a Celtic Claddagh with applique ivy leaves

Adding some dimension to embroidery can be a challenge but I have tried to make it as easy as possible with the designs which have this option. A little practice may be advisable to perfect the technique, but when you master adding pre embroidered appliques to your projects, it opens up lots more choices and you will be so proud of your achievements. Let me show you how I took one of the Celtic Ivy designs and made it into something special and unique! Continue reading

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making designs unique and beautiful

Digitising flowers is a tremendous challenge. As I grow lots of flowers in my garden with the purpose of transforming them into embroidery, I realise how difficult it is to capture their beauty in stitches, which are just very small lines. It is easy to create a satin petal and then create a flower by grouping four, five or six of them together. I try to aim at more than that, although those type of flowers make excellent fill-ins. There are at least two ways to digitise flowers, flat as though you are looking at them from above, and in a more natural way, getting as close as is possible to the real thing.

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creating a collection for silk thread

I fell in love with silk a long time ago when I worked in a fabric shop. Most of my embroidery is done on silk dupion, my all time favourite fabric, because it comes in so many beautiful shades. A while back I began to consider whether it would be possible to embroider my designs in silk thread. Firstly I needed to find a thread of equivalent thickness.  

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the second part of the Dresden quilt block

Well we all know that disasters happen in the sewing room and I discovered my big mistake yesterday when I completed the second half of my Dresden style “Epic” crazy quilt. The secret is how to put it all right without going back to the beginning…..

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the first part of a Dresden crazy quilt block

My first Dresden crazy quilt is nearly complete and this week I have been testing it….

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a quilt block tutorial you cannot afford to miss!

A few weeks ago I decided it was time to find out all there was to know about quilt blocks, embroidering them out and joining them for a beautiful completed project. I have been asked several times what the back of my quilt blocks look like, and in this tutorial you will find out how to embroider them out so they look just as good on the back as they do on the front…..

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creating more Pamela’s Joy Quilt blocks

I am currently finishing off the second set of Pamela’s Joy Quilt blocks and have been giving a great deal of thought to how best they can be stitched out, joined and completed. Several of you have asked me what my preferred method is, and at present I am developing my own unique system for all the quilt blocks at Graceful Embroidery. There are lots of suggestions and tutorials on the internet, but I want to find the easiest method so I can show you how to get the best out of your quilt blocks….(please scroll down to vote)

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combining the Georgiana mini designs for dolls and tiny baby clothes

There are countless possibilities with the 32 designs in Georgiana mini for 40mm x 40mm hoops. Most of the elements from the Georgiana collection are here, so if you look at the larger designs you will get an idea of how they can be combined. As with all my recent designs you get the designs with and without Outline alignment stitches. These are very helpful in placing your designs accurately. As the designs have been created for small dolls and baby clothes you will probably find, in most cases, that it is helpful to embroider the fabric before you cut the pieces out, unless you intend the embroidery to go over seams. If you are using pattern pieces study these carefully to see where you can add embroidery. I would use a marker pen to draw the basic outline of the piece that I intend to embroider, so that I can place the embroidery centrally. Here are some combinations which you may find useful:

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my latest design

I have just finished the last set in the Plume de elegance collection. The final design is a mega classic for you all….

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finishing my second Vintage sewing crazy quilt

Take a few pieces of gorgeous richly coloured dupion silk, along with some pretty shades of thread and some lace, that blend well and see how they turn out when stitched and embroidered as the new Romantic Crazy quilt with a vintage sewing theme…

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