Archive | June 2013

Embroidered and Embellished by Christen Brown

10901_frontcoverThe complete visual guide to hand embroidery & embellishing

This richly illustrated reference guide from embroidery expert Christen Brown covers everything you need to make beautiful magic with needle and thread. Learn to sew traditional and silk ribbon embroidery, make raised stitches, and embellish with beads, charms, buttons, and mirrors. Christen shows you how to combine and place stitches to enhance a finished piece and how to work with embroidery threads, ribbons, fabrics, laces, beads, buttons, and other embellishments.

• Step-by-step photo instructions show exactly how to sew 85 different stitches
• Includes 8 complete embroidery projects to stitch and embellish
• The essential embroidery reference for everyone from beginners to experts

My new book is now available through C&T Publishing.You can see a few of the projects here, on C&T’s Blog.

I will be teaching several classes from the book this year in Houston at Quilt Festival in the fall, and next year at Road to California, in January.

Happy Stitching, enjoy ~Christen

Summer Jewels

I just finished making this ensemble over the weekend. I started with two embroidered pieces, both were brooches that I had made for a class that I teach. The necklace is made up of mostly vintage glass beads from Japan. I also included new bronze beads, and some Czech glass beads. The clip-on earrings are vintage celluloid domes embossed with silver leaf.

summer jewels, vintage beads, mother of pearl buttons, necklace, bracelet, broochI kept one of the pieces as a brooch, though I cut it down a bit, to keep the silk ribbon embroidery as the main focus. I added a cord around the outer edge, and sewed a bronze button and mother of pearl buttons around the edge.

broochI used the other piece for the center of the bracelet, using an old watch to frame the embroidery. I used vintage grosgrain ribbons that I had been saving for just the right project. I wrapped the smaller ribbon through the watch links, and hand stitched this to the wider ribbon. I glued a button to hide the hole where the winding mechanism used to be. I then added in a garden of vintage mother of pearl buttons, that have silk ribbon embroidered stems and leaves. The bracelet is clasped with a large hook and eye, with an added bronze button for decoration.

watch parts, buttons, silk ribbon embroidery

10901_frontcoverBoth the brooch and the watch bracelet use simple silk ribbon embroidery stitches, that can be seen in my new book, Embroidered and Embellished with will be available next month.


Happy Stitching! ~Christen


Recycled Jewels

Recycling is something we learned very early at our house. The motto was if you can’t make it, then you buy it!

I have been playing around with this and that, odd bits of leftovers and just some junky stuff. This is what I have come up with…

charms, watches, bracelet

I had been collecting these ladies dress watches for a few years, and I have finally decided that they would make a great link bracelet. I found an vintage charm bracelet on eBay, that had most of the old charms you see here. I added in a few new ones that I sell in my store.

link bracelet, charms, buttons

This piece started with a box link bracelet blank. I glued mother of pearl buttons to the flat portion of the links. Then I gathered bits of charms, old earrings and some of this and that stuff that you can’t throw away.

link bracelet, charms, buttons

This bracelet is similar to the above bracelet, with the mother of pearl buttons that have been dyed blue. I added old shoe and glove buttons, some made of metal and others made of leather. I also added in the top portion of some old zippers.

Happy Stitching! ~Christen