Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Detached Chain filling - How to

Do you remember this one....?

I am putting the final touches to 'Apple Thief' and if all goes to plan the kits will be in the SHOP in the next two weeks - Yes, in time for Christmas!
I still haven't made this little piece into anything, but with the festive season fast approaching I am thinking that perhaps, just perhaps, I made make it into something just a little bit Christmassy - I don't know???

While working on the notes it occurred to me that I haven't seen Detached chain stitch used as a filling the way I used it for the goat's fleece anywhere else. I did share a few Work In Progress photos when I was working on the project, but they are not all that clear so I have put together some better step-by-step pics if you would like to try it:

Detached Chain Filling

Before you start, you will need to rule parallel lines across the shape you want to fill - this makes it easier to get the stitches even.
The spacing will depend a bit on the type of thread you use. I have spaced them approximately 3mm ( 1/8") apart for crewel yarn on the goat and for the perle 5 cotton use here.

1. Stitch detached chains (lazy daisy) side by side between the lower two lines.
NOTE - the stitches are spaced slightly more than the thread width.
For each stitch, bring the thread to the front on the upper line and take the needle to the back through the same hole.
2. Emerge on the lower line, inside the thread loop.
3. Secure the chain with a short anchoring stitch.
NOTE - I have make these a little longer, but if you wanted a smooth lower edge, go to the back just over the loop.

4. Continue to the other side, keeping the stitches (relatively) evenly spaced.
5. Bring the next colour to the front on the line above and midway between two stitches on the first row.
6. Bring the needle to the front on the line below, midway between the previous stitches.

7. Secure the chain with a long anchoring stitch, taking the needle to the back on the bottom line.
8. Continue to place a stitch between each of the previous in this way.
9. When you get to the other side, rest the thread. Bring the first colour to the front on the next line above.
NOTE - to 'rest' your thread, simply bring it to the right side a short distance from where you are working and unthread the needle. That way you can easily pick the re-thread it later and continue stitching.

10. Stitching back across the shape, place a detached chain between each of the previous the same way you did before.
11. Continue to fill the shape this way until reaching the top.
12. To neaten the upper edge, place a straight stitch between each of the detached chains. for each stitch, bring the thread to the front on the outline and take it to the back between the stitches - that way a avoid accidentally splitting the detached chains.

Of course you can use as many colours as you like. I used the same stitch for this hill and changed the shade for every row. By placing the detached chains with the anchoring stitches facing upwards, I had instant grass along the top of the hill.

Happy Stitching,
Anna X

PS - if you have not already done so, (of if you missed my Last Post) don't forget to add your name HERE to go into the draw to win 1 of 20 amazing needlecraft goodies.
 How fab would that be just in time for Christmas???

By signing up, you will also be sure not to miss out when the Handmade with Love Super Bundle with 200+ needlecraft patterns and tutorials goes on sale on 27 November. I am super excited to be part of it and I am sure you will find more than one pattern you will want to stitch/quilt/applique/crochet... More details with a complete list of patterns will be released on 27 November so it is definitely worth having a look at..

Sunday, November 19, 2017

I am all Bundled up

I know, I don't normally share this sort of stuff but please bear with me...

... a few months ago I received an email out of the blue, asking if Brother Rabbit and I would be interested in being part of an 'Ultimate Bundle'.
It is always a little exciting when my pieces are 'discovered' to be part of something, but to be honest, most times even though it is flattering, I decline. Not because I don't like participating or sharing, but in most cases it a bit of an 'All for Nothing' scenario... I am sure you get what I mean. Anyway...

(...If you have already lost interest or (unlike me) know how these Bundles work, please feel free to stop reading.. the end of the story is I am really excited to be part of the 2017 Handmade with Love Super Bundle).

... perhaps I have been living under a rock but I had never heard of Ultimate Bundles and the invitation suggested a little more than 'next to nothing' so I was curious enough to have a closer look at what it was all about.
This is what I found out from a Q & A session with Mr Google:
Q: 'what is Ultimate Bundles'
A: Ultimate Bundles are basically a collection of e-books, courses and digital resources packaged together and sold at a discounted price for a short time. There are different types of Bundles, each with its specific theme usually priced between $30 - $100.

OK overall it doesn't sound all that different to other 'invites' I have received. Still sceptical - 'If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is', right? so next question:

Q: 'are Ultimate Bundles any good'
A: I found quite a few answers to my questions HERE and have condensed it a bit:
1. Legit or Scam? 
NO the Ultimate Bundle is NOT a Scam.
(Me: 'Nice to know - Feeling better')
2. Amazing deal or Marketing ploy? 
The contents of the Bundles is heavily discounted (up to 95% off). It may or may not be a good deal depending on what you are looking for. If you only need/want one or two items in a bundle you may be better off buying them individually but if more of the contents is useful to you, Yes it is a good deal.
(Me: OK so my pattern will sit with other sorts of related patterns and projects and people who don't know my work and kits will see it - that is a good thing)
4. How can it be so cheap? 
The Bundles are sold at such high discounts because most of the products are digital, which means they are not costing anything (or very, very little) to produce.
Each Bundle is only available for a short time and everyone who is part of the Bundle help share the news and sell the Bundle so it is not costing anything to market or promote.
(Me: all I need to do is supply contents and tell people about it - I am actually being part of it instead of having no control over what happens to my pattern after I send it off. I like that idea)
4. How does it work?
Participants supply ready to go digital material and help sell the Bundle in return for a decent 70% of the sales they generate (back to the top most companies offer much, much less or nothing for designers/bloggers).
(Me: Hmmm, so it is kind of 'Collective selling' - a bit like a collective shop where everyone takes turn in manning the counter and get a share in the takings. My work will be exposed to people who would not otherwise have seen it). 

If you have come this far down the page, I thank you for your interest and patience!!!
At the end it seemed like a great opportunity to introduce my work to more and perhaps new stitchers and you may not be surprised to read I accepted the invitation. My Brother Rabbit pattern is now a proud part of the Handmade with Love Super Bundle, available 27 November - 12 December.

I have been lucky enough to get a complete set of the Bundle to preview... Oh boy, where to start???? ... There is Applique, Crochet, Cross stitch, Embroidery, Fibre Arts, Knitting, Quilting and Sewing!
I will tell you more about what is in this Super Bundle next week, when it goes on sale (the patterns and tutorials are pretty amazing and I am so proud to have Brother Rabbit in such good company).


Before releasing the Bundle, the good 'Bundle People' are running a fabulous GIVEAWAY giving everyone the chance to WIN 1 of 20 Amazing Prizes (total value $4000).

It will be up to you to see if this bundle is any good for you and the crafts you enjoy, but there is no harm in winning a few extra goodies while you are waiting to see what is included, is there??

Good Luck
Anna x

Friday, November 17, 2017

Bits & Pieces

If there is one thing I really, really, really don't like it is doing paperwork! I keep putting it off until 'tomorrow' or 'the next day' or 'next week' until the pile is massive and it takes me ages to plough through it all - each time promising myself never ever to let it happen again.. Sigh, but I did it again!
I have spend almost all day steadily working my way through it and now it is done... happy dance!

After that, I just have to do something nice and enjoyable, like having a chat...

I have been doing bits & pieces since my last post, including an teeny, weeny bit of stitching and just wanted to show you some of what I have been up to...

I have been writing the instructions and drawing diagrams for my latest goldwork project. It is almost ready to go to the printers so I can begin to put the kits together. I am thinking of calling it 'Twilight Sonnet'.. what do you think? I would love to hear your suggestions, as you know I am absolutely hopeless at naming anything...

... well not everything. This one is 'Rose Hips' I started this new crewel project and am really enjoying stitching something a little bigger and easier after the gold bird.

I stitched all last night, which was just wonderful.

Only the top flower and the tendril that forms the ground are left to do. I should be able to finish it this week...

... and I have been going around in circles. Literally!
I am having so much fun with trying to stitch each circle differently. I must admit it is not as easy as I thought it might be.
So far I have used: Blanket stitch (surprise, surprise) in various ways, Chain stitch, Detached chain, French knots, Feather stitch, Stem stitch, Satin stitch and Twisted chain stitch... not sure what to try next?

Last week I showed you how some of the other Stitch Trees are coming along. This is how mine is looking. I have no idea what I will do with it when it is finished - for now, I am simply enjoying stitching it.

Best Stitches,
Anna X