National Sewing Month

Day 29

Do you plan out every detail, or do you approach your work with serendipity? For this piece, I did a bit of planning, so that the metal frame could take a prominent place amongst the pieced fabrics.

13″ x 11″

Midnight in Paris by Christen Brown

This wallhanging is crazy pieced with cotton solid and printed fabrics and vintage laces. The embroidery was worked in silk embroidery ribbons (4mm and 7mm), silk perle, perle cotton, and cotton floss. Vintage buttons, beads, an antique metal frame, and charms were used for embellishments. A ribbon border with beaded details showcase the piecing and the frame.

Happy Stitching, ~Christen

National Sewing Month

Day 28

What form of piecing do you prefer? I really love crazy-piecing, simply because you can use the pieces and scraps that you have on hand, and the pieced lines provide a variety of opportunities to embroider and embellish.

Victoriana 1 and Victoriana 2 by Christen Brown

These two pieces were stitched using the same fabrics, and are almost identically pieced together. I was going to make a purse, but decided that two small wall hangings were more desirable. The embroidery stitches were worked in silk embroidery ribbon, perle cotton and cotton floss. Beads, charms and buttons were used for the embellishments.

You can find these two pieces in The Embroidery Book by C&T Publishing.

The Crazy Lady Victoriana by Christen Brown

This piece was made using the same fabrics as the above two pieces, with the addition of several vintage silk ties and their lining fabrics. I created this piece while I was teaching a class titled the Crazy Corner. I enjoyed adding in all of the embellishments such as a birds nest, fabric yo-yos, and ribbonwork flowers.

Happy Stitching, ~Christen

National Sewing Month

Day 5

Question: What is your favorite sewing tool? Mine was a pair of metal “snippy scissors”.

Gentle Lady’s Needle Keep- By Christen Brown

This little sewing kit is crazy pieced with vintage and new cotton fabrics. The embellishments include grosgrain ribbon, and vintage and new buttons. The needle keep and pincushion are made from felt, and stitched with grosgrain trim. The embellishments include felt leaves, a ladybug and vintage and new buttons. All of the embroidery was worked with perle cotton, cotton floss or seed beads.

This group can be seen in my upcoming book, Hand Embroidery Dictionary, by C&T Publishing.

Happy Stitching, ~Christen

National Sewing Month

Day 1

Question: Who did you learn to sew from?I learned to sew at home, by helping my mom, who made all of our clothes. I also had a great Home Ec. teacher in the 7th and 8th grades.

14 5/8″ x 15 5/8″

Scraps and Leftovers, by Christen Brown

This monochromatic color palette combines a very subtle blend of colors: cream, sand, tan, and brown with a dash of black, brass and silver. The fabrics are all scraps from other projects, with leftovers of ribbon, lace, trims, appliques, and zippers for embellishments. I literally emptied the sewing box in search of buckles, safety pins, snaps, and hoops and eyes. I combined these with vintage buttons, charms, and other ephemera. The quilted and embroidered stitches were all worked in perle cotton thread. The pin in the center was from an original Shirley Temple doll.

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

Happy Stitching~Christen

Spiders and Webs

Christen Brown Spring ’19

Spiders Hide in the Dusk

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!


National BUTTON WEEK Day 5!!!

Here are a few images of more buttons!

These are a few wall hangings that I have made using buttons. These are all featured in The Embroidery Book, by C&T Publishing.

Bouncing Button Balloons

This wall hanging is randomly strip pieced with scraps of silk, moire, and bengaline fabrics, with accents of vintage lace fabric. Their are vintage celluloid buttons with a few fabric buttons mixed in. The embroidery is worked in perle cotton and seed beads.

Rustic Door

For this piece I choose batik fabrics that varied from rust to brown. I found these wonderful blue buffed celluloid buttons, which I paired with brass buttons, buckles and both vintage and new keys. The rust and vintage blue ribbons just keep the colors flowing.

Lady Bird 2

This piece started with a crazy pieced base of cotton prints, I added in lace and ribbon as accents. The embroidery is worked with perle cotton and cotton threads. The embellishments include vintage and new buttons, ribbonwork vignettes and garden tools.

Mystic Twilight

The base of this piece started with strip-pieced batik fabrics, that were machine quilted to resemble the wood grain of a fence. I chose clear glass buttons in a variety of sizes for the flower centers, and clear painted back buttons for the accents. The embroidery is worked in both perle cotton and cotton floss, with beads added in for accents.

The Village Sleeps Tonight

The base of this piece is synthetic felt, the pre-cut houses are made from a rayon/wool blend felt that was a gift from Barbara at I added in a dyed rick rack border, and stitched the details with both solid and variegated perle cotton #8. The buttons are all new, except for the four large buttons in the corners, and the one in middle of the center house.

Hope that you enjoyed looking! Happy stitching! ~Christen

National BUTTON WEEK Day 3!!!

Here are a few images of more buttons!

These are a few necklaces that I have made with buttons.

Antique Autumn Roses- by Christen Brown

This necklace started with the wonderful wrapped metallic gold center piece given to me by a friend. The necklace base is made from silk rouleau and rayon cording wrapped and curled into an entwined pattern. The beads, buttons and extras are attached at random, using a free-form peyote technique.

Umbrian Vintage Ensemble

This is a technique that I call “train tracks”, the buttons are attached through two layers of silk rouleau. The beads and charms are added on after the buttons.

Santa Fe Talisman- necklace

This necklace started with a base made from ruched velvet ribbon. The buttons are made from abalone and muscle shell, jade, turquoise, and other materials. Seed beads and larger beads were used for the dangles.

Cobblestone Collar- Beaded Jewelry Ensemble

This necklace was made using a right-angle weave pattern, the base is comprised of seed beads, pearls, and buttons made from muscle shell.

Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride by Christen Brown

This necklace started with a base made from ruched velvet ribbon. The buttons are made from glass and metal, seed beads and vintage glass beads and charms were used for the dangles.

Hope that you enjoyed looking! Happy stitching! ~Christen

Embroidery Stencils, the Darling Motif Collection

I am happy to announce that my newest set of fast2mark© Embroidery Stencils, the Darling Motif Collection is now out, and ready for you to use on all manner of embroidery projects.

Select, mark and stitch! It’s so easy to embroider accurately with this second collection of four easy-to-use stitch templates featuring over one hundred popular motifs, including garden elements, household items, vintage sewing accessories, the alphabet, and more. Expert instructions and tips in the how-to booklet give you confidence in where and how to make your stitches. Laser-cut into durable, translucent, medium-weight plastic, the stencils are easy to handle and position and create perfect markings every time.

The four-stencil collection includes 100+ easy to mark designs. The stencils are made from durable, translucent medium-weight plastic. The templates are laser-cut, and easy to handle to create perfect markings. They can be found at C&T Publications.


The first stencil includes sewing room motifs such as a dress form, needle, scissors, spool, thimble and pincushion; the other motifs are a teapot, spoon and teacup; a dress, a hanger, a hat, a key and a boot.



The second stencil takes you out to the garden with these motifs: 2 trees, a fence, a bird house, 2 birds, a bird’s nest, a glove and watering can. Also included are a spider and web, a ladybug, a bee and a butterfly.



The third stencil allows your imagination to wonder at the possibilities, with 2 vines, 2 sprigs, 2 stalks, a vase, and a window. These items can be adorned with a pansy, a rose, or a grape bunch; also included are 6 generic shapes for a variety of flowers, and 2 leaves.


The fourth template includes an alphabet and set of numbers that can be used for your labels and written words. This stencil also includes 4 decorative motifs to combine with the templates in the collection. I have also included 3/4”, 1/2”, 3/8” and 1/4” markings that can be used for spacing out your designs.

Here is a sampler of all of the stencils in the in the collection and was used in the booklet included with the stencil set. The booklet explains how to use the stencils, gives you some valuable tips, instructions on how print and enlarge any image, and how to use Wash-Away Stitch Stabilizer© by C&T Publishing.

Each stencil has a few dedicated pages of each template illustrated with embroidery stitches. I have included the directions and illustrations of these 6 popular stitches, to help start you on your creative journey.

May that journey be a long and happy adventure, and may your needles always fly!


My special thanks go to thank Colonial Needle Company for providing the Finca perle cotton and needles that were used in the samplers included in the booklet.



Crazy Pieced Needle Case

This is a close-up view of a needle case that I made for a class that I teach. The base is crazy-pieced with cotton fabrics and embellished with ribbonwok flowers, silk ribbon embroidered flowers, traditional and silk ribbon embroidery stitches, buttons, charms, vintage tatted trim and appliques. Many of the stitches can be found in my book The Embroidery Book by C&T Publishing.

Happy Stitching, enjoy~ Christen!

Day 14 of HEARTS! Red Roses

Day 14 of HEARTS!

Many of you know that I love hearts! I love the shapes and all of the possibilities. This is one of my favorite pieces, it is called Red Roses, and is a sample from my class Hankies and Lace. This piece represents 4 generations of love, the handkerchiefs were from my grandmother and my mother, the various treasures came from here and there, and sitting pretty in the middle of everything is my darling Gwen, the white and red lady bug. Happy Valentine’s Day to all who love hearts!

Happy February to you!