iron on transfers and stitch guides

Stitching night night

The picture above is my very first iron on transfer!  The lovely Jenn at Stitcharama contacted me recently to see if I would be interested in sending her some patterns to be magically transformed into iron on transfers.  Naturally I was pretty excited as I do have quite a few customers asking for them.  She sent me a sample of the 'night night' pattern above and, as you can see from the picture, it worked beautifully!  I'm using two strands of thread there and it's covering the lines nicely.

Iron on transfer

All you need to do is iron your fabric so it's hot then tape the design to your fabric (I used washi tape as it's easy to remove but masking tape would be fine) so that it doesn't move and iron the transfer.  The transfer is nice and clear and I have done a second transfer from the pattern (there may be more left in it, I haven't tried yet).

Main picture

The pattern packet includes 'night night', 'unicorn', 'winter dream' and 'friends'.  

And I am not alone over there!  There are fabulous fairy tale girls and owls  from Jen at SewJenaissance and gorgeous cuteness from Molly at Wild Olive.   

Stitcharama also sells PDFs which include some beautiful folk embroidery from Poland, Sweden, The Ukraine and even some Japanese Kogin embroidery.  A truly global affair!

The LiliPopo iron on transfer packet contains a PDF file for each of the patterns with instructions, colour guides and a new stitch guide.

The iron on transfers are only available through Stitcharama they won't be in my Etsy shop.  A fabulous alternative for those who really don't like transferring the patterns by hand!

Stitching night night 2

Which brings me to what else I have been doing this week... A simple stitch guide with diagrams. 

Free stitch guide

I have added this stitch guide to all my patterns on Etsy (and my iron on transfers with Stitcharama)  but you can grab it for free here 

The guide is a basic stitch guide to the stitches I use most often in the patterns.  For some of the stitches (such as french knots!) it might still be useful to look at video tutorials on youtube and to use the guide as a reminder. 

I hope you find the stitch guide useful and pop over to Stitcharama to 

 


spring stitching on grey days

New cover

Earlier this week I decided to spruce up my spring bunny girl pattern and restitch her.  I've changed the pattern ever so slightly and added extra photos and more instructions.  She really is very simple to stitch, almost completely back stitch with just one thread.

Outlined in grey

in fact I rather liked her at this stage just outlined in grey.  I think you could quite happily just stitch her like this or go in the opposite direction and add an appliqued dress.

So, with Easter on the way and beautiful pink tulips in my workspace (and an awful lot of grey outside!) I decided to do a little spring stitching

Spring stitching

I dived right into pinterest and looked for cute tutorials for my stitchy project.  Needless to say this whiled away quite a bit of time.  I looked at book covers and drawstring bags (all added to my cute tutorials board) and decided on this lovely simple drawstring bag tutorial by S.O.T.A.K handmade  (She also has some beautiful patterns in her shop).

The tutorial was beautifully simple to follow, I made a couple of small changes simply because I wanted a smaller bag.  So my  measurements for the main fabric and the lining pieces were 6" x 7" and my measurements for the casing were 6" x 4".

I used a 1 cm seam allowance (just under half an inch) because it's clearly marked on my sewing machine and I like to make things easy for myself.  I didn't make the tag and just used my embroidered piece (centred and cut down to 6" x 7") as the front of the bag.

Spring stitching bag

and I now have a lovely little drawstring bag to pop mini Easter eggs into or perhaps a cute little sewing bag for my summery outdoor stitching?  

Bunny main pic

after all I could always make another little bag with these little bunnies on for the Easter eggs...

I hope you're enjoying some spring weather and spring stitching

x


ferns and flowers and unicorns

Flowers and ferns

of all the things I love to stitch flowers are probably top of my list!  I love the way the simplest combination of stitches and colours can become something lovely.

My unicorn is frolicking  amongst ferns and flowers in my newest embroidery pattern and I thought I would share a very quick and simple tutorial for both

First the flowers

Flower centre 1 small

First I drew a small circle and eight lines radiating outwards evenly.  Then I filled the centre with two strands of pale pink thread and satin stitch

Flower centre 2

Once the circle is full it's time to add the petals

Flower petals

Just stitch single straight stitches all the way around the centre using 2 strands of light purple thread

Flower petals 2

Then pop more a straight stitch in each gap.  I've done this in a different colour so it's clear but they are just as nice all one colour.  I stitch the stalks using a single strand of a soft green to give a delicate look to the flower (more weed like)

Fern 2

For the fern stitch begin with a single back stitch and bring your needle up at the top of the first leaf

Fern 3

Take your needle back down at the base of the back stitch and bring it back up at the tip of the opposite leaf

Fern 4

Take your needle back down at the base of the back stitch and bring it back up a stitch length below to start the next fern

Fern 6

Repeat the stitching for each fern, creating a back stitch for the stalk and then stitching each leaf in turn as you did for the first one

Fern final

Fern stitch is one of my favourite plant stitches.  I usually use 2 strands of thread and my stitches are about 2 - 3mm long.  It's nice to add some french knots in between some of the leaves in a different colour

French knot fern

here I added a different green but pink or red flower buds would be lovely too.  I used 2 strands of thread and made a single french knot for each bud.

I think ferns with flower buds would make lovely borders for embroideries framed in the hoop.  You only need to draw the curved line of the stalk and then keep the leaf stitches the same size as your stalk stitches at roughly a 45 degree angle from the stalk.

And here is a pic of the whole unicorn dancing in amongst the flowers and the ferns

Unicorn main picture

The pattern is available in my Etsy shop now and I will be ordering some pre printed fabric panels for stitching in the next couple of weeks.

I hope you have a lovely weekend with bits of time for a little flower stitching

x

 


on my work table

Smaller

flowers for a unicorn on my table at the moment.  I love the medieval tapestries and paintings of unicorns lying in fields of flowers

Me045

medieval unicorns always look so peaceful and calm, although I don't think my unicorn is going to be fenced in!

I want the flowers to be more modern and fun, I have absolutely fallen in love with the bright green blue of DMC 3849

Smaller 2

especially with cream and pale pink.  Not so keen on the reds so I might be dropping those from my palette.

As for the unicorn himself there is no sneak peak yet as I am torn between a restful unicorn and a prancing unicorn!

This stitching is happening in between some tedious (to me) learning about photographing, lighting and photoshop!  I wish I loved photography but I have to admit it is the part I like the least but February is down in my bullet journal as 'photography month'  (you see I don't even have a picture of that!)  And so I have committed myself to improving my photography and hopefully, in March you will be seeing perfect photographs with no blurry bits and stand out detail!  Hopefully...

I hope you're having a lovely February and have a more fun project than photography skills for the month (thank goodness for the stitching in between)

x


catching up

Photo (1)

February is usually not my favourite month, full of grey days and so long for such a short month.  But, this year seems different.  Every dog walk this month seems to have brought different weather and there has been grey and plenty of wet and wind but all punctuated with beautiful sunny days that make me feel as though spring is already here.  Our regular walk takes us to a nature reserve at Marazion; the ponds there seem full of bird life, herons, snipe, Canada geese, grebe, egrets and even the everyday mallard.  There are more gulls along the way, herring gulls, black backed gulls and black headed gulls.  We even have a friendly black redstart who lives in the rocks at the start of the path.  Sadly my camera is not quite up to photographing birds at a distance.  I'm really enjoying the repetition of our walk, noticing the subtle changes and learning to recognize some of the smaller birds we see along the way.

Photo (2)

On the sunniest day I took the afternoon off and sauntered around the marshes with the boy watching the birds and enjoying the sun while it lasted with no stitching and no computer in sight.  What a perfect way to spend time, I feel so lucky to be able to do it.

Photo

Last week, after soaking black beans for a chilli, I remembered that I had read somewhere that I could dye with the soaking water so I grabbed two jars put black bean water in one and tea in the other then popped a piece of linen and a piece of bandage into each jar.  I put them on the windowsill and forgot about them.  these are the colours that came out.  I should add that I haven't mordanted them so while the tea fabric will probably be okay I suspect the black bean might fade in too much light.  

I am going to start a little slow stitching project with them using the beautiful Linblomman linen threads that I bought in Falmouth.  A  perfect project now the weather has decided to go back to bitter wintery cold again!  I'm looking forward to getting back in from a cold Sunday dog walk and sitting with a cup of tea and my stitching.

Bunnies no frost

I am feeling rather pleased with myself for being a little ahead of the game for a change with my Easter spring pattern all ready and in my shop this week!!  

The pattern is a very simple one that I love framed in the hoop but I think would look lovely on a little Easter bag too.  

I have also been spending a little (possibly too much) time on pinterest this week gathering beautiful pictures of stitchy goodness and some stitch tutorials  Are you a pinterest addict too?  I think I could lose myself for quite a long time in pinterest land!

This coming week I'm going to be focusing on some flower stitching and a little bit of unicorn stitching along with quite a bit of drawing for a project that I am quite excited about.  

I hope you are enjoying your February and finding some cosy  (or cool depending on where you are) stitching time

x

 


dog walking in winter

Mist

we are going through a very wet and misty period at the moment in West Cornwall.  Familiar places become unfamiliar but strangely beautiful and every dog walk feels like an atmospheric adventure.  So I thought I would share a little of our greys, reds and greens today

Seagulls

swarms of herring gulls, black headed gulls, turn stones and sanderlings line the edges of the water looking for food

Me

and the colours!  I love the colours at this time of year.  I love the moorland reds and greens far more than the summery st Ives blues.  

Boats

and then one day a dog walk in a different direction, just for a change.  The fishing boats at Newlyn harbour on our way to Mousehole along the coastal path.

Whippet

This is Ash the whippet (for dog lovers!) who accompanies us on our long daily treks into the wilderness.

Photo

And this is Teague the strange middle son who forms the rest of the dog walking team and took all the beautiful photos @teague_popovski

The best thing about our dog walks at this time of year is definitely getting home to a warm space and frothy coffee with a little bit of stitching waiting

I hope you are enjoying your outside spaces whatever the weather

x


a stitchy flowery thank you

Final flower globe wm

This week has been a little bit here, there and everywhere so in between those mixed up moments I got on with a little flowery stitching and created a little free pattern for all of you as a small thank you for making last year such a fabulous year for lilipopo.

I am a huge fan of snow globes, I utterly love the magic and sparkle of them.  They take me straight back to my childhood and also to the moment when my three year old daughter picked one up and cracked it in the shop at the  top of the Eiffel tower!  A moment she has never forgotten but she still (at 16) can't help 'looking' with her hands!

This week though I wanted something flowery rather than sparkly, looking forward to spring so the pattern is for a flowery globe rather than a snow globe.

Butterfly flower detail wm

There's even a spring/summer butterfly in there.  Right now I am sitting typing in a very cold space wondering whether to put my cosy fingerless mittens on so this spring scene is something I'm really looking forward to!

Flower globe pattern transfer

If you are a new stitcher I have beginner notes here 

there are some stitch tutorials here

and there are lots of tutorials on my pinterest board 

here 

Right hand detail wm

The link to the pattern

I hope you enjoy stitching the pattern up as much as I enjoyed making it

Now to tidy my mixed up messy work space and try to create some order for 2017!

x

 


on my work table

Bandit 1 wm

It's January and I really should be brightening everyone's day up with colour but I'm a little bit addicted to blacks and greys at the moment (although there is some red thread in the picture, I'm not sure what I planned to do with that!).  I thought I would share a little bit of my stitching process.  This is only the first stitching of my drawing and already I am changing things in my head as I go along...

Bandit 2 wm

First I trace the drawing using this flatbed lightbox. Mine is actually A2 size but it takes up too much space on my table for how often I use it, especially given that my designs are really very small!  On top of that I have accidentally trapped and almost snapped the wire!  So I think I will be treating myself to a new A4 lightbox that can sit on my desk all the time and not be put at risk!  The fabric I have used here is in natural colour (light brownish) so it is harder to see the design  but once I'm tracing and pressing the fabric against the box it's clearer.  

Bandit 3 wm

Here is what I end up with.  I am a very lazy tracer and don't trace stripes etc.  I put them onto the pattern because I suspect not all stitchers are as lazy as me.  

Bandit 5 wm

and now I can hoop her up and pop her under my very exciting magnifying lamp.  For a very long time I didn't need a magnifying lamp but these days I find it helps immensely and I have become quite reliant on it.  In fact perhaps I did need one before I just didn't know it. This is the one I use.

Bandit 6 wm

And out comes that black thread, 2 strands and back stitch.  I love filling with back stitch, I tend to do it in sections 

Bandit 7 wm

I'm not sure if this is a proper technique but I find it helps me keep to the shape of the hat.

Bandit 8 wm

I'm not sure how clear it is but I'm using long short stitch for the sleeves.  I think I just felt like a change really but it works nicely in the long thin gap

Bandit 9 wm

and this is as far as I've got with her (well I'm a little further on but no light for photographs!).   Once I finish her I will redraw her making the changes that I have in my head and then restitch her to make sure she's quite right before turning her into a pattern.

If you are new to stitching I have guides for 

materials and transferring patterns

various stitches including back stitch and long short stitch

I'm hoping to have a little colourful free pattern on Monday for you.  As long as everything goes to plan!  Something to make us all feel a little spring like in winter (unless of course you are reading this towards the end of a glorious summer)

x


Happy New Year

Oh my!  A little late as usual...  It takes me a little while to get into the new year there is quite a lot of looking back at the old year and planning for this year in the first two weeks.  This leads to a gentle slow start.  I do feel lucky to be able to start my year this way when I see my partner and daughter rushing out the door on the 3rd of January to get to work and college.

It's very cold and grey here at the moment, lovely for sketching and stitching but not so lovely for photographing.  So here is my 2016 pattern collage!

2016 collage

I'm always a little surprised when I realize that a particular pattern only emerged last year.  They become so familiar to me that I think they've been there forever!  And I love seeing them together like this.  Along with patterns there was a lot of kit preparing and pre printed fabric panels sorted out.  And then a few commissions and two magazine pieces.

All in all a wonderful year for LiliPopo and I would like to thank all of my lovely followers and customers for sharing the year with me.

This year I have lots of pattern plans, some in my head, some in my various sketchbooks and some already partly stitched.  Flower girls, unicorns and a thief of hearts are foremost in my head at the moment.

Heart burglar detail

along the lines of this little ACEO 

I want to improve my ability to use a posh camera (aka a DSLR).  At the moment I use a rather nice RICOH but I just have it on one setting and go for it!  I think I would like to understand a little more about photography this year.  

One of my own favourite patterns has always been catching wishes

Catching wishes detail1

I love working with one thread and in blacks and greys so this year I want to stitch up more of my drawings using a blackwork style of stitching.  I started towards the end of last year with my attitude fairy

Pics 027

I popped some wall paper around her (Edward Gorey style or Matisse without the colour)

Pics 028

and some floorboards beneath her boots.  I love the slowness and repetition of this kind of stitching.  I'm still working on my usual linen cotton mix so I get a little bit of unevenness here and there but I think I like it like that.

Pics 026

I like the idea of building up a space around the girls to create more of a picture.  

It would be lovely to know what you would like to see more of on the blog as I am going to create a blogging plan in the hope of being much more consistent over here!  I just need more sunshine so I can take more photographs

So I have my list for 2017.  Time for a coffee and I'd better make a start!

Wishing you all a wonderful New Stitchy Year

x


shop update

Girls collage

At the moment I am busy stitching dancers, fairies and girls.  I love doing this because it's so much fun creating each little character.  Which dress?  Boots or dancing slippers? Crazy hair or tamed hair? Stripes and more stripes... And then the little french knot embellishments.  It's a lovely calm time in between checking stock, packing and trips to the post office.

Delicate silver grey

Red dancer

These two girls feel like dancers with their delicate shoes and dance poses.  

Red fairy

Grey fairy

fairies with attitude.  I will also have some framed fairies once I have worked out the best way to back the oval hoops.

Gold hat full

Red mitsi

and girls in boots to celebrate my own new winter boots!!!!

I hope you are all enjoying your Christmas stitching

x