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

Advertisements

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.**

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

The busiest month of my year

June is a lovely busy month here at Shirley Rainbow HQ. I’ve just finished my time as Folksy Featured Maker, which was really fun. You can read my interview here. I was also asked to write a short piece for their blog about Hoop Art, which you can read here, which shares some of the wonderful embroidery available from Folksy.

Today I set up my display for Art in Shops which is part of Sherwood Art Week. Lots of shops let local artists and crafts people use their shop windows to display their work for a week. My textile and embroidery hoop art (above) is on display (and available to buy!!) at TSB and Sherwood News at 656 Mansfield Road. I’m looking forward to the Secret Garden Craft Fair tomorrow, and seeing all the yarn bombing. The exhibition I’m taking part in starts next Friday, at Sherwood Methodist Church, Mansfield Road, Nottingham; I’ll be there to help with invigilating the exhibition on Friday lunch time. I’ll do a blog next week with all the fun stuff that went on. If you’re in the area though, Sherwood Art week is a great event with lots to do and see, check their website for all the details.

It’s also Just A Card week next week, which is an online campaign to support all designers and makers, encouraging people to buy from and support independent shops as every sale counts, even ‘just a card’! I’ll be taking part in their Instagram challenge next week.

Images courtesy of Just A Card.

I’ve also got both of my children’s birthdays in the next two weeks, and I’m making a dress for a wedding I’m going to on the 30th June! Yikes! I’d better crack on with it…

Teresa xx

Crafting Gold (and silver and bronze!)

I’ve been really into metallics this year, I bought a gold spotted sweatshirt in the January sales and some gorgeous gold brogues from Clarks too, so when I saw on Instagram that one of my favourite online haberdashers, Cloud Craft was selling iron-on metallic vinyl I knew I had to have a go! 


As with all my orders from Cloud Craft it arrived very quickly and I couldn’t wait to have a little go. I bought one sheet of gold, silver, bronze, copper and pewter. The instructions provided were very clear, and I tested my fabric to see if it could withstand the hot iron. I had a go on 100% wool felt, which did scorch slightly but the colour returned to normal after a few minutes so I wasn’t too worried. I used scissors to cut the vinyl which was a little tricky, but only, I think, because I decided to cut out something so small. And voila! Here is my first little mini make!


I also had a go at cutting the vinyl using a paper punch. This was not very successful, the punch was just not sharp enough to get through the protective plastic sheet that covers the metallic surface. However a hole punch was fine, and I managed, inspired by my sweatshirt, to create beautiful metallic spotted linen. Here is the finished result with my embroidery design. 


I also tried it with the copper sheet.


The only no-no with this vinyl is not to use a biro to draw the shapes you want to cut. The biro seeps into the fabric during ironing and creates a rather obvious line round the shape, I’d recommend using a pencil! 

I found it trickier with larger pieces to get the heat evenly distributed so this is something to practice, as they have buckled slightly. I’d like to play around with different textured fabrics for appliqué. Applying the vinyl to felt gives a wonderful, almost leathery texture. I’m really impressed with this stuff, the effects are great. I’m looking forward to playing around with some Christmas ideas too, expect to see a lot more metallics from me! 

Teresa

Disclaimer- I am not affiliated with Cloud Craft in any way, just a very happy customer of their products and service! 

New inspiration for Sherwood Art Week

Over the last few months I’ve been preparing some new pieces of work to display in a small exhibition during Sherwood Art Week. Sherwood Art Week is an annual event in an area of Nottingham near to where I live, and hosts three craft fairs, lots of workshops, artist events, displays in shop windows and also lots of fabulous yarn bombing. I’m taking part in the Art in Shops event, where many of the shop window displays feature the work of local artists and makers. I feel very lucky to have a prime spot in a charity shop called the Spaghetti Tree, right in the middle of Sherwood. The whole event is a fabulous showcase of the talent in just one neighbourhood of Nottingham!
I wanted to take a bit of a new direction with my work for Sherwood Art Week, and draw on a few sources of inspiration that had been twiddling around in the back of my mind.


We joined the National Trust last year and have since enjoyed visiting lots of beautiful houses- I like to look at the interiors and furnishings and my kids love the adventure trails and playgrounds. The houses themselves are brilliant sources of inspiration; one of my favourite National Trust houses is Hardwick Hall in Derbyshire, which was built for a remarkable woman, Elizabeth Shrewsbury, known as Bess of Hardwick. Bess was a renowned needle woman and Hardwick Hall, for which building started in 1590 is full of examples of her own work, and tapestries which she collected. Popular motifs were fruit, leaves and plants, birds and wildlife, and also geometric patterns. 


The geometric patterns in brickwork on the many Victorian houses in my area are also a source of inspiration, I’m often surprised by how beautiful and detailed some of the houses are, even my house has a teeny bit of fancy brickwork! These floral designs, I think, are crying out for an embroidered interpretation…

As I’ve been getting back into embroidery I’ve been researching different styles and methods, and also materials to use. I still want my embroidery to have a contemporary feel, even using traditional methods such as black work, crewel work and gold work also has a strong appeal too. I’ve been hoarding fabrics with simple but contemporary prints and colours to use as backgrounds, and incorporating more modern methods (such as iron-on metallic vinyl!) with the traditional stitches and modern motifs. 

The brickwork patterns have inspired my geometric sampler style pieces. 



Bess of Hardwick’s fabulous tapestries inspired my modern crewel work birds, flowers and cactus designs.


Chicken scratch (also called gingham lace, much prettier!) was the inspiration behind this little cloud. I can definitely see me doing more of this. 


You may have noticed I’ve sneaked a bit of crochet in too, I think the little frames set the embroidery off nicely. 

I’d love some feedback, so if anyone has any I’d love to hear it! 

Teresa