An Assortment of Embroidery, Sewing,and DIY Craft Projects

Monday, December 19, 2011

Embroidery Books, Blogs and Websites

When I decided to start embroidery, the first thing I did was start searching the library catalog and the Internet.  I found some real duds and some real gems.  Let's talk about the gems.

By far, my favorite website has been Sublime Stitching. Mostly because it really isn't my grandma's embroidery.  I ordered my first iron on patterns from them.  And now that I know how to make my own transfers (kind of, more on that later), I can order the cheaper pdf's in the future.

I've googled around for other ones when I'm looking for designs, tips, etc. Needle n Thread is another good place to go for tips and tricks.

This is the list of crafty blogs I am currently subscribed to:
Andrea Zuill's Blog
big B
feeling stitchy
Living With Lindsay
orange you lucky!
polka & bloom
Sublime Stitching - This ain't your gramma's embroidery!
The HandyCrafter
Threadfulart's Weblog
Wild Olive

This link should give you a feed of all my crafty favorites.

Onto books!  I've found some great books that have either iron on patterns in the back, or patterns that you can trace. Talk about a life saver!

Bags in bloom : create 20 unique flower purses with simple embroidery stitches and easy-to-sew patterns / Susan Cariello
Bags in bloom has some great ideas for embellishing handbags and totes you might find that are plain.  Love some of the ideas - and it makes me want to start trying to do some work with beads in my embroidery!

Stitch step by step / Maggi Gordon and Ellie Vance
This book really does give you step by step for most stitches you could think of. It didn't include any patterns, but is super useful for trying to figure out just HOW to embroider.  Most embroidery books will give you a brief how to in the first chapter, but this is the stitching bible basically.

Embroidered effects : projects and patterns to inspire your stitching / by Jenny Hart
I HIGHLY recommend this book. The best part are the iron on patterns in the back.  And lucky for me, even though it is a library book, the iron on parts still worked!  I love so many of the designs in this book.

Doodle-stitching : fresh & fun embroidery for beginners / Aimée Ray
I liked this book just for some of the patterns in the back.  I wouldn't necessarily use the project ideas (not really into embroidering canvas shoes!)  But the patterns are cute.

Doodle stitching : the motif collection : 400+ easy embroidery designs / Aimee Ray
LOVE this book - it came with a CD-ROM that included all picture files for the designs - to transfer to your fabric using your preferred method.

A rainbow of stitches : embroidery and cross-stitch basics plus more than 1,000 motifs and 80 project ideas / Agnès Delage-Calvet
This book also has some cute designs, but the layout drives me BONKERS. It separates into different colors, but it doesn't really make any sense, since you could use whatever colors you want to embroider with.  I'd much rather have all the patterns in one place at the back of the book to flip through them with ease.

I got one of my most useful tips from NOT an embroidery blog.  I've been despairing transferring patterns without an iron on transfer available. I tried using some fabric tracing paper (didn't work).  I free handed a few things, which was OK.  Then, BAM, just what I was looking for appeared from Forever Young Adult (my favorite book blog).
To make a pattern, use Press n Seal!  You can use it in several ways too, which I've done. First, is putting the press n seal over the pattern on a piece of paper and trace with a thin sharpie. Then move the press n seal to your fabric and just stitch through the plastic and the fabric. The other way I've done it is just putting the press n seal on my monitor screen and tracing that way. Which let's me get a design for a jpg file and also letter from a preferred font in Microsoft Word. Woot!

It is a little annoying to pull out the press n seal from beneath the stitches, but it has beaten any other method I've found so far.  I do have some paper and pencil specifically for making iron on transfers on order, so I guess I'll see how that works when it finally arrives.

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