embroidery

sweet stitches

Sweet stitches by aneela hoey

I have a new book out!  Sweet Stitches is a whole book full of iron-on embroidery pattern transfers.  There are more than 250 designs and they couldn't be easier to use - simply cut out the pattern, iron on to fabric and start stitching!  If you'd like to see a preview of the book, take a look at the video below.

There is a huge variety of patterns included with everything from cute to stylish along with plenty of sewing and knitting themed patterns and more.. I've included designs that will appeal to both grown-ups and children, girls as well as boys.  Each of the transfers can be used several times.  So this book will keep you all busy!

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I've only just received my copy and this is one of the first pieces I've stitched.  I used Aurifil 12 wt wool thread and stitched on some yarn dyed linen

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Here are a few of the designs from the book that I stitched up for the cover.  

The book has started to arrive in stores in the US and will start to appear elsewhere soon.  Ask for it at your favourite quilt shop or book store.  If they don't have it, let them know they can order copies from C&T Publishing/Stash Books.  You can also find the book at Amazon and all the usual online retailers.

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Happy stitching!


sunflower tote

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I'm releasing a new sewing and embroidery pattern today called the Sunflower Tote.  This one came about as a result of two things - I wanted to start stitching some larger size projects and I seemed to always be in need another large size tote.  Why not address both these issues with one solution :)

I have plans to stitch up some more of these because this one has been in constant use already (so handy for taking packages off to the post office).  I'm also going to find it useful for my forthcoming sewing class, retreats, shopping...  I think with the colder months up ahead, these will be the perfect project to be working on.  I might even get some ready for gifts.

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The tote is really roomy and holds a ton of stuff.  I like my totes to be fairly flexible though so when it's not in use..
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It folds up neatly and compactly like this.  Perfect to take out and about in case you're in need of an extra bag.

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I used some Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in Steel to make this one and stitched it up using Aurifloss by Aurifil in the following colours - 4644, 2425, 2220, 1133, 5007,  2405, 2420, 1104, 2021.

I hope you'll make one too!

Happy stitching.


stitch into summer

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Something I've noticed myself and others doing more of these last couple of years is handwork.  This can take many forms including embroidery, applique, english paper piecing and more.  One of the biggest benefits of handwork is the ease of portability.  With summer fast approaching, days seem to fill up with activity.  There is so much coming and going, I sometimes go into a mild panic thinking 'where am I going to fit in some sewing?'.  A little stitching as we all know is hugely therapeutic and calming when life gets busy and stressful.  Often when I'm rushing around, it's too late to start making plans.  Therefore advance preparation can be a huge advantage.  This summer I have big embroidery plans - armed with a copy of my new book, my aim is to happily stitch away in the sunshine (or under a shady tree), on a park bench, waiting at a train station,  (more) waiting for little gymnasts to finish and so on.  Finally I'll be able to stitch without book deadlines and I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to that.  I've already started to pack up my sewing organizers with projects ready to stitch.  This involves getting some designs transferred to fabric and hooped up.  Then piling them into an organizer along with a small kit of tools and flosses.  Everything is ready and waiting for whenever I need an emergency sewing fix to throw into a bag and literally run out of the door.  Please note that I am only ever this organized about things I like to do :)

One thing that I'm hopeful of is to convince more of you to try out embroidery.  If you already like to sew and have never tried it (or tried a long time ago) then I'm talking directly to you.  Embroidery is nothing more than stitching with colourful thread.  You can start by learning just one stitch and completing entire embroideries using just that one stitch.  You can learn more if you want to, mix things up and get as experimental as you'd like.  My book has all the info you'll need to get started even if you've never stitched before.  Just think, with a little organization, you can pack up a little stitching kit to keep yourself busy and by the end of summer you could have a nice little pile of stitched pieces ready to sew into projects (and my book has all the instruction for that part too).

To get things rolling, some idea's for organizing.  My Book And Tool Folio (pattern from my previous book Stitched Sewing Organizers) is perfect for stitching on the go.  You can easily fit a copy of my book, some hooped up fabric, threads and needles and you're ready to go.

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If you want to take a larger selection of floss with you, my Booklet Pouch easily holds at least 25 spools of aurifloss (and that's the small size pouch).

I hope you're ready to stitch your way through summer!


Stitching to sew

Buttercup pouch  from Stitch And Sew book by Aneela Hoey

I'd like to share a closer look at some of the projects and thinking behind my new book Stitch And Sew.  My original idea was that the book should include fresh, modern looking designs that had a grown up appeal.  I wanted the designs to be pretty but not overtly sweet and saccharine.  Most of the patterns originated from drawings in my sketchbook, which I developed in various pattern formations.  At the time I'd been playing around with the idea of mirrored repeats for fabric design but quickly realized that these also had great potential to be used for embroidery patterns.

I had also been thinking a lot about planning my projects better so that once I'd finished stitching up a pattern it didn't get stashed away and forgotten.  I concluded that if I could come up with some quick, simple sewing patterns that could really showcase the stitched pieces I'd solve that problem easily.  All I had to do was to develop a sequence of steps that kept the sewing project in mind when starting the embroidery.  Once the piece was completed I could cut out the remaining pieces and sew up the project.  Since all of the projects are designed to be used, it was also important that they should be durable and this needed to be addressed through the choice of fabric.  I picked out some Essex Yarn Dyed linen in Black by Robert Kaufman and used this to stitch up my first pattern idea and the result of that is the Buttercup drawstring pouch in the photo above.  As soon as I had finished making this project, I instantly knew I was working along the right lines and that this should serve as a blueprint for developing the other patterns in the new book.

Buttercup pouch 2  from Stitch And Sew book by Aneela Hoey

I learnt so much along the way, even as someone who stitches a lot.  There is always something new to learn!  I kept a notebook of everything I found useful to know as I sewed my way through the projects and included all this information in the basics section of the book. 

Vintage pouch  from Stitch And Sew book by Aneela Hoey

Here are some of the other pattern variations for the Drawstring Pouch project.  The above design is called Vintage and is stitched in cross stitch on unbleached calico fabric.  I've added detail with some lawn and cotton for the channel and ties respectively. Below is the Colorwork design which uses a variety of stitches and techniques for fun, playful effects.  

Colorwork pouch  from Stitch And Sew book by Aneela Hoey

I contrasted the yarn dyed linen with some corduroy and leather for this one, along with some super soft flannel on the inside (leftover from backing a quilt).

Colorwork pouch 3 from Stitch And Sew book by Aneela Hoey

Circles pouch  from Stitch And Sew book by Aneela Hoey

Finally, for today's post is the Circles pattern.  Another sampler style project, using a variety of stitches but only shades of pink this time.

I hope you've found something in today's post to inspire you to create!   

Stitch And Sew is now starting to arrive in shops.


Stay Gold embroidery

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I've been working away on a couple of new embroidery pieces in the evenings.  It's been relaxing just stitching simple stitches without over thinking things, I always enjoy mindless stitching the best.  Daytime activity has been more than stressful lately and I'm finding more and more that I need to balance things out with activities that can be soothing to practice.  

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The Stay Gold embroidery floss collection I put together for Aurifil has just started to arrive in stores.

I also got around to stitching up a new pouch to house my floss colours in.  This is the See It All Pouch pattern from my new book, it keeps everything together plus you can see all the pretty stuff you have in there.  The pattern for the needlebook in the first photo can also be found in the book.

A pattern set for both the embroideries above can be found here.

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I also stitched up a new version of my Springtime pattern.  This one has a lot more going on in terms of stitches plus it's fun revisting something you've already stitched.  I'm probably going to make this one a few times and then use the finished pieces together in a throw or something.

That's the plan anyhow!


stay gold aurifloss box

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I'm excited to share that I've collaborated with Aurifil once more to put together a collection of all my favourite Aurifloss colours.  The shades co-ordinate perfectly with my forthcoming Stay Gold fabric line and I've also included a free pattern insert to stitch the mini sampler embroidery shown.

Perfect if your looking for a new project for those on the go summer months :)

You can find a limited number of the boxes available here.

Happy Stitching!

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springtime

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I've been bitten badly with the embroidery bug the past few weeks.  I'm sure it has everything to do with getting excited about even the tiniest amounts of sunshine each day.  That and also that I seem to be on a mission to make my world a little prettier.  So that is how I came to stitch up this little number -  I'm calling it my Springtime embroidery.

I can't even begin to describe how happy stitching up this little embroidery has made me.  It really has put the proverbial spring in my step (or maybe that should be stitch?).

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Anyhow, since I've been getting an increasing amount of emails asking for new embroidery patterns, I thought that I should start by writing one up for this.  I put a lot of time into including colour and stitching charts as well as instructions for how I stitched up each of the flowers and also the instructions for each of the stitches I used (phew!).  Did I mention that everything is illustrated in colour too??

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The pattern can be found here.

Happy stitching!


blooms

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I don't know about you but I'm eager for the return of spring - I'm feeling I've had enough of my hats, mittens and thermals for now.  If you are feeling likewise, let's celebrate the oncoming season with a little embroidery and a free Blooms embroidery pattern.  Written by me and available for you to download now from the aurifil blog :)

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If you stitch one up, I would love to see your version!  Please use the hashtags #bloomsembroidery and #aneelahoey if uploading to instagram or add to my flickr group.

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Let's hope the real spring comes soon.

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Happy stitching!


cinnamon

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Things have been very busy over here and they are set to get even busier next week.  So while I still had the time of a chance I decided to make up a few festive cushions.  These are not so much early but long overdue as I had them planned in my head for last year and they just didn't happen to happen.

So taking my cue from that experience, I decided to keep it simple.  No tricky quilting gymnastics just easy peasy squares.

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And a frame in frame job for my little Winter Snow -man out on his sleigh. 

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This one only took about 6 months of hand sewing when I felt like it, which happened quite often enough to make it happen thankfully.  All fabrics are of course my Cherry Christmas line for Moda fabrics. 

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And back to quick and easy and a little bit of stripping. Piecing that is.  

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So all is quietly getting ready and prepared for a few weeks from now but meanwhile the sofa situation looks like this.  Decor is getting the winter's touch with just a hint of festive (for now anyway).


Winter Snow

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Now that we are into November already, I am really in the mood for some cosy stitching time whilst snuggled up in front of the fire sitting as close to the radiator as I can. This little embroidery of a red coated girl pulling along her snowman chum on his sleigh was originally stitched up for a Christmas magazine feature last year. I'd forgotten all about it and then stumbled across it in my embroidery box and thought it would be perfect to stitch up into a quick cushion for my festive sofa decorating this year.  I'm thinking of bordering it in one of my Cherry Christmas prints.......maybe one of the red ones?

In the meantime if you are feeling the urge to curl up with a little project of your own to stitch, may I suggest this one?  You can find the pattern here.

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