Tag Archive | hand embroidery

A Heart a Day: 2

Heart Felt Wishes to you all! I love hearts, I love the shape, I love to decorate the house at Valentine’s Day, and I have a lot of hearts… so I decided to post A Heart a Day for the entire month of February.

Moons and Junes and Ferris wheels
The dizzy dancing way you feel
As every fairy tale comes real
I’ve looked at love that way

Joni Mitchell

Happiest of heartfelt wishes for a wondrous day! ~Christen

Straight From the Heart Sampler

Straight From the Heart Sampler is a sampler that I created for Joggles, over 10 years ago. I was asked to create a simple pattern with a simple stitch. I used a variegated cotton floss, and the running stitch, pretty simple, and doable! It is my pleasure to offer this as a fee gift to you, from my heart to yours.

Happy stitching! ~Christen

Slow Stitchin’ on Sunday Morning

In these posts I want to share some of my favorite pieces, which will include wall hangings, small works, pillows, purses, and just because pieces, enjoy!

6 3/4″ x 7 3/4″

Merrily We Go Around

This piece was featured in my book, The Embroidery Book, by C&T Publishing. I started with a square of linen fabric, and machine stitched a spiral in a variegated green thread. Then the slow stitching started. The embroidery is worked in cotton floss: four colors of green, and 13 flower colors. There are five flower designs, each with a a stalk and leaf, two vine designs, and one small flower. The eight stitched components were repeated over the spiral.

Embroidery Stitches Used

  • Stalks: outline stitch, lazy daisy stitch
  • Flowers: lazy daisy stitch flowers (3, 4, 5, and 6 petals) using the lazy daisy stitch and lazy daisy bullion tip stitch
  • Detail stitches: 3-wrap French knot stitch, straight stitch, fly stitch
  • Small flowers: French knot stitch flower, lazy daisy stitch
  • Vines: feather stitch, chain stitch, lazy daisy stitch
  • Details: 3-wrap French knot stitch

Happy Stitching to You! Christen

PS: If you wish to see more of my work, check out the Gallery section.

National Lace Day

October 1, 2022

I LOVE to work with lace, and have acquired a wonderful stash, many of the pieces were given to me by thoughtful family members and friends. A variety of techniques are used to create lace, by hand or machine, from natural or synthetic threads or yarns. The hand-made techniques use simple tools, such as a needle, wooden bobbins, crochet hook, tatting shuttle, or knitting needles, and I tend to collect these, but all lace is welcome in my home!

9″ x 10 3/4″

Creme de la Creme by Christen Brown

This is a collection of some of my favorite little scraps of lace, trims, doily bits, and pieces of a collar and cuff. I collage-pieced these bits onto a background of dupioni silk, then hand-stitched the pieces in place. The vignettes are comprised of silk ribbon embroidery floral components, groups of buttons with silk ribbon embroidery stitches, charms and other beaded components. This piece can be found in my book, The Embroidery Book, by C&T Publishing.

23 1/2″ x 19″

Girly Girls by Christen Brown

This entire collection of doilies, napkins, small serving place mats, and lace bits was given to me by friends and family members. The kid glove belonged to my grandmother, and my mother stitched the oval floral pieces. The earrings came from both of my husband’s grandmothers, and the jacquard ribbon from his mother. I collage-pieced and hand-stitched the base first, then added in the larger components, and ribbonwork flowers. The embroidery is worked with perle cotton, and beads. I also added in vintage buttons, jewelry bits, perfume vials, and and a safety pin with tea themed porcelain charms. This piece can be found in my new book, Creative Embroidery, Mixing the Old with the New, by C&T Publishing.

Photo by Felix Mayorca

Pearl’s Delight by Christen Brown

I stitched this simple jacket from a fun paisley print that I had found in a $1.00 a yard bin many, many, years ago. Every inch of the base is covered with bits of vintage machine made, tatted, and crochet lace that had been given to me by my friend Jeri. The sections of lace are embellished with ribbons, mother-of-pearl buttons and charms, freshwater pearls, glass beads, and glass pearls that came from an old necklace that belonged to my grandmother. This piece can be found in my new book, Creative Embroidery, Mixing the Old with the New, by C&T Publishing.

Here is a collection of some additional pieces that can be found in my new book, Creative Embroidery, Mixing the Old with the New, by C&T Publishing.

Happy Stitching, ~Christen

National Sewing Month

Day 24

Question: Do you like to add lace to your creations? For me that is a resounding yes! Here are a few ideas for you.

3 1/4″ x 6 3/4″

Spring Butterflies by Christen Brown

The little jewelry holder, is a perfect example of a small project that has a lot of punch. Two silk fabrics are strip-pieced together to create a base, which was then layered with vintage lace and butterfly appliques. The embroidery, which shadows the edges of the lace, is all worked in perle cotton. This project (pattern), Floral Garden Jewelry Holder, can be found in my book, Embroidered and Embellished, by C&T Publishing. Note: The design in the book is different than the one above.

This little block example is from my book, Hand Embroidery Dictionary, by C&T Publishing. It really gives you a close-up view of the stitches, that can be used when embroidering around a piece of lace or applique. The blanket and chain stitches can be worked around a curved shape with ease. Straight stitches can be used as decorative stitches worked inside small appliques. Remember to work the stitches within the open sections of the lace, or just around the outer edges. Don’t pierce the threads or stitching of the lace, as this may break down the fibers.

Sand Pebbles by Christen Brown

This piece showcases a beautiful vintage lace applique, that was stitched to a sand-colored cotton fabric. I embroidered the piece with several colors of Wildflower threads from the Caron Collection, then embellished the embroidered and lace sections with vintage and new glass beads, and jewelry findings. I bordered the outer edge with a piece of Hannah silk ribbon, and a few hand-blown glass beads. You can find this piece in my book, The Embroidery Book by C&T Publishing.

Happy Stitching, ~Christen

National Sewing Month

Day 22

Question: What sewer hasn’t heard of the Sunbonnet Sue? She appears in all kinds of ways, including quilts, small wall hangings and even pin keeps. The pretty little Sue below, belonged to my Grandmother, and as you can see, she is made from real felt. The Sue on the right is my version of the pin keep, working with synthetic felt, lace, buttons, ribbon and perle cotton.

Happy Stitching, ~Christen

National Sewing Month

Day 16

Question: What sewer does not have a favorite pin or needle keep? I wonder what these ladies used to keep their pins and needles safe from dropping on the floor and a husband finding it with their bare foot!

Here are a few of mine:

Gentle Ladies Needle Keep, has a crazy-pieced base, with the embroidery stitches worked in perle cotton, with button embellishments. The pincushion rests on top of a wooden spool, that has a length of felt attached, which is embellished with rickrack trim, buttons, and embroidery. Felt Needle Keep, and Thimble Holder, are made from solid and printed squares of synthetic felt, and embroidered with hand-dyed cotton threads from Artfabrik.

These are both examples of the pdf classes that I offer. Log Cabin Etui and Pincushion are pieced with that pattern and embroidered with perle cotton and cotton threads. Creative Thread Embroidery, is a class that covers raised and textured embroidery stitches, with a project that can be a needle keep, or a small purse.

Happy Stitching, ~Christen

National Sewing Month

Day 8

Question: Do you like to make and sew your own jewelry and adornments? I have a few suggestions including cuffs, bracelets and brooches, all use bits of this and that including fabric, lace, ribbons, and buttons.

Chantilly Lady’s Lace Cuff by Christen Brown

These are examples of what I call the wistful days gone by, reminiscent of tranquil days lounging on an overstuffed satin pouf, or demurely sashaying along a tree-lined avenue, parasol in hand. There are two styles to choose from that will be embellished with needle-tatted and crochet components, ribbonwork flowers, a few silk ribbon embroidery stitches, beads and buttons. The lace base and other components are dyed with Colorhue dyes.

silk ribbon, embroidery, bracelets

Tandleton Rose Bracelets by Christen Brown

You have two styles to choose from, both using a Tandleton base (pillow). The “Ring of Roses” is made up entirely of embroidered ribbon pillows, strung with beads and has a glass button for the closure. The “Band of Roses” is made from a ribbon base, layered with vintage lace and a few of the embroidered pillows; a dainty embroidered button and hand-stitched button loop are used for the closure.

ribbon work flowers and leaves

Scrumptious Hearts by Christen Brown

The base is created with bits of cherished lace and with silk fabric to form a beautiful heart shaped base for your floral design. Chose from a few different heart shapes and ribbon worked floral vignettes or create your own. This is an excellent way to use up small amounts of this and that to form an heirloom brooch to be treasured. The lace base and other components are dyed with Colorhue dyes.

Happy Stitching, ~Christen

National Sewing Month

Day 7

Question: 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.

Midnight in Paris by Christen Brown

I crazy pieced solid and printed cotton fabrics with satin ribbons and vintage laces that I dyed. The embroidery was worked in silk embroidery ribbons (4mm and 7mm), silk perle, perle cotton, and cotton floss. I combined these with vintage and new beads and charms, and vintage buttons, including metal, glass and shell. A ribbon border with beaded details was used to frame the piece.

Happy Stitching, ~Christen

National Sewing Month

Day 30

Question: Is your art influenced by other works of art? YES is my answer!

12 1/2″ x 13 3/4″

Misty Blue Hills by Christen Brown

This piece was created with a printed upholstery fabric that I had for many (many, many) years, that I used for the center, because of the great coloring and lines. I pieced the simple border with blue and creme colored printed fabrics. The embroidery stitching follows the pattern in the center, using the blanket and fly stitches netted, along with the chain stitch double, chain stitch cable, chain, herringbone, feather, stem, linked bullion, stem/outline fern, open chain, portugese knotted stem, palestrina knot, string of pearls, coral, running stitch whipped, snail trail, and scroll stitches. The detail stitches were the French knot, bell flower and stacked bead 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.

I wanted to show you the comparison of the two pieces that influenced Misty Blue Hills (first image). The second image is vintage purse, made from a beautiful piece of fabric with tiny bead embellishments. The third image is the very famous piece titled “The Great Wave off Kanagawa”. This is a woodblock print, that is also known as The Great Wave or simply The Wave, created by the Japanese ukiyo-e artist Hokusai.

This piece is the cover and can be seen in my new book Hand Embroidery Dictionary.

Here is a recap of the month, may you find inspiration! Happy Stitching, ~Christen

  1. September 1, 2021– Question: Who did you learn to sew from?
  2. September 2, 2021– Question: What was your favorite garment that was hand-sewn, and who sewed it for you?
  3. September 3, 2021– Question: I like to sew strips, and straight seams. What do you like to sew?
  4. September 4, 2021– Question: What fabric do you like to sew with?
  5. September 5, 2021– Question: What is your favorite sewing tool?
  6. September 6, 2021– Question: What kind of sewing machine did you learn to sew on, and, what kind of machine do you sew on now?
  7. September 7, 2021– 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?
  8. September 8, 2021– Question: When you work with a pattern do you follow the instructions, or do you interpret the instructions to fit your vision?
  9. September 9, 2021– Question: When you are stitching a pattern, do you strive for perfect seams, or do you cover up what was not perfect?
  10. September 10, 2021– Question: How do you choose a color pallet for a project?
  11. September 11, 2021– Rustic Americana, in Memory of 9/11
  12. September 12, 2021– Question: Do you sew functional forms or fabulous frivolities?
  13. September 13, 2021– Question: Do you like to work with solid color fabric, or prints?
  14. September 14, 2021– Question: Do you like to applique, if so, by machine or hand?
  15. September 15, 2021– Question: How do you choose a name for your project?
  16. September 16, 2021– Mystic Twighlight
  17. September 17, 2021– Variation on a Theme
  18. September 18, 2021– Charmed Square
  19. September 19, 2021– Lady Bird’s Bzzy Garden, and Lady Bird 2 by Christen Brown
  20. September 20, 2021– Psychedelic Balloons
  21. September 21, 2021– Big Leaves
  22. September 22, 2021– California Dreamin’
  23. September 23, 2021– Sand Pebbles
  24. September 24, 2021– Darling Motif Sampler
  25. September 25, 2021– Question: What sewer does not have a favorite needle keep, or pincushion.
  26. September 26, 2021– Question: What sewing enthusiast does not have a lot of precious scraps, that just can’t be thrown away?
  27. September 27, 2021– Wild Persimmons
  28. September 28, 2021– Question: What form of piecing do you prefer?
  29. September 29, 2021– Question: Do you plan out every detail, or do you approach your work with serendipity?