Appliqué tote bag

I love participating in swaps (which I sign up for through Ravelry). This month I signed up for a favourite colour swap where you send your partner things in their favourite colours. My partner likes peach and mint and I decided to use some peach and mint coloured felt to decorate a tote bag I bought in hobby craft.

My partner likes folk designs and birds, so I used that as my inspiration. I drew out my design

and then cut out the main bird shape from peach coloured felt (these photos make it look like a bright pink but it’s not really like that!). I stitched on the wing and then embroidered detail on, taking care to avoid the edges as I knew I needed to blanket stitch it on to the bag once it was done. I used 3 strands of the thread while sewing, so it would show up on the quite large design.

Here’s how it ended up

And here it is blanket stitched onto the bag.

I’m so pleased with it. It was a simple idea but I think it’s been really effective. I’ve found the embroidery really relaxing to do, which I need at the moment as I’m struggling with low mood and stress again. It’s definitely an idea I’d use again as it can easily be personalised with different designs.

The only issue with it was that when I took the tote bag out of its packaging it smelled absolutely disgusting. A rinse in the washing machine didn’t sort it, so it had to go through the wash properly and wait to dry. But now it’s fine!

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A cute embroidery

After inktober I seem to have lost my crafting energy. I’ve got more caught up in TV and books. But this week I’ve been embroidering a cute little mermaid, designed by tamar nahir yanai. I bought it to make for a little girl who is turning 7 this month. I was drawn by the fact that it would encourage me to learn new stitch techniques as it included the cast on stitch and the woven spider Web stitch, which is never done before. Having done these I’m really pleased with the different texture these give the finished piece.

I loved how the colours worked together. I wish I’d taken photos as I went along as the turquoise was the last colour I worked with and that made the whole design really pop.

I’ve enjoyed having a little project that taught me new things but that I could do whilst watching rubbishy TV!

Finished bees

Here’s my finished embroidery. I’m so pleased with it.

But! In the spirit of honesty, have a look at the rather scrappy back… I’m a bit lazy with tying off and restarting, and actually don’t have the first idea how to do that when it’s just individual french knots. So I just trail threads all round the back!

I also made my sister a skirt for her birthday yesterday and was pleased to finish it in an afternoon in between football matches! I’ll share photos once I’ve given it to her next weekend.

Bee embroidery

A while back I bought a kit from oh sew bootiful. I’d seen pictures of it made up and thought it looked stunning, and then when I got the printed fabric out of the box I felt disappointed. It seemed smaller than I expected, and I just didn’t really like it.

But, today I started work on it, and funnily enough, sewing on top of the print totally transforms it 😂😂 I should have known!

It’s been relaxing and I’ve really enjoyed learning how to do the lazy daisy stitch which I’ve never done before, and improving on my satin stitch which I’ve previously struggled with.

There is padding on the back of the fabric and as I’m sewing it’s really adding depth to the illustration.

I’ve got quite a bit done and am really pleased with my progress so far.

I initially did back stitch on the flower stems but didn’t really like the look of it. I experimented with split stitch and loved the fact that it gave a much more natural look to the stems.

I wondered if I’d have to unpick all my stems and start again,but I decided to try splitting the back stitches that were already there, and that seemed to work, even though the stitches were a bit smaller than I’d have liked.

I’m loving the fact that my satin stitch is definitely improving as I work on the poppies and bees.

Hopefully I might get it finished tomorrow afternoon.

I can’t believe I forgot about this!

I’ve been waiting to post about my latest embroidery because it was a gift for a fellow blogger and I didn’t want her to see it here first and ruin the surprise. But, she received it on Friday and I’ve forgotten to post the picture of it here!

Hannah of the artisan duck posted her goals for the year, commenting that she was going to have a resolution to ‘be brave and make it happen’. Her idea struck me as soon as I read it, and when she commented about taking ownership of it by writing it in purple I immediately wanted to make her an embroidered version.

Obviously I chose purple for the writing but mixed in a strand of gold to add some sparkle. I’m just annoyed at myself that I didn’t end the thread on the first row of words and start again on the second, as the thread shows up quite a bit behind the material. I slid a second piece of material behind it to try to disguise it a bit, but you can still see that… Though I hope it won’t be too obvious if it gets hung on a wall and head no light behind it. I definitely need to learn from this mistake and not do it again!

I debated for ages about how to decorate it and eventually decided on a bee and a flower. As I was sewing I found myself thinking about bees and how hard they have to work to make honey. But I realised that they also have a team of other bees to help them in their work. It also occurred to me that a bee’s work (collecting nectar from different flowers) has a positive side effect of pollinating plants, that the bee is presumably quite unaware of.

I wrote these thoughts in the card as I hope they will encourage hannah in her bid to be brave and make it happen this year, recognising that she is not on her own, that there’s a whole lot of people she can turn to for help if needed, and that she may find that she has an unexpected and maybe unnoticed positive effect on others in her journey.