Archive | September 2022

National Sewing Month

Day 30

Question: Are you looking for inspiration, a little kick start, or just some eye candy? I have a few books that may help you on your creative journey, may that be a long and happy one!

Here is a re-cap of National Sewing Month 2022:

  1. September 1, 2022– Question: When did you first learn to sew, and who was your teacher?
  2. September 2, 2022– Question: How do you design a project, do you start with a plan or do you let the materials tell you what and where they want to be?
  3. September 3, 2022– Question: What type of piecing do you like to do?
  4. September 4, 2022– Question: When you choose a fabric, what are you drawn to, do you like to work with solids or prints, or hand-dyed or batiks?
  5. September 5, 2022– Question: Do you like to recycle old clothing, or use something in an unexpected way?
  6. September 6, 2022– Question: What type of embellishments to you like to work with on your projects?
  7. September 7, 2022– Question: Do you plan out every detail, or do you approach your work with serendipity?
  8. September 8, 2022– Question: Do you like to make and sew your own jewelry and adornments?
  9. September 9, 2022– Question: Did you know that the wooden spools that you have in your stash may be 50-100 years or older?
  10. September 10, 2022– Question: Do you have a favorite pincushion, or two?
  11. September 11, 2022– Rustic Americana, In Memory of 9/11
  12. September 12, 2022– Question: When you design a project, do you sometimes think, hmm I like that, but I want to try it in another colorway or design?
  13. September 13, 2022– Question: Do you plan out a project, with bits and pieces of paper lying around the workroom with your notes, or do you use a dedicated book to keep track of all of those ideas?
  14. September 14, 2022– Question: Do you name or title your projects, and how do you choose those names?
  15. September 15, 2022– Question: Do like to work with felt?
  16. September 16, 2022– Question: What sewer does not have a favorite pin or needle keep?
  17. September 17, 2022– Question: Do you sew functional forms for the home, or do you like to create whimsical additions?
  18. September 18, 2022– Question: Do you like to crazy-piece, but sometimes find the sections so small, that it is hard to embroider every seam?
  19. September 19, 2022– Question: Do you like to embroider over a pattern or print?
  20. September 20, 2022– Question: When you embroider a piece, do you like to use free-form images or do you use stencils?
  21. September 21, 2022– Question: When you create a strip-pieced base, do you embroider the seams, in the seams or over the seams?
  22. September 22, 2022– Question: What sewer hasn’t heard of the Sunbonnet Sue?
  23. September 23, 2022– Question: Do you sew functional forms or do you like to create fabulous frivolities?
  24. September 24, 2022– Question: Do you like to add lace to your creations?
  25. September 25, 2022– Question: When you are working with a group of fabrics, how do you decide what colors to use for the embroidery stitches?
  26. September 26, 2022– Question: What kind of sewing machine did you learn to sew on, and, what kind of machine do you sew on now?
  27. September 27, 2022– Question: When you see a hanky used in a project, do you ever think of Rhett Buttler’s comment to Scarlet: “Never, at any crisis of your life, have I known you to have a handkerchief.”
  28. September 28, 2022– Question: Do you ever hold on to a piece of fabric, and think, someday, I will use that?
  29. September 29, 2022– Question: When you buy a charm pack, do you often find that there are prints that you think, hmm, how did those get included in here?

I hope that you have enjoyed this month, and have found some inspiration within these pages.

Happy Stitching, ~Christen

National Sewing Month

Day 29

Question: When you buy a charm pack, do you often find that there are prints that you think, hmm, how did those get included in here?

Paris Flea Market- by Christen Brown

The four 9-patch blocks are comprised of the lighter colors of the charm pack, with a border of bleached muslin. The embroidery was worked in three colors of perle cotton, the border row stitches in one color, the decorative stitches in a second color and the detail stitches in a third color. I stitched groups of mother-of-pearl buttons to the border.

Charmed Square by Christen Brown

This small square was pieced with a few leftover squares from the pack, with two complementary fabrics to complete the nine-patch design and borders. The border row stitches were worked in one color of perle cotton #8 to straddle each seam. The decorative and detail stitches were worked in five colors of cotton floss, and two colors of seed beads. The color and stitch changed depending on which side of the border row they were stitched on. I used three colors of glass buttons and charms and added brass buttons as an accent color.

These two pieces can be found in my book, The Embroidery Book by C&T Publishing.

Happy Stitching, ~Christen

National Sewing Month

Day 28

Question: Do you ever hold on to a piece of fabric, and think, someday, I will use that? Well I think if you are a sewist, quilter, artist or designer, the answer is YES!

17 1/2″ x 16 3/4″

Eastern Influences by Christen Brown

This piece started with the small scrap of fabric that I used for the center. It had been sitting in my stash waiting for the right project to come along. The printed fabric that I used in the border, was one of those fat quarters I purchased, and then held onto for years. Sound familiar? Additional fabrics were a machine embroidered cotton, and plain black cotton, that were left over from other projects. Glass seed beads were used for the embroidery, along with vintage bugle and hand-blown glass beads, and nail heads. Vintage buttons are sprinkled throughout, along with large glass beads and charms. This piece can be found in my book Beaded Embroidery Stitching by C&T Publishing.

Happy Stitching, ~Christen

National Sewing Month

Day 27

Question: When you see a hanky used in a project, do you ever think of Rhett Buttler’s comment to Scarlet: “Never, at any crisis of your life, have I known you to have a handkerchief.” Well, I would rather put the hankies in my cache in a project, and go look for the Kleenex box! Here are a few examples of how I use hankies, that can be seen in my new book, Creative Embroidery, Mixing the Old with the New, by C&T Publishing.

7″ x 5 3/4″

Hankies and Rosettes by Christen Brown

This quaint little hanging started with 2 different hankies. I cut them into quarters and layered them on top of each other. The embroidery is worked in perle cotton, cotton floss, silk embroidery ribbon, and ribbon trims.

This is a close up of the Tea Cozy, which is one of the Stash Projects in the book. The hankies are collaged over a base, with the raw edge covered with ribbon or fabric. The embroidery stitches are worked in perle cotton, cotton floss, silk embroidery ribbon, and ribbon trims. A few precious buttons are thrown in here and there.

American Kitsch by Christen Brown

The hankies that I used for this wall hanging came from my mother’s collection, which she gathered on her tour in Europe where she met my dad. Several other hankies and table linens found there way into the project, along with some vintage rickrack trim. I used quite a few vintage and new buttons, two celluloid acorn charms, and glass and acrylic flower charms.

Happy Stitching, ~Christen

National Sewing Month

Day 26

Question: What kind of sewing machine did you learn to sew on, and, what kind of machine do you sew on now? Mine was a Singer, and still is! I just use the basic stitches, straight and zigzag, and rely heavily on my hand-stitching and hand-embroidery skills for the rest.

14 3/8″ x 14 3/8″

Chrysanthemum Tea by Christen Brown

This piece started with a scrap of commercially embroidered fabric, which I used for the teapot applique, and a few pieces of the border. I found a hand-dyed perle cotton in pink, yellow, and green, and used this for my color palette. I chose silk fabrics in those same colors. I added trims, appliques, buttons and lots of embroidery stitches. This piece can be seen in The Embroidery Book, by C&T Publishing.

Happy Stitching, ~Christen

National Sewing Month

Day 25

Question: When you are working with a group of fabrics, how do you decide what colors to use for the embroidery stitches? Here are a few ideas.

10″ x 10″

Victoriana by Christen Brown

This crazy-pieced square started with a rayon print, and 6 different silk fabrics that matched the colors of the print. I chose silk embroidery ribbon, perle cotton, buttonhole silk, cotton floss, and seed beads in those same colors. I used 7mm silk embroidery ribbon and silk bias ribbons for the ribbonwork flowers. Each section of fabric is worked with a combination of the colors and components.

15 3/8″ x 15 3/8″

Melted Crayons by Christen Brown

Tiny bits of precious silk fabrics were crazy-pieced onto four foundation squares and strip-pieced onto four border strips. These blocks and strips were bordered with black silk fabric, satin ribbon, and rayon cord. I chose to work each of the border rows with black buttonhole twist, then the decorative and detail stitches with a variegated Valdani perle cotton. Vintage and new button details were stitched down with perle cotton and rayon floss. This piece can be seen in The Embroidery Book, by C&T Publishing.

Happy Stitching, ~Christen

National Sewing Month

Day 24

Question: Do you like to add lace to your creations? For me that is a resounding yes! Here are a few ideas for you.

3 1/4″ x 6 3/4″

Spring Butterflies by Christen Brown

The little jewelry holder, is a perfect example of a small project that has a lot of punch. Two silk fabrics are strip-pieced together to create a base, which was then layered with vintage lace and butterfly appliques. The embroidery, which shadows the edges of the lace, is all worked in perle cotton. This project (pattern), Floral Garden Jewelry Holder, can be found in my book, Embroidered and Embellished, by C&T Publishing. Note: The design in the book is different than the one above.

This little block example is from my book, Hand Embroidery Dictionary, by C&T Publishing. It really gives you a close-up view of the stitches, that can be used when embroidering around a piece of lace or applique. The blanket and chain stitches can be worked around a curved shape with ease. Straight stitches can be used as decorative stitches worked inside small appliques. Remember to work the stitches within the open sections of the lace, or just around the outer edges. Don’t pierce the threads or stitching of the lace, as this may break down the fibers.

Sand Pebbles by Christen Brown

This piece showcases a beautiful vintage lace applique, that was stitched to a sand-colored cotton fabric. I embroidered the piece with several colors of Wildflower threads from the Caron Collection, then embellished the embroidered and lace sections with vintage and new glass beads, and jewelry findings. I bordered the outer edge with a piece of Hannah silk ribbon, and a few hand-blown glass beads. You can find this piece in my book, The Embroidery Book by C&T Publishing.

Happy Stitching, ~Christen

National Sewing Month

Day 23

Question: Do you sew functional forms or do you like to create fabulous frivolities? Here are two examples of the classes that I offer that will help you to explore that fabulous and dare I say frivolous side of life!

7 1/2″ x 7″

Beadazzled Somemore by Christen Brown

This is a version of my PDF class lesson Beadazzled Somemore Purse. This purse is made from a beautiful cotton batik fabric by Hoffman (who else?), but you can choose any type of fabric. The bead embroidery stitches are worked with a variety of techniques. Additional embellishments include buttons, charms, roundels, and sequins.

8 1/2″ x 5 1/2″

Gypsy Treasures by Christen Brown

This is a version of my PDF class lesson Textured and Treated Reticule. This purse is also made from a cotton batik fabric by Hoffman, but any type of fabric would work. The base is heavily quilted and textured, using a twin needle for the quilting. Surface techniques include a vine created from yarn, covered in gold metallic threads, fabric yo-yos, and machine couched novelty yarn details. The sections of fabric are embroidered with raised and textured stitches, beaded embroidery stitches, shisha mirrors, and buttons.

For more information on beads and working with beaded embroidery stitches, check out my book Beaded Embroidery Stitching, by C&T Publishing.

Happy Stitching, ~Christen

National Sewing Month

Day 22

Question: What sewer hasn’t heard of the Sunbonnet Sue? She appears in all kinds of ways, including quilts, small wall hangings and even pin keeps. The pretty little Sue below, belonged to my Grandmother, and as you can see, she is made from real felt. The Sue on the right is my version of the pin keep, working with synthetic felt, lace, buttons, ribbon and perle cotton.

Happy Stitching, ~Christen

National Sewing Month

Day 21

Question: When you create a strip-pieced base, do you embroider the seams, in the seams or over the seams? For me it depends on the design of the piece, and the materials that I have to work with.

13″ x 13″

Beautiful Beaded Blooms, by Christen Brown

This project started with two colors of moire fabric, and a cotton print with a wide array of greenery options. I paired the foundation strip-pieced and triangle blocks, with lavish amounts of embroidered beading. The stitches are paired with vintage buttons, sequins, and charms, and are worked over the seams, with a border of stitches on the outer edge of the pattern. This is a project in my book Embroidered and Embellished by C&T Publishing.

11 1/4″ x 11 1/4″

California Dreamin’ by Christen Brown

This wall hanging started with a simple strip-pieced design using two marbled fabrics and bleached muslin. The center square and third section of strips were cut from the muslin, and were then entirely embroidered with decorative and details stitches. The second and fourth section of strips were cut from the two marbled fabrics, with each strip, embroidered with chain and French knot stitches. Vintage green sew-through beads were stitched along the border. You can find this piece in my book the Hand Embroidery Dictionary by C&T Publishing.

9″ x 13 1/4″

Mystic Twilight by Christen Brown

I chose the pattern and colors of the strip-pieced batik background to simulate a worn wooden fence. I machine quilted each strip with a wood grain pattern. I chose the large clear glass buttons in a variety of sizes for the flower centers. The outline of the large-and medium-sized buttons were shadowed with thread and bead embroidery; the border row stitches that represent grass and vine were worked in perle cotton and then shadowed with the same stitch in cotton floss. You can find this piece in The Embroidery Book by C&T Publishing.

Happy Stitching, ~Christen