embroidery project: doily

Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of taking the Artistic Embroidery class with Kat McTee at The Stitch Lab in South Austin. After falling in love with this doily-themed embroidery project, I knew I wanted to try out something similar.

I started off using a simple circular design that I found in a book at the sewing studio. I transferred the design to my piece of linen and then started stitching, embellishing the pattern as I went along. I experimented with a variety of stitches, including a modified blanket fan, to create a sampler of sorts.

One of my favorite sections of the doily is its center, which features a cluster of French knots.

I finally framed the piece last week and finished the back off with a vintage sheet.

UPDATE: This piece won the white category in Feeling Stitchy's Rainbow of Stitches Contest!


mini embroidery swap: what i received

So in exchange for the matryoshka cross-stitch I sent Adaiha, she stitched up this adorable crafty kitty for me, using this vintage transfer from doe-c-doe's Flickr stream.

I love the little cross-stitch details, especially the little x's that form the pattern on the fabric spilling out of basket below.

The back of the hoop is finished off beautifully with a piece of goldenrod floral fabric.


behind the scenes

 My inspiration board (which includes a Polaroid from our wedding and plastic deer)

Over the past few weeks, I've been working hard to organize my typically cluttered workspace--our spare room--so today, I thought I'd share a few pictures.  

I keep all of my aida cloth, buttons, felt, and hardware (like snaps and D-rings) in these drawers, which I picked up at a yard sale in middle or high school.

On top of the drawers is a spool rack made by my great-grandfather, who also made dollhouse furniture, as well as a Plain & Thimble sewing kit given to me by a friend.

On the wall above my sewing machine, I've hung a shower caddy, which I've loaded up with pretty fat quarters and scraps of fabric.

I also have embroidery hoops, a measuring tape, and a bag that I picked up at a market in San Antonio, which holds all of my knitting supplies, hanging from the caddy.

At any given time, I usually have a couple of projects going. Pictured above are blocks for a quilt that I'm working on (I'm using this Red Pepper Quilts tutorial), and pictured below are some French knot napkins in various stages, as well as the top of my little trees quilt, which I hope to finish this weekend.


mini embroidery swap: what i sent


After the success of our embroidered button swap, Adaiha and I decided to do another swap. For our second go-around, we decided to make mini embroidered pieces (I used a three-inch embroidery hoop). Knowing that Adaiha liked matryoshka dolls, I stitched one up using a pattern I found in A Rainbow of Stitches, one of my favorite sources for cross-stitch and embroidery designs.

I used some mint green aida cloth that I found at a thrift store as my background, and I again used this helpful tutorial by Maximum Rabbit Designs to finish off the back, which featured a scrap piece of matryoshka fabric and a salty // oat button.


wedding project: boutonnieres

First of all, thank you to Rachel for featuring my wedding quilt on the Craft blog on Tuesday! I'm so flattered! Also, thank you to everyone for their lovely comments, and welcome new followers!

Since a lot of the projects that I've been working on and photographing this week are for swaps (and I don't want to spoil the surprise for my swap partners!), I thought that I'd share another wedding-related craft project with you.

While planning our wedding (aka reading an insane number of wedding blogs), I came across these button blossoms on Martha Stewart Weddings and immediately fell in love with them. I made boutonnieres inspired by Martha's project for my husband and our justice of the peace to wear at our wedding.

I used fabric-covered buttons (this was my first time working with them) and flowers made from ribbon as my "blooms." The leaves were made with fusible interfacing and scrap fabric.

 Photo by Teresa Munisteri 

I really enjoy working with coverable buttons (as seen here) and have plans for cross-stitch pin-back buttons in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!


wedding project: quilt

Before our wedding last August, I collected fabric from some of our wedding guests. In the months leading up to the big day, I cut the fabric into isosceles triangles using pinking shears, and sewed the triangles together to create simple bunting to decorate our venue, the Richards Free Library in Newport, NH.

On the day of our wedding, we strung the bunting up in the library's ballroom, where we held our ceremony, and around the tables of pie and lasagna at our reception in the Library Arts Center.

After the wedding, I started work on a wedding quilt, made up of all of the triangles from the bunting. The quilt came together rather quickly (if you don't count the time I spent ripping out a few seams...), and is an eclectic mix of colors, thanks to the variety of fabric we received.

Being the first quilt I've ever done on my own, it has some wobbly and uneven seams, and is a slightly odd, longish shape, but I'm happy with how it turned out. It now resides in our living room and is a nice daily reminder of a memorable day.


before and after: side chair

Back in March, I had the pleasure of participating in a weekend upholstery class at Spruce, a local upholstery studio (something I've wanted to do for ages!). For the class, I brought in a super comfy side chair that had been given to me by my parents-in-law.

Over the course of the two-day workshop, I stripped the chair, painted its wood white, rebuilt its cushioning, and reupholstered it using a combination of vintage floral fabric from Thread-Bare and new solid olive green (a color which is ridiculously difficult to capture on film!) upholstery fabric.

Image from Spruce.

The welt cord outlining the chair's edges is made from the floral fabric, which contains shades of cream, teal, brown, and sage green.

The project was pretty physically demanding (I had sore shoulders and hands for a few days after), but totally worth it. I especially love how the back of the chair frames the vintage floral fabric.


embroidery project: chandelier

As an early Christmas present, I received a copy of Jenny Hart's latest book, Embroidered Effects. I hadn't done any embroidery up until that point (November), so I read the book cover to cover and practiced all of the stitches. The book includes lots of neat transfers, so for my very first embroidery project, I decided to stitch a chandelier.

The design was super easy to stitch (I did most of the stitching while sitting on a plane) and features lots of French knots. I stitched the design all in blue, and following Jenny's suggestion, I added a gold sequin to the main droplet hanging from the chandelier. 

I was finally able to frame the piece a few weeks ago using this simple tutorial and a scrap of floral fabric.


embroidered button swap: what i received

So for the embroidered button swap, my partner, Adaiha, sent me this lovely set of buttons, embellished with lots of pretty French knots (my favorite!) in blues and greens.

In the package, among squares of vintage fabric, vintage buttons, and chocolates, I also found an adorable strawberry pincushion...

...a matching needlebook...

...and an adorable blue crocheted octopus pin (love!).

Adaiha and I enjoyed the swap so much that we decided to do another one. Next up: tiny embroidery (framed in mini hoops!). I've already started stitching, and will reveal the results in late April.