#marchmeetthemaker 2019

I decided to join the #marchmeetthemaker challenge this year, which is a month long challenge with different prompts for each day to post to Instagram. In case you are not on IG and would like a feel for what its all about here’s a few of the posts so far…

Day 1… Favourite Make

Since I love making, designing and stitching then it just had to be a collection of the patterns and kits I have made to date. This is a small collection of some of my favourites all of which are available for you to make with the patterns and kits in my shop.

Day 2… How I started

Having crafted from a very young age, it was patchwork and quilting in my 20’s that really started my love of fabric and stitching. I totally fell in love with hand stitch when I made this mini quilt for a competition at the NEC in 2006 for Patchwork magazine! I came 1st and was hooked! I had to think smaller projects when my kids came along so hand embroidery has been the perfect fit. I had so many ideas and not enough space to display each one so decided selling them as patterns would be a great excuse to keep designing! I haven’t looked back!⁣

Day 3… Flat Lay

I found these gorgeous little wooden buttons in my stash and they make the most perfect strawberries! I thought I would make a button alternative with my Strawberry swirl design and this would look super cute stitched up!⁣

Day 4… Tools and Materials

I wanted to highlight the simplicity of embroidery with this post. Hand embroidery is easily achieved with the most basic of supplies which is fantastic. You don’t need to spend loads of money or have loads of space to enjoy some hand stitching. Grab your fabric, needle and thread and stitch! Of course once you get ‘hooked’ you will find yourself adding to this in more ways than one as threads and fabric are addictive!⁣

I’ll let you know if I manage to keep up with all the posts for the coming week next weekend!

10 Reasons why Embroidery is Good for you…

10 reasons why

1. Embroidery relaxes your mind and body

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Hand embroidery is a craft you can do anywhere, anytime as all you need is some fabric, a needle and some lovely threads. Sit down with your favourite movie and a glass of wine and stitch away – what could be more relaxing than that!

If you need some relaxation then stick to a simple uncomplicated design and just enjoy the stitching process whilst creating something you can be proud of.

2. Embroidery makes you smile

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From picking the design, choosing the threads, transferring on to your fabric to finally stitching the finished piece – embroidery has many different elements in the process for you to enjoy and smile about! No matter what you make, if it came out good or bad it will always make you smile and have you itching to get stitching again in no time.

3. Embroidery embraces all levels of ability

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There is such a diversity to embroidery that allows anyone to give it a go. You don’t need to be a great artist, amazing seamstress, or particularly creative to be able to stitch up a fabulous piece of art that you will be really proud of.

There are so many wonderful designs out there which beginners can easily achieve fabulous results with and once you start you find yourself learning more each time and getting better and better as you go along. Simple embroidery stitches and designs tend to delight and enthral people as much now as they ever did. You don’t need to have been stitching for years to create fab stuff you can be proud of. Ability is all in your head – give it a go and don’t be afraid to put your own stamp on it.

4. Embroidery is a simple form of expression

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If you have something to say – you can say it with embroidery! From the nice to the not so nice you can say what you feel and have it hanging on your wall for all to admire! A great inexpensive form of therapy if ever there was one!

5. Embroidery is comforting and calming

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Get comfy and cozy on your favourite chair with some music or your favourite TV and stitch – you will be calm in no time!

6. Embroidery builds your confidence

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No matter how good you are, you will always learn and improve as your embroidery journey develops. You will be able to see the improvement as you look back at what you have made and your confidence will soar!

7. Embroidery gives you a sense of achievement

Creating something from beginning to end and seeing it develop in to a creative and lovely piece of art is such an achievement and no matter who you are or how many projects you make there is always this great sense of achievement and buzz when you finally complete what you set out to do.

8. Embroidery creates inspiration

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Once you have been embroidering for a while you begin to see the world around you in stitches and embroidery projects and inspiration is everywhere! If you aren’t at this point yet – just wait – you will be!

9. Embroidery is a good addiction

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Addictions are generally not good for you but I am addicted to Embroidery and have no desire to quit any time soon! It takes up my time, invades my thoughts, spends my money but I swear – its good for me and could be for you too!

10. Embroidery is happiness

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What more can I say…

Hand Embroidery on Black Fabric

hand embroidery on dark fabric by stitchdoodles

What a dilemma! I have tried many a suggestion for the best way to hand embroider a pattern on to dark or thick fabric and many have ended up with some choice words being thrown around and telling myself it would look better on white anyway!

Simple andStressFree

Basically, if its a lot of work or involves a lot of delay in the actual stitching part then its already on my suspicious list. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not lazy and I like things to be done right but transferring for me has to be 2 things…

I’ve tried Prick and Pounce (don’t get me started on that one!), chalk pens, white gel pens, carbon paper, stitch n tear…. this list could go on! (If you use any of these, like them and are successful then all well and good but for me, they just didn’t hit the spot!)

Many of you will have heard of the wonderful ‘sticky fabri solvy’ (SFS) and the many fabulous reviews from fellow stitchers. I am one of those converts and love this stuff!

It transformed my stitching on to felt as it was just a case of tracing, sticking and stitching, washing off and wohoo – fabulous result every time.

BUT (there is always a but!) I found I still had issues using SFS with dark fabric. You print your wonderful design on to the SFS, stick it on to your black fabric and you can’t see the design even with the best light.

So, I realised I had to draw over the design (boring but necessary), if I wanted to stitch without ruining my eye sight and sanity! This sounds straightforward until you trace over and stitch and then realise the pen you used stains your lovely threads when you wash the SFS off. I did this and was so upset after all my hard work!

So, to save future projects,  I did a little experiment using different pens on SFS using white thread to see which ones stained the least…

Example 1: Triplus Fineliner (3 vertical lines on left) , Gel Pen (3 vertical lines on right), Fine Sharpie (4 horizontal lines top and bottom)…

Of those 3 the Gel Pen was the winner!

Example 2: From Left to right there are 3 vertical rows of each of the following  fine line black pens…       Biro,        Staedler Lumicolour,        Frixion Pen,        Pilot Drawing Pen

From these 4 lines, the photo makes it look like they all came out great but the winner was the Frixion Pen (the biro was the worst, followed by the Staedler and then the Pilot).

My overall opinion and trust from doing that was to go with the Frixion Pen.

So, for me, the best way to transfer a pattern on to a dark fabric is using SFS and a red Frixion Pen- either print the design on and then trace over this with the Frixion Pen or trace directly with the Frixion.

Here’s my design ready to be stitched with this method… Easy to see and stitch – yay!

transferring an embroidery pattern

Take a look at the design finished above (top picture) and you can see there has been no transfer of the red pen to the threads when it was soaked.

Hopefully this will save you some stress and heartache if you want to hand embroider on Black fabric!