Tag Archive | buttons

National Sewing Month

Day 28

Question: Do you ever hold on to a piece of fabric, and think, someday, I will use that? Well I think if you are a sewist, quilter, artist or designer, the answer is YES!

17 1/2″ x 16 3/4″

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 waiting for the right project to come along. The printed fabric that I used in the border, was one of those fat quarters I purchased, and then held onto for years. Sound familiar? Additional fabrics were a machine embroidered cotton, and plain black cotton, that were left over from other projects. 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. This piece can be found in my book Beaded Embroidery Stitching by C&T Publishing.

Happy Stitching, ~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 25

Question: When you are working with a group of fabrics, how do you decide what colors to use for the embroidery stitches? Here are a few ideas.

10″ x 10″

Victoriana by Christen Brown

This crazy-pieced square started with a rayon print, and 6 different silk fabrics that matched the colors of the print. I chose silk embroidery ribbon, perle cotton, buttonhole silk, cotton floss, and seed beads in those same colors. I used 7mm silk embroidery ribbon and silk bias ribbons for the ribbonwork flowers. Each section of fabric is worked with a combination of the colors and components.

15 3/8″ x 15 3/8″

Melted Crayons by Christen Brown

Tiny bits of precious silk fabrics were crazy-pieced onto four foundation squares and strip-pieced onto four border strips. These blocks and strips were bordered with black silk fabric, satin ribbon, and rayon cord. I chose to work each of the border rows with black buttonhole twist, then the decorative and detail stitches with a variegated Valdani perle cotton. Vintage and new button details were stitched down with perle cotton and rayon floss. 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 18

Question: Do you like to crazy-piece, but sometimes find the sections so small, that it is hard to embroider every seam? In those cases, I like to “collage” embroider and embellish.

13″ x 13″

Scattered Splattered Tatters by Christen Brown

Left-over pieces of muslin fabric were crazy-pieced together, then hand quilted with perle cotton #12. Crochet, porcelain, and mother-of-pearl buttons are nestled into the lengths of tatted and machine-made lace, scattered crochet, appliqués and tatted components. The finished piece was hand-dyed with Colorhue dyes, using a Rustic Aging recipe that I created. This piece can be seen in my new book, Creative Stitching, Mixing the Old with the New, by C&T Publishing.

13 1/2″ x 13 1/2″

Wild Persimmons by Christen Brown

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. This piece can be seen in my book Beaded Embroidery Stitching.

Happy Stitching, ~Christen

National Sewing Month

Day 17

Question: Do you sew functional forms for the home, or do you like to create whimsical additions?

Phat Matt and Friends by Christen Brown

Phat Matt and Friends is a PDF lesson that I offer on the website. This is a fun project that uses felt, perle cotton and buttons.

Happy Stitching, ~Christen

National Sewing Month

Day 15

Question: Do like to work with felt? I find that this is a great way to teach a simple project, that can be embroidered and embellished.

In the above pieces, I used the synthetic felt squares that you can find at your local craft store. I used a variety of perle cotton threads, to work the embroidery stitches, which can all be found in my book Hand Embroidery Dictionary, by C&T Publishing.

Embroidered From the Heart by Christen Brown

This group of hearts are the examples from my Embroidered From the Heart PDF class lesson. There are a variety of heart shapes to work with, which you can mix and match; embroidery and embellishment stitches are also included in the 2 lessons. These make great gifts!

Happy Stitching~Christen

National Sewing Month

Day 14

Question: Do you name or title your projects, and how do you choose those names? Sometimes I choose a name by an item in the project, or from a song that I listen to, or just a fond memory.

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

The theme for each of these crazy-pieced wall hangings came from the creme colored print that has flowers and ladybugs on it. I used a variety of garden themed buttons including flowers, bees, fruits and vegetables, and gardening tools. I also used ladybugs (representing our daughter), frogs (representing my husband), and bunnies (representing me.)

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

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

Happy Stitching~Christen

National Sewing Month

Day 13

Question: Do you plan out a project, with bits and pieces of paper lying around the workroom with your notes, or do you use a dedicated book to keep track of all of those ideas? I keep my notes, thoughts, and swatches in this planner.

Embellished Art Embroidery Project Planner by Christen Brown

This delightful planner is designed especially for embroiderers so that you can track multiple projects throughout the year—because let’s face it, who doesn’t have lots of projects going at once?! Set your project goals, track your progress, and manage your time and works-in-progress (WIPs). Each project has four pages to track and record all the critical details: the name of your project, the layout, the stitches and embellishments, due dates, supply lists and more. Plus, flip to the back of the planner for a reference section and even more handy tools.

Happy Stitching~Christen