Monday, 11 May 2015

New embroidery patterns: ABC and 123

I have two new embroidery patterns out that particularly those of you with kids, grandchildren or a baby on the way might like to embroider.

ABC is an alphabet with images of items beginning with their corresponding letter – A is for apple, M is for mushroom and O is for owl. And 123 features the numbers 0 to 9 with the relevant number of items alongside – 1 butterfly, 2 leaves and 7 fish.

The patterns are contemporary in design to fit in with a baby nursery or kids’ bedroom décor, where they have educational value too.

The patterns are available in my Etsy and Craftsy shops as instant downloads. The PDF patterns contain everything you need to know to prepare and complete the embroidery and are set up to print at home, so come and take a look.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Sew Cute Embroidery Kit

Last year I spent a few months working on a hand embroidery kit to be sold in Barnes & Noble stores and after checking the site sporadically for the past few weeks, this morning my search yielded results: it’s out!

Titled Sew Cute Embroidery Kit, the booklet contains instructions for 12 designs as well as step-by-step photo instructions on how to do the embroidery stitches. The kit includes needles, thread, a hoop and fabric.

It’s available in-store, as well as online for $13.45 (save 10%), and is suitable for absolute beginner embroiderers right through to experienced stitchers looking for quick and easy projects.

Many thanks to becker&mayer! and in particular my editor, Leah, for including me in what turned out to be an incredibly fun project to work on.

Sew Cute Embroidery Kit 
by Kelly Fletcher

“Grab the included hoop, needles, and embroidery floss and get ready to stitch a collection of delightful designs that will add a touch of charm to anything. Sew Cute Embroidery Kit contains an illustrated book showing you how to do basic embroidery stitches, along with stitch-by-stitch instructions for creating adorable projects, plus: 3 iron-on transfer sheets,12 patterns to guide your embroidering, 2 stitching needles,  6-inch embroidery hoop, 2 pieces of white fabric, and 10 skeins of 6-stranded of embroidery floss. Seasoned stitchers and crafters new to embroidery alike will love these cute projects, which can be applied to everything from tea towels to T-shirts, tablecloths to tote bags.”

Friday, 16 January 2015

Blackwork: Getting started

I've always liked the monochrome look of traditional blackwork, stitched in black thread on white fabric, but have shied away from it fearing I would find it monotonous.

Sonia Lucano's book, Blackwork: Fifty Simple Embroidery Projects in Traditional Black and White, is inspiring though, with its fresh and modern take on the style – and projects of a manageable size. This and a desire to learn new embroidery styles prompted me to pick a project and find out if blackwork could hold my interest.

White Aida fabric, loosely woven
DMC six-stranded cotton thread: black (310)
Needle: embroidery, size 8
Hoop: 6-inch
Design: Beetle by Sonia Lucano

There's no need to transfer the design on to the fabric, which is a plus. Simply start in the middle of the design and work your way outwards by following the pattern grid. I made a copy of the design from the book so I could draw crosshairs on it...

... and tacked matching crosshairs on to the fabric to make it easier to keep my place.

So that's the prep work done. Next, making a start on the embroidery.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Ahoy! Free vintage embroidery designs

I came across a file of vintage iron-on embroidery transfers at a charity shop towards the end of last year. They were clearly someone's collection: gathered over the years, cut up and piled haphazardly, one on top of the other into plastic sleeves. It saddens me to think of the stitching life discarded, but I can't deny the thrill of coming across a stash like this.

We were experiencing power load shedding every other evening at the time, and I spent these hours sifting through and sorting the transfers by candlelight. I had to toss a lot of them - torn, crumpled, faded - but those that were left quickly worked their way into little piles of commonality and I thought I'd share my good fortune.

They're literally just outlines, though, no instructions or photos of finished embroidery. So you'll have to get creative. But a decent design is a good place to start and I thought these small marine motifs apt with all the nautical themes doing the rounds at the moment.

Suggested stitches: Outline the anchor in back stitch and the rope in stem stitch. Work the border in chain stitch.

Suggested stitches: Outline the hull of the boat in stem stitch and fill the mast in with satin stitch. Embroider the sails and the sea in back stitch, using more strands of thread for the sails than the sea to give a thicker line. You could place a French knot under each wave curl for added detail.

Suggested stitches: Embroider the bubbles in padded satin or outline them in back stitch with two straight stitches in the centre of each. Outline the fish in stem stitch and use a French or colonial knot for the eye. Use the left-hand design for appliqué: embroider or attach a bead for the eye, cut out the fish and notch the fabric where shown, then fold the edges under and hand stitch to another piece of fabric.

Suggested stitches: Fill the sail with blanket filling stitch and outline it in stem stitch. Embroider the hull and mast in thick back stitch and the sea swells in stem stitch using only a few strands of thread. Fly or arrowhead stitch would work well for the birds and satin stitch for the flag.

Download a PDF of the motifs at actual size. 

Monday, 5 January 2015

A brand new year, and Embroidery Ideas out on Zinio

The new year usually means a fresh start and new projects, but I'm in the middle of a big one and so the holidays this year were a chance for me to put in some long hours of embroidery without the usual distractions of life, work and play. It's been quite blissful, and relaxing once all the preparation work was complete and I could just sit and stitch.

I'm taken care of for the next while, but if you're on the lookout for new projects to kick off the year and haven't yet gotten hold of a copy of Embroidery Ideas, it's now also available as a digital edition on US platform Zinio.

With 20 projects comprising 36 different designs, there's bound to be something that appeals to you. And at just $6.49, there's really no reason not to indulge.

Other than that, life gets back to normal next week and I'm feeling rather excited and positive about what 2015 may bring. Hopefully it's a good year for us all.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Merry Christmas and a happy new year

Christmas is here and it's always a good time to reflect on the year that has passed. It's been a busy one for me, working not only on designs for my online shops but also on some big editorial projects. You know about Embroidery Ideas, but there's more in the pipeline that I'll be able to share with you next year.

You've also been busy, buying more embroidery patterns and editions of The Stitch & Thimble from me than in any other year so far. And so Christmas is also the perfect opportunity to thank you for your support, friendly emails, positive product reviews and compliments on my work. It's all very much appreciated and it's a lovely feeling to think my designs are being embroidered and enjoyed all over the world.

This year was the first time I'd attended an embroidery festival, never mind taught at one. Ighali 2014 was a great experience, thanks to the ladies from the PE Embroidery Guild who slaved away to make it all happen. It's inspired me to come up with more ideas for workshops: watch this space.

To those of you who decided to give hand embroidery a go this year, stick with it and you won't be disappointed - I hope to see you coming back for more next year.

And to the editors, creative directors, publishers, photographers, stylists and other editorial team members who worked so hard to make my embroidery look so good, thank you!

Happy holidays and the very best of festive seasons to you. See you in 2015.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Embroidery Ideas magazine : the digital version

The digital version of Embroidery Ideas is now available and you can buy a copy no matter where in the world you live. Or drop some heavy Christmas hints.

All you have to do is log on to South African digital magazine portal Flipsubs - click on the link to go straight to the edition or search for "embroidery" on Enjoy!