Today is my stop on the Retro Stitchery Book Tour. A wonderful new book by Beverly McCullough, I’m a huge fan of Bev’s work, both her fabric and her embroidery and was so honoured when she invited me to join her tour! You can see what I made with her latest fabric here.
The book is filled with 13 fun embroidery projects that can be stitched up and turned in to a finished piece! Too many times I will stitch something only for it to end up in a drawer never to see the light of day again. Here Beverly gives you plenty of ideas and step by step instructions, of course you are not limited to the suggested projects, your embroidery piece could be turned into anything you fancy!
I spent so much time enjoying going through this book, turning each page and mentally adding it to my ‘to make list’. Having said that I knew from early on I wanted to make the project ‘This is my Happy Place’. At home and stitching is definitely my happy place, so this project was perfect for me!
For the first time I used Lecien Cosmo Hidamari Sashiko thread, and what a delight it was! Hidamari is the Japanese for ‘Sunny Spot’, what a sweet name! Normally DMC embroidery floss or Aurifil 12wt are my go-to threads for hand stitching. Sashiko thread thickness is somewhere in-between 12wt and floss. I tend to get frustrated with floss when using more than 2 strands, I find it can get easily tangled up and each strand ends up different lengths. Probably just me!? I would take a guess and say Sashiko thread is the equivalent thickness to 4 strands of floss.
As it was a larger piece, and I’m not the best at tracing, I decided to use ‘Sulky Sticky Fabri-Solvy’. This makes it super easy to transfer the design, simply print or photocopy the pattern, peel off the backing and stick it straight onto your fabric. When you’re done you dissolve the transfer in water, and all that is left is your stitching! It sounds perfect right!? Hmm.. not quite. Whilst I love this method it has is downers too. The transfer can be a little stubborn to remove, and can require more than one soaking, especially if you have used a dense stitch like Satin or a layered back-stitch. I’m always a little disappointed with how it leaves my stitches too, they seem to look a bit flat after!
Anyway here is my finished piece!
I love how the colours from flowers go with the embroidery, it was a happy coincidence when I was gifted them the day before I photographed this piece.
I used a Riley Blake Designs basic to stitch on – Texture White. I wanted a light fabric but something with a bit of… well a texture than a plain solid. I was concerned that even the texture would detract from the stitching, but it doesn’t at all, and adds a lovely dimension to it.
I ummed and ahhhed about what to turn the piece into. My initial thoughts were a pillow, or part of a cover for a Stitch and Go Case. In the end I decided to frame it in an embroidery hoop. To make the hoop more decorative I wrapped some of Bev’s latest fabric Stardust around. Super simple, I just cut 1 inch strips, wrapped it around the top part of the hoop, and then covered it with some decoupage glue. I’m thinking as it’s only for display purposes it should hopefully hold ok.
I already have my next project planned out! The ‘Home’ Pillow. It will fit beautifully in our lounge and a lovely reminder that it is my happy place, and there is no place like it!
Retro Stitchery is available in shops and online now. Be sure to check out Beverly’s site and Instagram for more projects and inspiration, you’ll also see some more wonderful projects by the other talented makers on the book tour.