June Days

June always ends up being the busiest month of my year, and this year was no exception, with birthdays, wedding anniversaries, and a couple of First Holy Communion celebrations as well!

During June I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the Folksy Friday animations by Leanne Warren of Leapup. I was asked to contribute a few pieces to be used in the animations, and it’s been fabulous seeing them come to life. If you want to watch them all click here, and I’ve included a few photos below too.

This little fish is inspired by my lavender bag range (I’m going to be making more soon). She caught the fancy of a cheeky seagull!

Hitch the Seagull by Big Bird Little Bird

Dora the Donkey by Lavendonmade

Beach hut bunting by Michelle Corbin Design

Photo from Leanne Warren.

This flower is now listed in my Folksy shop as a made to order item. It’s so much fun making them! It featured in the Rainbows and Unicorns animation.

Another project I’ve been working on for some time was finished during June; it’s been delivered now so I can finally share it! My auntie commissioned me to embroider her house, and my grandparents house, which she grew up in. It was to be stitched in black and grey. It’s been a challenge, I won’t deny that, but it’s been interesting too. My 6 year old daughter was a fabulous cheerleader on this project- her little fist pump and ‘yesss’ when I told her I’d finished stitching the railings was wonderful!

In between stitching these hoops – and to add a little colour to my day, I made another embroidered pin cushion. I’ve really enjoyed making these, just playing with stitch and colour is very relaxing! Should I do some for my shop?!

This week I’m going to be starting Christmas craft fair stock. Feels scary but I need to get organised! As I’ve been so busy recently with other stuff I’ve started to feel a bit panicky about not being ready for Christmas. As I write this there’s only 178 days to go…. if they go as fast as June went, yikes!

xx

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Rainbows and Unicorns- it’s Folksy Friday!

It’s Folksy Friday! Through May and June the talented people at Folksy, and Leanne Warren of LEAPUP are sharing an animation featuring folksy sellers work, and this Friday a Shirley Rainbow piece is part of it!

Rainbow Flower Lavender Bags from my Folksy Shop, and the Rainbow flower was specially made for Leanne and the animation. Click HERE to view the animation on YouTube.

The theme is Rainbows and Unicorns, which has delighted my five year old daughter, and I thought I’d show off lots of the lovely rainbow and unicorn products available on Folksy, handmade by talented crafters. I’ve created a Pinterest board you can check out here, and here are a few favourites…

Rainbow Felt picture by Roses Felt Workshop

Rainbow Cloud Mobile by Touch of Whimsy Co

Wooden Rainbow Bird by Julie Love Little Works of Art

Rainbow Embroidery Kit by Miesje Chafer

Fairy Unicorn Dress by The Little Fairy

Unicorn Map Card by Piccola Crafts

Unicorn and Cupcake Tic Tac Toe by Handmade Retro Jewellery

Unicorn Hand knitted jumper by Jolly Jumpers Knitwear

Click here to view the other animations from Folksy, there’s a zombie sloth singing a song and some very cute needle felted chicks…

Teresa x

All about the (nearly finished) Stitch Sampler

My stitch sampler is finally finished being stitched! Actually it was done a few weeks ago but never mind. I kept thinking I wouldn’t do a blog post about it until I’d finished mounting it etc but that may not be for some time now as when I washed the piece the hand dyed thread I had used ran, and has stained the fabric. I need to try and sort that before mounting it properly.

Anyway. Here is the finished stitching.

It took almost 30 hours to do in total.

I’ve done four close up photos, one of each section with a list of stitches below. I used The Needlecraft Stitch Directory by Sarah Whittle, The A-Z of Crewel Embroidery from SearchPress and online tutorials by Nicole at Cloud Craft for reference.

From the left to right:

Couching with variegated thread

Fly Stitch to create a zigzag

Fern Stitch

Straight Stitch

Running Stitch

Coral Stitch

Chain Stitch

Whipped Back Stitch

Interlaced Running Stitch in two colours

Blanket Stitch

Magic Chain Stitch

Closed Feather Stitch

Chain Stitch

Running Stitch with 3 strands of floss

Tied Herringbone Stitch

Feather Stitch with French Knots

Leaf Stitch

From the top down:

Herringbone Stitch

Whipped Running Stitch

Laced Back Stitch

Back Stitch with Lazy Daisy

Chevron Stitch – my favourite!

Chain Stitch in 6 strands of floss

Open Chain Stitch / Ladder stitch

Raised Chain Stitch

Feather Stitch

Upright Cross Stitch

Double Whipped Detached Chain Stitch

Straight Stitch

Couching

From left to right, in ‘columns’:

Japanese Darning

Square Laid Filling in single strands of floss

Laid Trellis work with French Knots

Double Cross Stitch

Cloud Filling Stitch

French Knots and Lazy Daisy

Battlement Filling Stitch

Basket Stitch

Couched Filling stitch

From the top right corner outwards:

Blanket Stitch partial pinwheel

Straight Stitch – this is where the dye has run.

Double Blanket Stitch

French Knots with 6 strands, 3 strands and 2 strands of floss

Fern Stitch

Cable Stitch

Blanket Stitch Pinwheel (orange) 6 strands of floss.

Couched Circle (pale pink)

Blanket Stitch Pinwheel (teal, 2 strands of floss)

Woven Circle

Blanket Stitch Pinwheel-pink.

Spider’s Web Circle – whipped

Japanese Knot

Wheat sheaf stitch

Now I’ve done this I just want to keep going and do more. I might start another large sampler with more stitches I still haven’t tried…

I did make this set of two mini Stitch Samplers for my Folksy shop. I think they would be a cute addition to an embroidery hoop gallery wall, or in a sewing room! I’m possibly addicted to trying new embroidery stitches!

Teresa x

All the good things

Last year for my birthday I was a very lucky girl, I got an iPad Pro and pencil. I very quickly bought Procreate too and have thoroughly enjoyed learning how to use it to create digital designs. I’ve had some of these printed onto fabric and have tried some embroidery over the top. I used Prinfab to do the digital prints, I was really pleased with the quality.

This is the first sample I did, using wool embroidery yarn, and I’ve kept this for myself!

Two of my designs are now available in my Folksy shop.

I’ve used DMC embroidery threads to add the details and it gives a nice texture to the finished piece.

I also created a repeat pattern printed fabric, although I’m still too scared to cut into it! It was inspired by the badges I make, and the tiny bits of embroidery they feature.

Other new products that I’ve recently added to my shop are these Lavender Bags. I’ve made them using off cuts of felt and fabric from other embroidery projects, so they are reducing waste as well as being fun to make, and even though I say it myself, rather cute. I’ll be making more for definite! The lavender used for stuffing is grown in my own garden, and most of the ribbons used are recycled too, from gift wrap and clothing.

And finally, a new craft magazine arrived on the shelves of all good newsagents this week! It’s from the Take a Break family and is full of simple craft projects, including one from me! I designed a pattern for some crochet coasters which work up quickly in Aran yarn. The magazine is only £1.99, a bargain I’m sure you’ll agree. I’m also in there giving advice about keeping your embroidery and cross stitch projects neat!

Teresa x

Five years of Shirley Rainbow (and a giveaway!)

I am celebrating my 5th year of Shirley Rainbow! I can’t quite believe I’ve been doing this for 5 years. The first item I listed in my Folksy shop was this card, and off I went! I’ve learned all sorts of things- from how to set up and build my own website (I embedded code…. never thought I’d say that or even know what it meant), to how to organise myself and stock for craft fairs and an exhibition, and how to take reasonable photos. I’ve done wholesale orders and commissions and learned how to crochet too along the way. Folksy has been a great platform to sell with and the support I’ve received via their blog, chat forums and Facebook groups has been fabulous.

So to celebrate and say thanks for everyone’s ongoing support for Shirley Rainbow I thought I’d do a giveaway.

The first giveaway prize is this embroidered bird. It’s part of my new digital print collection. It is hand embroidered with DMC thread on cotton and measures 6” across. I’ll do three runner up prizes of these badges, made of hand embroidered wool felt and faux leather.

Soooo…. to enter: follow my blog, like this post and leave a comment! Open worldwide. This giveaway will also run from my Instagram. I’ll put all the names in a hat and draw a winner on Tuesday 18th Feb (my actual Shirley Rainbow Birthday) at 8pm, and I will notify the winners. Good luck!

Teresa x

** This giveaway is not affiliated with WordPress or Instagram in any way.**

Handmade for Valentine’s Day

If you go to your newsagent today (in the U.K!) you will be able to buy Take a Break Monthly magazine featuring an embroidery tutorial by me!

It’s a Valentines inspired piece but there are plenty of ways to personalise it for other occasions such as wedding or anniversaries? Perhaps even a Christening gift.

It’s in the monthly magazine and the front cover looks like this:

It was really fun designing this project and I learned a few things about working with a magazine as well.

However (blatant advert for my own shop coming up) if you don’t fancy making a gift for Valentine’s Day there are some really rather nice bits in my Folksy shop

And also these beautiful pieces from other sellers on Folksy

Dottery Pottery – Trinket Dish

Vanilla Wind – Little Bunnies

Love Lottie Knits – Lavender Hearts

I thought this card from Gaynor Marshall Designs was pretty apt for me!

Xx Teresa

2019- the year of Stitch

How is January going? I hope you’ve had a good start to the year. It’s been quite busy here. There’s been quite a lot going on behind the scenes: I’m working on a commission that I can’t share yet, and some other exciting stuff I can’t share yet either! However in between all that I’ve been doing a bit of embroidery and I think that 2019 should be the year I learn more about, and practice, embroidery!

I started the year with these little Drop Cloth samplers that were so much fun to do. So far I’ve only sewn one up into a pincushion. Will I ever dare stick a pin in it though?Embroidery kits are a great way to try out new stitches, and I’ve been having a look at what I might try next…

In the mean time I’ve dug out my embroidery books and have designed a simple layout to try new stitches, and also some I’ve not used for a while, in a sampler. There are so many embroidery stitches to do but it’s difficult to work out how to utilise them sometimes, so I find I use the same stitches over and over. Even if I don’t find a way to use them in other embroidery I’m enjoying giving new techniques a try. I’ve also decided, inspired by my Instagram friend Alison Sye, to time how long I spend on the embroidery. So far it’s 10 hours.

Clockwise the stitches I’ve used are

Herringbone stitch

Whipped running stitch

Laced back stitch

Running stitch with lazy daisy

Chevron stitch

Chain st

Basket Weave Stitch

Cloud filling stitch

Lazy daisy stitch worked in a grid with french knots

Laid trellis work.

Couching

Fly stitch

Fern stitch

Straight stitch

Couching

Chain stitch

I’m drawing the lines with an erasable pen so that it doesn’t get too chaotic ( I’d still like the sampler to look good!) and I will do some more blog updates on what I’ve stitched. And maybe at some point I will incorporate the lovely new stitches into some pieces for my Folksy shop!

Teresa x