This piece started with a crazy-pieced base of silk and cotton fabrics, which was machine quilted in a random spiral pattern. A rayon cord was couched down with seed beads to create a pattern. The embroidery and embellishments that follow the pattern are vintage plastic and glass buttons, sequins, glass seed beads, and large beads.
What sewing enthusiast does not have a lot of precious scraps, that just can’t be thrown away?
Ivory and Lace by Christen Brown
This is my Scrap Roll, which is a project featured in my book, Beaded Embroidery Stitching. This piece does capture and keep all things feminine. The base is comprised of a collaged scraps and bits of lace, hankies, appliques, ribbons, buttons, beads and more. This project is embellished with both bead embroidery and bead woven stitches. The base is a painted wooden spool, adorned with lace, beads and a button.
Pansies and Sunflowers by Christen Brown
This is a slightly simpler version of the Scrap Roll (above). I used larger buttons, appliques, and rosettes, as well as wider trims for the base. The roll is embellished with bead embroidery. The button flowers have a floral wire stem, and are clustered together to create the center and base for the roll.
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.
Question: Do you like to work with solid color fabric, or prints?
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.
Question: Do you sew functional forms or fabulous frivolities?
Gypsy Treasures by Christen Brown
This little purse is made from a beautiful cotton batik fabric by Hoffman (who else?). The fabrics were heavily quilted and textured, using a twin needled 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.
Question: How do you choose a color pallet for a project? I start with the fabric, and work from there.
Beautiful Beaded Blooms by Christen Brown
This project started with two colors of moire fabric, and a cotton print that came with a bounty of an array of greenery options. I paired the foundation pieced block, with lavish amounts of embroidered beading, vintage buttons and charms to create an opulent-looking wall hanging that hints of an earlier era.
Question: When you design a project, do you like to use what is in your stash, or do you prefer to go to the store and search for materials? I usually work with what I have on hand, then go to the store for additional materials.
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 along with the print that I used in the border, waiting just for the right project to come along. Additional fabrics were a machine embroidered cotton, and plain black cotton. 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.
Question: I like to sew strips, and straight seams. What do you like to sew?
Sizzle and Pop by Christen Brown
This is a strip-pieced base comprised of Hoffman and hand-dyed batiks as well as cotton floral prints. The lines and seams are embroidered with beaded stitches, with buttons and sequins used for additional embellishments.
If you know my work, you know that I sneak a spider and a web into many of my creations. I am in awe of the beauty of a spiderweb, but deathly afraid of real-life spiders! In recreating a spiderweb, I try to capture the beauty of the delicate woven structure. However, when I embroider the spider, I try to create a more whimsical version to somehow confront my fear!
Thank you for looking, and Happy Stitching to you all!
The base of this project is made from a a grosgrain ribbon, with a length of hand-dyed ribbon stitched down the middle. The embellishments include ribbonwork rosettes also made from hand-dyed ribbon, beaded embroidery stitches, and a vintage button for the closure. You can make this project with any type of ribbon it would not need to be hand-dyed (which are not included in the instructions).
Spring in Bloom
The base of this project is made from a blue cotton chambray fabric. The base is embellished with a cotton lace, and adorned with buttons, glass beads and flowers, and my favorite tiniest wee little butterflies.