Stitchers Templates

My stitchers templates are designed with other embroiderers and crazy quilters in mind. They will take your stitching to the next level.  With them you can create hundreds of different hand embroidery patterns.

They are 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, 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.

Each set has a free ebook of patterns to use or spark ideas.

TO ORDER your Stitchers Templates

Stitchers Templates set 1 you will find here 
Stitchers Templates set 2 you will find here 

 

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2020 crazy quilt block 6

2020 crazy quilt block 6This is my block 6 in the 2020 Challenge. Finished and bound, this hexagon has 4-inch sides and is 8 inches across from point-to-point.

For those readers who have not yet come across the 2020 challenge, the aim is to stitch a crazy quilt using 2,020 different items to mark the year 2020. You will find the guidelines, information, and a list of free resources here. I figure this is a slow and enjoyable project as I have a couple of years to complete it!

2020 crazy quilt block 6 unembellishedMeanwhile, this was my starting point. I used 5 pieces of fabric in the unembellished block. During the piecing process, I also added two pieces of lace and the cut doily.

2020 crazy quilt block 6 patternAs usual, here is the basic pattern of my 2020 crazy quilt block 6, for those who want to use it.

Details on my 2020 crazy quilt block 6

The first photograph illustrates two details on the block. The first is a lace motif in the shape of a butterfly.
2020 crazy quilt block 6detail 1Using my stitcher’s templates, I traced out the curving stems of the flower motif. I worked Portuguese Stem Stitch using a hand-dyed cotton thread the same thickness as cotton perle #5. The flower designs are lace flower motifs, that I also hand-dyed. I tacked them in place, then secured them using 2 Bullion Knot (previously counted on block 1) – worked in a hand-dyed cotton perle #8.

2020 crazy quilt block 6 detail 2I covered the seam of piece 4 with a piece of hand dyed lace. It came from the same dye bath of the butterfly in the first photograph. After attaching this lace with small stitches I then added blue violet cats eye 3-4 mm beads.

2020 crazy quilt block 6 detail 3The other piece of lace that you can see on the block was also in the same dye bath as the butterfly and lace. I used back stitch in the holes along the zigzag edge using a lilac coloured chainette metallic thread. Sorry, I don’t know the brand – I picked it up somewhere in my travels or bargain hunting and it no longer has a label. After I had back stitched the edge, I then used my stitcher’s templates to mark out the curves before stitching them in Stem stitch (counted on block 1) using a mauve buttonhole twist silk thread. I then added the blue novelty flower beads.

2020 crazy quilt block 6 detail 4At the base of my 2020 crazy quilt block 6, I decorated the doily with bullion knots (already counted on block 3), straight stitches and seed beads. In the holes of the doily, I added pale blue cats eye 3-4 mm beads. I then added a lace motif that I call a flourish. It is cut from a much larger motif that was hand-dyed. I secured it to the block using regular sewing thread. And then I added the two pale blue flower shaped glass beads.

2020 crazy quilt block 6 detail 5The last detail on my 2020 crazy quilt block 6, is a simple line of Detached Chain Stitch (previously counted on block 1), worked in sets of three. I added straight stitches between the detached chain stitches and topped them with seed beads. The detached chain stitches are worked in the same hand-dyed cotton perle #8 as the bullion knots on the flowers in the first detail photograph. The lace butterfly was secured with small stitches and seed beads

Count on 2020 crazy quilt block 6

Seed beads are not counted, and there are no buttons on this block – I don’t think I have made a block without buttons so this is a bit unusual!

  • Fabrics: 5
  • Lace and doilies: 3
  • Lace motifs: 4, comprising Lace flourish, flowers and 2 butterflies
  • Beads: 4 blue-violet cats eye 3-4 mm beads, blue novelty flower beads, pale blue cats eye 3-4 mm beads, pale blue flower glass beads
  • Threads: 4 – hand-dyed cotton (unknown), hand-dyed cotton perle #8, lilac coloured chainette metallic, mauve buttonhole twist silk thread
  • Stitches: 2 Backstitch, Portuguese stem

Total 22
Previous tally 142

Total of items to date for the 2020 challenge is 164!

I hope you have enjoyed reading about my 2020 crazy quilt block 6. The aim is to make a crazy quilt using 2020 different items by the end of the year 2020. If you want to find out more about the challenge. You will find the guidelines and list of resources here 

Have you seen my book?

holding my book in front of quilt

My book The Visual Guide to Crazy Quilting Design: Simple Stitches, Stunning Results shares detailed practical methods about how to design and make a crazy quilt. I cover everything from fabric choice, to balancing colour, texture and pattern, in order to balance and direct the eye around the block.  I reveal how to stitch, and build decorative seam treatments in interesting and creative ways. My book is profusely illustrated as my aim is to be practical and inspiring.

My Crazy quilters templates

My templates for crazy quilters 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 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.

using my Crazy Quilt Templates set 2These are simple to use. You simply position the template in place and use a quilter’s pencil to trace along the edge of the template. Stitch along this line to decorate the seam. I have a free ebook of patterns to accompany each set which illustrates how they can be used.

TO ORDER your Crazy Quilt Templates

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

Persian Border Couching tutorial

Persian Border Couching is an interesting couching stitch, that could be used on the edges of items or simply worked row upon row to build up a fill pattern. Despite the name, I am not sure this stitch is actually from “Persia” or Iraq and Iran but that is how this stitch is named in Anne Butler’s Batsford Book of Embroidery Stitches.

For a contemporary twist, you could use novelty threads either on the top or even as part of the foundation threads. You could also incorporate beads along the way to add extra zest.

How to work Persian Border Couching

In Persian Border Couching you use 3 different threads: a foundation thread, a couched thread and a working thread that secures the couched thread. In the illustrations below I have used a purple foundation thread, the couched thread is yellow silk and to secure the couched thread to the fabric I used a yellow sewing cotton for my working thread.

Persian Border Couching step1First lay a few lines of straight stitches that you will couch over.

Persian Border Couching step 2Bring the thread you are going to couch up from the back of the fabric.
Persian Border Couching step 3Take the thread that you are going to couch across the top of the foundation stitches. Bring your working thread up from the back of the fabric and with a little tacking stitch secure the couched thread to the fabric. As you make the tacking stitch pass the needle under the fabric. Have it emerge on the opposite edge of the foundation stitches. Wrap the couching thread under the needle. Make a tacking stitch to secure the couched thread.

Note if the wrapping then tacking feels awkward, simply hold the couching thread with your thumb while tacking it into place. Wrapping the couching thread under the needle gave the couched thread a nice loop but it did feel it was awkward at times.

Persian Border Couching step 4Continue, by passing the needle with the working thread under the fabric again and wrap the couching thread under the needle to make your next tacking stitch.

Persian Border Couching step 5Continue down the line of foundation stitch zig zaging the couching thread across them. Once you have the couching process established try the double band.

How to work Persian Border Couching with two lines of foundation stitches.

In Anne Butler’s Batsford Book of Embroidery Stitches Persian Border Couching was illustrated with a set of two foundation rows.  This is how it is done.

Persian Border Couching step 6Make two sets of foundation stitches.

Persian Border Couching step 7Work 4 or 5 of the couched stitches then take your couched stitches across both sets of foundation stitches to the bottom line as illustrated.

Persian Border Couching step 8Work 4 or 5 couched stitches, then move to the upper line of foundation stitches. Continue along the rows in this manner to create the Persian Border Couching

Below is a sample sheet of some of the threads you can couch using Persian Border Couching

Novelty threads that can be used for couching Persian Border Couching Variation

At one point I thought it would be easier to simply work a line of offset running stitches along both sides of the foundation stitches and lace your top thread.
Here is sample worked that way.

Persian Border Couching variety
This variety of Persian Border Couching would work for a thread that was smooth, or with a good twist such a cotton perle #5 or #3. Many of the metallic threads can be laced easily too.  But this lazy woman method would not work for any of the bumpy, hairy or novelty threads.

Please note in Anne Butler’s Batsford Book of Embroidery Stitches the stitch is photographed with 2 rows of 2 foundation threads. I have worked my samples over 4 lines of threads to illustrate the stitching process. In the second set, I worked a double band over 2 rows of 3 foundation stitches. This is done mainly so that the photograph would be easily understood by readers. I also think it does not matter how many threads you couch over, as couching has always been an adaptable technique.

Persian Border Couching is an interesting stitch that I will be exploring more. If any of my readers have another published reference for this stitch or know it by another name I would love to hear about it. Please leave a comment and let me know.

 

Have you seen my book?

holding my book in front of quilt

My book The Visual Guide to Crazy Quilting Design: Simple Stitches, Stunning Results  shares detailed practical methods on how to design and make a crazy quilt. Topics such as fabric choice, tricky challenges like balancing colour, texture and pattern, and how to create movement to direct your viewers eye around the block are covered in detail. I also explain how to stitch and build decorative seam treatments in interesting and creative ways. My book is profusely illustrated as my aim is to be practical and inspiring.

using my stitchers Templates set 2Stitchers templates

My templates aim to help you take your stitching to the next level. Designed by an embroiderer for embroiderers. With them you can create hundreds of different hand embroidery patterns to embellish 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.

These are simple to use. You simply position the template in place and use a quilter’s pencil to trace along the edge of the template. Stitch along this line to decorate the seam. I have a free ebook of patterns to accompany each set which illustrates how they can be used.

TO ORDER your Stitchers Templates

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

 

SaveSave

What hand embroidery supplies do I need?

What hand embroidery supplies do you need to start stitching? I’m often asked this, and, with TAST (Take a stitch Tuesday) restarting next year, there are loads of new people signing up, joining the Facebook group and getting themselves organised. So I thought I would share some of my personal views on what you will need to start learning hand embroidery.

Hand embroidery supplies – Fabrics

Of course, first up you need something to stitch on. Beginners are often pointed toward specialty even-weave fabrics that are manufactured for hand embroiderers. Specialty fabrics can be expensive and could put you off the whole idea of trying hand embroidery. When I say expensive – I do mean expensive. For example, in Australia for one meter of 32 count Belfast linen, you will pay between $90 to $110.  That is not cheap if you are starting out and trying embroidery as an experiment. Honestly, you don’t need to learn on these expensive fabrics. I will say more about specialty fabrics later in this article but first, let’s look at a few alternative hand embroidery supplies for anyone interested in exploring surface embroidery on a budget.

Time to go shopping and see what hand embroidery supplies you can get on a budget – at least that’s what I told my DH 😉  . I was looking for fabrics suitable for surface embroidery, that were economical and relatively easily found. The idea is to look for similar fabrics, not identical fabrics. My idea is to encourage people to try hand embroidery. I didn’t want to create a supplies list that fell into the “too hard” basket so that people put aside the idea before even starting.

Before I go any further, I am not affiliated with any of the products I recommend. This is just what I discovered in an afternoon’s shopping. I realise that what I have access to in Australia will be different if you live in Europe or the United States but hopefully you will be able to find something similar and adapt it to your needs. It gives you an idea of what to look for and where you might find fabrics that can be used on starter projects or for a sampler.

In Australia, we have two large chains that supply dress fabrics, haberdashery, threads, etc. These are Spotlight and Lincraft. Aussies will know these chains and I am sure people in other countries will have similar large retailers. In both cases, I looked for dress fabrics that would be good for surface embroidery. So head to the dress fabric aisle for a good look round.

There is quite range in both stores and I could have chosen handspun cotton and many cotton dress fabrics. If you choose cotton, look for how it is woven. You don’t want a really tight weave with high thread count. Fabric with a high number of threads-per-inch makes it difficult to use larger needles. Put simply, they can be tough to push through the fabric – you want a slightly looser weave, but not so loose that you see great holes in it. Many synthetics have a high thread count and are slippery making them a difficult starter fabric. I would steer clear of them if you are new to embroidery. Once you have a little experience you can embroider on just about anything.

hand embroidery supplies linen

Dress linen purchased in Spotlight

In Spotlight, I found this dress/shirt linen which, although thin, would be perfectly suitable for a small project or sampler. As you can see from the photograph, it has a slight slub and is a warm oatmeal colour which I liked. This fabric was marked and sold as cotton linen as you can see from the bolt label. It is 55% cotton and 45% linen. It was on sale and half a meter cost me $6.

hand embroidery supplies dress linen

Dress linen on the bolt at Spotlight

The second large chain I visited was Lincraft where I discovered this bone/stone coloured fabric. It was described as shirt linen but if you look at the fibre composition it is the same linen/cotton mix but comes from a different country of origin. Spotlight dress linen is from India and Lincraft sources its dress linen from China.

hand embroidery supplies linen lincraft

Dress linen purchased at Lincraft

I paid $8 for a half meter. Both these fabrics came in a range of colours. I have chosen these neutrals as I plan to stitch a few comparison samples on them in the course of next year.

hand embroidery suppliesdress linen

Bolt label from the dress linen I purchased in Lincraft

I also reach for neutrals as these are always easily hand dyed. Procion dyes will colour these fabrics if I want them in a different shade. So, after checking out both chains, they both offer similar options. They would certainly do the job, but I thought there might be other options. Time to think creatively!

hand embroidery supplies serviette

An IKEA serviette suitable for hand embroidery

The next place I went browsing in was IKEA where I found a serviette or placemat cloth called MARKNAD. I always check the label for fabric composition and discovered it was a cotton-linen blend. This made it ideal, and in Australia is priced at $2.99. It has the advantage of being already hemmed for you! It would make a perfect sampler cloth.

hand embroidery suppliesserviette

Ikea serviette fabric content details

Another IKEA product discovered on the same shopping trip is a MARKNAD table runner which measures 40×140 cm or 16×55 inches. It is also a linen-cotton mix and priced at AU $4.99 – a good price.

hand embroidery suppliestable runner

An IKEA table-runner that is ideal for hand embroidery

Both of these cloths would make an ideal surface for a beginner to learn hand embroidery. IKEA always provides good information about the fabric content of their products. If you can not see it immediately on their labelling, you can always google it.

hand embroidery suppliestable runner

An IKEA table-runner fabric content details

Also while in IKEA, I checked out the curtain department and found a linen fabric that was 150 cm wide (which is 1.6 yards) priced $12.99. It was firm, but not too firm for hand embroidery. If I was going to use this, I would wash it first but then I like a soft drape to my fabric. For linen, it was very reasonably priced.

hand embroidery supplies curtaining

Linen found in the curtain department of Ikea

LENDA fabric was even cheaper at $7.99 and being 100% cotton white fabric had the advantage of probably taking dye beautifully too.

hand embroidery supplies curtain cotton

Cotton from the curtain department in IKEA suitable for hand embroidery

I also looked for tea towels, as in the past I have often found that the fabric used in their tea towels makes it an ideal foundation fabric for hand embroidery projects. But today I was not in luck.

hand embroidery suppliesrecycled fabric

recycled cloth from a shirt found in a charity shop

Recycled linens can often be found in second-hand charity shops. I have never had a problem using second-hand materials. I wash everything thoroughly, and let’s face it, reusing old garments is good for the environment. I decided to venture into my local charity shop (they know me well). On the discount rack, I found a very boring looking shirt for $2. Washed and ironed it would make a perfect surface to embroider.

hand embroidery supplies vintage table cloth

Vintage linen tablecloth suitable for hand embroidery

Another piece I found was an old tablecloth. These are always a find because they are linen and often still very strong. Many are projects that were never finished so they haven’t been used. You can usually spot them, as they have an edge that is meant to be finished with crochet. I take these home wash them well using a hot wash setting and hang them in the sunshine. They are not an even-weave linen but they are ideal for surface embroidery!

Even-weave fabrics are created especially for hand embroiderers. There are many types of linen, cotton and linen-cotton mixes of varying counts. They are lovely to use but many are expensive. You can buy them in your local needlework shop or if you do not have access to a local store, then shop online. Google is your friend – a search of needlework fabric will bring up results for your area.

What about Aida? Honestly, I don’t recommend Aida for surface embroidery. Aida is great for cross stitch – that is what it is designed for, but it is a fabric with a firm grid. Although this is great for lining up your stitches and keeping them straight, there are often times when you want to work a nice curve. Aida will stall this. Working a curve leads to a jagged edge and it becomes dissatisfying. So keep Aida for cross stitch and have fun exploring other fabrics for surface embroidery.

hand embroidery supplies

Even-weave fabric

This is another even-weave cotton linen mix fabric which is an oatmeal colour. You can find a range of even-weave fabrics that range from off-white to antique cream or a natural palette. You can also find a range of coloured fabrics but most of what you see on the market is on the conservative side. I also hand dye linens to brighten things up a bit if I am getting bored with what is on offer.

hand embroidery supplies linen

Linen

Linen itself is often very expensive. As I have already said, in Australia you will pay between $90 to $110 for a meter of Belfast Linen. Dublin and Cashel linen is about the same price.  You can often buy packs cut in smaller sizes so you don’t have to fork out that much in one go. But I am sure you can see what drove me to offer the advice above. I know when I was younger I could not have afforded to stitch on linen – no matter how small the piece was!

However, I do suggest that once you have a stitching habit established and know this is a pastime you enjoy, it’s worth lashing out to buy some. Try it, as it is by far my favourite fabric to hand sew. As a tip, do keep your eye on eBay. And I regularly shop overseas for my linen. I can often buy linen from the United States, for example, and have it shipped – and still be ahead on cost. With some of the bargain sites, you may need to watch where the linen is manufactured, because different countries produce different quality linen. If the linen you are buying is a good brand name such as Zweigart you will get a good quality product but if the linen is simply listed as the fabric (no brand name) I would be suspicious.

Just a quick tip: you will find that linen can fray very easily. To prevent this I simply run a line of zig-zag stitching down the side. You will also find it is starched to make it easier to stitch but some people hate this (I do). It is not a problem, just wash out the starch and you will have a lovely soft fabric to handle and stitch.

hand embroidery supplies lugana cloth

Even-weave Lugana fabric

I have pulled from my stash some Lugana 25 count fabric that is manufactured by Zweigart. It is made of 52% cotton & 48% rayon. In Australia, you pay between $45 and $55 a meter for Lugana. So it is an economical substitute for speciality needlework linen, when you think of linen as being double the price.

 What does count mean?

What do we mean by ‘count’? You’ll find this term in reference to even-weave needlework fabric. You might hear someone say “You need to work this on 14 count” or “It is 32 count”. Count, is simply the number of threads per inch. If you ever have fabric for which you don’t know the count, you can work it out easily.  Line up a tape measure against the fabric and count the threads! It is that simple.

hand embroidery suppliesthreadcount

To work out thread count you simply count the threads per inch in the weave of the fabric

If you want to check that a fabric is even-weave, the number of threads should be the same across and down.

hand embroidery supplies thread count

Even-weave means the thread count is the same across and down the fabric

If  you are wanting to do cross stitch on even-weave fabrics you work each bar of the cross over two threads

Hand embroidery supplies – Needles

To carry the thread through the fabric you will, of course, need needles. This means you will have to check out those large chains for what they have on offer, or visit your local needlework shop. If you do not have access to either, then Google is your friend. Look online as there are many businesses that can help you. But the range of needle types can be confusing!

hand embroidery supplies needles

Crewel or Embroidery needles

Crewel or Embroidery Needles

Buy a mixed packet of crewel needles as this type of needle you will use all the time. Sometimes these are packaged as ‘Embroidery’ needles. A crewel needle has a sharp tip with a medium eye.  I suggest buying a mixed size pack so you can use different thicknesses of thread.

Tapestry Needles

hand embroidery supplies tapestry needles

Tapestry needles

I recommend you invest in some tapestry needles. Buy a pack of mixed sizes as many surface embroidery stitches can be laced and threaded with a secondary thread. Take a look at the Threaded Cable Chain stitch or Twisted Lattice Band tutorials.

These are just two examples of stitches where a secondary thread is used to lace or thread a basic stitch. In both cases, you use a tapestry needle to avoid splitting the foundation threads because a tapestry needle has a blunt tip. A tapestry needle also has a larger eye so the thread you use to lace with can be any of the many novelty threads, or fine knitting yarns, enhancing the stitch, making your work unique.

For those embarking on the TAST challenge, I also recommend getting some size 26 tapestry needles so that you can have fun with some of the beaded stitches. With a size 26 tapestry needle, you can bead as you stitch. 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. Here are some stitches that use this technique: Beaded Buttonhole stitch, Beaded Looped Cretan stitch, and Beaded Oyster Stitch. These stitches are found in my stitch dictionary. If you browse the tutorials you will find there are many ways to adapt change and have fun with stitches if you have some basic tools to help you.

hand embroidery supplies milliner needles

Milliners needles

Milliner or Straw Needle

The last type of needle I am going to recommend you buy is a mixed pack of milliner needles as they are very useful for many of the knotted stitches. Most embroidery needles have an eye that is wider than the shaft of the needle which means any stitch that wraps the thread around the needle often runs the risk of getting too tight to pull the thread through. Milliners or straw needles have an eye and shaft that are the same width which makes sliding the wrapped or knotted stitch along the needle easy. I recommend mixed packs because it gives you the option of experimenting with different thickness of thread.

hand embroidery supplies thread

Cotton perle #12, #8 and #5 thread. These are balls but cotton perle also comes in skeins

Hand embroidery supplies – Thread

Most beginners use stranded cotton floss because it is cheap, easily accessible and comes in a huge variety of colours. Stranded floss comes in skeins that can be separated. There are six strands of thread, but people usually use two strands at a time. Stranded threads are great for cross stitch but I recommend you purchase some cotton Perle thread. In a class situation, I usually recommend #12, #8 and #5. Cotton Perle will make a difference to your embroidery as the firm twist of the thread makes the stitches sit firm and, if used in a textured stitch, cotton perle will sit a little more proud of the fabric.

If you are on a really tight budget, consider working in monotone – such as whites and creams or blues or neutral shades. If you only purchase fabric and cotton in similar shades, it works out cheaper because you don’t have to buy lots of different threads. Many threads of many colours is fun but it can be expensive. I often encourage beginners to experiment with different thicknesses of threads and different types threads. If you stick to one colour range it can keep the costs down. Once you have explored hand embroidery and know it is something you want to do more of, why not lash out and buy threads of all sorts – they really can make life and your stitching interesting!

Hand embroidery supplies – Hoop

I really encourage people to use a hoop. Hoops keep your tension even, and there are many stitches and embroidery styles that require good control over tension. So I always encourage people to learn with a hoop. I have a tutorial on How to bind and Use an Embroidery Hoop – it covers the basics and what you need to know.

Hand embroidery supplies – pens and markers to transfer your design to fabric

There will be times when you want to mark your fabric. I recommend that you use one of the fabric markers which can be washed off when you have finished the project. One thing to remember with these markers, is not to iron the project until you have washed them away. For many, heat will set the mark. There are quite a few on the market so check out your local needlework store and see what they have on offer. I have also used quilters pencils. Some people do not like to use these products because they worry about chemical residue left on the fabrics and I have heard stories of the blue pens particularly, re-appearing but remember with surface embroidery you stitch over the line you have marked so will most likely not see it on the finished project.

If you need to know how to do it, I have a tutorial on How to Transfer Embroidery patterns to fabric.

With some projects, I know I will stitch over the lines and they will be totally hidden. In these cases I use a permanent pen. Before I use them I always test that the pens will not run or partially wash out. I use Staedtler pigment liners, Copic multiliner, and Faber Castell Pitt artist pens. These all work about the same. They come in a very fine point and are waterproof.

Hand embroidery supplies – Scissors

Apart from having a pair of scissors to cut your fabric, you will need a pair of small embroidery scissors. Embroidery scissors have a small very sharp blade that allows you to snip close to the fabric. You will find there are different types of embroidery scissors – straight tip, curved, duck blades, hook blades and snippers and clippers of all kinds. It can be confusing!  All you need to start is small pair of straight scissors that are sharp. Make sure they have a good snip to them. By this I mean they can trim a thread close to your work neatly. If they are designed for embroidery and are a reasonably good brand they will be able to do this. As you venture more into embroidery, you can experiment with some of the many types of scissors on the market.

I hope this advice about the basic equipment and hand embroidery supplies helps you embark upon a long enjoyable journey into the world of stitching. Hand embroidery is fun and does not have to be expensive or so daunting to start. Once you have all your stuff together, you might like to join TAST (Take a Stitch Tuesday) which will start up again in January 2018. The first 10 – 20 stitches will be the basic stitches that the craft builds on. Once you have those under your belt, you have the skills to develop in whatever direction you want to grow in. No need for signups just join in and have fun.

Or head over to my stitch dictionary and try out a few stitches. Try them out on a scrap piece of cloth – some stitches call them doodle cloths. The idea is to try just a few stitches on a cloth that does not matter before using it on project.  Or start a small sampler and explore what is possible with needle and thread. No matter what, the idea is to have fun – and that is the most important thing

Have you seen my book?

holding my book in front of quilt

My book The Visual Guide to Crazy Quilting Design: Simple Stitches, Stunning Results  shares detailed practical methods on how to design and make a crazy quilt. Topics such as fabric choice, tricky challenges like balancing colour, texture and pattern, and how to create movement to direct your viewer’s eye around the block are covered in detail. I also explain how to stitch and build decorative seam treatments in interesting and creative ways. My book is profusely illustrated as my aim is to be practical and inspiring.

Stitchers templates

My templates aim to help take your stitching to the next level. Designed by an embroiderer for embroiderers. With them you can create hundreds of different hand embroidery patterns to embellish your seams  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.

using my stitchers Templates set 2These are simple to use. You simply position the template in place and use a quilter’s pencil to trace along the edge of the template. Stitch along this line to decorate the seam. I have a free ebook of patterns to accompany each set which illustrates how they can be used.

TO ORDER your Stitchers Templates

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

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