Friday, 27 September 2013
stitched blooms blog tour and giveaway!
I am really excited to be today's stop on Carina's blog tour for her wonderful new embroidery book Stitched Blooms!
I met Carina Envoldsen-Harris back in 2008, just six months into this blogging lark! We both joined up to a handprinted swatch swap on Jesse's blog, exchanged handprinted swatches and have been friends ever since.
Since then we have stayed in touch and continued to cheer each other on in all our crafty pursuits, despite the many miles between us - she lives in the UK and I'm in Australia.
Carina is talented in more than a few areas, but I've always especially admired her original embroidery and her distinctive colour sense. Carina's unique embroidery designs are somehow both modern and traditional, and showcase her Scandinavian roots.
I posted way back in 2009 about my love for embroidery (and featured Carina's work amongst others in that post) and have a jampacked embroidery board on my pinterest page, but somehow I've never really got that far at doing some myself!
So not only is it a real honour to share this book with you, it has also been just the nudge I needed to really make a start at embroidering, to make a finished project.
Stitched Blooms is the perfect book to take you from early baby steps to more complex designs. It's very accessible and the great thing is that Carina gives you not only detailed instructions for some wonderful projects in the book, but also provides an extra 237 motifs on CD, for you to mix and match, size up and down depending on your project. All those lovely blooms to inspire!
To practice I started with two of these motifs, lovely leaf patterns, which I sized and positioned together. I used back stitch to outline these and found quickly I love the meditation of the stitching, its one of those perfect projects that you can do with half an eye while life spins around you.
Gaining confidence from my little leaves, but resolving to make my stitches smaller and more consistent, I moved on to the simple Pom-Pom Luminarie project from the book. Luckily I had all the embroidery threads and some white cotton fabric in my stash. Sadly no pompom trim (must change that!) but I used this cute mini rickrack I've been saving. It fits my little jar of quilting pins perfectly and looks so cute on the shelf. Switch it for a little battery tea light and you have a beautiful light source.
I love that embroidery is so quick and easy and inexpensive, yet it gives items a really unique and handmade quality which would be perfect for gifting. I'll definitely be doing more, in fact I'm starting to see the world in embroidery patterns this week. I can't wait to experiment, and try my hand at some other projects from the book. I can see some hand stitched Christmas presents in my future.
Carina's colours are always distinctive - clean and bright, without being overwhelming. I was so pleased to see the section on colour in the book where she explains colour theory in simple and interesting terms. Even better - for today's giveaway you get the chance to win a set of seven embroidery flosses in one of her beautiful colour palettes.
All you have to do to win is leave a comment below, international entries welcome. If you have time I'd love to know if you have embroidered before or whether you're a newbie or wannabee like me! I'll leave it open till Wednesday next week. Please leave a contact email address in your entry.
And if you have been wanting to get into embroidery, but something has always stopped you, this book could be the spark to start you on those first baby steps to making handsewn items to keep or give away. Hmmm, I'm just thinkin how sweet one of Carina's stitched blooms would look on a little white onesie for a new baby!
p.s. So happy my spotty fabric makes a little appearance in Carina's sewing pouch project above!