Category Archives: Embroidery

Patriotic Cross Stitch Ornament

Since focusing on machine sewing for the past year, I’ve often missed having a handwork project for the backyard lounge chair or for in front of the TV.  At the beginning of the month, I decided to have another go at cross stitch using the same piece of 28 count linen I bought late last year.   Browsing on Pinterest, I’ve noticed the popularity of seasonal cross stitch and Christmas motifs across national boundaries. Besides English language charts, French and Russian (Cyrillic alphabet) are the two languages I have seen the most.   Motifs I see again and again are houses, flowers, birds, rabbits, sheep, letters of the alphabet, words and phrases.  Judging by cross stitch blogs, prim style, patriotic themes, and samplers that are replicas from early America are favorites of American stitchers.

Flag Stitching on 28 count linen

Do Americans love patriotic themes for quilting and stitching more than other countries do?  Is it because of the colors of the red, white, and blue flag, the artistic possibilities of the stars and the stripes?  Or is it because of the recent founding of our nation, what it stands for, and the fact that most of our ancestors journeyed across the ocean to come to this New Land?  I think it’s all of those, plus the early summer seasonal association with patriotic decorations due to Memorial Day falling near the end of May, Flag Day on June 14th, and then Independence Day on the fourth of July.

Finished Liberty 1776 Cross Stitch in Hoop

I enjoyed stitching this free America download from Glory Bee.  There was less counting required in this design, and I was able to see the stitches using the magnifier I had bought previously. The changes I made to the design were to change the word “America” to “liberty” and change the border to a simple running stitch.  After storing the completed piece in the drawer for a few weeks, I researched finishing techniques and found gluing, sewing, pinning, and taping to be  the options.

I cut 2 pieces of foam board and two pieces of cotton batting  4 x 4 inches.  I laced the finished piece on one piece of foam board using carpet and button thread, then laced the backing fabric onto the other piece of foam board, added an embroidered name and date panel, sewed the two halves together,  glued on the ribbon trim, and braided hemp cord for hanging.  I had trouble cutting the board, and didn’t get it even, which is why my finished piece is a little uneven.

 

Here is the finished result next to the colonial clothespin doll I made several years back.

Liberty Ornament with Clothespin DollLiberty Flag Ornament

 

Links to:

my embroidery board on Pinterest

flat ornament finishing from the Twisted Stitcher –  glue

needlenthread finishing –  lacing

with thy needle and thread finishing – pins and tape

 

Thoughts on First Year of Blogging

Tumbling Leaves Wall QuiltWhen I published my first post last year on October 28, 2012, I just jumped in and posted about a project I had finished.  I had started to concentrate on learning to sew after mostly knitting for several years, and wanted to track my progress.

First I decided which platform to use.  Some of the blogs I regularly read are on WordPress.com, and one of the reasons I decided to use WordPress is because it’s easy  to leave a comment on a WordPress blog.  You don’t have to sign in with a Google, Facebook, or other identity, just a name and e-mail.  Then I had to pick a name for the blog – should I try and come up with a name that is clever or unique?  After some Google searches to find out which names were taken, I chose “Stitch It Again”. The common aspect of knitting, crocheting, embroidery, and sewing is that they all have stitches, and the “again” refers both to coming back to these crafts and also to my habit of redoing what I am working on until it meets with my satisfaction.

Next I created my header using Mosaic Maker on Flickr Toys to show what projects had led me to the present day.  Some of my favorite themes are fall themes and the two projects I am showcasing from my header both feature a leaf motif.Wool Embroidery on Linen

The wool embroidery is from a project on the cover of “Kyuuto! Japanese Crafts – Woolly Embroidery”.  I made it as a wall hanging instead of a pillow.Kyuuto! Japanese Crafts - Woolly Embroidery

The fall themed wall quilt pictured at the beginning of this post is a project I made from “Fat-Quarter Quilting : 21 Terrific 16′ x 20″ Projects” by Lori Smith.  It’s called “Tumbling Leaves” and is hand quilted.Fat Quarter Quilting by Lori Smith

My biggest challenge continues to be taking acceptable photographs.  My photos are plagued by bad lighting, reflections, and blurriness. It is especially hard taking photos of myself with a tripod and timer.  After a year, I finally realized I should be giving my photos a title after seeing readers were viewing “Samsung Camera Pictures” on my blog.  Oops!  I’m still trying to figure out how large my photographs should be, how to have better post titles, and all the technical stuff.

I have enjoyed sharing my creative outlet.  Writing this blog has added to my life, and I am delighted if any reader has found useful information or entertainment on these pages.  A heartfelt thank you to all who have taken the time to leave words of encouragement or advice, or who stop by to read from time to time.

Do you have any blogging tips, blunders, or learning experiences to share?

Strawberry Needlebook Project

I used my strawberry embroidery to make a needlebook!  It’s both decorative and very practical.  I had needles speared on little pieces of felt stashed all over the place that now have their own home, sweet home.Strawberry Embroidered Needlecase

I used this tutorial by Amy of Nana Company to make my needlebook with batting and hand quilting.  I also consulted her follow-up post, “Little Books”   which shows her many adorable little books and her revisions to the way she makes them.  I used the suggestion to change the opening for turning (which you later have to slip stitch closed) to the inside, but I didn’t want to omit a button on mine.

Quilting NeedlecaseI used my rotary pinking blade on the felt, and added a few pieces of trim to make it as pretty as can be.

Needlebook InteriorNeedlebook Interior with Rick-RackStrawberry Needlebook on Aida

I have these cute little craft frames that I got at Goodwill.  I’m thinking of using one  for the snowflake stitched on linen motif and stitching a few more.  As of yet, I have no plans for the free hand embroidered bird and flowers.
Small Frames for Stitchery

Amongst my old and new  paper needlebooks are two that are reminders of a different era – needlebooks given out as promotional items.  They  most likely date from the 1960s; one is from Speedee Mart 7/11 and the other is from Farmers Insurance.  This led me to think it would be fun to collect old needlebooks or other vintage sewing items.  Promotional Needlbooks and others

Do you have any sewing collections?

Embroidery Love

Bluebird on Linen

Embroidery was my first stitching experience.   I started as a child with lacing cards with holes in them and a big blunt needle. Does that count?  It was also the one craft my mother dabbled in when she was young, embroidering the stamped linens that were popular at the time.

I have mostly enjoyed free hand embroidery, especially crewel embroidery, which is worked with tapestry wool on linen, although I have also tried counted cross stitch on aida cloth.   What I like about free hand embroidery is the variety of interesting stitches and that it’s quicker than cross stitch.  What I like about counted cross stitch is that it has a unique, precise look that works well with traditional motifs such as samplers.

As much as I love stitching embroidery, the dilemma for me is – what do you do with it?  After you’ve made a wall hanging and a pillow, then what?  Some other ideas are decorating clothes, towels, curtains, pillowcases, or tablecloths; an embroidered panel in patchwork; ornaments, especially Christmas ornaments; and using embroidered cloth in little sewing projects such as pouches.

When the weather was very hot, my interest turned to embroidery again.  Unexpectedly, I became interested in counted cross stitch which I had previously thought was a bit monotonous and unimaginative.

Strawberry on Aida

flower on aida coaster

When searching for more information on cross stitch, I found out that aida or fiddlers cloth, which is composed of squares surrounded by four little holes, is usually used by beginners or the casual stitcher, and that evenweave linen is often favored by dedicated cross stitchers seeking to create timeless heirlooms.

I bought a 28 count evenweave Irish linen to give it a try.  This linen has a more open weave than the linen I have used for crewel, and each cross stitch is worked over two threads. The stitch size will be the same as on the 14 count aida cloth I used in the two pieces shown above. Oh, my – this is hard!  I couldn’t see what I was doing; my first attempt came out  wrong.  Some of the time I was catching three threads instead of two.  On my second try I had to get a magnifying glass to count the threads. The look is beautiful, but do I love it enough to struggle through to completion when it’s so much easier and more enjoyable to use aida cloth?  I don’t think so – at least not very often.  Maybe getting reading glasses would help.  But with some patience, and a big magnifying glass hanging from my neck, I completed my first small motif using this fabric.

Snowflake on 28 count Linen

If you’d like to stitch these motifs, or see more of the embroidery that has inspired me lately, check out my embroidery board on Pinterest.

I already used one of these pieces for a project.  Can you guess what I made?