Wednesday, November 6, 2013

I Spy Quilting Feathers!

I Spy Feathers in My Morning Latte!
Hmmm...  Methinks that Rush Espresso owner Paul McConachy has much promise if he ever gets tired of the coffee business and decides to pursue quilting instead.  Do you see those lovely feathers he created on top of my nonfat lattes?  He does that every single time, even for customers who are not quilters and who probably don't even appreciate it. 

St. Joseph's Lily by Embroider Shoppe, photo by SewCalGal

Well, I lied to you, Internet, and promised you a machine embroidery blog hop post today that is not going to happen.  I was planning to stitch out and review these gorgeous three-dimensional lily embroidery designs using South African embroidery designer Embroider Shoppe's fantastic designs, but I was unable to source all of the specialized supplies for the project in time so I had to drop out of the hop at the last minute.  I wanted to show you the designs anyway, because they are so spectacular and I really do want to attempt them some day.

In the photo above (taken by SewCalGal at Quilt Market; see her post here), what appears to be a vase of flowers is actually a vase of three-dimensional embroidered petals and leaves.  There is no fabric, just two types of embroidery stabilizer and thread for those petals and leaves.  Isn't it amazing that you could stitch something like that with your embroidery machine?  Embroider Shoppe has lots of different flower styles to choose from, including many lily varieties as well as hibiscus and poinsettias that would be perfect for holiday decorating.  Here are some of the ways I would use these 3-D floral designs:
  • Embellish a ribbon-wrapped headband with 1 or even 3 lilies for your favorite little fairy princess
  • Adorn an elegant wedding or shower gift with a single lily and a wide satin ribbon for an extra-special presentation
  • Create special hair ornaments for bridesmaids, brides, or prom by attaching embroidered flowers to hair combs or pinning in place
  • Attach a wire ring to each individual blossom for custom napkin rings -- dust with glitter or tiny Swarovski crystals to inject some glamour into your next formal table setting
  • Use 3-D embroidery flowers in place of tassels on drapery tiebacks and window valances, with thread colors customized to coordinate with your fabrics

I would classify these embroidery designs as "embroidery CRAFT PROJECTS;" that's my only caveat.  Looking through the project directions, the actual embroidery part looks pretty straightforward although you do need two specialized stabilizers, Sulky Fabri-Solvy and Sulky Soft and Sheer Extra, in order to end up with free-standing petals and leaves that can be water dampened and shaped properly.  However, the supply list includes lots of non-sewing tools and supplies that you may already have on hand if you do a lot of craft projects, such as wood burning tools, hot glue gun, acrylic paints, fishing line, floral tape and florist's wire, and there is definitely some skill involved in using these items to create realistic-looking stamens for the flower centers.  I understand that Embroider Shoppe may be coming out with a video tutorial soon demonstrating how to create these flower parts and assemble the flower itself, and I think these projects will be a lot more accessible to embroiderers with different skill levels once they can watch a demonstration in addition to following the written instructions.

Fall ME Blog Hop copyEven though I wasn't able to pull it off this time around, the Fall Machine Embroidery Blog Hop is still in full swing!  Please visit the other blog participants to be inspired by the projects and designs they are showcasing, and to enter in the SPONSORED GIVEAWAYS that each blog will be hosting this week.  Here's the adjusted lineup for the blog hop:


Monday, Nov 4th

Tuesday, November 5th
I Have A Notion

Wednesday, November 6th
Patsy Thompson Designs 

Thursday, November 7th

Friday, November 8th
Stormy Days; SewCalGal 


SewCalGal said...

I've always wanted to enjoy a coffee with a fancy motif. Now I have another reason to come visit you.

Great post and thanks for sharing insights on the Fall ME Blog hop. Everyone is welcome to come join the fun and enter to win a free design too. But you are so correct that there are so many different stabilizers for projects that can easily add $$ to our stash. But what pretty flowers these are. One day I want to stitch them out. Love your ideas for using them.


LJ said...

I hope that you are right that there is a video coming out about the flower construction. I bought the Stargazer Lily design but haven't gotten it made. I'll have to admit that the process/instructions were a bit daunting so a video would be a fabulous idea. Your espresso 'friend' is a real artist.

Carrie P. said...

i would love to see that feather done in our coffee around here. Maybe someone does I just have seen it yet.
Oh, too bad you could post. The flowers are pretty neat.

JanetD said...

Those coffees look mighty yummy, it's making me want to skip out of work (surely I need to run to the bank?) and get some. The new blog header is awesome.