Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sweet Stitches

I've really been enjoying all the handwork involved in the gazillion and one dolls and bunnies I've made over the last few weeks. So I owe my mom an apology...on a long visit down to our part of the country she spent hours stitching. Redwork. I just couldn't understand how she could do the same thing over and over, day after day. Ok, Mom, I get it now. Mom was right, as always:)

The methodical up and down of the needle, the mindless activity, the rhythm of the's all so peaceful. But even with all the bunnies I've made, there weren't enough little faces to stitch. So I began a collection of spring themed illustrations. This particular set is bound for an Easter doll quilt (look for it in the shop soon!). But, the patterns are available in the shop now in case you have a hankering to stitch.

And my early Easter gift to you: A list of my top embroidery tips:)

1. Use high quality thread! Whether you're using traditional embroidery floss or perle cotton like I used in my designs, you'll be a lot less frustrated if you spend a tiny bit more for the nicer thread. It won't tangle nearly as much and will result in a smoother motion.

2. SHARP needles! If you've been using the same needle for the last 26 years, it is time for a new one.
3. Tie off before moving. Like in the little chick above...I easily could have moved from one of the little eggshell chips to the next without fastening off and cutting my thread. It would have saved me time. And really, who's gonna know??? Well, everyone maybe. When you stretch a long thread across the back of your design it will either show through the fabric to the front side or cause all of your stitches to become loose and not so cute. So don't do...REALLY!

4. Use variegated thread. Ok, this one is pretty non-traditional and maybe not for everyone. But a nice variegated thread is going to add depth and character to your illustration. And it's just plain fun:)
5. Use the right size hoop. You want to be able to stitch as much of the design as possible, but you still want to be able to pull the fabric nice and taught. If your hoop is too small, you have to move it every few stitches. But, if your hoop is too large then you can't enclose all of the edges of your fabric...not good!

6. And finally...have FUN! Embroidery is a great way to add whimsy to even the most serious of projects. So tuck a tiny bunny in the corner of your own grown-up skirt and wear a happy smile all day long:)


  1. oh, they are adorable! I love the little easter patterns!

  2. Mindless, rhythmic, and peaceful----those adjectives perfectly describe why I enjoy the redwork. I have completed all the presidents except the 2nd Bush and Obama. Have them ready to go for my next trip south. Hint #3 above I learned doing the redwork presidents. Have fun. Mom