A few months ago, a very good customer asked if I would consider making her a hedgehog brooch. I wasn`t sure at the time as I was still quite new to free machine embroidery and didn`t think I could do it justice. However last week (after a gentle reminder from the lovely, patient lady) I decided to give hedgehogs a go. Growing confidence, combined with my wonderful new Bernina machine, meant that the time was right to take my machine embroidery to a new level.
I began with drawings and then made three embroideries. These were really little paintings in thread and I really enjoyed drawing with the machine, mark making, and layering lots of different threads. I sort of fell in love with hedgehogs last week as I brought these little creatures to life. They`ve had a wonderful response on my Facebook page and all three embroideries were immediately spoken for, with orders for two more. It seems that everyone loves a hedgehog! Yesterday I started work on four hedgehog embroideries and I`m really looking forward to getting stuck into them today.
I`ve been working on lots more little stitched birds over the last few weeks. I love making them, especially as I invested in a new sewing machine a couple of weeks ago (a wonderful Bernina) which is an absolute dream to work with. I still feel that I`m gaining confidence with each one, and really enjoy going to town layering all the differnt coloured threads to create little paintings in stitch.
Here are a few recent birds, I must admit that I was especially pleased with some of them, but I think the little coal tit is my favourite so far.
I think this one is my favourite.
And of course, a few more blue tits!
I love this one!
I think it is the vintage fabric backgrounds that really help these little birds come alive, and a big part of making them is selecting just the perfect piece of fabric for them to perch in. Then I stitch in a twig or two, layering little scraps of fabric to look like bark. I like the layered, tangled look this gives, as if the birds are living in an overgrown garden– just like mine!
Happy New Year!
My first working week of the year has been all about bluetits.
First came some scribbly drawings in my sketchbook, inspired by all the bluetits in my garden:
Next came three embroideries inspired by the drawings:
All three embroideries sold straight away in my Etsy shop, which was a lovely start to the New Year. I`m feeling much more confident with free machine embroidery and really enjoyed stitching these little birds, layering fabric and thread to echo the original drawings. I was really pleased with these little bluetits and I want to work on lots more, as well as all the other birdy visitors to my garden. I`m so lucky to have a garden that is always filled with birds, probably because it`s really overgrown and filled with bushes and trees… I always keep the feeders topped up and I added another little bird table this Christmas which I put outside the kitchen window. Birds are always a bit wary of something new, but bold little coal tits visited first, and now there are all kinds of garden birds flying in for a snack all day long.
Last year was a great year for me, my work took on a new direction and I finally started to bring together drawing and sewing. I started an online shop and began to get the hang of Etsy, and also realised the wonders of selling and networking online. Now I`ve got lots of lovely customers and wonderful support and encouragement via Etsy and Facebook. This week I passed 1000 likes on Facebook which I was really amazed and happy about. I`m so excited to see what this year brings… I`m going to begin with lots more drawings and stitching of birds.
I`ve made a few little batches of stitched robins now, and they are continuing to be popular. I`m really pleased with my latest ones, I feel that I`m really getting the hang of them… The little 4″ hoops are my favourite. I like the fact that they are small enough to hang on a Christmas tree– I`ll be making a few of these as Christmas presents!
Here are a few of my favourites from my latest batch.
I`ve been concentrating on making bumble bees this week , a few brooches and embroidery hoops to top up my Etsy shop and to send down to Made in Britain in Bristol. I really enjoyed it as I hadn`t made them for a while and it was nice to make something that reminded me of Summer on such dark, gloomy Autumnal days.Three brooches for my Etsy shop.
I love this vintage fabric, printed with bluebells. A piece of from an old curtain which is printed all over with little vignettes of cottage gardens.
This little piece, printed with Livingstone daisies, came from the same curtain. Just perfect for adding a little bee and setting in a cute 4″ hoop.
Another pair of bees stitched onto a remnant of vintage linen.
I thought the colours in this woven fabric worked really well as a background for this bee. It was a tiny piece of recycled furnishing fabric, just big enough to make one brooch!
My first robin embroideries all sold out within a couple of days! I took inspiration from my robin drawings in my sketchbook, layering tiny scraps of fabric and stitching them in place, using recycled cottons and little pieces of calico that I painted to just the right colour. Then lots of scribbly machine stitching added more texture and colour. I hand embroidered their little legs and feet. I set them in embroidery hoops- a 6″, a 5″ and a few little 4″ ones, just the right size to hang on the Christmas tree!
I was really pleased with them and plan to make lots more for Christmas. Here are a few of my favourites so far:
Hello again to my poor neglected blog! Here we are in October already, the summer flew past and now it`s Autumn with Christmas fast approaching. It has been a very busy Summer for me and a creatively satisfying one. I really feel happy with my work now and I`ve settled into a style that marries four things I love; sewing, drawing, nature and vintage fabrics. I also finally embraced the wonders of Facebook a few months ago and have built up a wonderful network of supportive people and customers. So although my blog posts have become rather few and far between, I post on Facebook daily with news, previews, sketches and finished work. My Etsy sales have become steady too, and having the Etsy shop has really helped me focus on the style and look of my work.
I`ve been setting little stitched pieces in embroidery hoops quite a lot recently. Customers like them because they can buy a little piece of textile art that is ready to hang, and I really enjoy working within a circle. There is something quite satisfying about a circle, and I like the way a motif from a piece of vintage fabric becomes focused and can frame a little stitched creature. They remind me a bit of vintage plates hanging on the wall, and have become quite popular, I`ve had lots of sales and a few commissions for them. These are some of my favourites:
I love blackbirds!
Bees and butterflies were very popular over the summer. I want to work on lots of more birds over Autumn and winter and maybe some mammals (I`ve had an order for a hedgehog!). My focus over the next couple of weeks will be robins, I`ve got some lovely old linens and muted furnishing fabrics for backgrounds and some tiny 4″ hoops that would be just the right size to hang on the Christmas tree… I`ve had lots of lovely comments for my drawings too, so my next few bird drawings won`t be in my sketchbook, but for sale in my Etsy shop!
Filed under bees, birds, butterflies, drawing, embroidery, embroidery hoops, ladybirds, machine embroidery, online shop, recycled fabrics, stitched birds, vintage fabric