Archive for November, 2012

Friday, November 30th, 2012

Burlap Christmas Gift Tags

embroider burlap cross stitch christmas tags 1 Burlap Christmas Gift Tags

Make these cute burlap tags to gift your handmade Christmas gifts

Around our neck of the woods, handmade is all in for this season. In the spirit of making handmade items and hand baked goods this holiday season I’ve been making tags by hand too. I lucked on a heap of burlap ribbon at Cost Plus. Some of it is seamed on the side with green or red and some – that I haven’t used yet – is made with burlap on one weave and a plastic on the other – all in all very cool stuff and it comes in 5 yard lengths so you get a lot of tags for that!

Burlap is great for embroidery because you can do cross stitch on it. So I hunted down a cross stitch alphabet, adapted it to my burlap so the letters would be tall and thinner rather than short and squat and got to work. So far Anna, Leah, Judy and Pua are in line for tags!

I added a small cross stitched element to each tag – some are getting trees, some reindeers and some holly.

embroider burlap cross stitch christmas tags 2 Burlap Christmas Gift Tags

Then I hunted out some things to fix them with. I found some old Making Memories Christmas ribbon and some soft red fiber. I also found some soft string that works too.

embroider burlap cross stitch christmas tags 3 Burlap Christmas Gift Tags

The tops of the tags are folded and fixed to a point with large eyelets – the type you get in the sewing aisle not the scrapbooking one. I made the holes for them and fixed them in place with my Crop-o-Dile – gotta love that tool it makes holes in just about anything and you can set really big eyelets without having to hammer anything.


embroider burlap cross stitch christmas tags 34 Burlap Christmas Gift Tags

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Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

Free Downoad – Christmas Printables

christmas printables craftinggoodnessdotcom Free Downoad   Christmas Printables

Santa’s Elves have been busy creating these free printable Christmas tags

At we’ve been busy getting ready for Christmas in so many ways and one of them is drawing some tags for you.

These fun tags come as a pdf file in black, red and green. Simply download the file, open it, print the page or pages of your choice and then cut the tags for your presents. You can print onto heavy cardstock or onto paper with sticky back so you can trim and stick – it’s up to you…

Wishing  you all the very best for the season from us all!

Download your tags here.


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Saturday, November 24th, 2012

Felt circle embroidery #15 Awesomeness in black and green grey

embroidery on felt stitches wool DMC 15 Felt circle embroidery #15 Awesomeness in black and green grey

This is one of my favourite color combinations and stitches. The black and green grey are saved from being too dark and sombre by the pink and grey circles.

Row 1: This is a form of Open Cretan Stitch where, instead of the stitches being offset they are in the same line – you might almost call this an alternating blanket stitch were the stitch alternates from being on the inside to the outside.

The bead is held on with long stitches ended with french knots.

Row 2 – Closed Blanket Stitch – this stitch makes a nice triangle shape stitch and if you make them further apart than they should be then you get the sense of triangles separated from each other – sort of like bunting.

Row 3: Straight stitches alternating in length go around the edge of the shape. Because of the color contrast here you need to get this quite even or it doesn’t look so good.

Between rows 2 & 3 are some French Knots alternating between light and dark gray color.



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Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

Felt circle embrodery #14 – Musically Inspired

embroidery on felt stitches wool DMC 14 Felt circle embrodery #14   Musically Inspired

For this set of circles I thought it time to develop my own stitch – this one is inspired by sheet music and teams french knots with straight stitches. The felt color scheme is a bit brash – purple, turquoise and grey and the thread is tan and grey – after doing this one I went out and bought some more threads so I would have some more color alternatives!

Row 1: Straight stitch done over the edge – another simple stitch but when you work it in contrasting colors you really have to get it right.

The bead is stitched with alternating long stitches of tan and grey each finished with a French Knot

Row 2: Blanket stitch worked with the edge over the edge of the piece.

Row 3: Herringbone Stitch – this works well around a circle and here I worked one edge along the fabric edge and one well inside it.

Between rows 2 & 3 are my music stitch – a series of straight stitches and french knots.


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Saturday, November 17th, 2012

Felt circles # 13 – Crimson and Blue

embroidery on felt stitches wool DMC 13 Felt circles # 13   Crimson and Blue

I love the color combination of crimson and blue here – it is tempered by some gray also one of my favorite colors. This piece features some lazy daisy stitches which I love they just give your work a little bit of a frivolous touch. There are also lots of French Knots which I now find it dead easy to do – just make sure you ease the stitch in place by holding the thread steady with your thumb – if you twist the thread around the needle and just pull the needle without supporting the stitch, you are  doomed to fail! Believe me!

Row 1 – Double Blanket Stitch – You work this as one row of blanket stitch all around and then do a second one up side down so the long bars of each overlap – it ended up being quite a cute stitch.

The bead is attached with some long stitches right into the second circle and each finished with a french knot.

Row 2 – More blanket stitch here but very large stitches so they are quite far apart. On the outer edge these are enhanced with alternating Lazy Daisy stitches and some french knots – at long last I am really able to do french knots with confidence – it takes practice but it finally worked out well.

Row 3 – This is a row of detached Fly Stitch so each is spaced around the edge of the piece. Between the individual fly stitches are more French Knots.

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Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

Embroidery 101 – Running stitch

Embroidery running stitch Embroidery 101   Running stitch


Perhaps the simplest stitch of all is the running stitch. Stitches are made by taking the needle in and out of the fabric. To make very even stitches, keep the same distance between each in and out of the needle. This will make the stitch and the in between stitch areas nice and even. You can vary this by making shorter or longer stitches and spaces.

Here is the running stitch used on the yellow circle – as simple as it is when you stitch it with contrasting thread it looks great.

Embroidery running stitch example Embroidery 101   Running stitch

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Thursday, November 8th, 2012

Felt Embroidered Needle Case – Inspired by my friend Anna

felt embroidered needle case opener Felt Embroidered Needle Case   Inspired by my friend Anna

Before I start, this needle case has a cool story. The inspiration for it came to my friend Anna by way of a relative whose name was Lady May and who lived in Carmel. Anna was named for Lady May’s sister Anna Jack. At the time it came to Anna she was living in New York but now Anna lives in Carmel so her needle case has done a full circle from Carmel to New York and back to Carmel. I think that’s totally cool so I set about to use Anna’s needle case as the inspiration for my own needle case project. This time I chose to mimic the functional design, another time I plan to mimic the embroidery.

I started with some circles of felt approximately 3.5 – 4 inches diameter. I don’t lose too much sleep over making circles – I just grab the nearest round container and use it to trace a circle onto paper. Then I pin the paper to the felt and cut.

In this case I cut circles of tan, blue and a sort of sand color felt – two blue, two tan and one sand. I selected some embroidery floss – I use DMC size 5 and I chose brown, an orangey tan and a sand color. I also dug into my stash to find a really nice abalone shell button.

felt embroidered needle case step1 Felt Embroidered Needle Case   Inspired by my friend Anna

The first step was to embroider the cover which is one of the blue pieces. I embroidered some flowers using a range of stitches including lazy daisy and straight stitch for the small flowers. There are French knots scattered throughout and some simple seed stitches as well. For the second largest flower I used lazy daisy and a woven wheel which is just long stitches and then weaving around them. For the large flower there is a combination of lazy daisy and some straight stitches in the middle, French knots and then a blanket stitch and the outside is a chain stitch.

felt embroidered needle case step2 Felt Embroidered Needle Case   Inspired by my friend Anna

Once the embroidery was complete for the front I turned my attention to the back. Here all I did was create concentric circles of chain stitch in the colors that I’d used. I used tan and sand then tan, dark brown, tan, sand, tan, dark brown until I’d filled the shape.

To make sure that the chain stitch went pretty much in circles I created some hollowed out templates that I could pin to the fabric to give me a guideline as to where I would sew. The result was a better set of concentric circles than I’d been able to do so in the past as sometimes they get a bit more like ovals than circles.

felt embroidered needle case step3 Felt Embroidered Needle Case   Inspired by my friend Anna

Once I’d done this I needed to trim the pieces to size. The covers had come down a little bit in size as a result of the stitching so I lined all the pieces up and trimmed them until everything was the same size.

I pinned the two pieces of brown felt together back to back and stitched around with blanket stitch – leaving just a piece about 1.5 inches not sewn at the very top where it will all be hinged later on.

I then pinned the blue pieces of felt together back to back and pinned it all to the back with the sand piece sandwiched between the back and front.

felt embroidered needle case step4 Felt Embroidered Needle Case   Inspired by my friend Anna

I then stitched around the blue pieces with blanket stitch and at the point where the back hadn’t been stitched, this time I stitched through all 5 pieces of felt. This not only joins the pieces but you also get the impression that the blanket stitch on the front is continuous as it runs all around the piece. This is the front:

felt embroidered needle case step5 Felt Embroidered Needle Case   Inspired by my friend Anna

And this is the back:

felt embroidered needle case step6 Felt Embroidered Needle Case   Inspired by my friend Anna

And this is the inside:

felt embroidered needle case step7 Felt Embroidered Needle Case   Inspired by my friend Anna

The result is a small needle case with the embroidery hidden by backing pieces and a piece of felt in the middle in which the needles will sit. I love the design and the colors and I’m planning to make another one really soon.

Update – more needlebook goodness awaits you

One of the people I follow on Twitter Johwey Redington has her own version needle book here – it’s way more detailed than mine and I just love it. Why not head over there and check out her detailed how to?

johwey redington needle book Felt Embroidered Needle Case   Inspired by my friend Anna

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Sunday, November 4th, 2012

Sew your own felt elephant

Felt elephant 3d Sew your own felt elephant

This cute elephant is the first real 3D pattern I have made for an animal. I based it on a circle so its body is made from a circle with the base cut off and then I cut out the areas for under the trunk and between the legs. It is best at this point to trim just a little from the length of the trunk too so it doesn’t sit on its trunk later on. Cut pieces for the ears,  tail, belly and then five tiny small ovals  for the base of the feet and trunk. It is pretty easy to make the pattern yourself but I’ve  scanned mine so you can download and use it yourself.

I recommend you use wool felt not the stuff that is made from non natural fibres. The reason is that wool felt stands up to more of a beating and stitches close to the edges are less likely to pull out.  I used fibrefill and some eyes that I got for making amigurumi animals.

Start by sewing the legs and the underbody together, add the ovals for the bottom of the feet. Stuff as you go. Then sew up  the trunk and add an oval of felt to the bottom of the trunk and then sew all around the piece.

Add the tail which is rolled felt  with a fringe at the bottom. When you’re done stitch the ear pieces together and then stitch them to the sides of the elephant body.  The eyes go  into small holes made in the head – attach with a dot of fabric glue.

Link: Download free felt elephant pattern here.

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