Mixed-Media Sunshine

I don’t know about you, but a little extra sunshine might be just what we need right now. I hope that all of you are staying safe and healthy and home. But while you are doing all of those things, you might find that you have some extra time on your hands.

Enter the Mixed-Media Boho Sunshine project.

I designed this project to be easy enough that a young, child-sized beginner could complete it with help from a grownup. I have two child-sized beginners who are home from school right now and this was an excellent project to work on together while having fun with paint and learning a new skill…embroidery!

If you are not child-sized, I think it is still a fun project to take on…especially if you are new to mixed-media embroidery. I created my own version of this hoop and working with a sunshine-filled color palette was just what I needed during several rainy & cloudy days.


While creating the list of supplies that you will need for this project, I tried to be mindful of putting together a list of things that you would most likely already have in your home.

  • An embroidery hoop (any size you would like; we used 8″ and 7″)
  • Low volume fabric (we used this fabric from Giucy Giuce/Andover Fabrics)
  • A water soluble pen or pencil or just a piece of chalk or colored pencil (anything that can mark a few lines)
  • Acrylic paint (any brand from the fancy art store kinds to the craft store acrylic paint)
  • Paintbrushes (again, whatever you have on hand)
  • Embroidery thread, yarn, etc (this is what we used)
  • Beads (any kind of seed bead) or Perler Beads or Pony beads (it’s super fun for kids to repurpose their craft stash and they come in such great colors!)
  • White school glue (any brand, we used Elmer’s)


Let’s Get Started: PAINTING!

Begin by choosing your background fabric and placing it in the hoop. Stretch the fabric while you are tightening the hoop…you want the fabric to be nice and tight in the hoop.

*TIP: if you normally prefer to have the screw on the right side of the hoop, you may want to flip it around for now. I’ll tell you why later!

Trim any excess fabric. I like to keep about a 2″ border of fabric which allows me to tighten the fabric as I work on the project.

It’s time to draw your sun! You can either freehand this or find something circle you trace a sun shape into your fabric. This is where you will want to use your water soluble pen/pencil/chalk. Your lines don’t need to be very dark…just dark enough to give you some guidelines for painting.

Once you have your sun, have fun drawing the rays. Draw as many or as few as you want!

Now for the fun part…paint!

You are going to paint your sun first. This large area gives you space to test how it feels to paint on fabric. Begin with a thin coat of paint to see how the coverage looks on the fabric. I ended up using two coats of paint on my sun (see below).

The paint will dry fairly quickly and if you need a second or third coat, you can usually apply that within minutes.

So you’ve painted your sun and you’re ready to paint the rays. Have fun with your paint colors and if you don’t have a large variety of colors at hand, try mixing colors to come up with shades that are slightly different for more variety.

When painting the rays, carefully begin with the edge that touches the sun and work out towards the hoop.

Remember how I said to place your hoop on backwards? This is why! As you paint toward the edge, it is inevitable that bits of paint will get on your hoop. Don’t worry about that! When your project is finished, you will flip the outer hoop and won’t see any of that paint! (I’ll walk you through that at the end!)

Your rays will also need 2-3 coats of paint but will dry quickly.

When you have finished with painting your hoop, let it dry completely before embroidering. I like to give it about an hour to completely dry.

Parents, this gives you some time to clean up your kids and their paint before moving on to the next step! You can even save the embroidery part for another day…make this a multi day project that they are excited to come back to!

Here’s my painted hoop…I think it’s pretty even before any embroidery has been added! And if that’s where you want to end this project, then skip to the end for directions on how to finish your hoop!


Let’s Get Started: EMBROIDERY!

Our hoops were stitched using just the backstitch. Here is a link to my YouTube tutorial on stitching this stitch with and without beads!

I stitched my hoop first using Eleganza size 5 Perle Cotton. If you are using a stranded thread like a DMC floss, I would recommend using at least 4 and even 6 strands, just so that the thread and your stitches are visible. If you are using seed beads, check to make sure that your needle fits through the bead.

My boys used the same thread to embroider, however, they used Perler beads which were super fun to add to this project!

Here’s a little mom tip for you: don’t try to stitch your project while you are helping your kids stitch their projects…trust me! They will need a little more hands-on help with this portion of the project and you can save your hoop to stitch while they are in bed!!

If your little one is too small to take on the embroidery, this is a perfect joint project for you! Let them do all of the painting and you do all of the embroidery. You’ve just made a keepsake that will bring you some sunshine for years to come!


Let’s Finish Your Hoop!

When you have finished embroidering your hoop, re-tighten the fabric in the hoop. If you have paint on the edges, resist the urge to flip your hoop. Don’t worry, we’ll get to that in just a bit.

Trim your fabric now. You want to have enough fabric around the edge to fold it backwards towards the back of the hoop, but you don’t want so much extra that it touches the fabric. I usually leave about 1/2″ – 3/4″ depending on the thickness of my hoop.

Grab your school glue and flip your hoop so you are looking at the back. Run a strip of glue all the way around the back edge of the hoop and begin to fold the fabric over the glue. Your fingers will get a little gluey while you do this, but you’ll notice that as the glue dries, it hardens the fabric leaving you a perfect finished edge on the back of the hoop.

Once it is completely dry (I always leave it an hour, just to be sure), you can now completely unscrew your hoop, remove the outer hoop and flip it over so that any painted edges are now on the backside of your project! Re-screw the hoop and you have a finished project!!

Tie a piece of ribbon and you can hang this hoop to remind you that sunny days are just ahead!

And while you have all of this extra time, make a few of these to give as gifts down the road. This project would make a perfect teacher appreciation gift, because don’t we appreciate those teachers all the more so now than ever before?!


If you want to try your hand at another beginner friendly embroidery project, check out my latest embroidery pattern: Wreath of Flowers, which is available for download now!

If you want lots of embroidery tutorials, check out my YouTube channel!

If you are looking for something to embroider without having to go to the effort of transferring a pattern, my latest release Boho Gardens: In The Conservatory is available and shipping now!

And, for a limited time, check out everything that Bluprint has to offer for FREE, including my class, Mixed Media Embroidery. This is a really great time to chill out and learn a new hobby or skill!


I hope that your family has fun trying this project and be sure to share your projects with me! If you are on Instagram, be sure to use the #bohosunshine hashtags so that I can see what you create!

 

December means…new patterns!

What I love most about December, besides the beautiful sunrises that come with winter mornings (and also the brisk chill that comes with those cold mornings!), is that cozy-ing up inside lends itself to lots of stitching time.

Hmm….what to stitch, what to stitch?

How about not one, not two, but three new wildboho patterns?! Link to my Etsy Shop

I must admit that pattern writing is my least favorite part of creating a new pattern. So you might get a peek at one of my new patterns, like Botany, for instance, back in December of 2018 and not see the actual pattern until exactly one year later!

And a pattern like Plumage, which was released to my QuiltCon students back in February, doesn’t make an appearance again until 10 months later!

Or why Vermillion Blooms has been kept under wraps until today! I couldn’t risk sharing yet another pattern on Instagram without releasing it from the wildboho vault!

I am incredibly excited about each of these patterns and I have been eagerly awaiting this day!

You may have noticed that each of these patterns is solely embroidery and not fabric appliqué with embroidery, like my other pattern releases. That is an intentional choice that I made when creating these patterns!

I wanted to experiment with and show off what can be accomplished with a variety of threads and embellishments and dimensional embroidery. I feel that these patterns really showcase the creativity that can be unleashed with just a few basic supplies.

With Vermillion Blooms, I challenged myself to keep to a limited palette and evoked vintage Redwork embroidery designs while creating an updated pattern, full of whimsy. It was certainly a challenge limiting myself to just the red portion of the color wheel, but it was a fun challenge nonetheless!

I’ve also been updating my YouTube channel to continue sharing videos of the stitches that I knew I was going to be including in these patterns. If you run into any snags, feel free to check them out! I’m always open to suggestions of new content to include, so let me know what you want to see!

I hope you’re able to make room for some slow-stitching time this winter! Tag me on social media with whatever projects you take on…I love to see what you’re working on!

Happy stitching!

Boho Embroidery on YouTube

To coordinate with the release of my first fabric embroidery project, Boho Gardens: In the Conservatory, I’ve been stitching up some helpful videos and adding them to my YouTube channel!

Just a reminder: I’m currently accepting pre-orders for this project! The first batch of orders went out this week and the next batch will be shipping soon! You can send me an Instagram message or email me at bohostitchery@gmail.com to get in on the next shipment! These will eventually find their way into my Etsy shop once I have them in stock.


You can learn the Woven Picot stitch, which is great for adding dimension in the form of leaves.

For a twist on the Chain stitch, you can learn the Hungarian Braided Chain stitch, which gives you a thicker, braid-like line that can be added anywhere you would use the chain stitch.

And if you want to go all out with embellishments, you can learn one of my favorite stitches: the Feather stitch with a bonus lesson on how to add Lazy Daisies, seed beads and the Colonial Knot (which I prefer to the French Knot!)


To keep up to date with my videos, which I am constantly adding to, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel and you will receive a notification when I publish something new!

Happy stitching!

 

Boho Gardens: In the Conservatory

I have been working behind the scenes for quite a while on a project near and dear to my heart. I first began sharing my fabric collage/embroidery projects way, way back in the day (well, if 2012 counts as back in the day!), and each project was a combination of several fussy cut and layered fabrics that I then embroidered directly onto, creating a pattern as I went along.

Fast-forward to today and I still love embroidering layered fabrics that I have fussy cut and I especially enjoy teaching others how they can do this as well.

Boho Gardens: In the Conservatory combines my love of floral anything with trips to both large and small gardens (did you know Philadelphia, PA is the Garden Capital of America?!) and my photography. Mix this up, put it on fabric and you have the first wildboho embroidery project.

Designed to be placed in a 9″ or 10″ hoop, this project captures the spirit of how I first began to embroider fabric collages, except for all of the collage work has been done for you (by yours truly!) and you can focus just on the embroidery!

In addition, I am adding YouTube tutorials to the Boho Gardens section of my channel as inspiration to get you started. This project is designed for all levels of embroiderers and is meant to be embroidered however you would like. Free-spirited, no directions (my favorite kind of directions!) and the perfect slow-stitching project to just begin and take your time embroidering.

For now, I am only taking pre-orders through my instagram page (or a direct email to bohostitchery@gmail.com). These will eventually make their way into my Etsy shop. Orders are shipping soon (next week!) and I can’t wait to see how each person stitches their In the Conservatory hoop project!

A video chat with Blair Stocker

In the chaos of September flying past me and turning into October which then, somehow, went and turned itself into November (!!!), I never shared the video interview that Blair Stocker of Wisecraft Handmade filmed with me, the September Ruby Ambassador!

I absolutely love Blair’s work, which she describes as “Meaningful fabrics into modern patchwork” and was very excited to use her Ruby Minder to organize my threads for several projects throughout the month.

We chat about that as well as lots of other Wildboho/Wise Craft Handmade goings-on I even share several of my favorite projects! Check out our chat here!

Beaded Color Wheel

As an avid bead and button collector, I’m always looking for fun ways to use the supplies that I have. And maybe, just maybe, I’m always looking for an excuse to add to my collections!

I recently stitched one of my patterns, the Fractured Color Wheel, entirely in buttons.

This project took a little over two weeks and I worked on it almost exclusively during that time, but I didn’t track how many hours that I spent on it. A project like this is thought-consuming to me and so the time doesn’t even matter…I can hardly wait to return to it while I’m working on other things!

It is heavy…perhaps one of the heaviest hoops that I have ever stitched! In fact, I had to take it to the grocery store to weigh it on the produce scale and it came in at a whopping 1 lb, 8oz. That might not sound super heavy, but comparing it to most of my hoops (which probably don’t even reach 1 lb), it’s h e a v y!

Here’s the non-beaded, fabric-only version:


To convert this color wheel to an all-beaded wheel rather than a fabric one is very simple!

Choose a background fabric that is simple and light (it makes it easier to trace your pattern onto a light color). Your fabric will be so loaded up with beads and buttons and sequins by the end, that you won’t see it, so don’t use your favorite piece on this project!

Choose the color wheel size that you want to work with (the pattern offers three sizes). I chose to fit my color wheel into a 12-inch hoop.

Print out the pattern and place your fabric on it (pattern facing up, front side of the fabric facing up).

Using a light source (window or Lightbox) and a water soluble pen, trace the pattern onto the fabric. Again, your marks will not need to be washed off because they will be completely covered.

Once the pattern has been traced, fit the fabric into an embroidery hoop and tighten your fabric. And then let the fun begin!

With my fabric pen, I wrote the colors that I wanted to be in each portion of the color wheel. I then began with the biggest pieces…the buttons.

It helped to choose the buttons for each color and then stitch them in place before beginning with the beads. This helps you to visually focus on what color is placed in what spot, but it also helps to have the largest pieces in place first.

Once I had the large buttons in place, I began adding beads and sequins. Large beads first and the smallest beads last (the smallest beads help to fill in any areas that have white peeking through.

Continue adding your embellishments until you can’t see white through the hoop anymore. Tighten your fabric in the hoop once again and then follow the directions in the pattern for finishing the hoop. And you’re done!


One note about thread: I used <a href=”http://Sulky 12 Wt. Cotton Petites Thread” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Sulky 12 wt Petites which is my favorite beading thread. I did not want to use a stranded thread because it’s a little tricky when you are working with lots of beads and I didn’t want to deal with tangles. Having a spool is really helpful. It’s also strong enough to handle all of this beading!

One other note: if you are stitching on heavy beads, it is helpful to stitch through the bead several times. The same thing goes for buttons. You are going to be spending lots of time on this, make sure your beads and buttons are on the fabric nice and tight so that if an accident happens, your beads don’t go scattering everywhere! And hopefully an accident doesn’t happen!

The embroidery stand that I used is also really helpful with a heavy embroidery project. You can find it here. I like that this stand is adjustable into several positions and it never feels like it’s going to be top-heavy when a project is secured into it.


And that’s it! With this post, I’m sending along to you the confidence to take on a project like this…it really is a beginner-friendly project! And it spotlights all of those special embellishments that you’ve been hoarding…I mean, collecting!!!

Have fun stitching and beading and be sure to tag me on Instagram if you take on this project!


Note: some links in this post are affiliate links. I will never recommend something to you that I have never personally tried and that I don’t stand behind for the use intended! 

Bluprint + Embroidery

If you’ve been wanting to take my Bluprint embroidery class, but haven’t yet, now is the time to check it out! All classes on Bluprint are under $20 right now but this special sale is only good through the 27th, so now is your chance!!


And speaking of Bluprint and embroidery, you may have seen my unboxing last week on Instagram of one of the brand new Craft Subscription boxes. In the box, I received the Sage Florals embroidery pattern with everything that I need to get started right away.

I promised some tips on transferring an embroidery pattern, especially when transferring onto a darker fabric. I received a DMC Embroidery Pencil in white and that is the perfect pencil for transferring patterns. I like that you don’t need to press hard to make marks on your fabric.

So before you begin to transfer a pattern, I find it helpful to iron the fabric first. You want a smooth surface to transfer onto. After ironing, you’ll need your pattern and a light source. Sometimes my light source will be a window and sometimes it is my Lightbox. For this pattern, I chose the Lightbox.

Here’s a super fast video of my transfer process. You’ll notice that I turn the Lightbox off and on several times because that is the only way to check that I am transferring all of the lines. Also, I’m not super exact with my transferring. Because I know that I’m probably going to play with the pattern, I’m not very worried that everything is transferred exactly. However, if you are not a rule breaker (like me!!), then you’ll want to take your time and be more precise that I am!

Now, I’m off to finish up several more projects and then I’m going to embroider this project!

Stay tuned for the reveal of a beaded project that I just finished stitching and am absolutely in love with!

Now is the time to Boho your Embroidery!

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If you’ve been wanting to try my Bluprint class Boho Style: Mixed-Media Embroidery but haven’t yet, now is the time! Through Sunday, July 21, you can watch not only my class, but all of the other classes that Bluprint has to offer, for FREE!

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That’s right! Try your hand at Mixed-Media Embroidery and see how much fun it can be to add texture and embellishments to your embroidery!

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I highly recommend my own class (!) but here are a few more of my favorites:

Natalie Chanin’s “The New Embroidery: Simple Geometry, Beautiful Stitches”

Jessica Long’s “3D Embroidery: The Modern Cameo”

Brooke Lark’s “Flay Lay Your Life: Pro Photo Tips”

Have fun watching and learning and don’t forget to tag me in any photos you share on Instagram!

 

Good Vibes Only & Color Wheel Pattern Release!

Is there anything happier than a blog tour for a fabric with Good Vibes in its name? I don’t think so and that’s why I was so excited to be asked to work with this fabric by Shayla Wolf of Sassafrass Lane for Windham Fabrics.

Seriously, so much awesomeness! You can’t help but feel happy when you check out the lookbook for this fabric. And I think it’s so cool knowing that the entire thing was photographed with an iPhone!

There are 32 prints in this collection, all full of colorful and positive words and affirmations.

My first project used one of the grey on white word prints as a background. Using thin strips that I ripped from the fabric (because how good do those frayed edges look?!), I fashioned two flowers and a collection of leaves. I positioned them so that the word “Beautiful” could be embellished with lots of beads. This one just makes me so happy!

Here’s a close-up of the embroidered and beaded word: 

For my second project, I created a brand new pattern, the Ruffled Color Wheel which, drumroll please, is available TODAY!

When I saw the variety of colors included in the Good Vibes Only fabric, I knew I needed to create a project that used lots of them! What better way to use color than a color wheel!

Also, are you a button lover like I am? This is a fun project to include some of your favorite colorful buttons! So much better than keeping them stored in a jar on a shelf. Ahem, that’s the voice of experience speaking!

So be sure to check out my latest pattern, the Ruffled Color Wheel.

And here are both of my projects, side by side, with my little assistants!


And finally, another side project I’ve been working on…my YouTube channel! I have had so many requests for stitching how-tos and so I’ve slowly been adding them to my channel. If you were in any of my QuiltCon classes, you may recognize some of these.

When you check it out, be sure to subscribe because I have lots more tutorials planned for the future and I’ve been updating the videos that are currently available.

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For even more patterns and stitch tutorials, the super-professional kind, not the YouTube kind (!), be sure to check out my Bluprint Mixed Media class.

And watch a trailer of it here:

 


So that’s a wrap! There are so many amazing designers on the Good Vibes Only Blog Tour line-up, so for lots more Good Vibes, be sure to check them out!

Schedule:
Monday, June 3rd: Shayla Wolf | Sassafras Lane Designs
Tuesday, June 4th: Emily Dennis | Quilty Love
Wednesday, June 5th: Nichole Vogelsinger | wildboho (that’s me!)
Thursday, June 6th: Irene Sytema | Sugaridoo
Friday, June 7th: Sylvia Schaefer | Flying Parrot Quilts
Saturday, June 8th: Robin Long | Robin Ruth Design
Sunday, June 9th: Jessica VanDenburgh | Sew Many Creations
Monday, June 10th: Nicole Young | Lillyella
Tuesday, June 11th: Sherry Shish | Powered by Quilting
Wednesday, June 12th: Tara Curtis | Wefty Needle
Thursday, June 13th: Jo Westfoot | The Crafty Nomad
Friday, June 14th: Janet Nesbitt | One Sister Designs
Saturday, June 15th: Natalie Barnes | Beyond the Reef
Sunday, June 16th: Elisabeth Hardy | Elisabew Quilts
Monday, June 17th: Sarah Sharp | No Hats in the House
Tuesday, June 18th: Joanne Hart | Unicorn Harts
Wednesday, June 19th: Elise Baek | Elise & Emelie
Thursday, June 20th: Kaitlyn Howell | Knot and Thread Design
Friday, June 21st: Nicole Daksiewicz | Modern Handcraft
Saturday, June 22nd: Sarah Thomas | Sariditty
Sunday, June 23rd: Shayla Wolf | Recap


(P.S. There will be a giveaway for a bundle of this fabric on my Instagram post from today!!!)