Archive for the ‘Cross Stitch/Embroidery’ Category

* bird embroidery panel #2

Posted on January 11th, 2009 by maitreya. Filed under Cross Stitch/Embroidery.

Finally finished the second of my bird embroideries.  You can read the other post if you want pattern or canvas details.

I tried the punch needle for the outline, which worked famously until I tried to remove the tracing paper template I stitched over.  Way to think ahead, ugh, of course that would pull out all the stitches.  So, I had to restitch some, but it wasn’t too bad.

Not my best embroidery (the canvases are a little hard to work with), but I’m going to put them up in a weird nook space next to my bookshelves in my office, so you won’t be able to look at them up close anyway.


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* roses cross stitch

Posted on December 30th, 2008 by maitreya. Filed under Crafty Review, Cross Stitch/Embroidery.

Ghosts of crafting past! While I was home, I took a picture of this cross stitch I must’ve done when I was in high school.  The pattern is out of the book 100 Cross-Stitch Gifts from Nature by the Vanessa-Ann Collection. I still have the book, and I bet that I’ve done more projects from it than any other single craft book. Only the tulip napkins ever got posted to craftlog, but I also made a big rose pattern that was used to reupholster a rocking chair seat, a set of placemats with flowers on the corners, and a sampler for latin class (ars longa vita brevis, iirc).  I guess that’s why the binding’s broken.  My how my tastes have changed!


* sewing machine sampler ornaments

Posted on November 27th, 2008 by maitreya. Filed under Cross Stitch/Embroidery, Holiday, Projects with Instructions.

I entered the annual ornament swap run by freshlyblended and cake & pie. It’s going through swap bot this year, which I am not a huge fan of, having done a couple of swaps through there. In one, someone accused me of purchasing the pinecone ornament I made, and in the other I was called “rude” for not replying to an email right away. The “rude” comment was even made using my last name, which is seriously not cool. Hopefully nicer people signed up for the ornament swap.

Anyway, my idea this year is machine embroidery on thick felt. My machine doesn’t have any of the fancy decorative stitches, but the weird useful stitches look pretty cool anyway. Here are the prototypes.

I think I like the band on the ball one better than the all over pattern of the long one, so I’ll probably do them all that way. Less is more. What’s awesome is that these are crazy easy to mass produce. In case anyone else wants to try them, here are instructions (though you can probably figure it out yourself).

  1. cut a strip of thick felt as tall as your ornament and as long as you want.  The beauty of this is you embroider them all at once and cut them apart at the end.  As for the felt, I just got a swatchpack from fitzfelt and they are awesome. They also sell precut rounds if you’re a perfectionist like that.  I also made a post on whipup a while back with thick felt suppliers.
  2. using contrasting thread, sew a straight stitch down the middle of the strip, longways. I did a tension test on a scrap first since the felt is so thick. For bonus reversibility, put a different color in the bobbin thread.
  3. sew decorative stitches on either side of the central stitch, keeping everything parallel as best you can. I made mine symmetrical above and below the equator, but you don’t have to. What with variations in stitch length, width, style, and spacing, there’s pretty much infinite combinations here.
  4. for the circles, I pressed a cookie cutter hard onto the felt to make a guide impression to cut around. For the long ones, I used a rotary cutter and eyeballed it. Once you’ve done one side, you can use the scrap as a template for the other side.
  5. Make an embroidery thread hanger.

The one thing I’m worried about is that the stitches aren’t secured and they might pull out. Since the ornaments won’t really be handled, I decided it probably won’t matter.

If instead of making your own, you’d like to swap me for one, send me an email ( I love all my collected handmade ornaments from swaps. :D


* bird embroidery panel

Posted on November 18th, 2008 by maitreya. Filed under Cross Stitch/Embroidery, Martha.

I was at the campus bookstore last week and for some reason the canvases were crazy on sale, so I got 2 little 6×6 inch linen ones to try embroidering on. They’re already stretched and everything, so it seemed like a good idea at the time. The patterns are bird stamps I got in a Martha Stewart kit for embossed velvet ornaments. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to wash out a transfer pencil, so I just stamped the pattern onto some tracing paper and embroidered over it. Every time I do that, I forget what a pain it is to pull out all the little bits of paper at the end. Ugh.

The embroidery was pretty annoying too. The wood stretchers were pretty wide and made it really difficult to embroider anywhere near the edges. On a larger canvas with a centered design, it would’ve been waaaay easier.

For the second one, I’m trying the punch embroidery tool thingy, which so far is working great in the center of the canvas.


* porcupine crewel

Posted on December 30th, 2007 by maitreya. Filed under Cross Stitch/Embroidery.

I saw this porcupine crewel kit that blempgorf got for 30 cents thrifting and fell in love. I commented asking if she’d like to swap, and amazingly enough, she was willing to part with it! I sent her a vintage bag kit I’d gotten at a church sale, among other things. I’ve been sick the last few days and it’s been the perfect sick-on-the-couch craft. The pattern has a little flower top right (you can see it in the picture blempgorf posted), but I have left it off for now. I might go back and add it.


Kit is 2017 “Prickly Porcupine” from Paragon Needlecraft, designed by Barbara Sparre.


* embroidered button buttons

Posted on October 1st, 2007 by maitreya. Filed under Cross Stitch/Embroidery.

My contribution to greetingart’s embroidered button swap. I think my idea was better than my execution on these. It’s really hard to embroider a perfect circle and then center it perfectly on a button blank. Oh well. They still turned out pretty cute.


I packaged them sewed to fabric fused to card stock and cut with pinking shears.



* flower garden skirt instructions

Posted on August 29th, 2007 by maitreya. Filed under Cross Stitch/Embroidery, Projects with Instructions.

Ok, the last of the old button projects.






sewing machine

green thread in various shades

wool felt (craft felt will also work, but does not stand up to repeated washing as well, though futuregirl’s done the experiment and this isn’t necessarily true.)

decorative edge scissors

time required: several hours, depending on how many flowers you choose to include

Sketch the garden and decide how many flowers to include and how tall they will be.

If desired, draw the pattern on the skirt with chalk or a wash-out pen.

Use the color of the skirt as your bobbin thread. Since it won’t show, you don’t need to match it to the different colors of top thread.

Using a reinforced straight stitch, sew the stems.

Using the plain straight stitch, sew the grass, either by following your drawing or by randomly zig-zagging. One line of grass looks fine, or you can sew multiple layers in different shades of green.

Choose buttons to use as the flowers.

Choose coordinating colors of felt for the flowers.

Using the decorative edging scissors, cut out circles to fit behind the buttons. Play with different patterns, or try cutting your own designs with embroidery scissors.

Stack the button and felt and sew on to the skirt.

Wash in cold water. Handwashing is probably best, but it should be fine in the washing machine. Hang dry.


* spirograph patch

Posted on August 21st, 2007 by maitreya. Filed under Cross Stitch/Embroidery.

Home sick today. :/ Playing with my new toys from a Japanese dollar store we randomly found in Flushing makes me feel a little bit better, though. I got some chalk pencils with brushes on the ends, a clever drawstring-threader-thingy, a Hello Kitty paint palette (the fondue plate I’d been using finally got knocked off my desk by the cats), aaaand a spirograph, yay. I still am on the hunt for an old school giant spirograph set with all the accessories, but this little ruler version will do for now. After a few paper trials, I wondered how it would work on fabric. It was too hard on muslin (kept moving around), but iron-on backing gave it enough heft to work like a charm. I’m thinking it would look cute ironed to my jeans back pocket.


I imagine using iron-on interfacing would also work, then I could just remove it and use like normal fabric. Hmmm. That’s not a bad idea. Sudden desire for spirograph trimmed skirt.

Or embroidery! I could embroider over a spirograph. OK, that sounds like the perfect thing to try while watching Enduring Love on DVD. BRB

[fast forward a few hours]




* lab sampler

Posted on May 12th, 2007 by maitreya. Filed under Cross Stitch/Embroidery.

I’ve been working on this sampler for a while now, and finally mounted it the other night over at Becket’s house. The backstory is, a few months ago I was complaining about a lousy review one of my papers got. It was so unreasonable, blah blah blah. In the middle of my rant, a good friend and colleague gave me the best science career advice ever: get used to it. All the bad science things that happen, lousy reviews, experiments that don’t work, personal conflicts, etc, there is nothing you can do about them. So get used to it. Best. Advice. Ever. I used to get upset over this kind of stuff, but now I just say get used to it. It had to be embroidered into a sampler.


The design inspiration is the building my lab is in. There are these funny louvers that are supposed to cast a DNA-like shadow, and the prevailing color scheme is burnt orange and dark dark brown. The louver pattern took a bit of trial and error to get the right aspect ratio, but I’m pretty happy with it. Haha, now I will tack it up on my wall to scare the grad students.

Carl Icahn.2_2.jpg

photo credit to Becket


* embroidered patch

Posted on October 31st, 2006 by maitreya. Filed under Cross Stitch/Embroidery, Gocco/L Letterpress.

I signed up for The Red Button Tree’s embroidered patch swap. I have some leftover patches from my reader appreciation trinket giveaway from a while back. There were a few that didn’t print completely, but I’ve kept them around anyway. I embroidered over one for my patch to send in. I like the effect, and it was a good little tracing project for tonight when I wasn’t feeling all that creative. I added iron-on backing to keep all the threads tight.




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craftlog is under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial license. That means that you are all welcome to take and repost my photos, replicate my projects, remix my ideas, whatever you want as long as you give attribution (a link is fine) and it's noncommercial. Thanks!