This is how bad I am at posting updates. I did some embroidery for the TOG crafters' quilt for MakerFaire back in July.

I was low on time so I went with a mixed-media type of embroidery; with fabric paint, beading, and embroidery. I did two squares, one of a snowflake (because TOG can get really cold in the winter), and one of a robo-duck (pattern from Urban Threads) because TOG is obsessed with ducks.

The squares ended up being non-uniform, some even non-square, so we went with a more artsy display arrangement than a regular quilt. We're currently trying to find somewhere to hang it in the space.

Pics of the squares )
I've been working on this piece of embroidery for a while. Mostly I just didn't have the time to work on it, but also at times I've been quite stumped on what to do. I mean, you don't see many people, or patterned dresses, in embroidery, how was I supposed to stitch it?

I settled on outline for the girl, and chain-stitch for a knit dress. (A knit dress, why? Because it has to be, don't you think?) But, I'm kinda stumped again. There are plenty of 'empty' spaces left in the piece. Some I've tried to fill in, but ended up just pulling the stitches out again. I'm not sure, but I think the balance sorta works.

So now that the preamble is out of the way. This piece is going to be part of a larger piece, which for the time-being will remain a secret. For the record, I found Tara's version after I'd started mine, so any similarity in colouring is just happy coincidence. I give you, Tara McPherson's Unicorn Girl (via Sublime Stitching).

Unicorn Girl embroidery )
One of the projects in the book is a cute little hair-band. I was about to get started when I heard that Molly Crabapple of Dr Sketchy's fame had just released embroidery patterns with Sublime Stitching! Well! I decided to try the project using two of Molly's patterns instead. In the end my embroidery ended up too large for the hair-band, so it was abandoned. Now I'm left deciding what to do with these pieces. (The crazy idea of making them into a so-called hurricane candle shield just won't go away... we'll see.)

Pictures of the two pieces )

The woman's dress is done in split stitch, her hair in stem stitch, skin in back-stitch, and a couple of others thrown in elsewhere. The skin did not turn out well, the thread too chunky, the pattern too detailed. Next time I think I'll half the number of strands I use, and maybe choose a more continuous looking stitch. I did, however, impress myself with how the dress turned out. I used a darker shade for some of the details, and it looks almost like shading, giving an air of depth.

The flowers are straight forward, fairly traditional choice of colours, split stitch for the petals, and stem stitch for the leaves. A few beads thrown in for the centre of the flowers, and done.

This was my first time using patterns from Sublime Stitching, or iron-on transfers at all. I have to say I'm very impressed. The instructions are helpful and clear, the patterns are reusable, and when they say 'be careful not to imprint on your ironing board' they really mean it! I got a couple of other sets of patterns from them too, and really want to get stuck in, even though I have nothing to embroider! I'm sure I'll find something :)
I love books. Most things I learn outside of classes come from books. So naturally when I wanted to refresh all the mad embroidery skillz I'd forgotten I found a book to help me. 'Doodle Stitching' teaches the basics of embroidery, and how to get started. Of all the crafts I do embroidery really requires the least amount of stuff. You have the piece of fabric you're working on, the pattern (and maybe a way to transfer it), embroidery hoop, needles, scissors, and threads. That's it. You can get stuck in quickly, and leave it down quickly, great for those stolen few minutes here and there.

This really is a lovely little book. It focuses on the simple, almost naive, kind of embroidery that's rather popular now and has some nice projects with clear instructions. The first project is very clever. It's a bag for carrying around your embroidery hoops. But, it's also a sampler, and forces you to practice every stitch described in the book. Of course I had to make it!

However, I happened to make the circle too small for the hoop, so I altered the project. I took my circular sampler, and attached it onto a regular square bag (big enough to hold the book as well). I then stuffed the sampler with polyester filling to make it a large pin-cushion. Now it carries everything I need. (I do still have to attach the strap, but otherwise am all done.)

Embroidery bag pic )
I've recently gotten around to refreshing my embroidery. There is a reason why I decided to dust off those cobwebs. Remember the green hat I added LEDs to? Well, to finish it I wanted to embellish the LEDs, make them part of the design. For this I settled on embroidery. I added a star, in split stitch, around each LED. Which served to highlight how non-central I'd managed to place the LEDs in the first place, so I added some French Knots to try and balance everything out a little. But suddenly the large black empty space below them started looking wrong. So I added LEDs and stars to them too. I tried to keep the embroidery imperfect, to soften the look of the hat, which is quite geometrically strong and a touch severe. Well, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. (I also found the headphones weren't working for me, I'd need to put in much larger headphone speakers for decent sound quality, so I ripped them out.) But now, to model the mark-2, we have with us a very special guest, internationally renowned superstar Chibithulhu! You can see by the twinkle in her eye just how excited she is to be here with us today.

(Chibithulhu would like to clear something up now. She has heard vicious rumours that she is prone to nomming monkeys. She's wants it known that she never has, and never will, nom monkeys.)

Pics from the photo-shoot )