One of my goals this year was to work on this series of embroideries I titled “Bugs in Jars”. I had this idea of stitching a mix of regular embroidery with stumpwork bugs and adding some vinyl to make it look like they were actually in jars. It was a great experiment and I’ve learned so much.
The last in the trio ended up being more of a terrarium than just a regular mason jar like the first two. I found this old illustration of a terrarium and sketched it up with a few additions and changes.
The base is a “copper” base with a mix of back stitches and satin stitches. After the base was done, I moved on to the flowers and greenery.
I started out with satin stitching all the petals and leaves of the plants. Then I added some dimensions with some stumpwork petals and leaves. This was the first time I’ve done stumpwork with something other than a wing – the concept is totally the same but it felt fun to do something different.
I wasn’t going to add any bugs to this one, but I figured I needed to in order to call this trio a true trio of Bugs in Jars. So I free handed a little white moth and stitched up some wings.
This is probably one of my favorite shots. I used some hand dyed threads that I had in my stash and couched them down to make it look like moss. I also added in some back stitched greenery to fill up the space underneath all the plants.
Then it was time to add the vinyl cloche top!
I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out!
While I am taking somewhat of a hiatus with custom embroidery orders right now, I recently finished up the last of the orders I had from this summer.
Here’s a little peek at them.
A custom birth announcement. The coolest thing about this one is that it is the 3rd I’ve done for this family. I did two last year for a pair of sisters and their family welcomed another baby girl this spring. It was such a gift to be asked to create this third for the trio.
A 50th anniversary. I had a daughter come to me and ask for a custom 50th anniversary portrait. This one was based on the one I did a couple of years ago for my aunt and uncle’s 60th. I even was able to find a matching metal oval hoop!
The theme for this one was daisies. So I had fun stitching loads and loads of lazy daisies!
Here’s a close up of the bride and groom.
Last year sometime I designed this lovely pattern with Romans 12:12; lovely until I stitched it and honestly I just kept running into snags. I couldn’t get it to look the way I wanted it to. So the pattern sat for a while. This past spring I finally came up with a redesign for it and honestly it took me all summer to finally get it done. I absolutely love how it turned out.
I used the basis of the original pattern, with this lovely font that you fill in for some key words and a simple font for the rest of the text.
I stitched the black text with wool thread, which gives it a bit more texture. The rest of the text is stitched with three strands of standard DMC cotton floss in various colors.
Instead of adding embroidered flowers around the edges like I had originally designed (and failed), I decided to go for a hexagon frame. The hexies are roughly 3/4″ hexagons and mine are made from some Heather Ross fabric scraps. For each section I stitched the hexagons and then whipstitched them together. I ended up using my sewing machine to stitch each row down and I’m super happy with the result.
Right now this is a finished embroidery that you can purchase in the shop, but it’s also an instant PDF download that you can purchase and sew at home. The pattern comes with complete stitching directions, color suggestions and instructions on how to make hexagons. It’s probably more of an advanced beginner pattern for the embroidery and the hexagons…but any adventurous embroiderer could tackle it!
I love stitching these little portraits, but the ones I love the most are the ones I get to stitch of people I know. This one is super special as it’s one of my closest friends. It’s always fun to figure out how to stitch hair, what sorts of clothes to put on them and just all the little details. In the end, it’s crazy to see what you can do with just needle and thread.
The whole crew:
The youngest kiddos:
The eldest kiddos:
One of the highlights of last year was the opportunity to be a part of the &stitches crew. After much discussion, the blog was shut down this year (the archives still remain) and it has been such a joy to get to know these ladies and even though we aren’t officially stitching together anymore I know we’ll stay in touch. Even though the blog is stagnant now, we all agreed that we wanted to go ahead with our little stitch along that we had been planning behind the scenes. Each of the crew has taken a few days throughout this year to present their prompts for this little stitch along. It’s meant to be a quick one, just filling in one little inch square and inching along in stretching your embroidery muscles.
The original post with the template is here along with links to the first 4 prompts. Today I bring you prompt 5…
stitch with something other than standard 6 strand floss!
Here are a few options that I pulled from my thread stash (starting on the left)
hand dyed cotton perle
and on the end is the standard, divisible thread that you can’t use!
I used the silk thread and stitched an initial A for my first name.
Stitch along with us and branch out into the amazing world of threads!
I’ve got a new pattern in the shop and this is a great one for those of you desiring to stretch your stitching muscles and learn how to make some beautiful embroidered flowers.
The quote is from Jim Elliott who was married to Elizabeth Elliot. I think knowing their story makes these words ring even more true. Truly, wherever the Lord had placed them, I don’t doubt they were completely all there. Engaged and invested fully in the people and surroundings that they were in. I long to live with that kind of contentment and trust.
This pattern is a mix of simple embroidery backstitches for the text and some more advanced stitches like the satin stitch flower, the rope stitch for the vines and more. The downloadable PDF is enhanced with links to videos for how to do each stitch, in addition to stitch photos and descriptions. There is a complete color and stitch chart and lots of tips on how to transfer your pattern and finish your embroidery.
Grab the pattern here and happy stitching!