120 embroidery stitches and eight samplers

It's done! I finally finished collating, writing and illustrating instructions for every stitch I've ever used in a design and put them all into an ebook. 

Turns out I've used 120 hand embroidery stitches in various designs for books, kits, magazine projects and PDF patterns up to this point, a handy number for a book title. Turns out there are also often many different names for the same stitch and many different variations on a single stitch, so I'm hoping this helps eliminate any confusion any of you may have had over which stitch to use. The stitches are named as I know and use them in my designs, with all the alternative names I've come across listed underneath. 

The stitches are grouped into eight families, based on how the stitch is done. So stem stitch falls into the chapter on back stitches, because of the way you do it. It's a logical way to group stitches (to me, anyway) and you can progress through each chapter, often adding to a previous stitch or stitching technique to learn the next. 

To make it even easier to master the various stitches, I've come up with eight samplers to get to grips with some of the more commonly used (and a few not so commonly used) stitches from each chapter. They're fun, inspired by traditional embroidered patches.

The ebook and samplers are available in four different packages: 

The single pattern with all eight samplers does not include stitch instructions, as this would basically be a repeat of the book. But the standalone patterns do include stitch instructions, so you can use them to teach yourself embroidery if you're a beginner or looking for new stitches.

The book came about as an accompaniment to my patterns but stands on its own as a straightforward stitch guide too, whether you're looking to learn the basics, add to your stitch arsenal or give your #1yearofstitches project an injection of inspiration.

Minikin Garden: A free pattern for World Embroidery Day 2017

Old needlework magazines usually came with iron-on transfers, some of them closing in on a century old now. It's fun to take elements from them to rework as contemporary hand embroidery patterns.

This is what I've done with Minikin Garden, a free pattern in celebration of World Embroidery Day at the end of the month, on 30 July.

I have quite a few vintage transfers filed away and was looking for something to do with the more appealing ones. My design style isn't really vintage, although I do like some of the old designs, and so I thought it'd be a good idea to take bits and pieces from the transfers and use them to create new designs, embroidered in fresh and bold colours. And because of the copyright ethics, you get them for free!

I did this for the first time last year with Blue Bird and so many of you have downloaded the pattern, more than 700 to date. It encouraged me to do the same again this year, although it didn't take much nudging because it's an easy and fun way to design and embroider something new. And I really wanted to use one of my vintage oval hoops.

You can download Minikin Garden from Craftsy. 

Sylvan Garland, a woodland wreath

If Sylvan Garland looks familiar, it’s because this project originally appeared in Inspirations in Australia. But the magazine’s rights to exclusivity expired quite a while ago now and so I’ve created a PDF pattern for it. 

It's a light, fresh design that is fairly easy to embroider. The garland incorporates embroidered appliqué, which adds an extra dimension to the embroidery and is good for using up smaller pieces of your favourite fabrics.

At just under 40x40cm in size, it's a design with enough impact to work as standalone wall art or a feature cushion for the couch or perhaps a bedroom. 

The PDF pattern is available on Etsy and Craftsy

Embroidered insect #8: Anatomical Mantis

This delicately limbed fellow has been begging for an embroidered portrait, so here he is: Anatomical Mantis.

He's the eighth insect in my Anatomical range and a welcome addition with his muted hues of green, spindly legs and fragile wings.

The design is roughly the same size as the others in the range, which include an ant, bee, beetle, butterfly, dragonfly, moth and wasp

The PDF pattern is available as an instant download from Etsy and Craftsy.