Thursday, February 3, 2011

A stitch in time

While I love vintage embroidery patterns, like Aunt Martha's kittens, puppies, and Dutch girls, I also love embroidering unexpected things. Weird sea creatures, forest animals, and quotes from my favorite books. The best resource for patterns (if you don't want to draw everything by hand): coloring books. And the best of the coloring books? Dover, by far. Is there anything they don't have? I doubt it. So, get yourself a coloring book, some plain white computer paper, and an iron-on transfer pencil (a couple of bucks at a craft store--I usually find them in the aisle with quilting supplies). Trace your pattern with the iron-on pencil (remember, your design will be reversed!) and iron that shit onto your fabric. Hope you have a huge patience reservoir because embroidery is very time intensive. Good luck!

Blue ringed octopus pillow for Monika. Made with vintage doily and fabric.
Yes, I sewed this entire pillow on my own. Surprised?

The blue ringed octopus is very deadly.

Laptop case for Catherine. Yeah, it required some sewing, and I didn't measure quite right, so Mom
 had to add some side panels...and finish sewing for me. I'm just no good.

Here's a set of cloth napkins I embroidered for Catherine.


A dead-eyed fox

A quail. I love quail! They're so funny.

A burrowing owl.
He's not actually from the forest, he's from the desert.

A set of flour sack dish towels for Abbie.

Narwhal, also called the "corpse whale" because it sort of looks like a corpse floating in the water.

The text is from As I Lay Dying. "My mother is a fish."

As you can see, I'm no good with an iron.

From "A Good Man is Hard to Find" by Flannery O'Connor. "She would of been a good woman,"
The Misfit said, "if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life."

And here are some dish towels for Catherine.

I think the quote came from an Urban Outfitters catalog. I can't believe I just admitted that. Oh, the shame.

Manta ray

Cuttlefish. I am obsessed with these creatures. They're pretty much the coolest cephalopods ever.
You can watch some awesome cuttlefish footage from NOVA here.

 If I haven't given you an embroidered gift, just wait.
I'm sure there's one in the works.


  1. Okay, I just encountered this via googling "vintage narwhal"...your embroidery is absolutely fantastic! Your subject matter choices are so delightfully novel considering the medium. I know what I'll be reading while pretending to work tomorrow!

    1. Thanks for the lovely compliments, Heather! I love that you googled "vintage narwhal". That is so very excellent. :)

  2. Thank you for this very good site, really a mix of good and interesting ideas. Especially continue as well. Good luck

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