Friday, August 2, 2019

It's August & that means it's time for the next stitch-a-long



I thought this month should be easier than the June/July stitch-a-long so I pulled out an embroidered box I made back when silk ribbon embroidery was a new and favorite thing to do. I didn't have a scanner so I made a copy of the drawing of the girl and used a product (sorry can't remember the name)that transfered it onto fabric. That's why she's looking opposite the 2 new versions at the bottom of the photo.

This month’s design is another drawing from Dover’s copyright free collection. I’ve included 2 versions of the drawing. The name for this month’s design came from an old song called ‘The Flower Girl’ by The Cowsills. I was going thru my collection of vintage vinyls and found it. Seemed to fit her perfectly.

I made 2 more embroideries because I wanted to show that you can use different threads to make whatever flowers you like. I love to make lazy daisy stitches so tend to use that stitch a lot. I used the crewel wool to make blue roses just because I wanted blue roses. Choose whatever you like. Same with the flowers, make whatever you like.
-------------------------------------------

The stitches you need to know-
I don’t give directions on how to make the embroidery stitches. There are many books, web sites, and videos where you can learn how to make them if you are a beginner.
Japanese ribbon stitch
spider web rose
lazy daisy
French knots
fly stitch



Getting the pattern on fabric & tips -

1. You have a choice to make. Will you trace the pattern on the fabric or use your printer to print directly on the fabric?

I printed on the fabric by cutting a piece of freezer paper the same size as the paper I use in the printer. I then ironed it onto the fabric, let it cool, then cut the fabric along the edge of the paper. I then put it in the paper tray, making sure I had the correct side up, and printed the pattern. I have a Canon printer and have had no trouble printing on fabric. There are packages of fabric ready to be printed on but I prefer to do it myself.

One thing I do because I’ve found the ink will run out into the fabric is to spray the printed fabric with an acrylic spray. I learned this the hard way when I decided to put lightweight interfacing on the back of the fabric. It had to be steamed to get it to stick and the steam caused the ink to creep into the fabric as this picture shows. Now I always lightly spray the fabric. Another bonus is that the fabric becomes a little stiff so no need for the interfacing.

Tip: You may want to make 2 or more sheets for printing in case of mistakes.

If you decide to trace the pattern onto your fabric I suggest you use a fine tip permanent marker like the Micron pigma pens. Don’t use one that will run if wet. Try them on a scrap of fabric, then wet it. That way if runs you know you will need to spray it with a sealant.

Right click the pictures to save them to your hard drive. You can then use your printing program to print them the size you want. I'm still using win XP so I use the print wizard.



 Tips -

1. I use a round hoop, but stretcher bars would be great, too. No hoop marks.
Don’t leave the fabric in the hoop if you don’t do all the embroidery at one time. This can make the hoop marks harder to iron out and stretch the fabric.

2. I used DMC floss because it’s what I have. Have fun with the pattern and do what you like.

3. Instead of French knots use small beads.

4. The girl with the blue flowers has a headband like the drawing but I covered it over with flowers for the other versions.

5. I used colored pencils for just the face but you could color the hair, too!

6. I used blending filament to give a bit of sparkle to the flowers and leaves. If you’ve never used it before here’s a tip: use short pieces because it frays very easily.

7. The blue wool roses and silk ribbon roses are both made with the spider web stitch. For the base stitches you can use the same fibers or floss or sewing thread.

 Let’s Get Started !
1. This step is optional. You don’t have to color the face if you don’t like it. I used  pink pencils for the mouth and cheeks.
For the silk ribbon version I did use a Pigma permanent red marker. I was really careful to stay away from the mouth outline because I worried it might bleed a little.

Tip: you may want to practice coloring on a scrap of fabric to see how your pencils, pens, or markers work.



2. You can spray over the colors with a fixative. You may want to practice spraying to make sure your colors don’t run.

I found if I get too close to the fabric the ink, marker, and pencils will run.

If you over spray, meaning spray and spray and spray, it wets everything too much and it will cause the ink to run.

 The Blue Rose Girl -
The is the only one I added the headband to.

1. Starting with the headband you will take it in place with either sewing thread or floss. This drawing shows that I added another segment to the headband.


 2. Follow the finished photo for the spider web roses or put them where you want.
I used the wool to make the bases but you may prefer to use floss or sewing thread.
Weave the wool over and under the base threads until they are covered.
I preferred to make all the bases then do the weaving, you may want to do one at a time. Your choice :)

3. For the tiny lazy daisy flowers I used 1 strand of white floss and 1 strand of blending filament.
 I used yellow seed beads for the centers but you can use french knots instead.

4. For the pink French knots I used 2 strands of floss and 1 of matching blending filament.

5. The lazy daisy leaves are 2 strands of green floss and one of matching blending filament. Add them where you like.

6. Fill in around the pink French knots with pink seed beads.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Girl with the Violets -

This is the easiest one since it’s all embroidery floss. I used 3 shades of purple for the violets.

1. Start with one color of purple floss to make lazy daisy flowers.
Scatter them following the photos or put them where you want. Next add more violets using the second shade of purple, then add the third shade.


2. Make yellow French knots in the enter of the violets.


3. Fill in around the violets with pink French knots.

4. Make lazy daisy leaves with a long straight stitch to anchor the loop.

----------------------------------------------------

The Silk Ribbon Rose Girl -

This is the one that started it all. I attached the embroidery to a box I made.

1. Follow the finished photo for the spider web roses or put them where you want.

I used sewing thread to make the bases but you may prefer to use floss. Weave the silk ribbon over and under the base threads until they are covered.
I preferred to make all the bases then do the weaving, you may want to do one at a time. Your choice :)

2. Using the green silk ribbon make Japanese ribbon stitch (also called ribbon stitch) leaves around the roses.

3. Using 2 strands of white floss and one of matching blending filament make some lazy daisy flowers following this photo for placement or put them where you want them.

4. Using 1 strand of green floss and one strand of blending filament make fly stitches for the leaves around the daisies.





 ---------------------------------------

Disclaimer:

I have edited the copyright free drawing of the flower lady. It is from a Dover Publication book. I recommend their books for copyright free drawings and pictures. I’ve found some pictures on the net that say they are copyright free but after doing some research find they aren’t. Dover makes them safe to use at a good price.

So this means that although the original drawing is copyright free, what I’ve done with it is not. The embroidery design is my own. I have not knowingly copied anyone else's work.


©Billie Jo Heisler 2019
All rights reserved
No part of this pattern may be reproduced or sold without written permission of the author. You have permission to print copies for yourself.


Wednesday, July 3, 2019

June/July Stitch-a-Long, Part 2


Hope you're ready for part 2 of the stitch-a-long. For the flowers on the birdhouse I used buttonhole cast-on stitches. They are a Brazilan embroidery stitch. Search and you'll find videos and other directions online if you don't know how to do it, or just make whatever you like. If you need part 1 look for it in June listings. Here we go ...

For the Birds Bees
Part 2
----------------------

Material List

DMC embroidery floss in your choice of colors
I made 2 versions of the design.
For the large one I used 3 shades of green , 2 shades of pink, black, and white
For the small version I used 3 shades of green, yellow, pink, and white

Seed beads - clear, yellow, or some to match your flowers
you can skip this or just use all clear beads
black - for the bees

Embroidery hoop - I used a 5” for the small version and a 7” for the larger one
embroidery needles
scissors

Optional:
matching sewing thread and needle
small buttons or e size beads for the circles around the border swirls 
___________________________

The stitches you need to know-
I don’t give directions on how to make the embroidery stitches. There are many books, web sites, and videos where you can learn how to make them if you are a beginner.

buttonhole cast-on stitch - birdhouse flowers
straight stitch - vines on birdhouse
stem stitch - flowers on hive
feather stitch - flowers on hive
French knots - all flowers (I usually make 3 wraps)
lazy daisy - leaves on birdhouse and on the flowers to left of the hive
back stitch - the outside frame

Tips -
1. I use a round hoop, but stretcher bars would be great, too. No hoop marks.
Don’t leave the fabric in the hoop if you don’t do all the embroidery at one time. This can make the hoop marks harder to iron out and stretch the fabric.

2. I used DMC floss because it’s what I have. Have fun with the pattern and do what you like. I used colors that matched the fabric I’ll be using to make a tote bag I plan on attaching the 2 embroidered pieces to.

3. I’m using a different shade of green for each type of flower.

4. If you don’t want to do the buttonhole cast-on stitch for the flowers on the birdhouse make simple lazy daisy flowers. The buttonhole cast-on is a Brazilian embroidery stitch. If you need to search for how to make it try adding Brazilian to the name.

5. The circles around the swirls of the border can be filled in with french knots, beads. or tiny buttons. Make flowers over them or add flower shaped beads here.

_________________________

Let’s Get Started!
The drawings shown here are just to give you an idea of where to stitch. You don’t have to follow them at all. Have fun and “grow your own garden” :) Let’s start with the birdhouse.

1. Using 4 strands of green floss stitch lines up the pole and around the house for the large version and 3 for the small.
This is the base for your flowers and leaves.

2. I used a buttonhole cast-on stitch for the morning glories. Lazy daisy stitches would make it look like clematis vine. Bullion stitch roses would be really pretty, too.

If you’ve never done any Brazilian embroidery  you may not know that to make the wraps/cast-ons it’s best to use a long needle that’s the same diameter from the eye to almost the tip. I use milliner's needles.

For the large version I used all 6 strands of floss and for the small I used 3.


Look at the full picture to see that I didn’t make the flowers all the way to the bottom. There I did French knots.



3. After making as many flowers as I wanted I added lazy daisy leaves. These aren’t regular lazy daisy stitches.  Instead of a tiny stitch at the top, I made a french knot. I also added a straight line down the center to fill in all that where too open.
I used 3 strands of floss for both sizes.



4. I then filled in along the vine and with the flowers more french knots in green and pink/yellow.
Finally I added clear beads. The reason for clear ones is that they look a little like dew drops. Only the pink version has the beads.


  
Now to work around the hive.

5. Start with the small flowers to the right. I used the same amount of floss strands for both versions.
Using 3 strands of green floss make feather stitch stems. Make them straight or do them with a curve.



6. For the flowers and leaves I used 3 strands of floss to make french knots with 4 - 6 wraps. You could do small lazy daisy stitches to turn them into a cluster of daisies.


Add seed beads if you want them. The large version has them, the small doesn’t.


7. For the large “bush” of flowers to the left of the hive I used 3 strands of floss for both versions to stem stitch the stems.


Cover as much of the hive as you want.  I went over the border line at the side but you don’t have to. That’s the best part of not having the lines on the pattern. You have a choice of where you want your flowers, how large they will be, and even easily change the kind of stitches you want to use.

8. Along the stems I made fly stitches where I wanted flowers.

9. In the bottom of each fly stitch I made a french knot using 3 strands of pink floss for both versions.

10. Using 2 or 3 strands of green floss make lazy daisy leaves along the stems.




11. To make the tiny bees you need 3 - 4 strands of white floss to make 2 lazy daisy stitches like this drawing shows.



Sew a black seed bead in the center for the larger version and a French knot for the smaller one..
A note about the black beads I used. They came from a mix of beads with tints of yellow (which I used), pink, purple, blue, and green

I only made 5 bees but make as many as you want.


12. Lastly is the border.
I used 4 strands of floss to back stitch along the lines.
For the large version I used black floss for the stitching and small black pearls over the circles.


For the small version I used green floss and tiny doll buttons.
Instead of covering each circle with a buttons I did some large French knots. I also added a button where there was no circle just because I liked it there :)


Disclaimer:
I used a software program to draw this design. The frame was a simple rounded corner square with a curly font for the corners.
Please consider the drawing and directions copyrighted. You have my permission to print copies of the drawing in any size for your own use but not to share or sell. If you want to share the pattern please link to the blog pages with the directions.
This is NOT a copyright free design.

 ------------------------------------------------------

Look for part 1 in the June stitch-a-long post!

©Billie Jo Heisler 2019
All rights reserved
No part of this pattern may be reproduced or sold without written permission of the author.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

June/July Stitch-a-Long, Part One

Since this is a really busy time for me and this project is larger I decided to divide it into a June/July pattern. This month will be the applique part and next month will be embroidering the flowers. I'm hoping that by doing this it will give me time to catch up on things.

Welcome to the third design in my stitch-a-long. I hope you will enjoy working on the projects I’ll be putting here on my blog each month. I plan on doing one design per month till next March. They will be free until March 31, 2020. After that I will combine them into one large PDF file and put it up for sale at my Etsy store and at Ebay.

This pattern is my own design. I drew the hive and birdhouse. I used a font to make the corner designs. Since this project has a lot of steps I decided to separate them into 2 posts on my blog. The June posting is the doing the bird house and bee hive. The second posting which will be up in July is for the flowers and finishing.

I made 2 finished embroideries because I wanted to show that you can use fabric, felt, and ribbon for the appliqué. Choose whatever you like. Same with the flowers, make whatever you like. I don’t give exact sizes of items in the materials list because other than the ribbon hive the rest is made with small scrappy pieces of felt, fabric and ribbon.

If you look at the photo you can see that the print at the bottom is smaller than the one on the top. You should be able to  change the size when you print the pattern with your printer settings. I printed directly on the fabric. You can do this or trace the pattern. This is a pretty simmple drawing so tracing may be a quicker than printing on fabric with your computer. Ok, let’s get started :)



June/July Stitch-a-Long

For the Birds & Bees


Material List
Here’s what I used but use what you like:

Fabric of your choice to put the design on. The size of the fabric will depend on the size you print the drawing. Since I used my computer to print on the fabric I used two 8½” x 11” pieces of blue fabric.

I made 2 versions of the design.
For the large one I used ribbon to make the hive and stand. The opening is a small piece of brown fabric. For the bird house I used white-on-white print fabric. The “hole” is a circle of black fabric. The roof, pole, and base pieces are ribbon.
For the small version I used felt for the hive & it’s base, the bird house and roof. The pole and bird house bases are embroidered.

DMC embroidery floss in your choice of colors. You’ll need white and black if you make your bird house in white and black. For the hive use 1 or 2 shades of brown.

Embroidery hoop - I used a 5” for the small version and a 7” for the larger one
embroidery needles
scissors

Optional:
acrylic spray
matching sewing thread and needle
________________________________________

The stitches you need to know-
I don’t give directions on how to make the embroidery stitches. There are many books, web sites, and videos where you can learn how to make them if you are a beginner.

blanket/buttonhole stitch - around the appliqued fabric and felt (for this pattern I will refer to it as a buttonhole stitch).
back stitch - around the pole, birdhouse roof, and the outside frame
couching - (small version) birdhouse pole and base; lines on hive
straight stitch - lines on both hives and handle on felt hive
French knots - birdhouse perch



Getting the pattern on fabric & tips -

1. You have a choice to make. Will you trace the pattern on the fabric or use your printer to print directly on the fabric?

I printed on the fabric by cutting a piece of freezer paper the same size as the paper I use in the printer. I then ironed it onto the fabric, let it cool, then cut the fabric along the edge of the paper. I then put it in the paper tray, making sure I had the correct side up, and printed the pattern. I have a Canon printer and have had no trouble printing on fabric. There are packages of fabric ready to be printed on but I prefer to do it myself.

One thing I do because I’ve found the ink will run out into the fabric is to spray the printed fabric with an acrylic spray. I learned this the hard way when I decided to put lightweight interfacing on the back of the fabric. It had to be steamed to get it to stick and the steam caused the ink to creep into the fabric. Now I always lightly spray the fabric. Another bonus is that the fabric becomes a little stiff so no need for the interfacing.
Tip: You may want to make 2 or more sheets for printing in case of mistakes.
If you decide to trace the pattern onto your fabric I suggest you use a fine tip permanent marker like the Micron pigma pens. Don’t use one that will run if wet. There are pens that wash away and ones that fade but I’ve never had any luck with these so I can’t suggest any brands. I’ve found regular lead pencils will smear so you may want to skip using them, too.

2. Now you need to decide what size you want the project to be. Hopefully your printer has a setting that allows you to choose the size. Measuring just the frame of the ones I printed, one is 6” x 6” and the other is 4” x 4”. Print them the size you want. Think about what you plan on doing with the finished project. I’m attaching mine to a tote bag I’ll be making.

More Tips -
1. I use a round hoop, but stretcher bars would be great, too. No hoop marks.
Don’t leave the fabric in the hoop if you don’t do all the embroidery at one time. This can make the hoop marks harder to iron out and stretch the fabric.

2. I used DMC floss because it’s what I have. Have fun with the pattern and do what you like. I used colors that matched the fabric I’ll be using.

3. Instead of French knots use small beads.

4. A note about the hives. The felt one was so much easier to make. The ribbon one took much longer since there are 12 pieces to sew plus the 2 pieces for the base.

5. I decided the bird house should be black & white so the colors of the leaves and flowers would stand out.

6. The ribbon I used for the roof is slightly larger than the drawing. This shows you that you can make substitutions in the width of the ribbons. Just don’t go smaller unless you want the lines to show.

7. I used glue stick on the back of the fabric house and on the fabric hole to hold them in place until I sewed around them.

Let’s Get Started!

1. Right click the drawing to save a copy to your computer so you can chose the size you want to print. The original size is 7" x 7". Print a copy of the drawing. This will be your pattern for cutting out the birdhouse and hive (for the felt). You may want to print a few copies of the size you will be working with.

Cut out the birdhouse shape then cut out the hole. If you don’t care if the hole is the same exact size as the pattern don’t bother with cutting it out.

Cut out the roof and base if you are using fabric or felt. For ribbon just measure the pattern to know what sizes you need to cut.

You only need to cut out the hive if you plan on appliquéing it like the felt one. There’s no need for the ribbon version. Cut out the 2 base pieces if you are using fabric or felt. For ribbon just measure the pattern to know what sizes you need to cut.
 ____________________________

This next section is for the smaller felt version-

1. Pin or glue the felt hive and bird house over the drawing.



2. Using a buttonhole stitch sewing around the felt pieces.  I used 1 strand of embroidery floss because that’s what was in my embroidery kit and I didn’t want to go get sewing thread. Use whichever you want.

3. Continuing with the bird house embroider the pole by using embroidery floss (white) couched with 1 or 2 strands of the same color of floss. To get it thick enough I cut the floss long enough to knot both ends together. Now I had 12 strands of floss.

Using 2 or 3 strands of floss (black) do a back stitch along both long side of the pole. Stitch on the pattern lines. Don’t do the top or the bottom of the pole.


4. For the 2 bases of the bird house I couched 6 strands of embroidery floss (black) with 2 strands of floss.
Substitute felt here to match the roof if you prefer.


5. I used black felt for the rest of the bird house.
 Using the paper pattern or your own measurements cut out the roof and the hole circle.
 Sew them in place using a buttonhole stitch.

Tip - depending on the thickness of your fabric you may be able to see the pattern lines on the back. If you can it will help you position the hole circle.

6. The perch dot is made by making a french knot under the circle. I used 3 strands of floss but use what you like. Use a small bead instead of embroidery.



7. Now working on the hive cut out 2 pieces of brown or black felt for the base using the paper pattern for sizes. Sew the bases in place using a buttonhole stitch and 1 strand of floss or matching thread.

8. Following the lines on the pattern or just use your own judgment, couch 3 strands of floss with 1 or 2 strands of floss. Since my fabric was a little sheer I was able to follow the pattern lines showing on the back. Work across the hive doing the long lines.

9. Following the photo below for guidance sew the straight lines using 2 strands of floss.

10. For the door opening cut it out of felt using the paper pattern or your own judgment.
Sew in on with a buttonhole stitch using 1 strand of floss.

11. For the handle I couched a 6 strand piece of floss following the pattern. I then went back over the couching filling in the entire handle. This gives it dimension.

--- It you want you can back stitch around the hive and bird house.



___________________________

This next section is for the larger ribbon version-

1. Pin or glue the fabric bird house over the drawing.

2. Using a buttonhole stitch sewing around the house.  I used 1 strand of embroidery floss because that’s what was in my embroidery kit and I didn’t want to go get sewing thread. Use whichever you want.
Tips: The white-on-white fabric I used was a little sheer so I used 2 layers of it for the birdhouse. Thin batting or interfacing would also be a good choice.
If the fabric you want to use is fraying use a seam sealant product like Fray Check. This is also great for the ends of the ribbon!

3. For the pole I used narrow ” wide ribbon. Use wider if you prefer it. I cut my ribbon longer than the pattern so I could tuck the bottom edge under. No need to do that with the top edge since the base ribbon will cover it.
Use 1 strand of floss or sewing thread to sew it in place along the edges of the ribbon.
Using 2 or 3 strands of floss (black) do a back stitch along both long side of the pole. Stitch on the pattern lines. Don’t do the top or the bottom of the pole.

4. I used narrow ” wide ribbon black ribbon for the 2 bases. They are sewn in place like the pole and finished with a back stitch around both bases.
Again I cut these pieces of ribbon longer than the drawing so I could tuck both ends under. I also used Fray Check on the ends.

5. The roof is one long piece of ribbon the has a small fold at the peak. It is sewn on like the pole and bases. Make a few small stitches to hold the fold down in place.
Do a back stitch along the edges.
This plaid ribbon is a little wider than the pattern drawing. You can use whatever width you like. Instead of 2 small bases under the fabric house you could do 1 piece of ribbon the width of both.

6. The hole opening is a scrap of black fabric sewn with a buttonhole stitch. I used Fray Check on the circle to make it easier to embroider without it fraying.
Tip - depending on the thickness of your fabric you may be able to see the pattern lines on the back. If you can it will help you position the hole circle.

7. The perch dot is made by making a french knot under the circle. I used 4 strands of floss but use what you like. Use a small bead instead of embroidery.


8. A note about the ribbon I used for the hive. Both the white and yellow have a light brown edge. Because they had this edge I was able to skip couching floss lines.
This was ribbon I had in my collection that I bought years ago at Walmart when they were selling crafts by Martha Stewart.

Starting with the handle I sewed the ribbon along the pattern line at the top edge.
For the inside edge I sewed a gathering stitch along the very edge of the ribbon and pulled it till the ribbon laid flat. I then stitched it in place. I used 1 strand of floss that matched the edges of the ribbon. Sewing thread could be substituted.

9. For the hive, as you can see in this picture, I was able to sew the ribbon in place with the same small stitches I would have used if I was couching over floss.
 If you can’t find ribbon with  a colored edge you may want to sew the ribbon in place then couch floss following step 8 for the felt version.
 I folded the cut edges under for each row of ribbon. Fray Check seam sealant helped a lot with this. It stiffened the ends and made it easier to keep them folded under while I stitched.
 You can curve the top piece of ribbon like the handle or just sew it straight across.


10. Sew the ribbon for the base. This is supposed to look like painted wood so no couching here.

11. With 3 strands of floss sew a back stitch  around the hive and base. I didn’t back stitch between the 2 rows of ribbon on the base but you could do that.

12. Cut out the hive door. Appilque it using a buttonhole stitch with 2 strands of floss.


That’s it come back next month for the flower directions!


©Billie Jo Heisler 2019
All rights reserved
No part of this pattern may be reproduced or sold without written permission of the author.