Chickens!

I love to do needlework by hand. It is one of my favourite ways to pass the time. But, I also really enjoy using my embroidery machine. It can create effects that I don’t have the skill to do by hand.

I stitched out these two tea towels as a gift for my dad for Father’s Day. The designs are Hen Sketch Wreath and Rooster Sketch Wreath from Embroidery Library. They are stitched on some Aunt Martha’s flour sack towels using a very cheap spool of thread from SuperB.

Sketch Chickens tea towels from Embroidery Library

Check out a close-up of the hen towel. I love the sketch style.

Sketch Chickens tea towels – closeup

Because these designs are very light, and because these are towels that will (hopefully) be used, I used some lightweight tear-away stabilizer (from SuperPunch). There wasn’t any need for lots of stabilization or for a covering since these towels are nice and smooth.

Like every other Embroidery Library design I’ve made, these stitched out just lovely. I’m really looking forward to making a few towels for my own kitchen.

1 Comment | Posted in Machine Embroidery | Tagged ,

Smalls SAL – July 2018 Check-In

Hello, Stitchy Friends. Can you believe it? The Smalls SAL post is up on time. (I know many of you are located overseas so it seems a bit late to you, but I’m on Eastern time and it is still early Friday morning for me. 😉 )

The design I stitched this month was something that wasn’t in my little pile of projects to do. I came across in in the /r/CrossStitch subReddit, and as soon as I saw it I knew I had to stitch it.

f=”http://stitchinglotus.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/I-Practise-Stitchcraft-WitchyStitcher-July-2018.jpg”> I Practise Stitchcraft, designed by WitchyStitcher[/capt

The pattern is I Practice Stitchcraft from WitchyStitcher on etsy. I made a few changes, like changing practice to practise (in Canada we spell the verb form of the work with an s most of the time, but like most Canadian-specific spelling this can vary). I also changed the needles to Kreinik, and I did long stitches for the thread bobbins (rather than the charted cross stitches).

The fibres are DMC and Kreinik and the fabric is 32ct Lugana in colourway Witches Night from Enchanting Lair.

So, what did you stitch this month? Is it Christmas in July for you? Or maybe Halloween in July? Maybe you stitched something summery, or it was time for winter designs to help you keep your mind off the heat. Head to the bottom of this post and add you link to the list.

When adding your link, please remember to link to the post where you share your finish and not to the front page of your blog. Also, please be sure to use a picture of your small as your thumbnail.

The link list will remain open to new entries until about midnight Eastern time on August 4th. And, for every month you add a link to your finished small you get an entry for the end of the year drawn.

Next Month

The next Smalls SAL check-in post will go live on Friday, August 31st.

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6 Comments | Posted in Cross Stitch | Tagged , , , , ,

WIP Wednesday – Christmas and Halloween

Hello again, Stitchy Friends! Thank you so much for the warm welcome back to the world of blogging. I’m very sorry that some of you were worried. I didn’t intend for my break to be so long. As usual, the days somehow slipped away and before I knew it over two months had passed.

Today I thought I’d show some of what I’ve been working on. Longtime readers may remember that I’ve been stitching stockings for my family members (my parents, my son, my husband, and myself). I’m currently working on the last one (yay!), which is for my husband. Here’s my progress so far:

The design is Candy Cane Stocking, designed by Dimensions. I’m stitching it with all the materials included in the kit and I think it is turning out great! I’m so happy I’m finally past the halfway point. I feel pretty confident that I’ll have it done in time. My goal is December 1st, but my absolute deadline is obviously Christmas Eve.

I’m also in a Halloween mood (when aren’t I?), so I’m working on a little project with my embroidery machine. I’ve only got a few panels done so far, but when I get the time it will be assembled into a really cool layered design. (Check it out here.)

I’ve also got some pretty cool Cricut projects on the go, but right now they are just piles of paper which isn’t at all interesting to look at. I’ll share them soon though, along with a look at my newest craft room tool. (Check out my Instagram for a sneak peek!)

7 Comments | Posted in Cross Stitch, Machine Embroidery | Tagged , , , ,

Smalls SAL – April, May, and June 2018 Check-Ins

Hello, Stitchy Friends! Thank you for sticking with me through my unexpected (and far too long) break. I needed some time away from blogging, social media, and all that other stuff and when I got away from it I found I wasn’t to eager to return. But, ultimately I missed all my stitch friends and the inspiration I get from seeing your projects.

I’m back in business again. I’m crafting and soon I’ll be back to posting here, on Twitter (@StitchingLotus), and on Instagram (@stitchinglotus). If you don’t already follow me on Twitter and/or Instagram, please consider doing so. And, please leave your Twitter and Instagram names in the comments below so I can follow you.

On to the finishes! I’m share my April, May, and June projects in one post.

Dove’s Eye and Weaving, designed by Victoria Sampler

For April I stitched an old Victoria Sampler from their Beyond Cross Stitch Learning Series. The piece is BSC #5-3 Dove’s Eye and Weaving. I’ve done both of these techniques before on several occasions, so I stitched the design because I really loved it not because it was a teaching piece. (If you want to learn dove’s eyes, this would be a good piece to stitch.) It is stitched on evenweave using DMC and Kreinik threads along with a few Mill Hill beads.

Pizza Slice, designed by Mill Hill

For May I stitched Pizza Slice, one of the new kits from Mill Hill’s 2018 Autumn Harvest series. It is stitched as per the chart using the fibres, paper, and beads included in the kit. I finished the back with a piece of tan felt and attached the magnet that comes in the kit.

Moonlit Night, designed by Mill Hill

And finally, for June I stitched Moonlit Night, another new kit from Mill Hill’s 2018 Autumn Harvest collection. And, again, it is stitched as per the chart with the materials in the kit. I finished the back with black felt and added a hanging cord using leftover floss from the kit.

So, what have you been stitching? I’ve really missed seeing everyone’s finished pieces. Below you will find three different check-in forms, one for each month I missed. Please feel free to enter your finishes in the correct month, or just enter all three of them in June (or two, or one depending on how many you completed). Each list will stay open to new entries until about midnight Eastern time on July 18th. So, you’ve got lots of time to dig up your old posts and share them. Also, please spread the word on your blog, Instagram, and Twitter that I am back in business. I really, really appreciate your support.

Like always, you will get one entry into the end of the year draw for each month you share a finish.

April 2018 Check-In

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May 2018 Check-In

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June 2018 Check-In

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Next Check-In

The next check-in will take place on Friday, July 27th. And I promise I won’t miss it.

16 Comments | Posted in Cross Stitch | Tagged , , , ,

Vinyl Shirts with Cricut EasyPress and Mat

I love my Cricut Explore Air 2. I love that it allows me to do paper crafts, cut fabric (yes, even with an Explore Air 2), and vinyl projects. Honestly, making my own shirts with iron-on vinyl is one of the best things ever!

Two shirts made with vinyl cut on a Cricut Explore Air 2 and adhered wtih a Cricut EasyPress

This week I made a couple of t-shirts for my little guy–one to celebrate his favourite hobby (way of life?) and one in anticipation of our upcoming trip.

Vinyl all on its own carrier sheets, but trimmed so they can be layered together so it can all be ironed on at once.

Once the vinyl is cut out (don’t forget to mirror the design!) and weeded, it’s time to adhere it to the t-shirts. I’m using 100% cotton shirts from Gildan. In the case of the Eat, Sleep… design, I trimmed up the carrier sheets so that I could layer everything together and adhere it all at once.

Just fold the shirt in half to find the centre and crease with a hot EasyPress (or iron)

I just folded the shirts in half to find the centre and did the same with the vinyl. Then I laid the t-shirt on the EasyPress mat, lined up the vinyl and added heat and pressure with my EasyPress.

The right temperature and time settings, plus a little weight of my own, and everything sticks perfectly

You know your vinyl has adhered if you can see the texture of the fabric in the vinyl. If you can’t, apply the EasyPress again (using a Teflon sheet if you have removed your carrier sheet). Once you can see the texture, flip the shirt over and apply heat from the back to be totally sure it has fully adhered.

The texture of the shirt is clearly visible in the vinyl

When working with iron-on vinyl it is super important to know if your vinyl is hot or cool peel. Siser Easyweed can be peeled either hot or cold, Vinyl Frog and Cricut vinyl are both cool peel. If you peel them while still hot, it is likely you will pull them off the surface you’ve adhered them too. Take your time and read all the directions, especially when working with a new brand of vinyl.

The Cricut EasyPress Mat! Simple, but it makes things so much easier.

The EasyPress makes it so simple to adhere the vinyl to the t-shirts. Cricut has figured out the time and temperature required, and the weight of the EasyPress (plus a bit of leaning on it) gives you the right weight too.  The EasyPress mat provides a 12″x12″ surface for the 9″ square EasyPress. It is comprised of several layers that work together to reflect back heat and keep your craft desk safe.

Cricut EasyPress and Mat, a match made in vinyl crafting heaven

I used a combination of Siser, Vinyl Frog, and CreativXP vinyl to make the shirts. I’m a huge fan of Siser vinyl because it is easy to weed and it adheres really, really well. But, I’m also always on the lookout for a deal, and the price was right for the Vinyl Frog and CreativXP vinyl (both available on Amazon.ca). You can get the Eat, Sleep, Game, Repeat SVG from LoveSVG for free, and the Disney vinyl is available through AMPStudio on Etsy. The EasyPress and EasyPress Mat are both available at most major craft stores and through Cricut’s website.

4 Comments | Posted in Cricut, Vinyl | Tagged , , ,

WIP Wednesday – Putting on the Gloves

Hi, Stitchy Friends! It’s Wednesday again, so it’s time to share my current work-in-progress.

Candy Cane Stocking, designed by Dimensions (WIP)

The final stocking is coming along nicely. Santa’s first glove has just made its appearance. So much of the stocking so far has been half stitched, but Santa himself is mostly whole stitches, so I’m going to be slowing down a bit now.

More fun stuff tomorrow!

6 Comments | Posted in Cross Stitch | Tagged , , ,

Smalls SAL – March 2018 Check-In

Hello, Smalls Stitchers! Thank you so much for joining me for yet another Smalls SAL check-in.

If you are new, you may want to check out all the rules and other info about the Smalls SAL over here. But, in a nutshell, the Smalls SAL is a monthly stitch along where we all stitch a small design (stitcher’s choice) and gather here once a month to share our finishes. No need to participate every month. Feel free to join in whenever you have time and a finished small.

Tea Time Bunny Tiny Tin Cover, from Lori Brimingham Designs

This month I stitched up an old, old kit–Tea Time Bunny Tiny Tin Cover from Lori Brimingham Designs.  And (can you believe it!) I even finished it up! The design is stitched over one on white evenweave with DMC floss. It is then glued to the top of an Altoid Tiny Tin. Remember those? It isn’t my best finishing job, but I think it looks very sweet anyway.

So, what did you stitch this month? With Easter so close, I’m sure we will see more than a few bunnies! Head towards the bottom of this post to add your link to the list. Be sure to use a picture of your finished small. Also, please be sure to use the permalink for your Smalls SAL post, not the link to the front page of your blog.

The link list will remain open to new entries until about midnight Eastern time on Friday, April 6th. Be sure to get your link in before then. For every month you share a link to a finished small you get an entry into the end of the year draw.

Next Month

The next Smalls SAL check-in will take place on Friday, April 27th.

Thanks again, so much, for stitching along with me.

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10 Comments | Posted in Cross Stitch | Tagged , ,