National Sewing Month

Day 20

18 1/4″ 18 1/4″

Psychedelic Balloons by Christen Brown

This wall hanging started with two different batik fabrics, the fuchsia and cream pin-stripe and the turquoise, pink and purple spotted dots. I used a series of circle shapes to embroider around, using almost all of the stitches that are shown in my Hand Embroidery Dictionary book. I used five different colors of the hand dyed cotton threads from Laura Wasilowski’s, Artfabrik store.

You can find this piece in my new book the Hand Embroidery Dictionary by C&T Publishing.

Happy Stitching, ~Christen

Hand Embroidery Dictionary

Design Workshop Tips from the Hand Embroidery Dictionary

Embroidered Base Designs
The construction of the fabric base will determine the overall design of the embroidery and embellishments. The fabric base can begin as a solid-color wholecloth base, a base with one or more printed fabrics, or a foundation strip- or crazy-pieced design.

Solid Fabrics

A wholecloth base offers endless possibilities for a design; this can be a solid color or a subtle batik. The
embroidery pattern can be worked over a single template shape (such as a fan) or by repeating the motif (such as a circle) in various sizes from large to medium to small.

If you would like a chance to win a free copy of the eBook of the Hand Embroidery Dictionary by Christen Brown, C&T Publishing you can visit the following sites this week.

Tour Dates September 20-24, 2021 

Monday September 20: C&T Publishing,

Tuesday September 21: Jo Avery, 

Wednesday September 22: Elizabeth DeCroos, 

Alish Henderson: Jamie Chalmers (@mrxstitch) • Instagram photos and videos

Thursday September 23: Laura Wasilowski, 

Friday September 24: Christen Brown, 

Happy Stitching~ Christen

National Sewing Month

Day 19

Lady Bird’s Bzzy Garden, and Lady Bird 2 by Christen Brown

I used the same printed fabrics for each of the above wall hangings. On the first I used black as an accent color. The border row stitches were all worked in black, with the decorative and detail stitches worked in the same colors as the fabrics. In the second piece I used cream as an accent color, including in a variety of cotton laces. The border row, decorative and detail stitches are all worked in different colors.

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

Happy Stitching, ~Christen

National Sewing Month

Day 18

8″ x 8″

Charmed Square by Christen Brown

This small square was pieced with a few leftover squares from a Moda Charm pace, the rest of the squares were used in Paris Flea Market. I added 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. I used three colors of glass buttons and charms and added brass buttons as an accent color.

This piece can be found in The Embroidery Book by C&T Publishing.

Happy Stitching, ~Christen

National Sewing Month

Day 17

Variation on a Theme

These pieces and the project can be found in my book, Beaded Embroidery Stitching.

The two wall hangings are versions of the Bouquet of Flowers, project A Feminine Fancies. The base of the black piece is silk, with vintage lace used for the frame. Vintage mother-of-pearl buttons were used for the flower centers and the encrusted frame, with lots of beaded embroidery stitches. The base of the second piece is pieced with a blue chambray fabric and a whimsical bee print. The vase and the frame are made with vintage lace, with vintage and new buttons for the flower centers, and floral frame. Vintage and new beads and charms were used for decoration.

Happy Stitching, ~Christen

Stitch Along Sampler Week- Day 5

The Hand Embroidery Dictionary/ Cross and Herringbone Stitches

Everything embroidery bundled into one helpful how-to guide! The book breaks down 500+ stitches from the basics for beginners to more complex designs for advanced stitchers.

  • Learn how to choose tools, threads, and embellishments
  • Basic stitch guides explain accurate placement to help you achieve the perfect stitch
  • Each stitch includes a stitched sample, instructions and in most cases illustrations
  • Learn how to change the position of the stitch and use the distance between points to change the look of the stitch
  • Tips and instructions for left-handed embroiderers

There are 16 groups of stitches which include straight, outline, knotted, woven, and whipped, lazy daisy, chain, barb, blanket and buttonhole, fly, feather, fleet, cretan, cross, herringbone, capped, chevron, and embellishment stitches.

Today we are going to cover cross and herringbone stitches.

Cross Stitches

These individual stitches can be used as a single stitch, combined to create a border row, or added to another stitch to create a larger component.

The basic stitch is formed by coming up at point A and going down at point B to create a straight line. The stitch is completed by coming up at point C and going down at point D, crossing over the previous stitch.

Herringbone Stitches

These continuous stitches can be used for a border row or to create a shape. After the stitch is formed, individual stitches can be added to the tips or around the base to create a larger design.

The basic stitch is formed by coming up at point A and then, in one motion, going down at point B and coming up at point C, forming a straight stitch. The stitch continues with point D, then back to point A. This stitch can also be worked in individual stab motions.

Artists and Samplers

I asked several friends to be involved in the Stitch Along Week posts. I selected 10 stitches and broke them into 5 groups. Each participant chose one group to work with, stitching a sampler or block in any colors or fibers that they wanted to work with.

Allison Aller, Artist, Author, Teacher

Allie Aller has been making quilts in many genres for 50 years, employing her college design education. She has published three books, won many national awards, taught on Craftsy, and appeared on The Quilt Show twice. Visit her blog to see the annual finishes she posts at the end of every calendar year.

You can find Allie here:

Blog: Facebook: Instagram:

19” x 29”

Stitches used in my sampler, left to right

  • Cross stitch, pg 122
  • Woven Cross Stitch, pg 104
  • Herringbone Elongated, (large scale, couched, 2 rows stacked), pg 129
  • Cross stitch, vertical inside the herringbone triangles, pg 123
  • Crossed star stitch, pg 125 alternated with Cross stitch short cross with arrow tip detail, pg 123
  • Magic Cross stitch, pg 124
  • Embroidered floral trim on netting
  • Herringbone Stitch, Netted, pg. 130, capped with a fly stitch
  • Individual cross stitch used to couch down metallic ribbon
  • Cross stitch Short Cross, pg 123
  • Woven trim
  • Cross Stitch Short Cross, pg 123
  • Cross Stitch and French Knots, pg. 123
  • Herringbone stitch, pg 128
  • Floral Tambour stitched trim
  • Herringbone Stitch Laced, pg 132
  • Herringbone stitch, pg 128
  • Herringbone Elongated, pg. 129
  • Woven geometric trim
  • Herringbone Elongated, pg. 129
  • Individual cross stitch used to couch down metallic ribbon
  • Cross stitch, pg 122
  • Herringbone Stitch Boxed, pg 129
  • Embroidered floral trim on netting
  • Herringbone stitch, pg 128 capped with Colonial Knots
  • Cross Stitch Long Arm, pg 123
  • Thorn Stitch, pg 127 one side capped with Colonial Knots
  • Herringbone Elongated, pg 129 (large scale, couched)
  • Individual Cross Stitches in triangular space, pg 122
  • 24 Cross and Fly Stitch Stars, pg 126 with extra cross stitch within each fly stitch

Allie’s Books, from C & T Publishing:

Christine Vinh, Artist, StitchesNQuilts

My journey with fiber has led me to explore new mediums, learn new techniques, and meet many kindred spirits. My goal is to share my love of color, texture and fiber with others, whether through selling my work or sharing stories.

As part of this project, not only did I explore the two possibilities of two stitches but I chose to  try different threads. The cross stitch sampler uses a variety of threads & color ways in the Painter’s Thread collection. And the herringbone sampler was done using an 8 wt Eleganza Thread Pack by WonderFil using a sample of variegated threads.

You can find Chris here:

Stitches used: cross stitch netted, cross stitch row overlaid, cross stitch row netted, thorn stitch, crosshatch, cross stitch doubled 

Painter’s Threads used: Ribbon Floss, Gimpe, Perle Cotton # 5, 8 & 12, Braided metallic, Eye lash silk

Sampler 2

Stitches used: herringbone stitch twisted / repeat, herringbone stitch w/ French knot, herringbone with cross stitch, herringbone double stitch, herringbone with straight stitch details, random filling with overlapping threads

Threads: 8 wt Eleganza Perle cotton from WonderFil

Christen Brown, Artist, Author, Teacher

This small strip-pieced sample can be found in the book. The embroidery stitches were worked in a variety of herringbone and cross stitches, with French knot and straight stitch details. I used perle cotton #8 for all of the embroidery and to stitch the novelty buttons in place.

Hand Embroidery Dictionary by Christen Brown, C&T Publishing

Thank you to each of the participants of the Stitch Along Week! Everyone created a unique piece, that reflects their own style. I am so grateful to each and every one of these artists!

Happy Stitching to you all! ~Christen

National Sewing Month

Day 16

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 my new The Embroidery Book by C&T Publishing.

Happy Stitching, ~Christen

National Sewing Month

Day 15

Question: How do you choose a name for your project? Sometimes I choose a name by an item in the project, in this case I chose the name from one of the embroidery threads.

24 1/4″ x 20″

African Sunset by Christen Brown

The blocks in this crazy-pieced quilt are all comprised of Hoffman batik fabrics, except for the darkest one, shown in four of the blocks, it is a batik from Bali. The embroidery was worked in Wildflower threads by the Caron Collection. Each of the threads have a unique name, one of them was called African Sunset, and the name stuck!

You can find this piece in my new book, Hand Embroidery Dictionary by C&T Publishing.

Happy Stitching, ~Christen

National Sewing Month

Day 14

Question: Do you like to applique, if so, by machine or hand? I machine faced the applique hearts with material first, then I hand-appliqued them to the fabric.

14″ x 14″

Country Hearts by Christen Brown

This simply designed wall hanging started with a pair of old jeans, and a few vintage floral prints. I used vintage rickrack and tatted lace that I found at a thrift store, and combined the trims with vintage buttons that I found on eBay. The embroidery is worked in perle cotton #8, and is embellished with rosettes with glass bead centers.

You can find this piece in The Embroidery Book by C&T Publishing.

Happy Stitching, ~Christen

National Sewing Month

Day 13

Question: Do you like to work with solid color fabric, or prints?

9 1/4″ x 9 1/4″

Cogs and Gears, by Christen Brown

This piece is a variation of the project Blowing Bubbles from my book Beaded Embroidery Stitching. I used a printed piece of felt (shown right), for the base, with the embroidery following the design of the print. Vintage and new buttons were used to add color and focal points.

This piece can be seen in my book Beaded Embroidery Stitching, by C&T Publishing.

Happy Stitching, ~Christen