Embroidery & Quilts


What a crazy time in our lives with the drastic changes to our everyday hustle and bustle do to the illness that is affecting most of the world.   Most of us are being asked or compelled to stay indoors, our ability to work has been altered, and for sure we miss the association with family and friends.  We were in California when the state cancelled everything, then our home state of Utah closed down...and then more and more.  By the time we came home, we we felt lucky to find food in four different grocery stores and even more fortunate to have a box of toilet paper from Grove on our doorstep.


After unloading our van, which was loaded with 600 kits for our California Pinners classes (which didn't happen) and cleaning the house from top to bottom, we both took a deep breath and our hearts felt heavy.  Heavy for everyone whose lives have been changed, and especially for those who are sick and lost.   It took a day or two to get into a new rhythm.  Mike had to restructure a few of his remodeling jobs and I had to cancel most of my teaching/workshops for the spring.  And once that was through, all I wanted to do was go pick up this Flourish embroidery hoop with all of it's warmth and familiarity and stitch.

Hand stitching is a comfort to me.  I picked it up as a single mom years ago, and stitched my way to sanity and a little joy with each piece I worked.   I have found that when life gets turned upside down, finding something you love to do with your hands that is simple and familiar can settle what seams out of control.  It seems like each stitch is one thought going up through the fabric of consciousness and then back through the cloth and out of mind.  

I have been working on our Flourish Wildflower Embroidery Hoop for two years, which makes if even more loved.  Slow stitching at it's best.  This month's flower is the Salvia which is a member of the Sage family and it represents the virtue of grace.  I though about how grace fits into this time in our lives.  If you take the meaning of grace as being accepted for where you are, loved for who you are, and acceptance.  It makes perfect sense this value is something we all need right now.

Each of us has been affected by the virus that has changed our world, and we all handle it in different ways at different times.  One moment we feel energetic to make a difference and the next we can feel like the world is heavy on our shoulders.  I have to admit, high stress slows me down, until I get back in a grove.  I accept this about myself.  I refuse to judge myself for the feeling that weigh my heart down at moments.  I choose to give myself a little grace, forgive the negative thought and choose a better way.  It is all grace...all love.

When I went to stitch this sample, I decided to through a curve and add thin silk ribbon to the varied blue blossoms instead of embroidery floss.  I wanted a little extra texture to the Lazy Daisy stitches, and I am happy with how it turned out.  You can watch a highlight video on my Instagram on how to stitch them with silk OR you can go to the Tweetle Dee You Tube Channel and watch how to stitch the Lazy Daisies with floss.  Either choice will be beautiful.

The stem was a simple Back Stitch with a variegated floss which I then wove a secondary thread through each of the stitches to give the stem a little extra texture.   


The leaves are a little different.  If you look closely at the leaves of the Salvia flower they have delicate little "barbs" of them.  So, I created a base for both leaves with a Satin stitch across the width of the leaf, following the shape to the points.  Once that was filled in, I made simple stitches up the center to create the "vein", then I made long straight stitches from outside the satin stitched edge into the center to meet up with each of the straight stitches.  

This created the little "barbs" and added a little something extra.  The thread I used was a varigated pearl cotton type thread from Sue Spargo  called Eleganza Bird's Eye.  I love her thread collection for embroidery.  The way her pearl cotton is woven creates quick color variations and it is silky smooth to embroider with.  Plus, let's talk about the dimension it brings to my embroidery!  No other floss can give the umph her's does.


The silk ribbons I used were from a company named Thread Nanny.  They offer collections of thin dyed silk ribbons that come on spools.  This is helpful because it eliminates some tangling and ware that comes when suppliers "bunch" up their ribbons.  Pulling their ribbon off a spool makes it smooth and straight, ready for stitching.  

Of course, the word "grace" is stitched in Ecru DMC Pearl Cotton and is made with a simple back stitch...tiny stitches needed to get around the curves.  

To download the patter for the Salvia & Grace Flourish Wildflower, right click on the image and print it OR you can trace it right off of your tablet screen onto your fabric with a Pilot Frixion Pen.

I speak for both of us in wishing you all the love, protection, and blessings you need to get through this health situation.  If you need a virtual hug, reach out to us through a DM or email.  We love you and thank you for your support for our little home business.  It was created out of love and we hope you find some inspiration and hope here.

Keep celebrating, dreaming and creating  








A field of flowers, a basket of weeds and a wilting seed pod all the bounties of the mountain we live on and love and now they are forever sealed into our hand dyed stitching cloth and in Our Shop for you to stitch, piece, and quilt with.
Tweetle Dee Hand Dyed Stitching Cloth

The inspiration for the Hand-Dyed Stitching Cloth came from my boredom with flat colored embroidery cloth.  You know I love depth of color and texture in all of my work whether it is in paint layers, hand- variegated threads, or fabric, I want my pieces to look well-loved, or vintage.  I adore the faded colors of these stitching pieces.  

With each batch we brewed, the colors out of hiding and the water baths were like a cherished prize wine.  As the cotton linens were added to the pots we could see those beautiful living colors blend into the fibers making each piece unique with the folds of the fabric and pockets of dye.


This process is done for each batch of stitching cloth.  It takes a lot of love and time to make each full fat or half fat perfect.  We fell in love with this little bit of extra to each of my embroidery pieces.  As you stitch you will too,  knowing that those colors came from a hand picked bloom, seed, or weed  and now add that little something special to your embroidery or quilt piece.



You can purchase all twelve colors in The Shop in a Full-Fat 22" x 22" and a Half-Fat 11" x 11".  Whether you use them for quilting, slow stitching or embroidery, you will love stitching with these fabrics!  




One of my favorite quilts of all time was this super simple Kaleidoscope of Fabrics Quilt that I made with my daughter.  She loved boho florals and did not want them cut up into little pieces.  All she wanted was them framed so each block print stood out.  Most of us have a collection of prints we just can't think of cutting up, and this simple and quick quilt if the perfect pattern to show case them.  It is also a super simple quilt for beginners!


 This quilt only took two hours to make (minus the shopping and machine quilting)...and is so easy that anyone could make it.  It is a throw size (64 x 85)...perfect for a bench, couch, or corner of a bed.
Materials

12 fat quarters
1 3/4 of fabric for sashing (borders)
5 yards for the back &
3/4 for the binding
Cotton batting (twin size)
Thread, rotary cutter, mat, ruler, iron

Instructions

1.  Trim all of the fat quarters to 18 inches square using you rotary cutter, mat and ruler.  Press.

2.  To make the sashing (in-between borders), cut 15 strips of fabric 3 1/2 inches wide.  Then cut across four of the strips to make eight pieces that are 3 1/2 x 18 inches wide.

3.  Cut three of the long strips in half and sew five of the half pieces to the ends of five strips to make  five strips that are 3 1/2 x 59 inches long.

4.  Cut one more strip in half and sew each half-piece to the ends of two strips to make the side borders.

5.  Press all of the strips.

6.  Lay out all of the 18" squares on a floor or large surface in the pattern you would like.  

7.  Using a 1/4" seam, sew one 18" long sashing strip to the side of the top left block square (right sides together).  Press.

8.  With right sides together again...sew the next block square to the other side of the 18" strip.  Press.

9.  Continue this process until all four of your rows are stitched together.

10.  Then you will take the top row and carefully pin one of the 59" long strips to the bottom of the row (right sides together) and using a 1/4" inch seam, stitch it together.  Press. 

11.  Sew the row together using the remaining 59" sashing strips.

12.  After the rows are sewn together you will pin the top border and bottom border to the top and bottom rows and sew together.  Press.

13.  Lay out the remaining two long strips onto the quilt top and pin to the top (right sides together).  Make sure the seams in the border strips are laying where you want them to.  Trim off any of then excess border...and stitch together.  Press.  Hurrah...you quilt top if now done!!!

14.  Measure the baking fabric and seam it together to cover the edges of the top of the quilt.  Make sure you leave 3 to four inches all the way around for your machine quilter to use in her quilting process.  

15.  Iron the top, and back using a spray starch for a little stiffness.  This will help the quilter as well.

To finish the quilt either machine quilt it or enjoy the process of slow stitching it together.   I had a dear friend quilt mine with an all over floral pattern that matched the flowers in the block squares.  A special polka-dot block had a heart stitched into it.  

16.  Once you have it quilted, you will want to bind it.  Cut eight strips 2 1/2 inches wide for your binding.  You can find instructional videos on binding techniques on the web....maybe I will need to make one myself.


This darling quilt was made with love for your daughter and has been shared with her family and friends on picnic, beaches visits, and whenever a warm "hug" from home was needed.  It was so easy to make it is the perfect quilt to make as a gift.  So find your favorite collection of fat quarters and start sewing your own Kaleidoscope of fabrics into a quilt of your own.





One of the best parts of my job is getting to try new things and though I am not new to weaving (see previous posts), making a weaving loom on an embroidery hoop was completely new to me!  After testing it out, I am in love with this form of weaving.  If you have used a loom before, you know that it can be somewhat precise with a little bit of randomness, but when you create a loom out of a simple embroidery hoop, all of your weaving becomes random!  Which you know if my thing.

Randomness with tons of texture is really my thing....just saying!

To create a round Embroidery Hoop Weaving you will need a simple wood embroidery hoop that you can pick up at any craft shop and some yarn or string.  That is the beginning of something fabulous!  You will want you yarn or string to be thin so it will disappear into your weaving and not stand out between "stitches".



1.  To begin, take the outer hoop off and set aside.

2.  Tie a simple double knot to the top of the hoop with the lightweight yarn or string.  Make sure to leave a two to three inch tail for later.

3.  Wrap 4 or 5 yards of yarn/string around a shuttle and cut off of the skein.  I used a make shift shuttle (a glue stick).  You want it small so you can work it around the inside of a tiny hoop.


4.  To begin wrapping you go across the hoop to the opposite of where you ties it on and holding it tightly, wrap the string under the hoop.


5.   You are going to bring the shuttle of string up to the top and off to the right about one inch from where you began, and go across the top holding tight.  Wrap it under the hoop and...

6.  ...cross over the center and go under one inch to the left of the first loop.  In essence you are making figure eights all the way around the hoop going over and then under keeping the yarn tight.


7.  Continue wrapping the yarn/string every inch until you get to your starting point.  The center will look like a messy "Cats's Craddle".  It's ok!


8.  After you arrive back at the starting point take the shuttle and wrap it around the middle cluster of yarn.  Think it like a clock center that you are going to wrap the string around several times at a 12, 3, 6, and 9 o'clock time place.  Pull tight.  This will bring all of the threads into the center.


9.  Once you have wrapped the string around the center a few times, pull the string up to your starting point and knot the string to the tail from the beginning knot.


10.  Trim off any access and tightly push the outer round of the hoop onto the inner warped loom!  Yes, it is now a loom not an embroidery hoop.  So cool huh!

I always begin my weaving with a pretty center.  I find it best to either use the same yarn/string you used for the warp or another thin yarn.  Use a yarn needle (available at any yarn supplier) and knot the end of the threaded yarn to the the back of one of the spokes.  This will secure it.  

Bring the needle up and do a simple over and under each of the warp strings to create a small woven circle.  You can make it larger if you like, but I usually keep mine to about the size of a dime or quarter.


Once you have your center secured, wrap the end  of the yarn piece under a spoke and you are ready to add more.  I love to use wool roving in my weaving.  The colors and poofy textures make the piece extra special and fill in gaps quite quickly.  You can finds wool roving on Amazon or at most craft stores.  It will come in a ball which can be unwound and separated to get the thickness or width you desire.  



To make this yellow wool center, I used a simple Tabby method of looping the wool over and under alternating spokes, tucking and poofing it up to get the look I desired.  This is what I mean by randomness.  You can play with different yarns and wool, fabric too to make your weaving unique to you!


Here I added a thick grey yarn by tucking the end under a spoke and coming up to the front.  Once I had my yarn on the top of the weaving, I wrapped it around each spoke with a simple loose knot and then after a few rows, I skipped every other spoke to give it a larger stitch.  No needle needed!



For the next layer, I made a wood shuttle and strung some thick variegated yarn through the weaving by going over and under each spoke.  As I went around I used my fingers to push the layers close together which created a cool fan type pattern.


I continued to do this with the blue yarn and will finish this one tonight with some of the thick wool white roving as a braid around the outside.  Weaving is one of those arts that is simple, but takes a little faith.  When you begin you will for sure think you are doing something wrong because it "won't look right".  Trust me, I know.  Every weaving I feel that way until I keep going and then it magically takes shape.
I hope this has inspired you to take out one of your unused embroidery hoops and your bin of wool yarn and make something fabulous!  You can watch my KUTV Fresh Living segment to see a hands on tutorial for how to warp your hoop into a loom!  I'll post the link as soon as I have it.  



We woke up this morning to crisp air and a momma deer on our back steps searching for breakfast, which for anyone in the mountains means it's fall!  We are exuberant this year to have fall come and to be home, in our home, where last year we were sleeping in our daughter's guest room and praying continually that our community would be spared from a wall of fire.  We spent all of September away from our home which makes this season, this year even more abundant!  Which make our next Flourish Botanical "sew" extra special.  

This month is the deeply blue little wonder of the field, the Coneflower.   This annual little button of blue is gives a burst of color to our Flourish Botanical Embroidery Collection.  Originating in England and spreading to Australia and around the globe, we all enjoy it's summer grace.

The Coneflower symbolizes abundance.  It was a gift to show compassion to those who had lost much through war.  In fact through WWI and WWII the only flower to survive the trenching and bombs was the Cornflower.   Which is why it was used as boutonnieres for veterans during parades.  I remember them on the lapels of the aged soldiers, decorated in their patriotic colors.  Though I didn't know the significance of the airy little blue petals, I loved to gather them up from the picnic tables in the park after the festivities were finished.
The Cornflower is a simple symbol of the abundant gifts we can find even through loss and the sustaining blessings we keep.  It is also, a simple stitch to add to your collection.  To print the pattern simply right click on ink image at the end of this post and print to your printer.  Trace the pattern onto your fabric with Frixion Pen.

The stitches are a simple woven back stitch, a few french knots for the centers of the flower and the thick straight stitches to make the layered blue petals.  Begin with stitching the stems, then the leaves, then the petals, the light blue center and then finish with a few french knots in the center.
Use simple ECRU thread to stitch the "abundance" and use a little steam over the design to remove the pen lines that may show.  All of the stitches are available on the Tweetle Dee You Tube Channel for you to review.
I know you will enjoy this little pop of blue to your Flourish Garden!  The next one will be available the first of October so get your blues out and stitch this sweet little "abundant" flower this week and remember to look for the abundant blessings in your own life.  We love you all and count you as one of ours!







Everlasting Love" is the meaning given to one of the most beautiful wildflower/herb in the garden...my garden.   Bushes of yellow, red, orange and pink grow in every garden around our property.  They grow each year as our perennials sprout and keep the deer away.  I'm not sure if that is why they are called the "Everlasting Love" plant, but I pledge my love to them for keeping my gardens protected.


Yarrow is one of the oldest herbs recorded in history and was used for protection and to ward off dangerous spirits...not saying that deer are dangerous, but I suppose they are to my other flowers.  Just kidding!  I love the deer at our home on the mountain.  


Besides it's symbolism, the vibrant little flowers come in all of my favorite golden colors and even when dried, they fade into a warm amber and stay through to the first snow.  As a embroidery artist they look like tons of little French Knots all piled together in the formation of a cloud.  


As I designed this month's pattern, I wanted the simple lines to stand tall as their stems and all of the dots to be the millions of golden to amber buds on each flower.  It is a simple pattern to transfer and to embroider.


To transfer the pattern right click on the photo at the end of this post.  Print on your home computer.  Place the paper on a light source (window or light box), lay your stitching cloth over the top of the paper so that you can see the design under the fabric.  Trace the design onto the fabric using a heat sensitive pen (Frixxon).  


Choose green floss for the stems and petals.  Use three to six strands when stitching to get the maximum texture.  Use a variegated floss to increase the natural color variations.  DMC has beautiful variegation, as does Cosmo and Wonderfil.  Stem Stitch the stems.  Laisy Daisy the leaves.  and lots of French Knots for the flowering buds.  All of the stitches can be watched on the Tweetle Dee You Tube Channel.  

I'm crazy in love with this flower/herb, and I hope you enjoy stitching it too!  Watch my Instagram stories for how I used one of my Yarrow plants to dye some stitching fabric to make a individual Flourish Botanical piece.  The fabric is soaking now into a gorgeous golden color.  I can't wait to share it.  



After weeks away teaching at conferences and filming upcoming projects (to be announced later),  I am so happy to be home and to have everything put away...and to be able to play with my favorite things - paint & fabric!  To be more specific watercolor and embroidery on fabric.  Did you know you can watercolor on fabric just as you do on paper?  If not, you are in for a crazy, fun surprise.
You all know I love to paint and I especially love the way color blends and fades in watercolor.  You also know I love to paint florals and trust me when I say that nothing mimics the color of naturals flowers than watercolors.  So, one day I was wanting a background for a floral I was planning to stitch and I got out my watercolors and painted the background I was dreaming of on my fabric, and fell in love with it.

All you need for watercolor is available in most craft stores, and the fabric and hoops are there too...so one stop and you can have it all!  You will want watercolor paints, brushes, a tray to mix on, fabric, a hoop, and of course your thread and needle.  We will talk about that later.


Just look at those colors!  Seriously so pretty.  You will want to choose in your mind what type of watercolor application you need for your stitch.  Meaning, do you want an all over landscape or sky scene where you float colors across the fabric OR do you want a more controlled pop on color such as a leaf or a specific flower.  



Once you have decided, place your fabric tightly in the hoop.  You can paint on anything that is smooth (such as a cotton or linen)  don't use a velvet or minky.  Make sure your fabric in "drum tight".  

If you are planning on an all over color, you will begin by spritzing the fabric with water.  This will help with getting your colors to move and blend on the fabric.  Place the colors you want in a tray and mix a little water in them to get them ready to use.  You will want to wet your brush.  Use a large size watercolor brush for all over color.

Begin by dipping your brush in water and color and then on your fabric with light soft strokes across the area you want color.  You can add a little extra water with your brush to float the color across the fabric.  Add a second complimentary color if you want above or below the first color and blend together with your brush and a little water until your landscape or sky scene is all across the fabric area.  Let dry and then it is ready to stitch on.


If you are wanting a small specific area painted in, I draw out my design first with a Pilot Frixion pen that comes off with heat.  Do not spritz your fabric for this type of watercolor as you do not want your colors spreading beyond your design element.  Load your brush with a base color and fill in the element your are painting.  Wipe your brush and paint a second color and shade using a little water on your brush.  


Have fun with trying different colors and blending them.  It doesn't matter if the lines are filled in because the heat will remove them after we are done.  If you want specific detail added, use watercolor pencils over the fabric.  Just as you would on paper, the watercolor pencils work beautifully to shade and blend colors.  



On this little flower I want to shade it in softly, so I used my watercolor pencil and gently added color to the fabric and then...

...I used a damp brush to soften the lines and edges of the pencil.  I can't wait to add embroidery floss to this holiday design.  Multi-medium projects are so fun!
This is the finished Joy Watercolor Embroidery Wreath!  I love the pop of shaded green in the leaves with the detail of pine needles made with embroidery floss.  We will be adding this kit and a few more to the shop in time for Christmas.  So, watch for the announcement next week.  In the meantime, get out a scrap of fabric and your watercolors and paint yourself a gorgeous November sunset.  

To watch a tutorial on the prep and painting go to the Tweetle Dee Design Co. You Tube Channel.  The video will be uploaded this weekend.  You can also catch today's Fresh Living segment to see the gorgeous sunset Kari made.  

I hope you have a fabulous weekend and be sure to take care to rest and refresh however you do it.  For me, we will be watching the lighting of the town tree tonight and maybe a movie.  Tomorrow is a full day with teaching at the Corn Wagon in Springville.  I can't wait!  I'll check in with you next week to see what you did to celebrate, dream and create!




We are so happy for the first Flourish Wildflower of 2020!  I worked on this over the holiday and fell in love with the little blue flowers of the Forget Me Not.  The Forget Me Not symbolizes "remembrance".  I always wonder why different flowers symbolize different virtues, and I have a few thoughts on this little beauty.  


With each Lazy Daisy that I stitched to create a petal, I though of how many little petals it takes to make this dainty little blue flower even stand out.  It made me think of how many little blessings and gifts we each receive and try to remember, especially as we say goodbye to a passing year and say hello to a new one.  Maybe it is about remembering the little things that combine to make something note worthy and great and not the big bursts that impact us in subtle, sweet ways.  I'm not an expert, nor am I the person who assigns meanings to flowers, but for me the Forget Me Not means remember the small blessings together as a whole.

To stitch this darling little flower you will need:


Crewel Embroidery Needle
Fabric
Cotton Batting
Transfer Pen
Hoop
Embroidery Snips
DMC Floss Numbers 
(Blue 793, Lt. Blue 318, Yellow 3821, Green 469, and Ecru Pearl 5)

1.  Right click on image and print from your computer to your printer.  Place image under your fabric and trace with erasable transfer pen.  (I use the Frixion pens that erase with steam.)  

2.  Place fabric tightly in hoop (remember drum tight) with cotton batting behind fabric.  The cotton batting that I use is a 80/20 Cotton.  It hides my knots, strings and gives my stitches a little extra lift.  Once your fabric is drum tight you are ready to go.

3.  Take your green and thread your crewel needle with all six strands of floss about an arms length of floss.  Tie a knot in the end and make a tail about 1/3 the length of your floss.  This helps you to hold onto your floss as you go through the fabric.  

4.  I will give you the stitches for each color and will attach the Tweetle Dee Stitching Guide to this post.  For additional help, go to the Tweetle Dee You Tube Channel.  

DMC 469 Green - Stem Stitch for Stems, and Braided Leaf Stitch/Satin Stitch for leaves/outline of leaves is back stitch.

DMC 793 Blue - Lazy Daisy for petals.

DMC 318 Lt. Blue - Satin Stitch inside of petals.

DMC Ecru - One stitch in the light blue fill in to add shading.  Back stitch "remembrance".

DMC 3821 Yellow - French Knot in center of each flower.



I am working on a video for this embroidery and will have it on the You Tube Channel shortly.  I hope you have enjoyed these little floral embroideries and are gaining a few new stitch skills as well.  Many blessings small and big to you this coming 2020.  xo

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