Hearts, embroidered and sewn

I've given a few of my older designs some love, re-releasing three heart designs with new improved patterns.

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The heart gift bag is a special way to wrap smaller gifts and I like that it can be reused, to wrap another gift or to store jewellery and other smalls, rather than thrown away like paper wrapping. The pattern includes instructions on how to make the twisted cord, which is quite fun and could be delegated to family members or friends so they feel part of the making process. Sewing instructions are included and the bag can just as easily be made out of smaller pieces of fabric in your stash without the embroidery, and using ready-made cord or a length of ribbon, to cut down on the making time. There's also a variation for if you don't have a sewing machine. So lots of options with this one in terms of making it up and beyond the obvious heart connotations.

Patchworkers and quilters will enjoy the smaller scale of the heart cushion, with the embroidery adding another level to traditional piecing. The pattern is for a 40cm scatter cushion with a flange, which is optional and could be left off. It includes the designs with cutting lines for 18 embroidered heart blocks that use a variety of stitches, as well as instructions on how to piece the cushion front and then make up the cover. You'll likely want to match your thread colours to your fabric so there's a tip on how to do that, too.

The hanging hearts are decorative, adding a 3D element to a collection of wall art or hanging off a doorknob, drawer handle or dressing table mirror. The pattern includes instructions on how to make up the hearts in addition to the embroidery instructions. And the embroidery designs could also be used independently, to embellish tea or hand towels, or anything else really. Like the gift bag, the hearts can be made without the embroidery, perhaps as a way to display favourite scraps of fabric. And there's an alternative option for making the hearts if you don't have a sewing machine.

All three patterns are available on Etsy (links above) as well as from Craftsy.

Three more fruit patterns, a pineapple, kiwi and pomegranate + a 10-pattern bundle

A summery pineapple, fresh kiwi fruit and ruby pomegranate follow on from my strawberry and peach embroidery patterns earlier this month, completing the set of 10.

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I was able to incorporate four of DMC's new thread colours into the kiwi, use some yellows that I'd not used before for the pineapple and try a new colour combination for the pomegranate. I'm sure it's evident from the finished embroideries that I had fun with these. They have a distinctly summery feel to them, which has been perfect for the hot weather.

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As with the previous two, these three are in line with the size, look and feel of the other fruit designs. They're probably the quickest of my patterns to embroider and there are now 10 altogether:

I've also bundled all 10 fruit patterns into one, Chopped Fruit, at a reduced price. Basically, you get 10 for the price of eight. They make lovely gifts embroidered on to tea towels (as many of you have already done) and work well as kitchen wall art or quilt blocks, being a complete set. 

In addition to my Etsy store, the PDF patterns are available individually as well as together in the single bundled pattern from my Craftsy store.

Two new fruit patterns, a strawberry and a peach

First up, Happy New Year! Here in South Africa, 2018 has kicked off with a heatwave, making fruit salad and ice cream count as a meal. So it's apt to start the embroidery year with two new fruit patterns - a strawberry and a peach.

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The idea came about towards the end of last year, though, when I started making fruit smoothies using big yellow cling peaches. After cutting up so many peaches, it was only natural to want to embroider one! A strawberry came next, and there are three more fruits in the works.

I stuck with the size, look and feel of my previous fruit patterns - Axed Fig, Apple Slice, Cleaver Pear, Hatchet Orange and Lemon Split - so they all go together and can be mixed and matched. They're friendly on January pockets, too.

I bought some of DMC's new thread colours in December and was able to use two of them in the peach design. So nice having new colours to work with.

Strawberry Slash is available on Etsy and Craftsy, and Lacerated Peach is also available on Etsy and Craftsy.

Make sparkly star decorations from felt and metallic thread

Felt is fun and easy to work with. These two hanging star decorations took just an afternoon to make. They're quick and easily adapted to suit your festive decor.

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I used gold and silver metallic thread for the embroidery, to add a bit of sparkle - Mollie Johanson gives some good tips on working with metallic thread - but you can just as easily use six-stranded cotton in vibrant or classic colours, and different colour felt for the background.

The pattern includes two designs, but there are loads more in my Super Stars pattern if you want to make a slew of stars. They're the embroidered stars you can see in the background of the pic, the outlines become the cutting lines for the 3D versions.

My Felt Stars PDF pattern includes the usual illustrated embroidery instructions, plus step-by-step photo instructions on how to embroider on the felt and then assemble the stars. It's available in my Etsy and Craftsy shops as an instant download for some quick and easy Christmas crafting.

Black Friday to Cyber Monday: 25% off everything annual sale

Cyber Monday has become the day for shopping online, rather than in-store on Black Friday. Traditionally I've offered 25% off everything in my Etsy store for 24 hours, but this year I'm giving all you lovely embroidery people four days to stock up on hand embroidery patterns and ebooks.

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Starting on Friday, 24 November, you'll get 25% off any and everything in my Etsy shop and you'll have until Monday, 27 November to buy. This includes Small Business Saturday for those of you living in the US, so an apt weekend for a sale. And you don't need to sign up for an Etsy account to buy either, just add the items you want to the cart and checkout as a Guest.

It's a good way to stock up on stitching projects for the holidays or finally get those patterns you've been eyeing out for a while at a lower price. And if you're shopping for gifts, here are four ways to turn a PDF pattern into a wrappable gift with creative printing and packaging ideas or by adding extra supplies to turn it into a kit.

 Prices will reflect the sale discount from Friday to Monday, all you have to do is browse and shop.