubby! I now have I what I feel is a really clean and simple website which highlights my embroidery work. "

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

The Humble Backstitch

The humble backstitch is one of the most versatile stitches in the embroiderers stitch arsenal as it can be used as an outline stitch on plain or evenweave fabrics or as a foundation for other embroidery stitches, such as Pekinese Stitch. It is also used in cross stitch, blackwork and Assisi work.

Worked on its own using straight even stitches backstitch resembles a machine like stitch. However there are other things you can do with backstitch to make it a decorative stitch in its own right! These include whipped, threaded and double threaded backstitch.

Ok here is how to do the good old plain version! First bring the needle up at 1, down at 2 and up at 3. It is important that the stitches should be the same length. To start the next stitch insert the needle at 1 again. Repeat along your line keeping the stitches as even as possible.

Whipped Backstitch
First work a line of backstitch as show above and then using a contrasting colour start at the beginning of your backstitch line by bringing your needle up at 1, this is half way along your first backstitch. Pass your needle under each stitch, top to bottom without going through the fabric until you reach the end of your line and then finish at the top halfway along the last backstitch.

Threaded Backstitch
First work a row of backstitch again. Then using a contrasting colour bring your needle out at 1 and thread the needle through the second stitch along. Work each stitch alternatively up and down but not going through the fabric.

Double Threaded Backstitch
For double threaded backstitch work exactly in the same way as above. Using a contrasting colour bring the needle up at 1 and thread through the second stitch and carry on all along the row of backstitches filling in the vacant spaces with loops. Keep the thread quite relaxed and don't pull too tightly.