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Fabricar Friday: Embroidery Split Stitch
September 25, 2009, 5:08 pm
Filed under: Tutorial | Tags: , , , , ,

Fabricar Friday

Embroidery is one of those crafts that I picked up by reading, watching, and trial-and-error. I was given a great little book and a Stitch-It-Kit from Sublime Stitching that put everything I needed in one place. Unfortunately, it was a hand-me-down kit and was therefore missing parts and parts of a couple pages. Either way, I have become quite attached to embroidery and find the repetitive motion soothing. It’s a great skill that can be applied to nearly everything. I use it to embellish shirts and purses, make my own iron-on patches, and to create stand-alone works of art. I even did some very small scale embroidery that I set in resin to make pendants.

The split stitch is a simple stitch that I really like. It’s fairly simple to execute and looks very finished. I use it in the example below for text. The embroidery floss is made of several strands and the second stitch splits the threads of the previous stitch. In my head, it’s equated to that verbal math problem about the frog that jumps up two feet but falls back 4 inches every hour and is stuck in a 10 ft deep hole and they want to know how long it will take him to jump out. Okay, that’s probably obscure for everyone else because my brain makes connections in weird ways. Moving on … The thread starts beneath the fabric in the hoop and then back in a short distance later. This is one stitch. To make the next stitch, and start to see the way the stitch looks, bring the needle back up from the underside, through the fabric and through the middle of the stitch. The needle and following thread should come through the previous stitch, up and then back in a short distance after the end of the first stitch. Who’s lost? If you learn better through video check out Make It Magazine’s videos on YouTube. Or anyone else’s.
Picture 23

1. Here, you’re supposed to ignore the legs in the photos. I traced the hoop onto the fabric so that my design can be created within a safe area. And it won’t be too close to any edge to make it difficult to stitch.
2. I prefer to sketch my designs in pencil on the fabric. I get sloppy when I freehand, but don’t often use patterns.
3. I knot the end of my thread that is farthest from the needle by folding the thread over and then tying a knot. Pro: Never too small to slip through. Con: sometimes too big if you need the fabric to lie flat for the end piece.
4. To trim this knot, I would pull that little lose tail of the thread to the right with the other and trim it as closely as possible.
5. I don’t knot the end that’s close to the needle because it makes it difficult for the needle to travel through the fabric. If you force it through, your other knot is pretty useless and will go right through the larger hole.
6. Make the first forward stitch. Up from the underside and a short distance forward and then back into the fabric. Plenty of people do this without going down and back up, but I’m just not that fancy. Their motion is more sideways and less up and down.
7.  A view from the otherside.
8. Splitting the stitch. The needle and thread part the thread of the previous stitch as it breaches the fabric.
9. Repeat the steps.
10. Curves can be tricky. You may need to use the downstroke of the stitch to pin down the previous stitch to the curve. This is where having drawn out your design helps. If you don’t like your own handwriting, print out a font you do like and trace it.
11. Enjoy your hard work.

I’m pretty proud of the photographs used to assemble the above collage. I tried damn hard to get that macro working for me instead of against me. If it wouldn’t eat up so much storage, I would post the full images for you to enjoy too.

Here are some other projects that have involved embroidery.

A few recent embroidery projects

A few recent embroidery projects

If you have questions, please ask!!

I’d also appreciate any feedback.


Aww, Snap!: Memory Lane
September 18, 2009, 3:09 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Photos to share

I found an old USB drive a few days ago and it had some wonderful treasures stored on it. Some of these were taken by me on my first camera that I received as an 8th birthday present. I love that I can still share them! The photographic quality leaves a little to be desired, but sometimes inspiration can come from somewhere you’ve already been. Care to walk with me?

All of the photos below are scans of original prints.

Click on any image for a larger view.
Check back in later this week for more goodies!

Make it, bake it, or fake it: Risotto
September 17, 2009, 2:14 pm
Filed under: Recipe

Make it bake it or fake itRisotto is my go-to food when I’m feeling homesick, sick, and even when I’m feeling broke. It’s a wonderfully filling and  warm dish that is simple to make, but can really be varied and gussied up to your tastes and what’s in your fridge. One of my favorite things to do is to throw in a few artichoke hearts and a little grated asiago during the last 5 minutes or so. Italian sausage — out of the casing — and red wine instead of white is another great one, but the sausage goes in earlier than the artichokes above. If you’ve never tried it, you have no idea how good rice can taste. The recipe below is one that I’ve assembled from a variety of sources including  my favorite: trial and error. It makes more than enough as a main dish for two people.


2 cups Broth (veggie or chicken depending on your preference)
1 cup Aborrio Rice (You technically can use whatever type, but Aborrio is the traditional)
1/2 cup Wine (The better the wine, the fuller the flavor from it. But in a pinch, you can leave it out all together.)
4 Tbsp Butter divided

  1. Heat broth & 1/2 cup of water in a medium sauce pan. Once it begins to simmer, cover and keep over low heat.
  2. Melt butter over medium heat in a medium skillet. (Everything will end up in this skillet so pick a size that can hold everything and has walls that are high enough to keep the liquids in … so, not a frying pan!) Add the rice and stir the rice to coat it in the butter. The rice grains will start to absorb the butter and will begin to look translucent as they saute.
  3. Add the wine to the skillet. It will steam, it’s okay. Stir and let it simmer for approximately 3 minutes.
  4. Now add 1/2 cup of the warm broth & water mixture to the skillet. As it heats, stir constantly until the liquid is almost completely absorbed.
  5. Continue adding the broth 1/2 cup at a time. Stir constantly and don’t add another 1/2 cup until the previous one has been almost completely absorbed. You’ll be stirring constantly for about 20 minutes. Trust me, it’s worth it. Be sure you’re scraping the bottom and the sides as you stir, so the rice is absorbing the liquid evenly.
  6. After all of  the liquid is absorbed, remove the risotto from the heat and stir in the remaining butter and the cheese.

Note: If you’re adding something like peas or artichoke hearts, you want to add them between steps 5 and 6. Stir in the additional ingredients in the last 5 minutes before you remove it from the heat. You can add it with the last 1/2 cup of liquid.

The final product is a creamy-textured rice that you will almost certainly eat too much of.


Wish list: Crafty Goodness
September 8, 2009, 12:40 pm
Filed under: Wish List | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

A girl can dream

Some crafty things I’ve been pining after for awhile:

1. Freezer Paper 2. Art Clay Tool Kit 3. Doilies
4. Felt 5. Art Clay Silver 6. Dremel Multi Tool Kit
7. Butane Mini Torch 8. Rotary Cutter 9. Hot Pot Kiln

P.S. I’m not too thrilled about the format. I’m thinking it needs to be spruced up a bit.

Quick Post: Answers
September 7, 2009, 3:33 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Skeletons in the Closet

No skeletons in the morbid or secret sense, but it’s the best-fitting category label I have for this post. So here we go:

o1. what are the top 5 bands you listen to while you’re crafting, cooking, dancing, etc. that give you the most inspiration?
(in no particular order)

Third Eye Blind
Blue October
Punk Goes ___ CDs
Jimi Hendrix

o2. what food will you eat until you are impossibly full? what food won’t you touch with a ten foot pole?
I could and do eat risotto (check out my next food post!) until I am impossibly full. It’s comfort food that tastes AMAZING! The only food I really haven’t developed a real taste for is the brussel sprout. Anyone have a good recipe? I’m open minded, I promise.

o3. favorite colors to craft in?
Turquoise, copper, and indigo … not necessarily together.

o4. if you could steal the entire wardrobe of one movie or show, what would it be?
Tough question! Maybe something like “The Edge of Love”. I like the feminine yet structured look that both of the leading ladies wear in that film.

o5. where are you the most comfortable and happy?
I’m probably the most comfortable snuggled on the couch with a blanket and book.

Anything else you’d like to know? Just ask!