Thursday, 28 June 2012

Vintage Style Bracelets

I've been seeing a few crocheted bows around and about at the moment, I thought that a crocheted bow would look lovely on a bracelet but I needed to make one in the perfect size. It took a fair bit of trial and error but I did eventually get the right sized bow. I then layered two different pieces of lace over each other and secured them together with two jaw end findings and added a clasp. To finish it off I sewed my bow onto the lace and gathered the lace underneath the centre of the bow so that the lace mirrored the bow shape.

I made this bracelet from Tila beads, Swarovski beads and feather charms. The Tila beads have two holes so I strung them onto two pieces of tigertail wire, I made two strands of the Tila beads. I then made two bunches of small lilac Swarovski beads and feather charms in different sizes. I added these bunches in between the Tila beads and then I finished the ends of the tigertail and added a clasp to fasten. I love the how the two strands of the bracelet slightly cross over.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Sewing Box

It was my birthday on Sunday I was given this sewing box. I think its so cute so I just had to share it with you! The box is covered in a mixture of floral, spotty and gingham fabric. I have used the box to store some beads, buttons, ribbon, scissors and thread.

The box opens up at the top and has two sections, I have put beads in one side and buttons in the other.

The front opens up and there is a drawer which I have used to keep a small pair of scissors, a few fabric covered buttons, some ribbon and a spool of thread.

The box even has a cute handle for carrying it!

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Felt Bows

These felt bows were inspired by several pictures of felt bows that I have seen on Pinterest. The red bow and two blue ones were made using one long piece of felt for the main bow part, a rectangle with a v-shape cut out of each end (this part goes behind the bow) and a long rectangle to go around the centre of the bow. The larger red and blue bows are attached to hair grips.

The small pink bow was made using a tutorial found here: I had to make my own pattern using the images as a guideline but it was easy enough to get the right shapes. I haven't decided what I'm going to with this one yet but I did see a very cute idea in a book to embellish a top with three bows.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Vintage Layered Button Necklace

This vintage layered button necklace was made from a kit that was given to me as a gift. The kit is by The Button Company and I love it! I was given the kit in the evening and I was going to wait until the next day to open the box so that I could take a photo of the kit in the packaging to show you. But I just couldn't wait to start making the necklace!

When you make the necklace you have to push the buttons as close together as possible meaning that the necklace is double sided, so when you fancy a change you can just swap the necklace round. I love how the buttons are all different and all of the different colours work really well together too. I might make some more necklaces using the same technique but different buttons.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Crocheted Dog

This little pink crocheted dog was made from a pattern in Teeny Tiny Crochet by Catherine Hirst. I made her from textured wool and she even has a tiny velvet collar made from ribbon. The eyes are french knots sewn on using embroidery thread and I embroidered the nose using satin stitch. I love how one of the ears is straight and one is curled!

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Crocheted Floral Necklace

I made this crocheted floral necklace using Debbie Bliss Rialto lace and a thicker green yarn. The roses were made from a pattern in Cute and Easy Crochet by Nicki Trench and the leaves are my own pattern. The part of the necklace that is made to look like a twisted vine was made using a very long foundation chain in purple and green. I loosely twisted the purple foundation chain around the green chain and secured the chains together in a few spaces to stop the twists from slipping out of place. The leaves were made all in one piece with the chains, the flowers were made separately and then sewn on to the leaves.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Embroidered Buttons

I made these covered buttons by embroidering onto fabric using just one strand of embroidery thread. I used lazy daisy stitch to embroider the flowers and leaves and back stitch for the bear. The bear was embroidered from a pattern in a previous issue of Mollie Makes. I used plastic self cover buttons and linen fabric.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Interview with Jo Butcher Embroidery Artist

Jo Butcher creates beautiful hand or machine embroidered pictures of flowers and landscapes, some with hand painted backgrounds. Jo has kindly agreed to answer a few questions about her work so that I can share this with you. Below are some pictures of Jo's work and the interview. You can see more of Jo Butcher's work on her website

Interview with Jo Butcher, Embroidery artist

1. Where did you first learn your embroidery skills?
Some stitches I learnt at school, the rest were self taught from books/magazines.

2. The hand painted backgrounds that you create are beautiful, what methods do you use to create these backgrounds?
I paint using either watercolours or fabric paints then iron them to fix the colours.

3. It is obvious that a lot of work goes into your embroidery, on average how long would you say it takes you to create one of your large pictures?
I tend to stitch in the evenings, when my daughter has gone to bed, so a large picture can take up to a week to complete. I tend not to count the hours as I couldn’t charge for them!

4.To collect images of flowers for your work do you go out into the countryside or garden and draw from life or take photos and work from these?
I do some sketching in our orchard, but usually work from photos. Though I do find myself analysing how I’d sew something and what colours to use just by observing during my normal daily routine.

5. Are you influenced by other embroidery artists?
Yes of course! Having previously worked as a high street fashion designer I’ve learnt to absorb different qualities and techniques and transferred them into my own style.

6. What made you want to be a textile artist? Is it something that you’ve always wanted to do?  
I discovered the joy of creating as a teenager and channelled it into fashion as a career. But following the loss of our first child I needed a creative outlet and rediscovered the joy of embroidery. I am thrilled to now be able to sell my work and have such lovely feedback about it.

7. How did you first get your work recognised? Did you start selling at craft fairs or online?  
My first exhibition was part of Somerset Arts Weeks and I sold about 75% of my work! Since then I have sold regularly through galleries and my website. The breakthrough for me was when I won Best Craftsperson in Country Living’s Kitchen Table Talent Competition last year.

8. What advice would give to other embroiders looking to sell their work?
Make sure you have the best possible presentation of your work. It is your show case and if you don’t love it why should anyone else!
I first discovered Jo's work in an art gallery and I have recently been inspired by her work in my AS Art exam project. I was working under the theme of The Secret Garden. Using a photo that I had taken I created a hand embroidered picture of snowdrops. I completed this art work in an old book as I was also taking inspiration from altered books (the two images below show my work that has been influenced by Jo Butcher).

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Jubilee cross stitch heart

So I know the Jubilee is well and truly over now but I had to show you my completed Jan Constantine kit that was given away free in the last issue of Cross Stitcher magazine. I actually finished this a while ago but I've been making so much stuff recently that I just didn't get round to posting about it at the right time!
I loved this free gift so I started making it almost as soon as I got my hands on the magazine! Although it is a Jubilee design its too nice to be hidden away, so I'm leaving it up all year round. I did adjust the design a bit, I added my initials (HM) instead of the original design that had Jan Constantine's signature. I did this using one of the alphabet charts from a previous issue of Cross Stitcher. Funnily enough, my initials also stand for Her Majesty, very fitting for the Jubilee!

Friday, 8 June 2012

Book page and map heart garland tutorial

I have seen several pictures on Pinterest of book page hearts strung onto invisible beading thread to make a garland. I've been wanting to make this for a long time but I also wanted to get some old maps to cut into hearts for the bunting. It was quite hard to track down any old maps but I eventually found some in a shop in Hay on Wye. I bought two different maps for a total of £3.00! Here is the shop's website,  I don't think that they sell individual maps on their website like the ones that I bought but you may be able to track down some old maps at a vintage fair or perhaps in an second hand bookshop.

To make this bunting you will need:
  • An old map (make sure you pick a good one that has a variety of colours on e.g. a mix of green and brown)
  • Old book pages
  • PVA glue
  • Invisible beading thread
  • Scissors 
  • Cardboard
  • Pencil
Cut a section from your map (I cut a rectangle out along the fold lines).
Rip some pages out the book as well.
Draw three different sized hearts on a piece of thin card. (You could use heart punches in different sizes to cut out the hearts, if you do this then you can omit this step and the next one)
Fold the map in half so that the right sides are facing then draw round each of the different sized hearts six times (or more if you want longer bunting). Cut the hearts out. Repeat this step with the book pages (it doesn't matter which way you fold the book pages because they are double sized). Folding the map or book pages in half will mean that you will have double sided hearts.
You should now have six double sided hearts of each different sized heart cut out of the book pages and map.

Using PVA glue coat one side (on the wrong side) of the heart with a thin layer of glue and stick the two sides of the heart together sandwiching the invisible beading thread in between. You can have the thread running from the top to the bottom of the hearts as I have done or from left to right.

Continue adding hearts to the thread until you have stuck all of the hearts on. Trim the ends of the invisible thread close to the hearts at either end of the garland.

There are many uses for this garland, you can use the garland to decorate shelves as I have done or how about making a really long length for a special party decoration.