By Any Other Name – Roses – New Embroidery Collection and New Free Design

I am so happy to bring to you a new collection – By Any Other Name Roses

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You may have seen me working with these designs over the last few weeks on my social media pages. I have been having so much fun decorating boots and bags for the girls.

The By Any Other Name – Roses collection is a set of 14 different Roses, created with wonderful texture, so that the leaves are much more in the background, and the roses themselves worked in satin stitch, making them pop on your embroidered item. Each rose is also shaded to give extra depth to the design.

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All 14 of the roses come in both 5×7” hoop size, as well as 8×12” hoop size, with the single rose being offered in a 4×4” size, so there really is something for everyone.

I really love the way these roses can be created in so many different colour ways – so long as you have a dark and light shade of the same colour, you could easily create these beautiful roses, meaning they can match your personal décor so easily.

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So far I have created the beautiful boots, and matching bag with these designs. Next up I will be stitching a denim skirt and jacket to make the most of the designs as well.

I can also easily see the designs working for quilting, or cushions, and I am currently working on the layout for a fantastic bed runner.

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As I was looking for a catchy name for this collection, all I could think about was Shakespeare, and I am probably paraphrasing when I quote the line from Romeo and Juliet – A rose by any other name, would still smell as sweet. I thought this was a great way to name this collection.

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The By Any Other Name – Roses collection is available in download, USB, or CD, and can be yours for only $39.95 for the entire collection.

Naturally, with any new collection, I am so happy to offer you a free design. You can find this gorgeous rose design on our free designs page HERE.

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I would love to hear your ideas on how you would use these beautiful designs. Share your ideas below to inspire us all.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post, and I hope I have inspired you to try these amazing roses.

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Until next time, have a Stitchin’ Day. Julie.

Flashback Friday – Butterfly Bling – New Freebie

Welcome back to another Friday Flashback, taking a look back at some of my favourite classic collections.

This week we are looking back at the Butterfly Bling Collection.

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One of the things I am loving about taking a look back at older designs, is simply how much I am being re-inspired by the classic designs. As I am writing this post, I am thinking about a new project for this wonderful collection.

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The Butterfly Bling Collection began when I went to the Melbourne Stitches and Craft Show, and was entranced with the hot fix crystal wands. These wands glue the crystals onto the fabric permanently, and make their sparkly shimmer really entranced me.

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My thought was that I wanted to do something that would combine embroidery and the hot fix crystals. I had the Butterfly artwork in my “ready to digitise” file for some time, and when I was looking at possibilities, it just clicked for me.

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These Native Style butterflies were initially in a single colour, and whilst I have created these designs for single colour, once you begin working with some of your favourite threads, you can really make these designs sing.

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I love that these butterflies can be blinged up easily, or left simple yet stunning.

When it came to creating some projects for the Butterfly Bling collection, it was really easy.

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The first project that I created was a pair of trousers, with the embroidery up the leg. To create the pants, I had to first undo one of the inside legs of the pants, and make the trousers lay flat.  I used a ponte stretch pant, that had just a little bit of give to it.  I printed out templates, and lay the templates down along the outside seam of the trousers, to get the right layout.  From there, it was as simple as stitching out each of the designs one by one in place, before re-stitching and overlocking the inside leg of the pants.  I really love the way these designs worked on the black.  I have been wearing these trousers to trunk shows and teaching days for the past 10 years, and most of the crystals are still intact, whilst the embroidery looks fantastic.

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I also created two gorgeous little handbags to go along with the pants. One was a cute little glam style, and the other was a larger shopping style bag.

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I had always thought it would be cool to create a project with these gorgeous butterflies, on a piece of sheer tulle, to make a wrap. They do remind me of that old Cate Blanchett Oscars dress, with the embroidery on sheer fabric.

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Initially we gave a fantastic butterfly from the Butterfly Bling Collection as the free design (still available HERE). As a thank you to all of our loyal customers, for the next week we are offering a second design, a gorgeous wide winged butterfly, perfect for embellishing with crystals as a free download.  Simply click HERE to collect your copy.

Thank you for taking this trip down memory lane with me, I hope you have enjoyed looking at this collection, and that it has inspired you to stitch for a loved one.

Until next time, have a Stitchin’ Day. Julie.

Free Project – Copper Age Table Runner

Thank you for taking the time to read this post.

Today I am so happy to share with you a beautiful table runner project that I have just created for my own parents house, using The Copper Age Designs.

Once I had created these amazing Copper Age designs, I knew exactly the project that I wanted to create. A beautiful table runner.

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I decided that the colours that I was creating in (Copper and Teal), would perfectly go in my parents house, and immediately thought about their huge dining table, that seats our entire family (of more than 20 now), for Christmas Dinner. Whilst I didn’t want to create something that would go down the entire length of the table, I realised that I would have to create a 4 block table runner so as not to look to small on the table.

I love the result, and better than that, so do my parents.

Requirements

  • Four 12” blocks of white homespun
  • .75m of plain teal fabric
  • .75m patterned teal fabric
  • 1.5m backing fabric
  • 1.5m wadding (you can use up various scraps for this project, as it is quite narrow)
  • Copper Age Embroidery Collection from Julie Hall Designs
  • Embroidery thread in two colours (I have used Copper and Teal)
  • Bobbin Thread
  • TearClean Tear Away Stabiliser
  • Patchwork ruler and rotary cutter
  • Bias Binding Kit
  • General Sewing tools

 

Instructions

  1. Embroider 4 blocks from The Copper Age collection onto your white homespun fabric.
  2. Trim blocks to 10×10 inches
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  3. Working firstly with the plain teal fabric, cut 5 strips, 2” wide across the width of the fabric. Join the strips together to form one long strip of fabric.
  4. Beginning on the side of the embroideries, and then then top and bottom, stitch the strips to the blocks. Press between each seam addition.
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  5. Take the Patterned Teal fabric, and cut 7 x 2” strips across the width of the fabric. Join the strips together to form one long strip of fabric.
  6. Beginning on the side of the embroideries, and then then top and bottom, stitch the strips to the blocks. You should now have 4 blocks equally surrounded by fabric.
  7. Using your precision patchwork ruler, and rotary cutter, trim two of the blocks, at the top and bottom, to create a straight line across the top and bottom of the design. I created this line by taking my ruler and lining it up at a right angle on the fabric, and overhanging ¼ of an inch across the patterned fabric.
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  8. Repeat step 7 for ONE EDGE ONLY on the first and last blocks.
  9. Create your small blocks by cutting 6 4.5” squares from the remaining plain teal fabric.
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  10. Trim the plain teal blocks with the remaining Patterned teal fabric across two sides.
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  11. Working with one set of blocks at a time, join the small blocks to the large at the side.
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  12. Once the side blocks are attached, join the two blocks together. This will take some precision stitching, and a fair number of pins. Ensure that you are using your ¼” quilting foot, and don’t be afraid to undo and re-stitch again.
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  13. Once all of the blocks are joined to form one long runner, press the runner, and lay it out on top of the backing and wadding fabric.
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  14. Pin the table runner to the wadding/backing fabric, and quilt (I chose to stipple all around the actual blocks, whilst ditch stitching around the larger blocks, and I did a decorative fan style in the small blocks.
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  15. Because of all of the decorative angles included in this runner, you are going to need to bind the runner in bias binding. I created by bias using the bias binding kit, and then attached the binding by hand
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I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial, and I that it will inspire you to create your own table runner.

Until next time, have a Stitchin’ Day.  Julie.

What comes first? The fabric or the thread?

How do you start your projects? Do you have a great piece of fabric that you wish to incorporate into a project, or do you create the embroideries, and then search for the fabrics?

This question has been on my mind this week. I have just finished creating an amazing set of new designs – The Copper Age, and I very deliberately wanted to use the very on trend combination of teal and gold.  I figured I would have no problems at all when I came to find fabric for the project, so left that until last.  I was very surprised when I got to my local fabric shop (which generally has a great range), only to find there was very little there in that particular colour pallete.

Thankfully I had my beautiful daughter Grace with me, who has a magnificent eye for colour and colour mixing.

The first set of fabrics that we saw as was a gorgeous Japanese cherry blossom fabric from the moda range Sakura Park. This fabric was bright, cheerful, and really embraced the aesthetic that we were going for in the project, however there were no colours present in the fabric that were used in the embroidery design.

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I had in my mind to use a traditional Japanese fabric, with a gold imprint on it, however when we moved to that area of the store, and began pulling fabrics and testing them against the block we brought as a sample, it just wasn’t wowing us.

We then went and attempted to find a plain fabric, focusing on the teal that I was incorporating in the design. (I have never really paid much attention to how much trouble it is to match fabric to thread until I tried for an exact match).  We tried 4 different teals before we found one we were happy with.

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Our thought was that if we used the plain teal fabric as a break between the cherry blossom fabric, and the embroidery design, it would bring them together.

Finally the staff at the store took pity on us and helped.

They initially took us over to the Japanese ranges, and after a lot of searching, agreed that none of the colours there worked.

We then went over to the mixer fabrics, and Grace pulled the perfect fabric. It is not one that either of us would have initially chosen, however as soon as we mixed the plain teal together with the emerald and gold fabric, it just sang.  The emerald fabric adds depth to the overall project, and the simple gold stamping on the emerald fabric pulls the colours all together more forcefully.

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I guess at the end of the day it doesn’t really matter which comes first. I think that if you choose the thread first, you have to be willing to compromise and open your mind to what fabrics will work with the finished project, however as I have come to learn, some of the best projects come from a mistake or out of left field.  If you choose the fabric first, you can guarantee that the colours will match the fabrics, however you may miss opportunities to broaden your fabric choices (this is a trap I fall into often).

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I would love to hear what you think. Tell us all how you create your designs, and what comes first for you – The Fabric or the Thread!

Until next time, have a Stitchin’ Day. Julie.

The Copper Age – A New Design Collection and a New Free Design

A few months ago, I was writing about different colour combinations, and how we select our colours.

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At that time, I was impressed by the wonderful colour combination of copper and teal, and just how beautiful and fresh these colours look together. I really wanted to have a go at creating a collection that could successfully use this colour combination successfully, and I hope you will agree that it has been a success.

The Copper Age is a collection of 10 gorgeous circular designs, that have all been created around a dual colour range. As per usual, I have had the artwork for this collection in my files for a few months, and had not be able to find the right project – I really love the way my art folder works, with designs sometimes sitting here for years before the right technique strikes me.

I have chosen to use the Teal and Copper colour thread that I have been lusting after, and stitched the designs onto a white homespun cotton fabric. One of the things that I love about the designs is that you can really use any colours – simply find the colours that go best with your individual décor, and you are ready to rock-and-roll.

Whilst the designs themselves only have two colours, the layering in the designs mean that sometimes there are 5 or 6 colour changes in the design – Using colour changes has allowed me to create the most textured design possible, with lots of different stitch styles in the one design.

Emma (11yr old daughter) assisted me in naming this collection. She had come into the office whilst I was working on the designs, and whilst we were talking about them, we were throwing names around.  Emma liked the Bronze Age, however I really think that the colours that I have used are much more Copper than Bronze.

So far, I have used these beautiful designs to create a table runner. I am going to share the instructions for the table runner in a later post, however I am so happy with how the runner has turned out, that I had to share with you a picture of the finished project.

I feel like these designs are focused on the home décor/quilting side of embroidery, and I am planning on creating a small lap rug for my Mother with the Copper Age designs, using a simple 9 block layout. I also think that they would make a fantastic set of placemats. Or could be used to make some amazing cushions.

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a small glance at the table runner that I will be featuring later on this week.

 

The Copper Age Designs are sized to be used by most embroidery machines. Sizes included are 5”, 6”, 7” and 8”, allowing you maximum flexibility.

Naturally, I would not upload a new design collection, without giving you a free design to play with. You can find the free design for the Copper Age Collection HERE in our Free Designs Folder.

The Copper Age Designs are available for download or available on a CD or USB, and can be yours for only $34.95. Pick up your collection HERE.

Until next time, have a Stitchin’ Day. Julie.

Free Project – Coffee, Tea, Me? Towel Topper

This Towel Topper is easy to make, and is something everybody needs.  Make a couple of them in advance, keep them wrapped up in the gift box, and you will always have an amazing gift on hand, that everybody will love.  I have been creating sets of these Towels for my nieces as they move out on their own, and they are lasting for years.

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Requirements:-

 

Instructions:-

  1. Hoop your stabiliser and homespun and attach the hoop to your embroidery machine.
  2. Using your embroidery machine software, take the Towel Topper outline and your choice of design from the Coffee, Tea, Me? Collection, and place together, with the embroidery design sitting near the bottom of the Towel Topper outline.
  3. Stitch the towel topper outline in a thread colour that matches your homespun, and embroider your Coffee, Tea, Me? Design in colours to suit.
  4. Trim around the outline to ¼” around the sides and top, and 1” around the bottom.
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  5. Stitch a second Towel topper outline only onto homespun (this will be the back of the towel topper). Trim as per above.
  6. Using a small straight stitch (1.7mm approximately), stitch around the sides and top of the towel topper, leaving the bottom open.
  7. Trim off the top corners, and turn the towel topper in the right way. Press.
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  8. Take the press studs, and attach at the back through a single layer of fabric, and through the top through all layers.
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  9. Take your handtowel, and if necessary, trim up one end to ensure that your towel isn’t too long.
  10. Gather or pleat the raw towel edge to fit the bottom edge of the towel topper.
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  11. Stitch the towel to the embroidered piece using a small straight stitch and the guide line of the towel topper outline.
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  12. Flip the exposed end of the towel up into the topper, and hand stitch opening closed.
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Your towel is now ready to hang in the kitchen.

As alternatives, use the same technique, and monogram towel toppers to give a personal look to the kitchen.

I hope you have enjoyed this project, and I hope that if you re-create this project for your own kitchen, you will send me pictures.

Until next time, have a Stitchin’ Day.  Julie.

Friday Flashback – Coffee, Tea, Me? New Freebie

Welcome back to another Friday Flashback, taking a look back at some of my favourite classic collections.

This week we are looking back at the Coffee, Tea, Me? Collection.

The Coffee, Tea, Me? design collection is made up of 19 different coffee and tea designs.

This was the first collection that I had created in a more whimsical style, and to this day is one that I use in my kitchen.

Naming my designs has always been one of the fun parts of the process for me, and as soon as I saw these designs of gorgeous teapots, all I could think of was the line from Working Girl, spoken by Joan Cusack when she offers Harrison Ford a drink “can I get you anything?, coffee, tea, me?”

So this collection began with my seeing a gorgeous set of artwork online. After purchasing the artwork, I was trying to decide what to create with them, and I came across an article in another stitching magazine, using a set of picnic ant designs.  These designs were gorgeous, and were not very large.  For the first time I decided to create a set of designs that didn’t take up the entire hoop, but could be created quickly and easily, and would have a really fun style.

Each of these designs are fully stitched, and a lot of the design incorporated in each of the designs come from the stitch angles and colour weaving of the designs.

Once the designs were created, I got to work on lots of different little projects that the designs could be used with. The one that is still running in my kitchen 11 years on is the hand towel topper.  This topper is created in the hoop, but is strong enough that my towels are still working after all this time.  I have also created oven mitts, a clock, and for the first time I played with a new product called chalk cloth fabric, and made a fabric chalkboard for the kitchen.

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One of the really great things with this collection of designs is just how easy it is to join them together to create a story. Use your editing software to join a couple of teapots, coffeepots and cups together in a pleasing pattern and from there you can customise your colours to create a style that suits your own specific needs.

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Initially we gave a fantastic teapot from the Coffee, Tea, Me? Collection as the free design (still available HERE). As a thank you to all of our loyal customers, for the next week we are offering a second design, a lovely hot cup of tea design (chosen by darling husband Edward as he is a tea freak) as a free download.  Simply click HERE to collect your copy.

Thank you for taking this trip down memory lane with me, I hope you have enjoyed looking at this collection, and that it has inspired you to stitch for a loved one.

Until next time, have a Stitchin’ Day. Julie.

These Boots were made for walking….

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I am having a great time over the past few weeks, playing with some new embroidery designs.

I have been going through a period of using up artwork that I have collected over the past few years, and the new collection – Everything is Rosy is no exception. I purchased the artwork for these fantastic rose designs approximately 7 years ago, and have been looking at them on and off over the past 7 years, trying to decide what to do with them.

During that time, I have attempted to use the designs in Applique, and open thread work, but nothing seemed to work.

Until this week. This week inspiration struck, and I have been stitching roses ever since.  I have created these roses with a little texture, the leaves are a basic embroidery stitch, whilst the roses themselves are satin, giving depth to the designs.

I love working with floral designs, because you can play with the colours so much. Each of these rose designs are two toned, giving a shaded look to the flowers.

So far I have used these designs in a few different ways, creating an embroidered back for a denim jacket, and embroidering down the side of a pair of trousers, however when I was out at the opportunity shop last week, inspiration struck!

We are moving into winter here in Australia, and I have seen on the fashion boards a couple of times some beautiful embellished boots. After showing them to the girls (Emma & Grace – 11), we all decided it was a great idea for us to try.

We found a great pair of boots for only $4, which was perfect as I wanted to experiment with the technique before spending huge amounts of money. The boots fit Grace perfectly, and they are in great condition.

Embroidering boots can be done on any embroidery machine, the main tricks to think of when you are working with something such as a boot is to support the embroidery as you create it. I like to use the multi-needle machine for this, as it has a table attached, alternatively, on your domestic machine, ensure that your boot is able to move freely around the embroidery area.

Once I finished the boots, the girls and I went to Sydney for a get together with my family.  My 18 year old niece was so impressed with the boots, she was disappointed they didn’t fit her, and said she would happily wear them out.  High praise from a fashion snob. 🙂

Requirements

  • 1 pair of zippered boots, made out of a soft leather/vinyl/suede. (You need to be able to open up the boots and lay them flat for the hoop, so ankle boots are not suitable.)
  • Sticky backed stabiliser (you will not be able to hoop these designs, and will need to simply place on top of the hoop)
  • Embroidery threads – I have used 2 shades of green and two shades of red
  • Marking pen – I like a chalk pen
  • Squissors
  • General embroidery requirements

Instructions

  1. Take the boots and lay out on a flat surface
  2. Using a ruler and a marking pencil, mark down the centre of the boot 3 inches.
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    Take the sticky backed stabiliser, and place a piece in the hoop, exposing the sticky side to the top of the hoop
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  3. Lay the opened boot on top of the stabiliser, centring the cross hatch you created with the marking pencil.
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  4. Move the hoop to the machine, and ensure that the boot is well supported, and able to freely move around during embroidery.  I am using a multi needle embroidery machine here – however you could just as easily complete this project with a standard embroidery machine.
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  5. Slow the machine down to the lowest setting, to make stitching through the thick material easier.
  6. Embroider the design.
  7. Once the embroidery is complete, remove the hoop from the machine, remove the boot from the stabiliser, and gently take away any excess stabiliser.
  8. Repeat steps 1-8 with the second boot, ensuring that you flip the design so they are both facing the same way.
  9. Once the embroidery is complete, you may need to place an iron on piece of facing fabric to the embroidery to avoid the reverse of the embroidery abrading the skin.

I hope you love this project as much as the girls and I do.  I am off tomorrow to find another pair of boots that will fit Emma for the same technique.

machine embroidered boots

machine embroidered boots

Until next time, have a Stitchin’ Day.  Julie.

Flashback Friday – and a new freebie – Celtic Circles

Welcome back to another Friday Flashback, taking a look back at some of my favourite classic collections.

This week we are looking back at the Celtic Circles Collection.

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The Celtic Circles collection is a collection of 16 different circle designs, all in traditional Celtic style, that were created in both trapunto and stem stitch design.

From these designs, my favourites would have to be the stem stitch style. I really love the way that the stem stitches are created, they stitch out quickly, and yet still have a luscious look.  One of my favourite things that I remember when I was creating these designs, was how proud I was of myself for creating the designs without any jump stitches (for me at this time, it was a true skill to have mastered).  For those who love trapunto, we also created the designs in trapunto style, allowing stitchers to create a 3d style project.

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I think these designs are perfect as alternate blocks. Imagine a quick quilt with your favourite fabrics, in dispersed with blocks of these beautiful Celtic circle blocks.  Another great trick with designs such as these is to create them with multi-tonal thread.  The different colours in the thread add another dimension to your embroidery, and really give extra interest.

My favourite creation from this collection was the Leather travel cover. Remembering that this was back in the days before global positioning systems and mobile phones with sat nav, the Melways/UBD cover made of leather really was beautiful.  I had found a stash of really great quality upholstery leather.  None of the pieces were really large, however they were perfect for small projects.  This project was the first time I had tried embroidery on leather, and what I found I needed was a design that wasn’t too dense, but was still strong enough to give the stitched impression.  The stem stitch in these designs really was perfect for this.  On top of that, the cover was glued together with a leather glue, and it really did give a lovely professional look to the project.

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As a stitcher, I am sure that many of you have the same issue as me with finding good designs for guys. I really believe that these designs tick these boxes.  You can see from the images here of the street directory cover that it not only protects the street directory, but all gives an elegant, timeless look.

My father still has this street directory cover, and whilst he has a global positioning system in the car, he still keeps the street directory in the glove box, with it’s cover on, 11 years on.

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Initially we gave one of the gorgeous stem stitch Celtic Circle designs as the free design (still available HERE). As a thank you to all of our loyal customers, for the next week we are offering a second Celtic Circle design as a free download.  Simply click HERE to collect your copy.

Thank you for taking this trip down memory lane with me, I hope you have enjoyed looking at this collection, and that it has inspired you to stitch for a loved one.

Until next time, have a Stitchin’ Day. Julie.

Free Project – Trapunto Quilt

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This project has a history on a couple of different levels. My parents owned a farm when we were young, and as soon as I saw this artwork, I thought of my Dad, then I have recently found out that my brother and his partner are expecting.  My brother has always loved the farm life, and I am hoping that his little boy or girl (and you) will love this bright and colourful quilt.

Notes:

Finished size of quilt – 42 x 50”

All seam allowances are ¼”

 

Requirements:-

White Homespun – 75cm

Orange Fabric – 25cm or fat quarter

Purple Fabric – 25cm or fat quarter

Green Fabric – 25cm or fat quarter

Blue Fabric – 25cm or fat quarter

Border Fabric – 75cm or 3 different fat quarters, or scraps of leftover bright fabrics.

Binding Fabric – 30cm

Backing fabric – 1.2m

½m high loft batting for trapunto

Pellum – 1.2m

Tear away Stabiliser

Bright Coloured Embroidery Thread

White/Beige Sewing Thread

Rotary Cutter

Matboard

Patchwork Ruler

Grandads Farm Designs from Julie Hall Designs

Free Grandads Farm wording designs by Julie Hall Designs

 

Cutting

White Homespun Cut 3 strips 38 x 9½”
Orange Bright Print Cut 1 strip each 38 x 6½”
Purple Bright Print
Green Bright Print
Blue Bright Print
Borders Cut 5 3½“ strips, or join together lots of scraps of fabric to form 3½“ strips to go around the edge of your quilt.
Binding Cut 3 strips 2.5” wide

 

Embroidery

  1. Watch the included trapunto tutorial to understand how this technique works.
  2. Using the templates provided, lay out the templates on the white homespun, and mark out their placement.
  3. Hoop a piece of stabiliser taunt, and lay over the high loft wadding lay a piece of TearClean stabiliser on top of the high loft wadding, and hold it in place whilst you stitch down the first outline.
  4. Stitch out the first line of the design, outlining where the wadding will stay.
  5. Remove the hoop from the machine and cut away all the excess wadding.
  6. Take the homespun and pin into place where the embroidery will sit.
  7. Stitch out the remaining colours of the design to give the detail.
  8. Remove the hoop from the machine once complete, and remove the excess stabiliser.
  9. Repeat steps 2-8 for all the trapunto designs.
  10. Press and trim each of the white homespun pieces to 36½ x 8½”

 

Writing Embroidery

  1. Using the templates provided, and the bright coloured printed fabrics, embroider the wording onto the fabric using a contrast coloured thread.
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  2. Press and trim each of the pieces to 36½ x 5½”

Putting the quilt together

  1. Take all of the cut elements for the quilt and lay out ready to stitch together.
  2. Using the image below, stitch the bright coloured wording sections to the white homespun, using a ¼” seam.
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  3. Add the borders by stitching firstly to the sides, and then to the top and bottom.
  4. You are now ready to back and quilt your creation as you wish. I used a free motion quilting technique to highlight the puffiness of the designs.