Stitchers Templates for crazy quilters

using Sharon B's CQ StencilsMy templates for crazy quilters are designed with other stitchers in mind. I aim to help you take your stitching to the next level.  With my templates you are able to create hundreds of different hand embroidery patterns to embellish your seams and decorate you crazy quilt patches with flair.

These templates are easy to use, made of clear plastic so you can position them easily and are compact in your sewing box. To use them position the template in place and, holding it firmly with one hand, so that it does not shift, use a quilter’s pencil to trace along the edge of the template to create a pattern. You can stitch along this line to decorate the seam.

using my Crazy Quilt Templates set 2

There are also a number of different curved lines that allow you to create many organic type hand embroidery designs. They are ideal for floral sprays. The curved lines can also be used them to create frames and other types of flourishes on your work.

Templates fro crazy quilters ebook pageTo  show how each set of  templates could be used, I have a free ebook of patterns to accompany each set. Using the shapes found on the edge of each stencil you can create numerous seam embellishments.

TO ORDER your Crazy Quilt Templates

Crazy Quilt Templates set 1 you will find here 
Crazy Quilt Templates set 2 you will find here 

dove from Crazy Quilt Templates set 2

Take a Stitch Tuesday Stitch 74

Buttonholed cable chain sample

This week Stitch 74 in the Take a Stitch Tuesday ( TAST) is a bit of doozie as I think it’s lots of fun. This week I am encouraging people to try Buttonholed Cable Chain  stitch. Since this stitch is a variety of chain stitch it will follow a curve and I like tucking beads in the middle of the buttonholed chain. To work this stitch you will need to know how to do Cable Chain which was stitch 23 in the TAST challenge. In my tutorial on Buttonholed Cable Chain  stitch, in my Stitch dictionary there is a link a cable chain if you need a refresher.

A tip! If you have trouble with tension read my article on How to bind and use an embroidery hoop as it covers not only binding a hoop but, what size to use.
TAST2012logo

How to join in on the Take a Stitch Tuesday challenge

If you are new to hand embroidery the challenge is to learn the stitches. If you are an experienced embroiderer push these stitches in creative manner and share with beginners what can be done with a little imagination.

Where to share

Stitch a sample, photograph it, put in online on your blog, flickr site, share it on Facebook or where ever you hang out online, and leave a comment on the Buttonholed Cable Chain  stitch page with your full web address. Include the http bit of your web address so that it becomes a live link. That way people can visit and see what you have done.

Feel free to join the  TAST facebook group and leave your photo there.  For Flickr people the group is Take a Stitch Tuesday. Hashtags are #TASTembroidery and #PintangleTAST on places like Instagram etc.

If you need more information the challenge guidelines are on the TAST FAQ page.

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How to hand embroider Alternating Double Chain Stitch

Alternating Double Chain Stitch is a variety of Chain stitch that creates an interesting decorative line which you can use around the edge of items, collars necklines etc. If crazy quilting is your thing it makes a simple seam treatment. You can create varieties of Alternating Double Chain Stitch if you widen the second loop by changing the size and angle of the second chain stitch. It is possible to lace novelty yarns through the loops.

You can easily add a bead to the second loop making it a really decorative edge for items such a needlebooks, bags etc The trick to beading during the stitching process is use a size 26 tapestry needle. Since the eye of a tapestry needle is long you can thread perle #8 and Perle #5 through the long eye. However the needle itself is thin which means you can add a bead to your working thread as you stitch.

The samples have been worked using perle # 5 thread. If you need a refresher on Chain stitch you will find a tutorial here.

How to work Alternating Double Chain Stitch

Alternating Double Chain Stitch step by step 1Start Alternating Double Chain Stitch stitch as you would a regular chain stitch. Bring the needle from the back of the fabric and re-insert the needle that the point emerges a short space along the line to be stitched. With the thread wrapped under the needle point pull the needle through the fabric to make the first chain stitch.

Alternating Double Chain Stitch step by step 2Insert your needle at the top right of the first chain stitch and take a larger bite of the fabric. This should be 2 to 3 chain stitch lengths. With the thread wrapped under the needle point pull the needle through.

Alternating Double Chain Stitch step by step 3Next make a regular chain stitch and with the thread wrapped under the needle point pull the needle through.

Alternating Double Chain Stitch step by step 4

As illustrated insert your needle on the left side of the chain stitch you just worked and take a larger bite of the fabric that is 2 to 3 chain stitch lengths. With the thread wrapped under the needle point pull the needle through.

Alternating Double Chain Stitch step by step 5Work this way along the line with the larger longer chain alternating from side to side.

I hope you enjoy Alternating Double Chain Stitch!

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TAST Interview with Angela of Princess Bubbles Creates

image for TAST Interview with Angela of Princess Bubbles CreatesAngela of Princess Bubbles Creates has been a long time TAST follower so I was more than curious to read her thoughtful responses to my interview questions. Angela takes on many creative challenges and documents her progress in her blog. On Princess Bubbles Creates you will discover lots of experimentation with fiber, textiles and journalling, so do make a cuppa and pop over for a visit.

TAST Interview with Angela of Princess Bubbles Creates

Why do you like hand embroidery and hand work? How has it influenced your life?

Handwork/embroidery is one of my favorite things to do. I have a very strong need to express myself creatively and this suits me very well. Stitching adds a calm and peace to my life. When all around is craziness my stitching takes me away. It takes me out of my head and time just flies. Stitching is almost like a meditation for me.

How did you start? Were you taught by your mother, school or taught yourself online? If you taught yourself what attracted you to embroidery?

I honestly don’t remember how I started embroidery. I know I was just a child when I learned some basic stitches. My mother was often creating but not with embroidery. She did more sewing and knitting. My dear sister did some embroidery and is very accomplished now. Possibly she taught me the lazy daisy as that is the earliest stitch I remember doing. There was always creativity happening in my home!

Do you use TAST to make samplers or incorporate the stitches into projects as you go. Or what sort of projects most attract you ?

I have used TAST to make samples and incorporate the stitches into projects. Most often my stitches are done on crazy quilts. If I am having difficulty understanding the instructions for a stitch I will do it on a sampler. I have done some TAST on handmade paper and plan to do more as I want to make a book with these pages.

image for TAST Interview with Angela of Princess Bubbles CreatesCan you talk about your last project and/or your current project? 

I have a number of projects I am working on this year. I signed up for the Bead Journal Project, Crazy Quilt Journal Project and Take a stitch a day project. I am enjoying all of them and am not overwhelmed. I was concerned that possibly it would be too much but I have found that is not the case. The first four months of the crazy quilt project I plan to incorporate a bead journal project from previous years. My bead journal project and stitch a day project I plan to stitch on six inch squares. Possibly they will all come together into one big project at the end of the year.

What is the project you are most proud of?

My crazy quilt Be Fruitful is quite the accomplishment for me. It is my first large (36x36inches) crazy quilt that is completely finished and hanging in my dining room. I started collecting the fabric for it in 2004 and finally finished it in 2015. Many times the blocks were set aside over the years as I would loose interest in it. I persisted and got it finished and that feels really good. I see areas that could be improved upon as I learned so much since I started done is good.

Do you have any UFO’s ? If so, fess up to how many?

Oh come on! Of course, I have UFOs! If they were all in one place I would go count them. However, they are not all in one place so I will guess and say less than 50. A good many of those have all the stitching finished and just need to be framed or mounted on canvas. Some of them will never be finished and will just serve as samples. Some of them are experiments that are waiting to be included into a bigger project.

Do you work purchased designs or do you design your own projects? Or do you do both?

I rarely work purchased designs. It goes against my creative nature to follow someone else’s idea. But in the past I have used kits to learn a new technique.

image for TAST Interview with Angela of Princess Bubbles CreatesDo you have a creative design process? If so what is it? Or do you work intuitively?

I am amazed by people who start out with a sketchbook and fully develop their idea before taking one stitch. That is not how I work at all. I work intuitively and tend to jump right into a project. My ideas are rather general to start off and the specifics come as I work. Even if I did have a very specific plan to start it would not end up that way.

What stimulates your creative process? What inspires and sparks ideas for you?

Often I am inspired by other artists. That is not to say that I copy them but when I see something that really catches my eye I think I have to try that. Color and texture also inspire me. I get so excited by color. All my friends know me as the girl with the biggest box of crayons! Texture comes next for inspiration. All the beautiful threads and yarns that we have available can add so much to embroidery. I have used hyperbolic crochet to add really interesting texture to some of my projects. Fun!

Lots of people have trouble starting a project. What makes you start a project? Do you have any tips to get you from blank fabric to stitching?

I do not have trouble starting. I LOVE starting new projects! I have so many beautiful supplies and I want to use them all! I just dive right into the fabric. I rarely stop to think about the ‘what if’. I think that people can be held back by the fear of failure. Failure is just one step in the learning process so I don’t let it hold me back from starting.

image for TAST Interview with Angela of Princess Bubbles CreatesDo you have stall points? If so how do you get past them? Do you have any tips to share about this.

I do have stall points. I get bored with a project when it takes too much time. I lose interest and have to try something new. I have learned to break projects down into bite sized pieces that I can finish before I get bored with it. Stall points can be a good thing though. Setting a project aside and coming back to it with fresh eyes can be helpful.

Do you have ‘go to’ stitches. In other words stitches you use frequently that you return to using over and over. If so what are they and why do you think they are so successful for you.

Oh yes, absolutely I have go to stitches. Feather stitch, buttonhole stitch, french knots are a few that I have been doing for years. Take a Stitch Tuesday is a favorite for me because it forces me out of my box of usual stitches. I love broadening my knowledge of embroidery stitches.

Do you have a favourite embroidery thread, or something you use all the time? If so what is it?

I love all thread! It is a bit of a problem/addiction.

What advice would you give to new hands?

Enjoy the process and don’t let perfectionism steal the joy of creating. When learning something new it is not fair to ourselves to expect perfection.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Have fun and play! Life is too short to take our stitching too seriously!

I hope you have enjoyed this TAST Interview with Angela of Princess Bubbles Creates. I certainly enjoyed discovering more about Angela and her approach to embroidery. If you want to read and see more of her embroidery pop over to Princess Bubbles Creates.

This interview is part of series that will run during 2017 as the Take a Stitch Tuesday Challenge has been running for a decade. Throughout the year I will interview stitchers about their hand embroidery and feature their work.

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