Friday’s Favorites: Fall Colors

14 3/4″ x 13 3/4″

Batik Galaxy by Christen Brown

This piece started with the a group of batik fabrics in dark mustard, teal, and cranberry/rust. The cranberry/rust fabric reminded me of the red ring around Mars, so I created a galaxy in the center of the piece, using a wholecloth reverse applique technique. The copper and antiqued brass finishes of the celestial-themed charms added an extra color element. This piece can be found in my book, The Embroidery Book by C&T Publishing.

11 1/4″ x 12 7/8″

Umbria by Christen Brown

This piece started with four printed fabrics in rich browns, rust, and cranberry colors. I found a variegated perle cotton that picked up all of those colors. I then chose the remainder of the embroidery and embellishments to match the thread. Embellishments include vintage shell buttons, copper charms, and glass buttons that are sprinkled around the fiber and metal leaf trims. This piece can be found in my book, The Embroidery Book by C&T Publishing.

17″ x 16 3/4″ (close-up)

Autumn Ribbons by Christen Brown

The base of this piece started with a linen napkin, and added bits of vintage lace that I hand-dyed with Colorhue dyes. I then added in loads of rust, orange, and brown flowers and leaves that I hand-stitched from Hanah silk bias ribbons. I used techniques that can be found in my book Ribbonwork Flowers by C&T Publishing. The embroidery was worked with perle cotton, Wildflower threads, and silk embroidery ribbon, using many of the stitches that can be found in my book Embroidered and Embellished by C&T Publishing.

24″ x 23″ (close-up)

Harvest Quilt by Christen Brown

The base of this quilt was strip-pieced using Hoffman cotton batiks, in rich autumn colors of rust, umber, cranberry, maple, and olive. The embroidery stitches are worked in perle cotton #5 and #8, Wildflower threads, and cotton floss. This piece was featured in the gallery section of my book Embroidered and Embellished by C&T Publishing.

Enjoy! Happy Stitching! ~Christen

Bead Embroidery vs Thread Embroidery

I love to embroider, which I am sure you can tell. I have two books that are specifically focused on embroidery. In the Hand Embroidery Dictionary there are over 500+ stitches, both traditional stitches and unique stitches that I developed for the book. In my book Beaded Embroidery Stitching, I offer you both traditional bead embroidery stitches as well as unique techniques that accommodate the special characteristics of the different bead shapes and sizes.

Below, I show you how various forms of thread embroidery can be adapted to bead embroidery and bead woven stitches. The use of beads in the bead embroidery and bead woven stitches certainly do bring a surprisingly visual and dimensional aspect to the work.

Here is an example of two crazy pieced sections of fabric. The first is worked in traditional thread and silk ribbon embroidery stitches, along with embellishments such as tatting, rosettes, charms and buttons. In the second piece, you see traditional stitches translated into beaded embroidery, with the stitches worked in seed beads in sizes 6°, 8°, 11°, and 15°. Embellishments include lace, larger beads, charms, and buttons.

This is an example of a sashiko pattern, the first is embroidered with perle cotton; the second is embroidered with 11° seed beads.

Here is an example of the cross stitch worked in perle cotton, and size 11° seed beads.

Here is an example of two brooches, worked in similar design. In the first I embroidered the Brazilian rose, and traditional leaves and French knot stitches in perle cotton; with a couched cord frame. In the second, I embroidered the a rose with size 11° seed beads, and added in bead woven leaves, and charms; with a beaded couched cord frame.

Happy Stitching to you! ~Christen

PS: If you are looking for inspiration or ideas, check out my PDF Classes and books.

Embroidery Samplers

If I could pass on one important thought, it would be that practice just makes sense. Perfection is not something that I strive for, but I myself feel more confident when I understand the stitches that I am working on.

My book Embroidered and Embellished, by C&T Publishing is divided into four chapters, each chapter includes 20 stitches and 2 projects. I grouped the stitches according to the type of stitches and the materials that were used in each of these chapters.

At the beginning of each chapter I have included a sampler which utilizes all of the stitches included in the chapter. I used the above embroidery template (page 89) as a guide, and embroidered the design around the guide.

The Embroidery Journal Project above, is from my book, The Embroidery Book, by C&T embellishing. There are instructions in the book for making this little journal on page 43. Each page is 10″ x 6″, with the embroidered sections worked on each 5″ x 6″ half. You can refer to the samplers in the Visual Guide for the stitches to use, or use the samplers at the beginning of each chapter.

In my class The Embroidery Corner, I taught a 17 week course on embroidery. Each week, working with one stitch family, the student practiced their stitching on a 6″ piece of fabric. Here are some of my examples:

For a book that includes over 500+ stitches, see my book Hand Embroidery Dictionary, by C&T Publishing. If you would like to make a sampler of your own, you can download the free PDF lesson, Sampler Roll of Stitches.

I am confident that you will agree that by allowing yourself the time to learn and experiment with a new technique will never be a waste of time. You are worth the time that it takes to prepare for your journey into embroidery. May that be a long enjoyable journey, and may your needles fly!

Happy Stitching, enjoy~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 19

Question: Do you like to embroider over a pattern or print: I like the fact that I can follow a guide, but mix it up a bit and add more color to the piece. You can find the following pieces in my book the Hand Embroidery Dictionary by C&T Publishing.

20″ X 19 1/2″

Glamour Girl by Christen Brown

This piece started with the fun print that was used in all four blocks. I loved the colors that were used and found additional fabrics in both stripes and prints in those same colors. I also incorporated a few precious strips of vintage batik fabrics. The piece is embellished with rickrack trim, grosgrain and novelty ribbons, embroidery, beads and sequins, and novelty buttons.

21 1/2″ x 12 3/4″

Big Leaves by Christen Brown

This piece started with the large linen leaf print. I chose Valdani perle cotton, from Rusty Crow Quilt Shop, for the embroidery stitches because of the ombre and variegated colors. The printed fabric gave me so many opportunities to use a variety of embroidery stitches. I used a wide grosgrain ribbon for the border, and embellished this with vintage wooden buttons.

12 1/2″ x 13 3/4″

Misty Blue Hills by Christen Brown

I used a printed upholstery fabric for the center that had great lines and colors that I could work with. I pieced the simple border with blue and creme colored printed fabrics. The embroidery stitching follows the pattern in the center, using a variety of stitches. I used a Sashiko style of stitching on the border fabrics. Many vintage glass, metal, shell and celluloid buttons were used for embellishments, along with two bone dragons.

Happy Stitching, ~Christen

National Sewing Month

Day 4

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? I have a fondness for batiks! I love the variety of colors that the artist has started me off with, it seems as though the hard work of choosing a color palette is already done.

Psychedelic Balloons, started with 2 different batik prints, that I pieced into blocks and strips. I worked all of the stitches in perle cotton form Artfabriks. I used almost every stitch included in my book, Hand Embroidery Dictionary, by C&T Publishing.

African Sunset, is crazy- and strip-pieced with quite a few Hoffman batiks, and one block-print batik from Bali. I used Wildflower threads from the Caron Collection for the embroidery. In fact, one of the threads I used is called African Sunset. This piece can also be seen in my book, Hand Embroidery Dictionary.

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

Winner of the Hand Embroidery Dictionary GIVE-AWAY!!!

The Winner of the eBook from my blog is Elaine, (in North Texas), CONGRATULATIONS!

A Special Thanks to Jo Avery, Elizabeth DeCroos, Alish Henderson, Laura Wasilowski, and Alexandra from C&T Publishing, for helping me out with the tour. CONGRATULATIONS to the winners on their blogs!

Here are the post entries for the tour:

Monday September 20, 2021: C&T Publishing,

Tuesday September 21, 2021: Jo Avery, 

Wednesday September 22, 2021: Elizabeth DeCroos, 

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

Thursday September 23, 2021: Laura Wasilowski, 

Friday September 23, 2021: Christen Brown,

If you are interested in buying a copy of the Hand Embroidery Dictionary, you can check it out here on the C&T Publishing website.

Happy Stitching~ Christen

Hand Embroidery Dictionary GIVE-AWAY!!!

Hand Embroidery Dictionary


The main goal of the Hand Embroidery Dictionary, and of my work, is to teach and pass on this wonderful needle-craft, of free-form embroidery. In this book you will find 500+ stitches, grouped into 16 categories. 505 stitches to be exact, not counting the variations upon variations, tips, and suggestions!

Some of the stitches you will find familiar, and some will be new to you, as many of the stitches I created myself. The stitches include individual, continuous, compound, composite, hybrid, grouped and plaited. Also shown are seed and filler stitches, netted stitches, laced stitches, and overlaid stitches.

Stitch Families

To help you become familiar with the stitches, I have compiled the individual stitch family first, followed by the continuous stitch family that uses the same or similar form. For this purpose, I decided to create three additional individual stitch families, the barb, fleet, and capped stitches.

  • Straight Stitches: 23 stitches
  • Outline Stitches: 36 stitches
  • Knotted, Woven and Whipped Stitches: 28 stitches
  • Lazy Daisy Stitches: 36 stitches
  • Chain Stitches: 34 stitches
  • Barb Stitches: 30 stitches
  • Blanket and Buttonhole Stitches: 52 stitches
  • Fly Stitches: 42 stitches
  • Feather Stitches: 50 stitches
  • Fleet Stitches: 22 stitches
  • Cretan Stitches: 30 stitches
  • Cross Stitches: 37 stitches
  • Herringbone Stitches: 31 stitches
  • Capped Stitches: 19 stitches
  • Chevron Stitches: 24 stitches
  • Embellishment Stitches: 11 stitches

Give-Away Details

For a chance to win a free copy of the eBook of the Hand Embroidery Dictionary, please leave a comment below. You can tell me what your favorite stitch is, or how long you have been embroidering, or even why you would like to win the eBook.

Official Rules: Giveaway will close on midnight September 26, 2021, PST. Winner of the eBook prize will be notified by email within one week of the giveaway closing.

Tour Dates September 20-24, 2021

Here are the previous post entries, each participant gave their own take on the book.

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, 

Good luck and Happy Stitching~ Christen