Thursday, September 10, 2020

How to Frame your Embroidery

 


Woodland Alphabet and Numbers embroidery patterns and samplers are now available at littledear.etsy.com!! These designs have been in the works for several months and I'm so excited to finally share them with you. With lots of beautiful nature details, they are so soothing to look at and to stitch, plus, they're educational too!

So often, my patterns are circular and fit perfectly into a standard embroidery hoop, which is a great way to frame them (Click here for a tutorial!) But these are not round, the images are 8x10 inch and rectangular. So, I decided this was the perfect time to show you some easy framing techniques for embroidery.


The first way is pretty straight forward:
1. Start by ironing and hemming the edges of your embroidery by machine or by hand. (I like to hand stitch it with the Running Stitch.)
2. Choose a frame a few inches larger than your embroidery piece and cut a piece of mat board the size of your frame.
3. Use double sided tape to adhere your embroidery to the center of the matte board and place it in the frame.


This technique is super easy, functional, and it won't destroy your fabric, in case you decide to use it for something else later! You'll need a piece of white foam core, which you can get in any craft store or office store. It usually comes in large sheets which you'll need to cut to the size you need. 
(In this case, 9x11 inches, leaving space for a border around the embroidered area.)

1. Iron your embroidery and lay it out flat, face down.
2. Center the foam core piece over the embroidery.
3. Fold the top edge of the fabric down over the foam core and tape it to the back.
4. Fold the bottom edge up and tape it, check to make sure the edges are even on the front.
5. Fold in the sides and tape them down, then fold the corners and tape them. 
Done! Now you have a stretched embroidery piece that you can frame, or even just set up on a shelf.

You can also stretch your embroidery fabric onto a wooden canvas frame. You can get separate canvas frame pieces like these in any length you need and fit them together at the corners to create a custom sized frame. You'll need 4 frame pieces, white cardboard and a staple gun for this method.


1. Build your wooden frame by fitting the pieces together. 
2. Cut a piece of white cardboard or poster board the same size as the wooden frame.
3. Place the ironed fabric face down, with the board centered over it, and the wooden frame on top.
4. Fold the fabric edges over the frame and staple them down to the back with one staple at the top, bottom and both sides, making sure the embroidery is even on the front.
5. Continue pulling the fabric tightly over the back of the frame and stapling it down along each side, and then at the corners.


Here is a fun and easy way to make a wall hanging with your embroidery!
You'll need two straight sticks at least 1/2 inch in diameter (you can also use dowel rods,) 6-8 flat thumb tacks and a length of ribbon or twine for hanging.


1. Iron and hem the edges of your embroidery.
2. Cut the sticks or dowel rods to 2 inches longer than the top and bottom of your hemmed embroidery.
3. Place a stick at the front, top edge of your embroidery and pin the fabric to the back of the stick at the center. 
4. When you pin the corners, put the pin through the end of the hanging ribbon and the fabric into the stick, or you can tie the ribbon on afterwards.
5. Repeat with the second stick at the bottom of the embroidery (only without the hanging ribbon.)

There you go! I hope you find these ideas useful and try some of them out for framing and hanging your embroidery art. Let me know if you have any other techniques in the comments, and be sure to look for my new ABC and 123 patterns and samplers at littledear.etsy.com!
 
Happy Stitching! xo aimee

Sunday, August 30, 2020

September Patreon Preview~


  I've got new projects ready and waiting for little dear Patreon subscribers in September! These are just what you need to keep your hands and mind calmly occupied. Can't you just feel the stress floating away as you're hand stitching? I know it always helps me feel relaxed and centered. <3

 First up, felt "Coastal Creatures"  puffin, seagull, otter and seals will be coming to the Felt Friends club. I really like how these guys turned out. Just a little bit wintery, they're perfect for getting a head start on your Holiday ornaments! 


Our Stitch-a-Long sampler will be this wolf and roses design, I think you will really enjoy it. We'll be doing a bit of "thread painting" on the wolf, as well as practicing a few interesting rose stitching techniques! 

I was inspired by Little Red Riding Hood for this, some of my favorite fairy tale imagery. I did some illustrations for the story awhile back and I'll be sharing some of those in a later post as well, so stick around.  :)



Aren't these mama and baby seals the cutest? Come subscribe at Patreon.com/littledear by Sept 1 to join a craft club that's perfect for you and get these exclusive new designs!

In the meantime, I'm sending you all extra wishes for peace, love and sanity (especially if you're gearing kids up for virtual or real school this week like I am!!) 

xoxo aimee 

Friday, August 28, 2020

Doodle Stitching a Fabric Scrapbook

 

Have you been following our virtual book tour this week? There have been so many fun posts! 

Be sure to check them all out, at each stop you can enter to WIN a free digital copy Doodle Stitching Embroidery Art! Check the end of this post for the complete link list and how to enter here today to win. Good Luck!


I want to share one of my favorite projects from the book, this Fabric Scrapbook! 
There are several pages to my scrapbook and there wasn't room to share photos of all of them in the book, so I'm giving you an exclusive look at those extras here today! 

Are you like me and save all types of fabric scraps, trims and leftovers from other craft projects, not really knowing where you’ll use them? I have a large bag full of too-small pieces of favorite fabrics, ribbons and trims that I just couldn’t bear to part with. I also save scraps of embroidery floss but that’ s for another project (also in this book!)

You can use them all to create a one-of-a-kind and sentimental scrapbook by collecting and collaging all of your favorite bits with hand embroidery.



1. Decide how many pages your book will have. I made my pages 6 × 8–inch (15.2 × 20.3 cm) panels. You will make each page by sewing a front and back panel together, so, for example, if you want a book with a front and back cover and two inside pages, you’ll need 8 panels. Combine your fabrics in any way you want, like you’re making a collage. You can begin with one 6 × 8–inch (15.2 × 20.3 cm) fabric piece and sew other scraps onto it, or piece scraps together, patchwork style. You can use a sewing machine for this step, if you find it easier, or sew your panels by hand. (I really love hand sewing, it feels so calming and meditative!)


2. Stack the pairs of panels back-to-back in your preferred order. Pin them all together. Using a sewing machine or Blanket Stitch, stitch together the left side of all of the panels, creating a book. Leave the right-side edges loose until you've finished embroidering and embellishing.


3. Embellish your panels however you wish. There’s no end to the collage techniques, embroidery, patchwork, fabric painting, and decorating you can use! Have fun and take your time. This doesn’t have to be a fast project by any means, keep adding new bits and pieces until you feel like your pages are complete.




4. When all of your panels are completed, pin and sew each pair together back-to-back around the edges to finish your book. You can sew the edges together using the Running Stitch, Whip Stitch, or Blanket Stitch . Use any number of threads you like, depending on whether you want a thick or thin embroidered edge. I used different stitches for each page of my scrapbook.


This is a very tactile project, it's soothing to work on, and also to handle and flip through when it's finished. I hope you'll try stitching a Fabric Scrapbook of your own! 


Here is the Virtual Book Tour schedule:

Aug 24 

C&T 

https://www.ctpub.com/blog/


MrXStitch   

https://www.instagram.com/mrxstitch/

(and a lovely Q&A at mrxstitch.com)


Aug 25  

Wild Olive  

http://wildolive.blogspot.com


Cozy Blue Handmade

https://www.instagram.com/cozyblue/


Aimee Ray, Instagram (Spoonflower sponsored)

http://www.instagram.com/aimee_littledear


Aug 26 

Benzie Design 

https://www.benziedesign.com/blogs/tutorials


Jessica Long 

https://www.instagram.com/jessicalongembroidery/


Aug 27 

Snuggly Monkey 

https://www.snugglymonkey.com/blogs/news


Aug 28 

Carina’s Craft Blog 

https://www.carinascraftblog.com


Aimee Ray 

http://littledeartracks.blogspot.com



Also, be sure to visit the C&T blog where I've written a post about the story behind the book's cover art! So many ideas and fun inspiration have gone into this book, I know you'll love it.

To enter to win your e-book, just leave me a comment below! I'd love to know if you keep lots of scraps and what else you do with them. I'll pick a winner next Wednesday, Sept. 2. Good Luck!

xo aimee

Friday, August 21, 2020

Embroidery Art Blog Tour!

 

My new book, Doodle Stitching, Embroidery Art is almost here 
and I'm so excited to share it with you!! 
This book is different than any other book I've written, the idea for it has been percolating in my head for years. While it still includes basic hand embroidery instructions, patterns and stitch guides perfect for new embroiderers, this book is really all about taking what you learn and creating YOUR own unique art with embroidery.

Next week (August 24-28) we're having a blog/social media tour and at each stop you can enter to WIN a free digital copy of your very own. 


Here is the schedule:

Aug 24 

C&T 

https://www.ctpub.com/blog/


MrXStitch   

https://www.instagram.com/mrxstitch/

(and a lovely Q&A at mrxstitch.com)


Aug 25  

Wild Olive  

http://wildolive.blogspot.com


Cozy Blue Handmade

https://www.instagram.com/cozyblue/


Aimee Ray, Instagram (Spoonflower sponsored)

http://www.instagram.com/aimee_littledear


Aug 26 

Benzie Design 

https://www.benziedesign.com/blogs/tutorials


Jessica Long 

https://www.instagram.com/jessicalongembroidery/


Aug 27 

Snuggly Monkey 

https://www.snugglymonkey.com/blogs/news


Aug 28 

Carina’s Craft Blog 

https://www.carinascraftblog.com


Aimee Ray 

http://littledeartracks.blogspot.com



Also, be sure to visit the C&T blog where I've written a post about the story behind the cover art! So many ideas and fun inspiration have gone into this book, I know you'll love it.
xo aimee


Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Folk Art Bluebirds sampler

 

A new embroidery sampler has landed at little dear! These lovely Bluebirds are so much fun to embroider. With just a few basic stitches, you can create a beautiful and colorful piece of embroidery art. I'm going to go over a few tips and techniques I used that I hope will help you out as you stitch!

For this sampler, I've used a combination of Stem Stitches and Back Stitches for the line work, some Lazy Daisies and lots of Satin Stitches and French Knots. 

(If you need some stitch tutorials or brush ups, visit my website at little-dear.com!) I'm using DMC floss colors  3848, 597, 311, 351, 352 and 402, 3 threads of floss everywhere except for the green stems and bow details on the bird wings, those are 2 threads.

I get asked a lot at my classes how to make nice, even Satin Stitch shapes so here are a few pointers!

To stitch a circle like the orange one above, I always start with the one longest stitch in the center (at 1.) Next, add two slightly shorter stitches on either side (at 2) and go back and forth making shorter stitches on the outside edges until your circle is more or less even. It can take some practice to get them just right (and mine are definitely not always perfect, don't be too hard on yourself!) It's also perfectly fine to go back and add another stitch or two (or several) over the top to smooth it out.

This is a great technique for smaller circles, and works great for the eyes on felt animals!

If you're stitching a larger circle, it can help to first stitch a Back Stitch around the edge of the circle and then make your Satin Stitches over the top of the outline. 

For the fan shape on the right, start with the stitches on the outer edges (at 1,) starting at the top, and ending just short of the point at the bottom. Next work your way towards the center with more stitches (2) and then the very center stitches will reach all the way to the point, covering up any uneven ends from the previous ones. 

You can also do this in reverse order like the lower orange fan shape in the previous photo, and the outer stitches will form the point at the bottom instead.

For Satin Stitched wheel circles that are open in the center like these flowers, all the stitches point towards the center. It helps a lot to first draw a star shape over the pattern to guide the direction of your stitches as you go around the circle. 

Keep in mind that your stitches will be slightly farther apart at the outer edge than at the inner edge, you might even overlap every other stitch or so at the center to help keep them even.

One last note about French Knots. You can get different sizes of French Knots by wrapping the floss around your needle more times. I used 3 threads of floss for each of the knots here, you can see how the sizes vary depending on the number of wraps. 

For the extra large ones, I would normally just use all 6 threads with less wraps, but I wanted to see how they would turn out so I tried it this way. (Some of them did come out a little wonky so I ended up adding another tiny stitch here and there to hold those in place. :)

I hope this was helpful to you!

Pick up this lovely sampler (and many more) at littledear.etsy.com and have fun stitching.

xo Aimee

Mountain Rainbow Embroidery Sampler

 


Are you ready for a Mountain Rainbow embroidery adventure? This new sampler has just landed in the shop and it's one of my favorites. As much as I love thread painting and tiny stitchy details, I really love simpler designs like this where I can just follow the lines with my favorite stitches and create something lovely. It's so relaxing and meditative, I know you'll love it too.

I've used DMC floss colors 402 orange, 352 coral, 351 red, 504 aqua, 316 purple and 30 blue; 3 threads of floss for everything except Straight Stitches and Lazy Daisies, those are 2 threads.

Can you name all of these stitches? When I was designing this I considered adding all of the stitch name labels to the lines like my original stitch sampler, but in the end, I decided to leave that up to you. You can choose any stitches you like, or follow the included instructions. Here's what I used:

You can always find stitch tutorials and instructional photos at my website: little-dear.com if you  need some extra tips or ideas, or post your questions below, I'm happy to help.

Pick up this new sampler at littledear.etsy.com and Have fun!

xo aimee

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Bugs and Flowers


Two new felt patterns have arrived in the shop! Sew up these lovely bugs and flowers for your summer decor or fun.

Felt flowers are perfect in any color palette, for any occasion! You'll love creating garlands, mobiles, bouquets or flower crowns with this easy pattern and instructions.

Find both pattern downloads now at littledear.etsy.com

 Happy Summer, loves! xo aimee