embroidered butterfly needlebook tutorial and pattern (part two)

Today I have the instructions for sewing the needle book together.  If you are looking for the pattern and the embroidery tutorial it is over here

To sew the needle book together

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Place the lining fabric and the embroidered/quilted piece right sides together and stitch around the edge with a 1" or 2" gap for turning (see picture above).  Stitch with a 1cm seam allowance.

Trim the edges and clip the corners.  My edges are about 0.5cm from the stitching line

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Then squish the whole thing through the gap and turn the right way around.

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press it open making sure you have good sharp corners.  Whip stitch the gap closed by hand. 

Now you will need your piece of felt

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Place your felt inside the needlebook with about a half centimetre around the edge as above.  Find the centre by folding the whole thing in half (you can draw a chalk line on the felt if your fold isn't clear) then stitch down the centre line using running stitch and anchor 874.

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To attach the fastening threads measure half way up the side of the needlebook where the lining meets the front cover.

thread your needle with 3 strands of Anchor 874 about 20cm long.  Put your needle in at the half way point and pull the thread through as though you are making a tiny stitch (as above) but only pull the thread half way through then take the needle off.  You are left with two tails about 10cm long.

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Now tie a knot close to the edge of the needlebook to fasten your threads there.

Do exactly the same on the opposite side of the needlebook

Now you can tie the threads together to close the needlebook as shown below

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I hope you enjoy stitching your little butterfly and (for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere) it reminds you that spring is on its way, especially when we get to February that longest shortest month!

Happy New Year and I will see you again in 2018

x

 

 

 

 


embroidered butterfly needlebook tutorial and free pattern (part one)

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I hope you have all enjoyed the winter celebrations and are looking forward to a wonderful New Year.  As a little thank you for all the lovely support you have given me over this past year I have created a little butterfly pattern that you can download here

I used it for the cover of a little needlebook but you could pop it anywhere.  I think it would look sweet on a little notebook cover.  You could add flowers or stitch lots of butterflies.

These are the threads I used for the butterfly

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DMC 598 blue

DMC 3854 orange

DMC 352 coral

DMC ecru

Anchor 874 gold (the equivalent DMC is DMC 834)

DMC 451 brown

 

a piece of cotton or linen (I used cotton calico) 17cm x 11cm

a piece of quilt batting 17cm x 11cm

a piece of co-ordinating lining fabric 17cm x 11cm (I used Liberty tana lawn Claire Aude D)

a piece of co-ordinating felt 14cm x 8cm

a number 7 crewel needle

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If you are making the needle book you need to fold your calico in half and trace the pattern onto the left side (what will be the front of the needlebook) using a removable pen (transferring patterns). 

Now, using 3 strands of DMC 598 and stem stitch outline the top wings of the butterfly.  Next, using 3 strands of DMC 3854 and stem stitch outline the lower wings.

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Now work on the upper wings stitching both in the same way.

Take 3 strands of DMC 352 and, using rows of back stitch fill the edging of the top wings on both sides as above.

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Now fill the tall triangles on the top wings using 3 strands of DMC 3854 and back stitch.

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Fill the circles with Anchor 874 and satin stitch, again using 3 strands.

Next fill the wings with ecru thread and back stitch.  I used a slightly longer stitch than usual for this part (about 3 - 4mm)  Just stitch lines of back stitch and then add more lines next to those until you have filled the whole area

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Next take 3 strands of DMC 451 and use back stitch to outline the body and stitch the antennae but not the tail

then fill the body with the same thread and stitch

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For the tail stitch alternate single stitches using first DMC ecru then DMC 451 until the tail is filled

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I stitched the very tip of the tail using DMC 451 and vertical stitches.

Next, using Anchor 874 and stem stitch embroider the lines on the lower wings.

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Pop coral french knots in between the gold lines as above using 3 strands DMC 352.

Next add more french knots to the top wings where indicated using 3 strands of DMC 352.

Add a coral french knot to the top of each antennae using the same.

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Once you have finished the butterfly stitching you need to place the embroidered calico onto the quilt batting ready to add the french knots and running stitch

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Leave a 1cm border all the way around as a seam allowance as shown.  Then stitch through the cotton and batting making lots of french knots (you could use seed stitch if you prefer) on the front cover.  

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For the back I drew straight lines 0.5cm apart and then stitched through the cotton and batting using running stitch

Tomorrow I will share how to stitch the needlebook together

x

 

part two of the tutorial


autumnal wanderings and a Kitty embroidery pattern

Flowers and leaves

We have just had a little break in Lincolnshire visiting our families.  I love going up in the autumn because it is so very autumnal up there.  There are so many trees and my mum's garden is full of apples and pears and dahlias.  All very inspiring to an absolute non gardener!

Wonky shed for real

I also love the wonky shed in the corner of her millenium garden.  Great inspiration for sketching and stitching.  Cornwall is very beautiful but our little corner is moorland, dunes and windswept beaches in the autumn.

Autumn girl

and at the end of it all I came home to autumnal dog walks along the sea shore with my autumnal girl.  I think I have enough flowery inspiration to keep me going for a while

Full stitching

when I got back I got on with some stitching and pattern writing

Full line stitch

and did a second stitching in a simpler quicker form (without the filler stitching)

so today I have listed this little kitten lover over in my Etsy shop where you can also find (at the time of writing this post) lavender girl kits and flower gardener samplers back in stock

Flower gardener collage

Lilipopo lavender girl embroidery

Now to go find a pumpkin for us to carve

x


tips on filling spaces with backstitch

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This week has been full of packing kits and posting but I found time in between for a little stitching of Kitty.

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for the first stitching I decided to use quite muted wintry colours for her hat and scarf with my favourite gold (Anchor 874) for her hair.  

I outlined her hair in stem stitch and then filled it with back stitch.  I follow the lines of the outlines and create rows of back stitch.  There will be a few gaps using this method so once I've finished I go back in and pop single stitches in to fill the gaps. 

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the dress is also outlined in stem stitch.  I've used a darker colour to give definition to the edge of the dress, in particular her sleeve which crosses the dress.

I use bigger stitches if I'm covering a larger area and again follow the lines of the outline.  If you look at the sleeve all the stitch lines move across the dress in the direction of the arm whereas the main dress stitching goes down the dress.

I did trace the decoration on the dress as I hadn't made my mind up before I started tracing.  You don't need to trace the decoration as you will need to add it after you have stitched the dress using the pattern image for reference.

Lilipopo embroidery Kitty dress

Again I filled any gaps afterwards with single stitches.  Once I finished stitching I added the embellishments, v stitches and snowflakes

Lilipopo embroidery Kitty full

I used two strands of thread when I was filling the hair as the area was small but for bigger areas such as the cat and the dress I used three strands.

For the cat I stitched the facial features first and then I filled in with ecru thread.  It is fiddlier to do it this way but it means you can use the traced lines for the face if you are not confident about copying it from the pattern image afterwards.

As always my main tip for stitching is to take it slowly and go back and undo mistakes straight away.  A magnifying lamp certainly helps if your eyes (like mine) are not as good as they could be for close work.

Please feel free to share any tips you have for filling in larger areas with stitching in the comments below.

I will be away for a week so Kitty won't be in my shop until the end of October.

Have a lovely week

x


weekending not stitching

Lilipopo books

Autumn has definitely arrived here, the weather is greyer and we come home from our dog walk soaked through despite the raincoats.  This is when I like to pull out a crafting book or two from my shelves or even treat myself to a new one.  On Friday, to my great excitement, my copy of Making Winter by Emma Mitchell arrived.  I had to carry on working and wait until Saturday to actually take a proper look at it. 

It's a beautiful book with projects ranging from baking to sketching to crochet.  There is a quite exciting project in it making silver clay pendant using fire! There's nothing like having fire involved in a craft project to spark the interest of the rest of my family!

I decided on a simpler project to begin with - baking.  I can't think of a nicer thing to do on a cold wet day so I chose the lemon, ginger and thyme bars.

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I love love love lemon anything and I love ginger.  These are delicious!  Very very lemony with a (as my son likes to quote) buttery biscuit base.  I had to hide half of them so we would have some left for today.  

Lilipopo crochet granny chic

I said no stitching but I have to qualify that, no embroidery stitching.  I have been stitching samples all week so I wanted something relaxing to do with my hands that wasn't embroidery.  I remembered that I had started the 'granny puff blanket' from my copy of Granny Chic by Tif Fussell and Rachelle Blondel  and so I pulled out the beginnings of the blanket and my Cornish wool and crochet hook.  Then I had to go and find my notes on crocheting as it has been so long that I couldn't remember how to treble crochet (UK style).  But once I was settled with it the rhythm soon kicked in and my blanket (well it will be more of a wrap really due to a bit of a wool shortage!) is slowly slowly growing.  

I'd forgotten how much I love crochet (and knitting) in the winter.  It's lovely to sit on the sofa with music playing quietly working with my hands while my mind is free to think.   Various members of the family stop by for a while and chat before going back to their homework or whatever Netflix  series they are watching at the moment.  And even though the dinner will still need cooking and the dishes still need doing it feels as though the world slows down for a little while.

Do you have weekend routines so that your weekend doesn't end up disappearing in busywork?

x


cute kittens in amongst the flowers

Lilipopo kitten embroidery pattern

Over the last few weeks I have been having fun sketching kittens and cats and girls with cats. 

This little kitten pattern is a simple pretty pattern.  I've stitched her up in my favourite pinks and reds (although of course you could use your own favourite happy colours).  I even added a little lilac.

Full hoop close up

She is very simple to stitch. You can frame her in a hoop with her flower garden around her and butterflies floating nearby.

Kitten cushion full

or she can be stitched up as a little hanging cushion lightly filled with toy stuffing and lavender.  A lovely gift to pop on a child's pillow to help her sleep.

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there is even a pretty little backing to stitch for the cushion with flowers and ferns.

The pattern for this little kitten is in my Etsy shop  and as always comes with a simple stitch guide and pattern transfer instructions.

There are instructions for making the little cushion included in the pattern.

I hope you have a lovely weekend with a little bit of stitchy time

x

 


sometimes things just don't go according to plan

Lilipopo embroidery feeling witchy 2

This year I thought I was organized!  I thought I would have the hallowe'en panels ready in plenty of time for any hallowe'en stitching and the little caravan, putting up the tree and new lavender girl kits all ready with no mad late nights working and rushing.  But then fate stepped in.  I love the linen sampler for feeling witchy but I have had to stitch her with my magnifying lamp and a little imagination as her lines were just too fine for the linen.  The writing was too bold on the 'my little caravan' panel when the sample arrived.  The 'putting up the tree' panel was a little too small.  And finally I had forgotten to put the stripes on the lavender girl's top!

I was so disappointed after telling customers that 'yes' I would have a hallowe'en sampler in September, 'yes' I will have a Christmas sampler very soon...  After a cup of tea I reminded myself that the point of samples is to iron out the little problems, I want the panels to be as good as they possibly can be. 

So I reordered the hallowe'en sampler on cotton instead of linen,  I reordered the little caravan with lighter writing,  I reordered a bigger Christmas tree and I put the stripes on the lavender girls and reordered them too.

I'm really hoping I have learned the lesson of patience but I'm not too sure, we'll see the next time.

  Lilipopo embroidery kitties

And there are some positive results from all this waiting time...  I have had time to begin rough ideas for new work and a new kit.  I have been improving my Adobe illustrator skills so that I can create a kitty kit with colour printed onto the fabric!  Something I find quite exciting.  I have no doubt I may need a few samples before this one is perfect but I will have to continue developing my patience.

Lilipopo embroidery winter inspiration

And there has been time to be inspired by beautiful children's books, colours of threads, autumnal coastal walks to Mousehole and fairy tales read aloud.

I hope you are enjoying the beginnings of whichever season you are entering into and feeling calm and patient.

x


Christmas preparations

Lilipopo christmas tree embroidery

I am a staunch no Christmas until the 1st of December by nature but in my business I really have to get my head around Christmas so very much earlier!  I have spent August thinking and planning for it and now I am sorting out kits and printed fabric panels.  By the time Christmas comes I think I'll be ready for summer!

Lilipopo christmas embroidery

But I think there is also something quite nice about starting to think about Christmas as autumn begins because we can plan our crafty gift giving.  I think anyone who loves to make things is used to thinking ahead about Christmas.  It's not the stressy panicking kind of thinking but a slow enjoyable thinking. 

I love to spend my autumn evenings knitting or stitching gifts for family and friends.  I love choosing the design and colours to suit the person I am making the gift for but I also love the opportunity to slow down and spend some time thinking about the person while I stitch or knit.  Maybe that's why so many of us love crafting, because we are doing something useful while still being able to relax and unwind.

Lilipopo christmas tree detail embroidery

I've especially enjoyed revisiting my Christmas tree sampler over the last couple of weeks.  This is the first printing of a fabric panel that I've been testing.  It's a linen cotton mix and a bit thicker and softer than the cotton that my samples have been printed on up until now.  It's really lovely to stitch!  I have a few tweaks to make before the final printing but I really like the fabric.  I haven't gone for traditional Christmas colours because I just felt like blues and pinks.  And that's another thing I love about embroidery, I can stitch it any colours I like!  

So now it's probably time to look at the crafting that I want to do for this Christmas so I can spend a pleasurable autumn stitching and knitting with tea and fruit cake.  Can you tell that today is a bit of a rainy autumnal day?!   In fact I think I may well go make a fruit cake now I've thought about it.

What are your crafting plans for the autumn?

x


photography things and a new little caravan

Caravan full picture

This week my trusty little Ricoh camera finally gave up the ghost and I had to learn how to use a grown up camera!

The truth is it was never my camera in the first place.  Everyone in our house loves photography apart from me.  It's my guilty secret, I really don't like taking photographs.  I like setting them up but when it comes to camera techy stuff.... yuk!

That little Ricoh seemed to do everything for me (it even took the pictures in a square) but now I have to learn how to use the family DSLR!

Camera

Tripod and everything.  I would like to tell you that running lilipopo is just doing a bit of sketching and then doing a bit of stitching but there are all of the other things too.  I have learned an awful lot of techy skills on my lilipopo journey, from adobe illustrator to photography to book keeping.  I'm sure all this is very good for my brain but really I would like to just sketch and stitch.

Instead I am in the process of learning about ISO and aperture and shutter speed, I can't seem to work out how to turn the flash off and use macro at the same time but I'm sure I'll get there in the end.

Flowers in garden

and in the midst of all this I finished my new little caravan pattern.  I loved stitching this pattern I just kept embellishing (hopefully not too much!) and had so much fun with the colours and stitch choices.

Window and border and bunting

I have included guides for the colours and stitches that I used but I really think it's the perfect pattern to just stitch the colours you love and the stitches you love.  

It's available in my Etsy shop now and the perfect pattern to practice those stitches.

Now I'm moving onto sketching a wintery pattern, I'm aiming for a sampler type of design but I'm also going to have to get back to that camera manual and learn to love photography!


caravans and colour

Finished first caravan

I have been working on a new caravan pattern, one that fits into a hoop to be framed but could still work as a cushion centre or in a square picture frame.  Last weekend I would have loved to have had this little caravan as we danced in the mud and rain at WOMAD.  Our little tents kept us dry but I think this caravan might have been a little more luxurious!  

WOMAD was absolutely fabulous despite the rain, it's hard to complain about a bit of rain when there are musicians from Syria along with the Survivors of the Khmer Rouge making the most beautiful music.  It really is such a positive festival that reminds you that we are all just people striving to be as happy as we can be, no matter where we are from.  Music always seems to me to be the best art form for crossing boundaries and bringing people together.

Since getting back my youngest has turned 17!  I can't quite believe that next year all my children will be adults.  

Colour and pattern

And so now I can get back to a little bit of stitching.  I've been choosing the colours for the final version of the caravan.  I had to change a few small details, the cups and saucers were just too tiny to see properly once stitched so we are drinking tea out of mugs.  And my original handwritten 'happiness' was a little messy so that has been adapted along with a few other details.

I am leaning towards a palette with a lot of pinks, reds and peaches although I think the main outline colour will still be blue and I might add a little purple if I can find the right one.  Choosing the colours is always my favourite part, although I do sometimes change or add to them as I go along if something isn't working or something else is needed.  I have been known to unpick a lot of stitching because a colour that looks beautiful on the bobbin simply doesn't work in the embroidery.

Details

I'm also having a bit of fun with stitches in this pattern, trying to fit a few more in.  I love couching and am really happy with the way the knots turned out at the end, there's also a bit of satin stitch using quite long stitches.  Satin stitch is not a stitch I use very much so I'm challenging myself to include it more as it's a great filler for certain kinds of areas.  I will be adding some stitch tutorials to the blog as I go along over the next month or two.

I also have a winter sampler plan in my head but at the moment it is only in my head!  I'm feeling quite excited about the idea of working with more stitches and I love old samplers so hopefully more of that to come.

Finally I have a couple of fab resources for you.  

Marna Lunt is an English embroiderer and tutor (as well as a snow globe collector)  I love her style of stitching and she has the most fabulous free introduction to stitching course.  It is packed with videos of lots of stitches and she is just lovely.  You just need to sign up to her newsletter to have access to the course.  She also has more advanced courses that you can pay for and she does workshops.

The other thing I have been having some fun with is Creative Bug I think you can try it for free for a couple of weeks then it costs about £3.50 (it's in dollars so it changes) a month and there are just so many art and craft videos.  There is a lovely embroidery sampler tutorial by Rebecca Ringquist that is lots of fun to do.  I particularly love all the 31 day drawing challenges as I am not particularly good at making sure I draw every day but there are all sorts of classes on there.

Now I'm going to plan a party to celebrate my and my friends big birthday.  We are having a Hawaii theme due to the particular age that we have reached...  I will leave you to work it out!

Have a fabulous weekend

x