Friday, May 25, 2012

Strawberry Special in June!

Let's Celebrate Strawberries!

While plant shopping yesterday I noticed some yummy strawberry plants. Not only were they in bloom, they already had fruit. In Wisconsin, any early harvest is something to celebrate!
I love creating Strawberry Emery Pincushions.

I love changing it up and thinking of new approaches to traditional favorite sewing tools.

Here is my very elegant strawberry with crystals. Available in Red, Burgandy, Black, Brown and Turquoise

Here are some felted beauties! The design varies and I invite you to choose a color scheme you love and I will custom felt your strawberry.

I've designed some new designs for my Etsy Shop. Here's My first new design...The BIG Strawberry!
This one is 4 1/2 inches long, 2 i/2 inches across and 7 inches around at the top! I made it with a lovely recycled wool in a radiant red raspberry. I initially thought of a very delicate embroidery design in stranded floss but decided to go with #5 perle cotton and bold shapes. I created fun drooping flowers using long straight stitches, long bullion stitches and french knots. The base of each flower is bright green satin stitches. The stems are wrapped a back stitch with subtle color changes and french knots. The tiny leaves are easy fish bone stitches. I ran a running stitch around the cream colored white top. I added more straight stitches and french knots and a strong loop covered in cast on stitches. For the new or non-embroiderer, I just want to encourage you to give these simple stitches a try. I think anyone can master stitching. I think hand embroidery is like signing your name to your work. It goes so far beyond a machine stitch. Everyone has their own style and sense of design. Its such a unique way to create a personal statement.
Here is is with my emery strawberry and a cute little felt strawberry I made.

I'll be offering a tutorial on making your own strawberries. Best of all, any purchase over $50.00 in my Etsy Shop comes with a free Strawberry Emery Pincushion! Yup, free. My treat.

So get out the shortcake, buy some whipped topping and get ready to get your strawberry on in June!

Click here to check out my 3 for $20.oo Assorted Strawberries on Etsy. Normally, they are $8 each. Save $4.00!

As with all of my Etsy items, I'll throw in a gift box or tulle wrap free of charge. In a hurry?... I'll ship right to your special someone.

Monday, May 21, 2012

My 1930"s Pincushion is featured on a sweet blog I'd love to share with you. Check out The Sewing Loft.
Pincushion Crush

The lovely Heather Valentine, blogger, designer and entrepreneur has many adorable tutorials for all sewers of all skill levels. She is very kind in spreading the love and giving us a sneak peak into the creative shops and blogs of other fabric artists. Its such a fun place to stop, enjoy and learn a few new tricks.

While you are there, click on her Etsy shop and you'll find so many fun and adorable patterns for a wide variety of projects. She also has some fun trims and vintage treasures you will surely want for your next project.

Here is an adorable pattern for a Little Girl's Tea Party. I know you are saying,...awwwwwh.

I think I'll go shop there myself!
Take a look, you'll love it!

Saturday, May 19, 2012


I love hummingbirds. Every year they pass through our part of the country. They fly through now on the way to their breeding grounds, and come back again in late summer to head for warmer climates. They are so quick, yet so incredibly beautiful. Its hard not to be mesmerized by their quickness and agility. They have been few and far between for my little feeder, but I had the pleasure of watching a number of these pretty little flyers by my brother's wooded back yard.

I found this simple yet elegant home dec fabric while shopping last week. I knew it would be the perfect back drop for something beautiful. Seeing that I had hummingbirds on my mind, I decided to create a little homage to them. I used a combination of perle cotton, which is my fiber of choice for most projects. But this image needed a delicate touch, so I added a variety of colors of cotton floss. most of my stitches are wrapped back stitches. I like the raised look of the lines this stitch creates. I also used satin stitches and a few french knots here and there. To create a soft transition from one color to the next, alter short and long stitches. Bring your needle up half-way through the first stiches and then draw the floss down past the first stitches. Take your time and study your original photo. Watch for subtle color changes, shadows and highlights. Don't forget to play and enjoy the process of watching your work come to life!

I don't use patterns, although I would like to create patterns to share. I find that adding an original touch to my stitching offers a lot of new challenges. It helps me to stay fresh and spontaneous. For this design, I drew some hummingbirds from a magazine. The hardest part for me is getting the size right. I don't want to over power the fabric design. I want to enhance it and give each piece a natural flow. Once I have the right image in the size I like, I cut out my drawing and lay it onto the fabric. If the size and shape are right, I use light pencil lines to trace the outline of my image. I keep the marks very light. You can erase lines from some fabrics, but it doesn't always come off completely. Once everything looks right, I like to take a sewing needle and a single thread and stitch around my image. If the pencil wears off, I still have my basting threads to guide my design.

The next time you are in awe of something amazing, I urge you to add that wonder to your work. I think you will find that the magic of that special something adds a touch of magic to your creations.

To purchase this or other pincushions in my Etsy Shop click HERE to go to my Fiberluscious shop!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

My Newest Pincushion

My newest pincushion on Etsy is one of my very favorites. I know I say that a lot, but I guess the harder I try to learn this craft, the more I love what I make.

I just received a new shipment of embroidery cotton and the colors were to die for. They are from the DMC line of perle cotton. I know there are silk, linen and wool variations, but size 5 perle cotton speaks to me. The threads are nice and juicy without being too large. Satin stitches just shine. French knots are perky and have a nice presence. I added a back stitch onto a chain stitch and I got a really pretty effect on the stem and the border.

The fabric I used is a premium quilt cotton. The leaf print is filled with rich reds and deep greens. I started playing with adding embroidery stitches to the print. After the first bunch I just knew I couldn't stop. I first drew a few flower shapes which overlapped the leaf print here and there. Once I had a design I liked, I used fabric markers to block in the flowers. If I hadn't, it would have worked out fine. But I wanted a continuity between the flowers and the leaf designs.

You can't use an easier design for a pincushion than a square. I trimmed my embroidered cloth so there was a nice border around the stitchin. I then added strips of batik cotton along the edges. Before sewing the front to the back, I added some chain and back stitches along the batik border.
After adding the seam allowances I sewed the back fabric onto the front, right sides together.
I sewed around the outside edge, leaving a small open spot for turning and stuffing.

I trimmed the corners down and turned it right side out. I created an emery pocket and placed it inside the pincushion. Then I stuffed it full with new polyester fiber fill. I hand sewed the opening closed with a ladder stitch and it's done! The actual construction of the pincushion tool less than an hour. The embroiderey,,, always I lost track of time when I was stitching. I know there were 2 nights when I looked at the clock just before the birds start their early morning songs.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Nestle and Soar's Top Ten Tuesday

I am so honored to be featured as a Top Ten Tuesday pick on Georgianna Holland's blog, Nestle and Soar. Take a look and enjoy her lovely features and don't forget to visit her Etsy Shop! You will fall in love!

Take a look at one of Georgianna's Sweet Pillows. You can find it in her Etsy Shop.


Design Tip in my Tutorial Section

So often, when working on my apples, I have so many ideas on how to embroider them. With so many possibilities, its hard to decide what will work best. To get past this creative conundrum, I decided to create a design tool. This little empty apple canvas allows me to play with shapes and patterns to fit the spirit of the apple I am working on. When I'm done, I just sprinkle it with water and the drawing disappears! Take a look at this quick tutorial. Perhaps you can use it when designing your next project.