Tuesday, May 24, 2011
As many times as I have stuck myself with a pin or a needle over the past few weeks I am surprised that I didn't pop given the amount of excitement that has had me blown up like a balloon. Introducing Anna Maria Needleworks! (awh, phew, I can feel the air escaping out my fingertips as I type). I've alluded to it, shared some of the behind the scenes on projects, and geesh you've been looking at evidence in my blog banner for a while now too. But its almost here (as in a couple of weeks).
Now let me tell you what it is.
My Needleworks collection right now consists of two boxed collections of Pearl Cotton (Anchor's size 8, which is pretty middle of the road in thickness) divided into two color palettes : Geranium Wall & Reflecting Pool. Each box contains 9 skeins that each contain about 85 yds. I also have two envelope collections of 6-strand embroidery floss the Seafaring palette and the radiant palette. Each envelope has 12 skeins that each have about 9 yards of floss. All the packages are so beautiful, reusable and provide a nice portable storage option for all of your stitching adventures. (The floss envelope even has a large scale winding card for you!)
There is a lot in the Needleworks collection that will follow these beautiful threads, but what I thought I would do today is share some close up shots of some of my first projects with these goodies. I am also excited to direct you to my friends Kim and Kris over at the diydish.com where they've posted a video today of our sitdown time at Quilt Market. Its as good an explanation as any of how I've been using these threads, and what more we have to look forward to as I introduce all the projects and fabrics that I've been working on for you. They are also hosting a giveaway, and a free embroidery pattern from yours truly, so head over there to watch the video, then meet me back here.
(waiting. waiting. waiting.) Oh good, you're back! I'm sorry about all my hand motions, and that I need a haricut. I wouldn't blame you at all if you hadn't come back after that Crystal Gale lookalike you had to listen to. Anyway.
This quickly became a favorite pre-market project for me. It is simply a hand quilted pillow. I layered the pillow front, just like I would a quilt top, batting and backing sandwich, then pinned, basted, handquilted, trimmed and finally sewed into a pillow.
I would really love to do a whole cloth quilt this way, just following the pattern but also the colors of the print design. As I mentioned when I shared the other free-style quilted pillow, if you are new to hand quilting and want a great project to practice your stitch the pillow is ideal, because you wouldn't have to worry about perfecting how the backing side of your stitches look. (ohhh, ahhha. yes.)
This is the dress that Juliana is wearing in the video. Its another version of the Painted Portrait Blouse & Dress (available in July). The yoke features one of the 6 Loulouthi Needleworks prints which will be available later in the summer. These goods are no different than our printed cottons, except that the design work is all little cross stitch designs, and they are 60" wide instead of 44/45! Yay!
You can leave them as they are, or stitch over a little or a lot of the cross stitch pattern. I'll be sharing better views of those 6 pieces later this week. I used the pearl cotton for the above, but you could also use any number of strands from the stranded embroidery floss as well.
This little outfit generated lots of excitement at market, and I'll admit it was hard to leave it on the dress form when I really wanted to steal it each morning. The blouse is a sleeveless version of the Painted Portrait Blouse, and I chose to run embroidery floss stitches throughout the yoke for interest. (Fabric note, I used the quilting cotton for the yoke, and the rest of the blouse is from the voile- I love the scale shift.)
Here is part of the yoke a little closer up. The stitching was really pretty quick and I love how simple, but also sort of elaborate it is, and how the stitches interact with the print to create sort of a veil over it. Maybe like you're looking at a garden through a window screen or a fence.
Also on that little lady was a cross stitched, sewn belt with a stitched flower on the side. That was seriously fun.
This is a better view of the embroidery that I was sharing on the video as well. I embroidered each flower with a series of different stitches all on a cream colored linen. I then cut those out and hand stitched them to the grey cotton with a running stitch (actually I'm pretty sure my mom did the running stitches on two of those for me, and Juliana did the 3rd, but you get the idea). This piece will remain an artwork but there are so many different ways to use the same design work in other ways. Which I think might be what I love most about this hand work. Up to you.
Speaking of you, the free Loulou Bouquet Embroidery downloadable pattern is available for your pleasure over at the diydish, so get down and load it. We'll have it on the make page soon too.
Phew. And that's not all, but this is me sliding in my bookmark, and resting my wrists for a bit.
(And did anyone catch that fun little announcement towards the end?) More soon.