Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Plan

Thanks Kristin for allowing me to join!

These are my kitchen windows...

Notice any difference?

Yes, it's true... one is semi-naked. Somewhere in the last move one of my one-of-a-kind-made-from-a- stained-old-40's-tablecloth-gosh-I-loved-them curtains disappeared.

So here's my plan...

Using Kristin's book as inspiration and guide, I am going to create an abstracted representation of the existing curtain for the naked window!

Here is a close up the florals. I'm figuring a light satin stitch for the roses. Maybe some sort of outlining stitch, like a stem stitch, for the Daisies. French knots for the daisy centers and the little blue blobs (maybe they're forget- me-nots?). Mixing media... yarn for the grasses and floss for the flowers?
Like I said... a representation, not an attempt to re-create.
We'll see how it goes!

Friday, October 19, 2007


I finished this up yesterday. It was inspired by Kristin's sunflower pictures and was rendered with the help of Kristin's book. Thank you times two!
I had a hard time getting a decent picture. The colors are a little off here. It was truly a work of using what you have on hand. The fabric is from an old skirt of mine and the crewel embroidery wool is some I have had forever. I'm not wholly pleased with it, but not totally dissatisfied either, given my limited supplies and expertise. I had trouble with the points of the petals, but I expect that that's due to inexperience. I did love all the chain stitching in the center.
Thanks, Kristin for the inspiration and help!
(It actually looks a little better if you click on the picture for a larger view)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Summer and the stitching is easy

This poor little blog - no new posts in such a long time!

Well, I've finally finished a new project. The bright green pillow has been in progress for at least two years. It's been sitting in a pile - finished, waiting for the backing fabric to be sewn on. Today it happened. The light green pillow is from Colorful Stitchery. They make a nice pair. I've posted a bit more about the design on my regular blog.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Embroidered Shirt

I embroidered on this work shirt years ago for my husband. I call it An Old Hippie Recalled to Life. I'm so glad that we still have it. It was such fun to do and I like it even more today than I did so many years ago. Lots of memories, lots of brings a smile to my face just to look at it!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

First potholders

It was great fun to stitch these potholders! I created the designs on my computer, then used transfer paper and pencils to put the designs on fabric. The wool fabric is a bit lightweight (felted skirts), so there is a layer of heat-proof fabric in between the two wool layers. The reverse side of the potholders is the purple/teal plaid that you can see in the background.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

This is part of a WIP inspired by Kristin's sister's embroidered jeans jackets. It had been many years since I had done any embroidery, and after looking at Krisitin's blog, I couldn't wait to get started. I dug into my closet and found a favorite chambray shirt that I no longer wore because it had found a stain somewhere and began embellishing. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed this during the 70's! I have added a double eagle to one shoulder, this celtic bird to the other, foliage to the pocket flaps and a winged heart to the back yoke, and it's still a WIP. What fun! My husband loved watching the images grow, and checks the shirt often to see what has been added. I wore it to school and everyone oohed and aahed. I think some of them were inspired to pick up needles and floss again as well. Thanks Kristin for unselfishly sharing and inspiring everyone around you, the most desirable qualities of a true teacher.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Business Card Holder

I printed up some Jan-Knit business cards this weekend. Then I needed a case to protect them in my big bag. It's crocheted out of recycled gray wool, embroidered with some of that thrifted crewel wool I found a while back, lined with a bit of cotton scrap from a sewing project, and fastened with a leftover blue mother of pearl button.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Nice Review on Flickr Embroidery Blog

All of us at the Colorful Stitchery Stitchalong welcome new readers via the Flickr Embroidery Blog! Amy did a love write-up about Colorful Stitchery - thanks so much Amy! I hope we all can keep inspiring each other.

Now maybe I can get my act together to finish that latest pillow! You're spurring me on.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Chinese Slippers from Adorn

I embroidered these Chinese slippers last year for the premiere issue of Adorn Magazine. They didn't take long to do and really look like spring.

I just found a great new blog called the Flickr Embroidery Blog. You all have got to check it out. It's being done by a few members of the Flickr Embroidery Group which is also definitely worth a peek. Maybe some of us should join this too!

Happy Spring!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Sharing: first practice piece

Colorful Stitchery has been on my shelf for one year! It's about time to get going and make something! Tried a lazy daisy on some scrap fabric and learned that I need practice before starting any "official projects".

This practice piece was quite fun. The fabric is recycled wool that was crock-pot dyed. Stitches practiced are lazy daisy, French knot, and blanket. Maybe patches like this could be used to embellish jeans or a denim jacket.

Spring has sprung, and it's supposed to get up to 70 degrees here in South Dakota today, so thought of flowers in the grass.

Monday, March 19, 2007


Felt pillow inspired by the project in the Colorful Stitchery book. It is an easy, breezy project resulting in a glowing response from a little someone.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day!

For all my "Colorful Stitchery Stitchalong" friends, I made this embroidered Valentine! I am overwhelmed by the creativity and enthusiasm all of you are putting into your fabulous work. The thing that makes me the most happy is that everything is looking different and original. As an author, the most joyful part of my job is seeing what others do with my ideas and seeing where they take them on their own.

Thank you all for sharing your stitching lives with all of us. There really are some fabulous projects on this blog, aren't there?

Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Needle book

Made for a swap. I sat with Kristin's book in my lap and stitched.

Fennel Fix

I covered two holes in my sweater with a little bronze fennel. Read about it on my blog.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Jan-Knit's Green Hat

This crocheted hat is my own design. I embellished with colorful yarn embroidery and mother of pearl buttons. Blogged here.

Thursday, February 08, 2007


This is my first attempt at completely original embroidery. I used 3 strands of DMC floss to add an airplane and some little stars to a craft apron for my airplane loving niece. I just used a split stitch for the airplane, it couldn't have been easier. In fact, I think the hardest part of this project was making the drawing on the fabric. My niece loves it, and it looks so cute on her!

Blogger Upgrade - Trouble Happens!

Hi Everyone! Last weekend, I finally switched my blog account to the new blogger. I had avoided this knowing it was going to make more work for me. And yes it did entail a few hours of fussing around. I always avoid upgrades on software because of this!

Anyway, the Colorful Stitchery Stitchalong also got automatically upgraded as some of you have noticed. I think the new blogger is great because there are some fun features (Labels especially) and it seems to be a little easier to work. But some nasty stuff happened too!

The list of contributor's has shrunk to a miniscule amount. I am stumped as to why because on my administration list, it is still long and everyone who joined is still listed.

When you change to the new blogger, you have to sign in with a google account (yes, I had to make a new account and now have a new password). It looks like all of the "new contributors" are those who have switched to the new blogger. But if you haven't upgraded yet, your name isn't listed.

So, please don't think that I took your name off the list.

Can I ask a favor though - can someone try posting (if you know you are a member but not listed) and see what happens. Then let me know.

Thanks for understanding - isn't technology wonderful?

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Wool Purse & Bag

Little gifts for my sweet grand daughter.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Felt Christmas ornament

Kristin's blog and her book- Colorful Stitchery and Kid's Embroidery have been so inspiring to me. I made these at Christmas as little gifts for friends.
And some more hearts-

This wool heart was made from some wool from a wool suit, washed, then an ornament for my son and daughter-in-law...

I hope to do lots more embroidery this year- I am inspired, and by the other posts I see on this Stitchalong blog!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Garden Party Tote

It only took me, what?--four months? I finally got a project done. This is a knitted, felted tote using Chuckanut Bay Perendale wool in two colors. The green sections are actually little two-stitch cables. I embroidered lazy daisy flowers all over and used small white seed beads for the centers.

I discovered when it was done that this tote is "high-school worthy" as my 9th grader would say. She immediately asked if she could have it. My 4th grader also wanted it, so I told them they'd either have to each knit their own or share this one because I don't have time right now to make another one.

Thanks, Kristen. This was such a fun project and if I didn't have 50 other things to do this week I WOULD make another one!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Grace's Bear

I made this cute little bear today for little Grace, my friends one year old daughter. The idea came from Julia's Bears in Kristen's Colorful Stitchery book. The bear is super cute and an easy afternoon project.
Happy Stitching!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Little Monster

Another post for the "children's art" category. Sophie and I collaborated on this piece, a gift for our friend's baby girl. She drew the monster, cut out the pattern and then drew the features with a pen on the felt; I embroidered the face and then blanket stitched the doll together.

Apparently, the little girl already had an "Ugly Doll", so our toy was dubbed "Monster". Despite having a face you hate to love, little Anna adores her Monster.

25-Year Old Stitches

I had to chuckle when I suddenly remembered something I have in my 'saved treasures' closet to keep for grandchildren. This was a shirt I embroidered for my daughter (now 36) when she was about 7 years old. It was on chambray fabric and the enbroidery was done with DMC floss. I thought they were cute then, and I still think they are a really fun peek at childhood.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

quirky cushion

Hello Stitchers! I've been meaning to share a couple of my projects for a while, and I'm finally making time to just do it :o) I am not super experianced at embroidery, but it sure is fun. I've done some cross stitch and a little ribbon embroidery and a little crewel. I recently completed one of Kristin's stitchery kits, and it was so fun to do! Here is my brilliant orange cushion on my purple-y blue couch. I love the way it came out, and it really wasn't as difficult as I was afraid it would be. I can definitely recommend her kits for all skill levels of stitchers. Next time I have a little project of my own design to share.

Keep on stitchin'!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Knitted foot warmer

Found this wool/nylon yarn on sale and thought it would make a great foot warmer for chilly nights and sitting quilting or sewing. It works up very randomly. The colors go well with the cushions in my wicker rocker in sewing room. I'll stop back with the finished product.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Crazy, Colorful Jean Jackets

My sister Lynn Nicholas has been embroidering only since last summer. I wrote about her on my blog here. She isn't too computer savvy so I am posting these photos for her. She draws a design freehand onto her jacket using either a pencil or a marker. The designs are little outlines of what she is planning. Then she takes her trusty box of floss, her thimble and needle and just goes wild with chain stitch building these colorful designs randomly as she goes. Here's a jacket in progress:

They remind me stitchery from Mexico although they are truly her own. Her simple line drawings become miniature works of art that she walks around in. She handsews colorful trims and ruffles to the cuffs and borders of the jackets too. You can read more about it here. I think they are a true inspiration and I'm so proud of what she's doing as I am of everyone who is participating in this fun Stitchalong. We've really got some good stuff happening, don't we. Thanks everyone!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Felted Sweater Potholders

These were actually a Christmas Gift for my sister, but I'm just now getting around to posting them! This was a fun project--I'm definitely going to have to make some for myself!

You can read more at my blog: Chef Messy

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Heart Sachet

Here is my first stitch-a-long project. This heart sachet was inspired by the hearts embroidered on the Wedding Blanket on page 152 of Kristen's Colorful Stitchery. Really fun to make and very quick and easy. I added a bag of lavender tea to the stuffing to give this little pillow a wonderful scent. I am going to make a couple more of these in various colors to give to each of my daughters for Valentine's Day this year.
Happy Stitching everyone!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Felt Tree Ornaments

I finished a set of four tree ornaments this week. The inspiration for this project started with Sunshine's tutorial; I turned to Colorful Stitchery for specific stitch how-to.

Splitting the strands of embroidery floss hadn't occured to me until I read Kristin's text carefully; it made all the difference when I tried to execute small details like adding an '06 to the back of each ornament.

Special mention should be made regarding my capable daughter Sophie, age 6, who executed the angel ornament on her own, over the course of four hours. She was determined to complete the project without my help. I don't know where she gets her independent streak.

Butterfly Pillow

This isn't in Kristin's book, but her book was definately a tool of inspiration. I stopped at the store (JoAnn's) to look for fabric and found this linen/cotton remnant and the linen embroidery thread AND a cross stitch freebie pattern book. When I saw the butterfly I knew I could improvise the colors to go on my sofa, and so spent all the travel hours in the auto over Christmas composing and stitching. I did some edge stitching which isn't very visible but it really set it off to have that border.

When it came time to finish, I found some wine colored corduroy to cover the cording (remnant too) and as you can see - it works well on my sofa. Now, I'm already thinking about my next project (and quilting in between)!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Ready to begin

Well, it's a new year and I'm ready to begin. All the Christmas projects are completed, and there are no excuses ;-) I have decided on making my version of the overlapping circles cushion. It will be stitched with linen thread on a linen/cotton fabric, I think... I'm not quite sure about the thread - it might be too thin to give the kind of coverage I want, so I might replace it with wool, but at least this is what I'll start with.