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

National Sewing Month

Day 22

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 square were cut from the muslin, and were then entirely embroidered with decorative and details stitches. The second and fourth squares were cut from the two marbled fabrics, with each strip bordered with chain and French knot stitches. Vintage green sew-through beads were stitched along the border.

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

Happy Stitching, ~Christen

National Sewing Month

Day 6

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!

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 a hand-dyed perle cotton in pin, yellow, and green, and used this for my color pallet. 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

Hand Embroidery Dictionary: Cover to Cover from Dream to Reality by Christen Brown

Hand Embroidery Dictionary

Writing a book, is never easy, and often comes with a myriad of challenges. There were many instances during the various stages of this book that I asked myself, 500+ stitches? a dictionary? WHAT WAS I THINKING!!!!!

Did you know for instance?

  • That pages are printed in a run of 12, (ie: 136, 148, 160, etc.)? There is no adding one or two pages if you are over your allotted number.
  • That the actual size of the book itself determines the number of words on a page, which of course is lowered if there are pictures?
  • The content on each page of the book, is arranged individually, no magic program here or magic wand.
  • That each photograph and illustration have an individual number or name to identify it?

Thankfully I have always had a team of professional, talented, and caring women and men that create a book from my manuscript (a bunch of words) and visual content (snapshots and bags of stuff) that we all can be proud of.

As a reader you probably identify the cover, title and content with the author’s name, but in all fairness, it does take a village, and all hands-on deck (to use a few metaphors), to create a book.

Let me introduce you to the team of experts that were involved in the editing, producing, publishing, and promoting of the Hand Embroidery Dictionary.

Roxane Cerda, Acquisitions Editor: She took my initial idea, and helped to develop it into a viable proposal for the Editorial Staff. This is where the bones of the book are determined in the Outline, as well as the number of pages, illustrations, and photographs, which also helps to determine the price of the book.

Editorial Staff: This includes Amy Barret-Daffin our Publisher, Gailen Runge the Creative Director, and a host of the following editors. They make ALL the decisions, from the initial OK, to the cover and face of the book, and so much more!

Liz Aneloski, Senior Editor: Once the book proposal was approved, she presided over all the stages and aspects of the book. She held my hand, she listened, she advised, in her calm and easy manner. I can’t tell you how many emails and video chats we had!

Karla Menaugh, Developmental Editor: She took the first draft of the manuscript in her sturdy hands and determined what needed to be changed before the final draft was turned in. In this case we found that the content would run 15 pages over what I was allotted. YIKES! Through many hours/weeks, emails, and a few phone calls, we got that worked out for final manuscript.

Helen Young Frost, Technical Editor: She took on the next stage of the manuscript where the text was corrected and re-drew all the 1000+ illustrations for the illustrator to follow. As you can imagine, there were many emails, and yes quite a few phone calls involved during the entire progression of the book!

Linda Johnson, Illustrator: She took those hand-drawn illustrations and the ones already in the C&T library and created the remarkable illustrations for the book.

Estefany Gonzales and Lauren Herberg, Photographers: These ladies photographed each of the gallery and sample pieces for the book, including the samplers that held all 500+ stitches!

April Mosteck, Cover and Book Designer: She created the cover of the book, and every page within. Kudos to this talented artist for fitting all the illustrations into the chapter “Embroidery Stitch Dictionary”. Again, more challenging than we all thought it would be!

Tim Manibusan, Production Coordinator: He took over the next two stages of the manuscript. In these stages the photographs and the illustrations are put into the manuscript. Remember that each of these has its own individual number, not a job certainly for the faint at heart!

Jennifer Warren, Production Editor: She worked on editing the final rounds of the manuscript and inserted all the page numbers. If any re-arranging had to be done to fit the text, photographs, and illustrations on to the page, she took care of it.

In addition, to Tim and Jennifer, the remaining production staff, Alice, and Zinnia were called in to meet the deadline! WHEW, we did it!

Promotional staff: Lynn Ford, Alexandra Quilici and Jessica Vaughn: These ladies take the book under their wings and help to promote the book and get the word out to stores, shops and to you, the reader.

My deepest, heartfelt gratitude and thanks are sent to each one of these people, who were involved in this project. And yes, I still ask myself WHAT WAS I THINKING!!!!! Luckily the resounding answer was, we’ve got your back!

Happy Stitching,


National BUTTON WEEK Day 2!!!

Here are a few images of more buttons!

These projects can be found in my book Beaded Embroidery Stitching.

These are samples of two classes that I have taught. These both use felt as a base, with lace as embellishments, and buttons, glorious buttons!

This is a PDF class called Phat Matt and Friends. Felt is used for the base of the project, embroidery threads and buttons for character.

felt cats

Hope that you enjoyed looking! Happy stitching! ~Christen



Raised and Textured Embroidery Sampler

This is a sampler of raised and textured stitches which include whip-stitch rose and variations, spiderweb rose, petite twisted rose, bullion stitch, bullion posy, cast-on buttonhole stitch, buttonhole rose, tatted stitch, tatted posy, spiral tatted stitch, tatted rose, Chinese knot stitch, and Christen’s shisha mirror stitch. These stitches and more can be found in my book Embroidered and Embellished by C&T Publishing.

Happy Stitching, enjoy~ Christen!



Small Works!

This is a grouping of some of my favorite embroidered treasures. I keep these in baskets on my work table and book cases so that I can see them and love them everyday! These can be found as gallery examples in my ribbonwork and embroidery books from C&T Publishing.

Happy Stitching, enjoy~ Christen!



Chantilly Lady’s Lace Cuff

This is one of the bracelets that I designed for my class Chantilly Lady’s Lace Cuff.  The lace, ribbons, and threads are dyed with ColorHue dyes. The techniques included are ribbonwork, tatting, crochet, and embroidery. This piece can be found in the gallery section of my book Ribbonwork Flowers by C&T Publishing.

Happy Stitching, enjoy~ Christen!