Monday, 30 September 2019

Owl Cross Stitch Pattern Collection

If you know me well at all you would know I have a mild owl obsession. It's not overpowering as I like other things but if there is one animal I love above all others it's owls. So a couple of months ago now I drew a page full of owls in my sketch book... and then I proceeded to turn a couple of them into digital sketches. I fell in love with this barn owl sketch the most.




I've managed to covert one of those sketches into a cross stitch pattern finally... actually I have a confession... it's been converted for about a month but I just wasn't sure if anyone would like it. I always second guess myself. If you follow my Instagram you'll actually see I released these patterns on Saturday my time but it's been a long weekend and I wasn't able to write this blog post before now.

You can find my barn owl pattern here... I am actually in the process of stitching this little cutie but I'm only just at the start of the yellow so no interesting photos to share. I'm excited for when I have more to show you. Also to make the background interesting I'm just stitching it in half crosses as I did with the background of my magician as it is quicker and gives a subtler effect. But that choice is up to you. The finished owl is 7.25cmx7.25cm on 14count aida so it's not a large design and would be perfect for so many different uses.

The second Owl designs that I have released is the Mini Owl Collection. This collection is 4 designs that can be stitched together or seperately. I've just stitched up the purple owl on the bottom right. Except in typical style I changed the purple colour to DMC333. Because it's the one I wanted to use and the first purple I put my hands on. I designed the mini owls to be easy to change colours and do what you want with, rather than always the same colours. Each owl is only about 20x20 stitches give or take a few depending which one.

Just so you know there are some fractionals involved in the mini owls to get some of that detail in such a small space. But I will be writing up a tutorial on how to handle those later in the week. They aren't scary and actually are really fun to work with.


Isn't he so cute? I am not sure yet how I will finish this one yet but I am tempted to turn it into a badge. I think it will be VERY cute worn pinned to a top.

 I also have these patterns bundled together and you can buy them both for a discount. HERE

BUT WAIT.. talking discounts I have the owl patterns on sale until the 8th of October 2019 for 10% off using the code OWL10 at checkout. So go take advantage of the discount while it lasts. 

I hope you enjoy these new patterns!

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin

Thursday, 26 September 2019

Little Teddy Bookmark


I have a thing for bookmarks at the moment. I don't know what exactly is drawing me to them but I love using them in my books and I love stitching them. I pulled out my teddy bear pattern the other week and I stitched it up in the original brown colours. 

Then I decided that was not enough but didn't want to add a name or something so I stitched up a second one under it in purple :D 


Although depending on your perspective I may have stitched on top of it in the purple bear! I really liked the idea of having them feet to feet like this and there was no up or down. 

 To finish it I used my tutorial for finishing bookmarks which can be found here... but forgot about making sure the glue doesn't come through to the front. 

But it is already in use with it's friend the tiki bookmark that is in the tutorial. 



Don't they look pretty? I'm currently reading Shadow of the Conqueror by Shad M. Brooks and eventually when I finish it I will write a review.


This just makes me happy :D I really do love to USE my cross stitch where it is reasonable to do so. I also love seeing my stitching on display, but for small things like this it is so much FUN to use! It just makes me happy. Does anyone else find this??


 Do you make bookmarks with your stitching? I'm actually thinking of running a special Christmas SAL that includes a bookmark and an ornament with full instructions/ videos on how to make both. I think it would be a great activity.

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin


Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Drawing new designs

Someone on Facebook was questioning end of year teacher gifts... yes it isn't that long until end of year in Australia! We're about to go into 4th term. And I was trying to avoid doing my exam, so I picked up my pen and did a couple of quick sketches.


I then refined them a bit on the paper and played with some colours... not necessarily the colours I'm going with but I only have a 12 pack of colours!



I like the idea of turning it into a collection of male and female characters that you can swap in and out depending on your teacher/kid but that could be a lot of work on my part! At the very least two kid options.... So many thoughts and ideas running around!

I have already imported the pictures into my digital drawing program and I've started on the top picture. A lot of refining to do with the proportions as these are just quick sketches but the idea is solid.

So question for you... what characters would you be looking for with an end of year gift? Would you want a male teacher or just female ones? I am assuming a fairly even mix of male and female kids... or even a more gender neutral one, with a simple hair style. I know my kids through primary school (too many teachers now!) had more female teachers and teacher aides.I also think the second one would work well for a teacher aide .... as I said so many ideas are currently running around in my head and I'm trying to work out what is valid and what I have to ignore because of logistics.

Any help would be appreciated :D

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin




Thursday, 5 September 2019

Knitting break from Cross Stitch

Uni has ramped up so my cross stitch has gone away for a couple of weeks and I have been trying to work on my Close to you Shawl. I haven't done much with this but I hope to have this done in the next little while because it is a very easy repetitive pattern.The cross stitch hanger tutorial post took me 2 weeks to write as it was sitting there with photos and partial writing until I finished one of my assignments.

I should be able to work on this project easily and it will be a really nice addition to my wardrobe as we go into spring! It is already starting to get significantly warmer here and I will be pulling out all my shawls soon as I love to wrap up in them on cooler nights when I don't need larger jumpers just to survive. Yes I'm pathetic about the cold!

I hope to be back with you soon with some more updates after Friday night because my assignment is due at midnight! Saturday is going to be a day of collapsing and relaxing so hopefully something will happen then.

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

New Facebook Group

I'm not sure how many of you are active in the Facebook groups or not. I know I have been moving more and more towards them. Kinda like when I first started blogging the forums were so popular but in time everyone started moving towards Facebook as it's popularity skyrocketed.

After talking to people and spending time looking around the groups I have now created my own cross stitch group. It's called Beginner Cross Stitch Designs by Naughts & Cross Stitches. I wanted a place to talk on Facebook that allowed a bit better interactions than my Facebook page.

While here I can write tutorials and I have one just released go check it out (it's about turning cross stitch into a patchwork hanger), and I have a few more planned when I have some time. I like the conversations you can start in a group that you can't start here. It will be for sharing tips and tricks of cross stitching, tutorials and my patterns. I figure that is a pretty cool combo and could help a lot of people.


So while I won't be leaving this blog anytime soon, if you are on Facebook I would love to see you in my group.

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin

Monday, 2 September 2019

Finishing your Cross Stitch as a Quilted Hanger



WARNING! This post is VERY picture heavy! I tried to include any pictures I thought would be found useful by someone. I am also assuming a basic knowledge about how to use a sewing machine and how to cut fabric. I have done quilting so I use a 1/4 inch seam throughout but use what you feel most comfortable with just stay consistent. The exact numbers are not important it's the consistency. You can do this without a sewing machine it will just take long to sew but it is doable.

If you want to stitch this piece to finish you can find the pattern HERE. It is called Accountant or Magician and it's one of my designs. 

You will need: 

  • Finished Cross Stitch
  • Border Fabric
  • Backing Fabric
  • Either scissors or a ruler, cutting board and rotary cutters.
  • Wadding (though this is optional)

Instructions

Collect all your supplies together. I have a pile of quilting supplies so I used them but this is possible with scissors. 


I cut a 2 1/2 inch strip of fabric, and then I measured the top width of my stitching. I then allowed for a little extra either side of the design and cut two 6 inch lengths. Remembering the top and bottom lengths only need to be short.


Then cut two more lengths that are longer than the design and the top and bottom lengths as shown in the picture below.


Now is the time to cut into your fabric. But first measure it out! TWICE AT LEAST BEFORE CUTTING!!!
I counted 5 squares from the design and marked it with pins. As this was where I wanted to sew the seams.


I then cut another 5 squares out from where I marked with the pins.  As you can see below.


I then laid the top bit of fabric (right sides together) along the top seam as below and re pinned along the pin line. Because that is where you want to sew.


Move to the sewing machine... you will sew along that pin line. I recommend sewing with the aida side up as it is really easy to sew.


Just follow along the line of the aida.


Do the same with the piece on the bottom and then we are going to get our irons out.


Carefully iron the top and bottom piece away from the cross stitch.


It will look like this when ironed. If you have fabric hanging over the sides this is the time to trim it nice and straight again. I was lucky mine was perfect this time.


Lay the side pieces on right sides together and repeat the process you did with the top and bottom.


Being careful when you sew it to keep an even seam even though you don't start on the aida part.


Once sewn carefully iron the sides back and then trim it up so it is all neat.

Using this front piece as a guide cut out a piece of backing fabric and wadding to match. I just had to use this awesome pink.


It was at this point I realised I would need to hang this up somehow. There are a few ways you can organise this but I decided to make two loops.

I cut two strips about 2 inches wide and about 5 inches long. If I did it again I wouldn't have gone quite as long. I then carefully using the iron folded the long edge over and then over again making a tiny edge. You only fold it over the least amount possible.


I then sewed down each of the long edges.This creates a protected edge for the handles


Once these are done fold them in half and then pin evenly along the top of your stitching. You lay them on top of your backing fabric between the backing fabric and the front stitching.





The order you lay the pieces down is wadding and then the backing fabric face up on that. Then the stitching face down on top of the backing fabric. As can be seen below.

Pin it carefully


Sew around the edges I recommend sewing the whole way off the side and then starting each side again rather than turning as it creates crisper corners. Remembering to leave a gap to turn the work right side out.


Here is the gap below. Just make sure it isn't on the top where the handles are as this could weaken this section. I put mine on the bottom but up the sides would work too.


Before turning cut the corners and trim the wadding up to the stitching a bit.


I didn't do the neatest job but it takes out some of the bulk.


Turn your work pulling from between the front and backing pieces.


It will look like this once turned. Make sure you have your corners neatly turned.


Now there is an open gap at the bottom. There are two ways you can close this. You can do an invisible stitch but I prefer to top stitch around the whole piece to finish it off. This also has the added benefit of securing the corners nicely. Also if you wanted to turn this into a pillow this would be the point you would stuff is and close it with an invisible stitch (just thought you'd like to know that!).


As you can see here you only top stitch just in from the edge. I pin the bottom closed But I've never had a problem with doing it this way.


I also decided to top stitch around the edge of the stitching but you don't have to do this. I thought it gave a nice effect so I chose to.

Here it is testing it out with a bit of dowel. You can see what I mean by maybe a bit too long with the handles but they look so cool!


A close up of the top stitching around the stitching. It adds a nice frame and holds the wadding in nicely too.


I hope you've enjoyed my tutorial. If you have any questions or clarifications please ask them below and I will reply as soon as I can.

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin
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