Friday, May 22, 2015

Freaky Flowers Swap Teaser - Is This One For You??

Freaky Flowers &Stitches swap

&Stitches Freaky Flowers Swap Tease!

Dear Freaky Flowers Swap Partner,

This little embroidery is for you! This is a tiny peek at a fictional plant, based on something you said you love. I've taken inspiration from real-life freaky, creepy plants to create the look of this imaginary one! Can you guess what it is??

Exactly one week left to create your freaky masterpiece for your partner! How's it going, swappers??

Share a sneaky teaser of your own swap piece in the &Stitches Flickr group. We'd love to see it!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Hand & Lock's Festival of Embroidery + giveaway

If you are looking to improve or expand your embroidery skills and get inspired, then check out what Hand & Lock has in store for you this July! During their annual 'Festival of Embroidery' you can attend daytime workshops about different subjects including Goldwork, Hand & Lock's speciality, and Silk Shading. In the evening, Embroidery experts talk about 'Couture', 'Tailoring'  and 'The Diversity of Embroidery'. All events take place at Hand & Lock in London (UK) between the 13th and the 16th of July 2015.

We have a ticket to give away for one of the Evening Talks! The winner can choose which one they'd prefer. If you'd like a chance to win, please leave a comment. And it would be super if you could tell us all about it afterwards, here on the blog in a guest post. Don't forget to include an e-mail address or some sort of trail so we can contact you in case you have won. Comments close on the 27th of May, 12 AM CET. Good luck everyone! :)

Monday, May 18, 2015

Swap inspiration- Crewel Flowers

Freaky Flowers &Stitches swap

Hello freaky flowers swappers- how are you getting on?
Here is some blooming lovely stitchy inspiration for those of you taking part in the freaky flowers swap (and for those who aren't too!)

Crewel work II

Look at this beautiful bright floral crewel embroidery I found in the &Stiches pool, its by Liz Smith (whose lovely Native New Zealand flowers we featured in April). She has taken a traditional technique and brought it up to date with a modern design and zingy colours.

Flowers stitched in bright crewel threads can look really bold and the wacky stylised shapes from more traditional Jacobean crewel would be perfect for our freaky flowers theme. Despite Jacobean crewel being a very traditional technique there is something very modern about the abstracted blooms in Jacobean embroidery.
I found a free e-book on Project Gutenberg with some wonderful examples. The book contains several patterns with stitch guides so it's a pretty good free resource for anyone wanting to try their hand at crewelwork. Crewel tends to stick to a few fairly simple stitches and because wool is thicker than floss it is quicker than regular embroidery. So if you are a bit late starting something for the swap don't panic; you still have time to be inspired by the examples below.

This is my favourite image from the book- you can't get much more of a 'freaky flower' than the loopy flower on the right hand side of this illustration- it looks like something from a sci-fi film!

This large design is so pretty. It's meant to be stitched in blues but I think it would look even better in bright oranges and pinks like the piece by Liz above. Or perhaps using dark greys and pops of neon?

What are you stitching? Please share in the &Stitches Flickr group. We'd love to see it!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Found on Flickr: Otomi inspired bird

first try at otomi embroidery
I love it when I come across something in the &Stitches Flickr group that makes me run over to Google to find out more. As is the case with this bird by Anne from Pumora. In the description of the photo it says "first try at otomi embroidery" - which sounded very intriguing and I just had to know more about this.

Otomi embroidery is named after the Otomi people who live in Mexico. They do a particular kind of embroidery where they use false satin stitch - although it looks more like herringbone stitch to me. They use this stitch to conserve resources. As you probably know, regular satin stitch swallows up a lot of embroidery thread! You can read a bit more about Otomi embroidery here.

Anne has blogged about how she encountered Otomi embroidery and her first experiment with it.

What are you stitching? Please share in the &Stitches Flickr group. We'd love to see it!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Summer bloggin' - Be part of our team this summer!

Summer Bloggin' on &Stitches
Hey everyone, summer is pretty much just around the corner so it's almost time for the annual Summer Bloggin' series.

What's Summer Bloggin' you ask? Well, it's where we give the &Stitches space over to you. It's like open night at a comedy club, only this is about embroidery in all shapes and sizes. Check out the Summer Bloggin' posts from last year.

We love embroidery and we love hearing about it from all kinds of perspectives. So if you'd like to do a guest post (or two?) in July or August, get in touch!

Here's what we're looking for:

Ideas for posts about or related to embroidery and stitching. For example, share a top 5 of films featuring embroidery, interview your favourite embroidery designer, share your collection of vintage thimbles. Or share a stitch or technique tutorial. If you want to share a post where you explore a new technique that would be really cool too!

We prefer original and quirky over ordinary; fresh and vibrant over stuffy and dull. A quick scan through our blog posts should give you a taste of what we're about.

Good photos are important (they say more than a thousand words!): clear, uncluttered and well lit.

If you'd like to be part of the &Stitches team over the summer, drop us an email: Do tell us a bit about yourself, your idea and include a link to your blog or Flickr profile. (If there are certain dates you can't do, please include that as well).

Please get in touch by May 31. We'll get back to you shortly after that date!

We look forward to hearing from you!

What are you stitching? Please share in the &Stitches Flickr group. We'd love to see it!