Archive for Embroidery

Baking Bread

I finally had a chance to try the “easy” bread recipe which my friend kindly shared with me (Hi Lissa!). It took me a while to try because I didn’t have large enough dutch oven, but found just the right one recently (antique cast iron one at a bargain price…which of course meant it took me some effort to resurrect!). Ingredient list for bread is amusingly short (flour, yeast, salt and water) but the instruction called for “Clean Kitchen Towel” which [sadly] I didn’t have,  so I stitched one up. This way, it won’t get used for wiping dirty hands!

The pattern is from Sublime Stitching, I just changed the scroll to read “bread”.

Here’s the kitchen towel in action (the dough is resting before baking):

And here’s the freshly baked bread!

It was very easy (as promised!) and seems like ‘no-knead dutch-oven bread‘ has been a popular way to bake bread in recent years (There are many basically the same recipe/instruction for this type of bread all over the internet but I found the photo instruction in the link helpful if you want to try it yourself!). This method did produce very tasty bread (for very very cheap, I might add), and even Immi ate lots of it. Portland has many fantastic bakeries and I’m not about to put them out of business (ha!) but we always run out of bread mid-week, so I’m hoping to remedy this situation. I have some ideas for altering the recipe/process for increased convenience, I shall report  back when I get it to work!

Purple Wrist Cuff — Finished!

I finished the wrist cuff.

I really enjoy making wrist cuffs, even thought they aren’t all that versatile as far as accessories go, being appropriate mostly just in autumn and spring (long sleeve get in the way, and it looks too hot in summer, though on second thought — it’s probably fine here in Pacific NW!). I practice various stitches on it, and learn a new trick or two (I leaned to install hooks properly though  you don’t see it in the picture). I’d love to make an entire dress but I don’t have the time, space, supply, skill or patience for it at the moment, so I’m rather content making these instead.

Stitching Rainbow

I finished sewing and embroidering this little pouch. Embroidery is just my doodle, I meant only to stitch the rainbow but the needles & thread just kept going. Serendipitously, while I was working on this rainbow, the “double rainbow” clip went viral and many of my friends — not just in various parts of US but around the world — happened to encounter a rainbow or two. Isn’t that strange?

There’s Faeries For Everything

I’m stitching “There’s faeries for everything.” on immi’s functional but boring belt. With coffee of course, by the window in the evening.


Stitching and Coffee

Personally speaking, I can’t truly enjoy stitching without a cup of coffee (or tea!)! I didn’t watch/follow the recent royal wedding at all but I read somewhere that the embroidery on the dress was done by hands that were washed every 30 minutes (to ensure that fabric/thread remained pristine) and that needles were discarded every 3 hours (*I’m not responsible for accuracy of this information, though I can easily believe that it is in fact true). I’m sure drinks where no where near that gown, ever. Clearly I don’t follow this ethic — not that I’m making anything remotely a historically relevant item:)


Cotton Pillows

I made 3 pillow covers. This was a much needed project since the ones we were using (they were red, orange, and yellow silk from Thailand) were getting rather shabby (I’m not one of those people who have pillows for decorative purpose so they get used and abused on daily basis!).

It’s made from utility cotton which is quite thick, loosely woven and with lots imperfections (which is the reason why I love it!). I was going to hand stitch the entire item, but I ended up doing inside seams by machine to finish them up quickly when I had an opportunity to hangout with my sewing machine (Todd was out at a show and all the kids went to sleep early).

Here’s Lucian testing them out for comfort! I stitched a varying line on each pillow with embroidery thread.


I’ve seen beautifully tattered antique needlebooks (made from leather and muslin and such) and was inspired to make my version one cloudy Sunday in which we decided to stay home and do nothing much (which is something we almost never do!). It’s basically a needle organizer which I’ve been needing since I have been, increasingly lately, working with variety of fabric/thread that requires appropriate needles.

The cover is wool felt onto which I have needle-felted more colorful wool onto,  embroidered, and sewn the little vintage key.

I made assorted pages with fabrics that are appropriate for needles they are holding. This one is regular quilting cotton and holds my quilting needle (on top left) and general purpose sewing needle (bottom left).

This is the page for embroidery needles.

And I’m feeling totally smug about this page which holds ballpoint needle for sewing knit fabric made from jersey knit fabric (organized on this page, now I can easily tell them apart from other needles even though they don’t look much different).

These are my assorted crappy quality needles for craft purpose (like if there’s nothing else appropriate, or sewing paper or something).

And this is the page for my *extreme* needles.

I punched 3 holes and added eyelets to each page and then bound it with lacey seam binding. This is what all the pages look like from the side.

There are more pages, but you get the idea.

Fish-Lizzard Thingie

This is what I’m currently stitching (along with accumulating number of WIPs!). It’s artwork for music by my dear friend (which you should go check out!). I saw the this fantastic fish-lizzard monster thingie and wanted to stitch him up. I usually use water soluble pen to mark the image on to fabric but these lines were too detailed so I got out my 0.05mm permanent archival ink pen — I just had to be careful not to make any mistake.

*Stitched with permission

And here’s Oskar posing for me while I figure out the camera features of my new phone. After all, people get iPhone for taking pictures right? The picture is fuzzy because I neglected to take clear film off the back which I didn’t realize at the time was covering the lens…

Stitching and Needles

Like many other people who’ve gotten into needlework in recent years, my gateway into embroidery was Sublime Stitching. It’s been years now since I first encountered it (I mean how can you resist those designs — so cute!), and I’m glad to say this craft has stuck around in my life! There are many reason why I’ve been enjoying embroidery but some of the main ones are that 1) there’s long long history that spans many cultures of designing with needles & thread which is completely fascinating 2) endless stitches and technique to learn 3) it’s really quite cheap 4) all the variety of colors and color combinations makes me happy and 5) it’s  meditative and relaxing. The reason #3 though, I’ve been finding to be very true for most part but lately I’m seeing glimpses of how it can turn into an expensive venture (I’d looove to try stitching with silk thread from France or attempt goldwork at some point!). Anyhow, I’ve finally stitched up the first ever pattern I’ve ever purchased. The reason why I hadn’t done this famous little angel (you can find many versions of it stitched up online!) is because it seemed to me that Stem Stitch is the most logical stitch for it, and I’m really bad at it despite that it’s one of the most basic stitch. …So I figured I’d practice on it  on this pattern. I think I get the hang of it now! I also experimented with lightly shading the outlined area using various stitches.

I found these vintage (unused) needles lately and they are so completely fabulous!

They are noticeably sharper compared to the modern variety and the eye of the needles are smoother which makes it a whole lot easier to make knots with.

Anyhow I love the packaging! I wonder at which point in history companies decided that beautiful packaging was superfluous  part of their product…

Stitching Textures

I had been wanting to learn some embroidery stitches to create textures like the ones I see in antique needlework, but haven’t had any project to try them in, so I had an idea to do a sampler. This way, I can practice many different kinds of stitches as I find them!

The black stitches in the leaf shape is called Van Dyke Stitch — they are supposed to be stitched close together for solid filled effect but I made it open so that you can see the Running Stitches (the regular boring stitch) in gold under neath it. The stitches next to the leaf which frames the metal button is based on Shisha embroidery (I’ve simplified the stitches because after some experimentation, I preferred a simpler look for this).

This area on the top left corner of the fabric is called Burden Stitch and I’ve used it to hold 2 pieces of frayed fabric in place.

It’s nice having a project that has no real use but I can enjoy learning something new on for few minutes (since that’s all I have most of these days!).