Two of my favorite things in the world are my Mom + handmade, personalized gifts. So what better way to celebrate Mother’s Day than with a handmade gift for the woman who deserves it the most!
My good friend KC at MakeShopLive had this beautiful vintage fabric that also happened to have a large tear in the middle of it. The fabric was too beautiful to keep in storage any longer yet there wasn’t enough to make anything of substance like a pillow. So instead of tossing it aside I decided to break down the fabric into small yet stunning pieces to serve as backdrops for my DIY Mother’s Day Personalized Embroidered Gifts! Below I will take you through the steps so you make your very own!
Here are the materials you will need:
Embroidery Tracing Paper (or any transfer method you prefer!)
Regular Paper (use scrap if you can!)
Ball point pen
Glue (Hot glue or a Quick Drying Glue)
Gather your materials.
Cut fabric, embroidery stabilizer + embroidery transfer sheets to size. For the Ball Jar top simply trace the lid for accurate size. Otherwise size to your hoop leaving about an inch seam allowance.
Write or draw your personalized design using the lid or hoop to draw for accurate sizing. Once you have picked your design tape it onto the wrong side of the transfer paper.
Place the colored side of your transfer paper to the right side of your fabric.
Then simply trace over your design with a ballpoint pen. Note: The vintage fabric was silky so the transfer didn’t work as well as it would have on cotton fabric. If this happens you can carefully trace over your design with a regular or chalk pencil.
Place fabric + embroidery stabilizer in hoop, gently pulling until taught. Time to stitch! I chose a simple backhand stitch for this project. 1: Insert needle from the bottom at any starting point of your design + pull thread through.
2: Moving forward on the design insert a stitch on top + pull thread through.
3: Now insert your needle from underneath leaving a small gap between your last stich + pull thread through.
4: Moving backwards insert the needle at the end of your original stitch + pull thread through.
5: Repeat backhand stich until completed.
Embroidery complete! You can add any flourishes you like such as a french knot.
Now it’s time to adhere the fabric to the Ball Jar cap.
Simply add glue to the outer edges of the top. With the design centered put fabric over the top gently pulling the sides to make it taught. Allow to dry.
Add glue to the inner edges of the twist top. Use glue sparingly! Once done pop the finished lid into place and allow to dry. Trim excess fabric.
Voila! A personalized embroidered cap for any variety of gifts!
Posted in DIY Projects
Tagged DIY, embroidery, Gift, gifting, Giving, Goodies, How-To, May, Mom, Mommy, Mother, Mother's Day, Mum, Personalized, Tutorial
The month of November has been full of thanks + gratitude. Aside from being thankful for family, friends, home + happiness we are thankful for nature + all she provides to us. Not only does nature provide our environment + our daily necessities, she also provides us with bountiful, inspiring beauty. Today we’re featuring a few of natures special autumn pieces that are dispersed within our own home to remind us of how intertwined we are with everyone + everything in life. It reminds us not only of the beauty of that sentiment but also how important it is to always be thoughtful + thankful as we make our way through the world.
Here are some photos of our little collection! It doesn’t take a lot of money when nature is your decorator. Take a walk in the woods or nearby park or take a trip to your nearest farmer’s market to collect all of your natural Thanksgiving decorations!
Wishing you all a truly wonderful, happy + grateful Thanksgiving!
With October in full swing + the air finally cooling down we are keen to put on our favorite sweaters! Unfortunately over the years many good sweaters lose their luster when the dreaded pull, hole or stain takes hold. Instead of accepting defeat we here at Merrily Yours have embraced our ancestors motto “Make Do + Mend” with a functional + beautiful sweater makeover featuring our Felt Flowers! Have a look at our slideshow as Jenn breathes new life into her traditional cardigan.
Interested in purchasing our flowers or having us makeover one of your favorite sweaters? Email us at email@example.com for a consultation + quote!
Posted in DIY Projects
Tagged custom, DIY, elbow patch, fall, fashion, felt flowers, mend, repurpose, sweater, upcycle, winter
Sew L.A. is Los Angeles’s local sewing supply + teaching center. They’ve recently moved from a cozy little spot on Silverlake Blvd to a beautiful new open air storefront in Atwater Village + as a frequent visitor I am thrilled with their new digs! Sew L.A. hand picks gorgeous fabrics that you would never find at your average chain store, they have an incredibly helpful + fun staff along with inspiring modern sewing classes. It’s crafting heaven! I took the Square Knot Clutch Class taught by the designer herself, Devon of Miss Make. The class was a blast! I decided to make two clutches at once to get more practice + because I plan on making more as gifts. I’m so glad I decided to go for the second clutch right away because I wasn’t thrilled with the placement of the cats in my first clutch but after making it once I was able to figure out how to properly place the clutch pattern to the fabric pattern without any issues. Huzzah! Practice pays off! I can’t wait for a good excuse to go out on the town to use my new adorable handmade clutches!! I imagine there will be a lot more to see from Sew L.A. in coming months, it will be hard to stay away from this local treasure for long. Check out some of my pics from class!
I have been a lifetime crafter and was first introduced to the world of needle-crafts at a young age through the guidance of my Oma, Mother and Saturday morning craft classes. I think of the homes of my childhood and have vivid memories of intricate crewel and embroidered pieces adorning walls, filling couch corners and laying on Christmas tables. Not until the last few years did I pick embroidery back up and have let it take over my creative obsessions to the point that I now live and breathe it for my shop Merrily Yours.
While I had an early education it was really just the basics for kids so my work is purely instinctive. I am not trained professionally, I do not know the proper names of stitches, nor do I know if I’ve invented a new stitch or somehow figured out a traditional stitch naturally. I have but one book for embroidery and I have not yet tried any lessons but rather have glanced through all of the fine stitch opportunities with awe. Yet despite my lack of book smarts needle crafting comes natural to me, the stitches seem to fall as if I’m drawing onto the fabric. Recently I’ve become incredibly curious as to how this ability is possible and I think I’ve found my answer in Erica Wilson. Sadly, it’s because of her recent death that I’ve had the opportunity to learn about her through the boundless articles doting on her.
Erica Wilson was a graduate of the Royal School of Needlework in London, born in the UK in 1928 she came to NYC in 1954 to teach. (Erica would have been the same age as my Oma who came to us the US from Germany in 1956). What was supposed to be a yearlong stint turned into an accomplished life as America’s First Lady of Stitchery. As I look through her repertoire I can begin to piece together the reach that she has had on the public, the bountiful library of books, articles, television shows and photos giving everyday people the chance to master needlework for themselves. Suddenly I realize that Erica isn’t just another successful craft artisan, she’s not just another Martha Stewart. To me Erica is a long lost relative that I never had the fortune to meet but instinctively know that she is a kindred spirit to me, just as those family needlework pieces that fill my memories are. Without a doubt my life and my work have been greatly influenced by Erica just as I’m sure many of the family pieces I cherish were, many are likely to even be of her designs. I may have just been introduced to Erica but her I know that her spirit has already been woven into the threads of my life, my family and now my future. As I continue my education within needle-crafts and learn about its leading lady I have a feeling I will find myself creating a deep connected admiration for Erica, I look forward to being awed and inspired by her life’s work and am excited to see how it influences my own work in the years to come.
A couple of family pieces that I am lucky to call my own.
Posted in Features
Tagged art, crafts, crewel, DIY, embroidery, erica wilson, legacy, london, needlepoint, needlework, new york city, obituary, royal school, textile
Gifting has always been one of the biggest joys of my life. I truly love everything about it, I love showing someone I care, that I’ve thought of them, that I listen, that I “get them.” I love the element of surprise and the anticipation of the unveiling of the gift. Above all else I love coming up with a completely unique and personal handmade gift specifically for that person.
To me a handmade gift is unmatched by any store bought item, ever. I can recall nearly all of the gifts I’ve made over the years starting with my kindergarten macaroni Christmas ornaments, to a poem surrounded by delicate colored pencil shavings (it was the epitome of art to me as an 8-year-old) to a series of knitted scarves I made post-college. Recently what I’ve found is that the inspiration, thought and effort put behind a personal handmade gift usually generates an amazing item, often I’m told I should make more. When looking over my Etsy shop I realize that every one of my items came from a spontaneous gift idea for someone I care for.
I think it goes to show there is Power in Gifting, the combination of love, excitement and the goal of an exceptionally perfect gift brings something really magical and wonderful to the crafting table.
When starting off this blog I told myself that I wanted to share what it is like to start a new shop online. Well, I realize to do that I need to be completely honest with myself and with you … Continue reading
I learned embroidery as a child, I can recall slipping brightly colored floss through white fabric taught on small wooden hoops, every stitch leading to a picture of kittens, flowers, clowns or some other wholesome scene. While these pictures were great as a kid, they aren’t always as exciting as an adult (with the exception of kittens but let’s not go there, I don’t want to be that girl even if I know I am).
I’ve been researching different embroidery techniques and patterns to brush up on my skills as I get more into embellishing my crafts. Fortunately I’ve found that embroidery has been given a great breath of fresh air over recent years with textile artists bringing in new and invigorating pictures to the scene. I was so excited to see the collaboration of a childhood classic and modern embroidery with LilyVanilli72‘s Shel Silverstein motifs and nearly blown away by modern embroidery pioneer Jenny Hart‘s portraits. The two are very different aesthetically but are so in tune when it comes to bringing this ancient art form to the everyday. I absolutely adore the idea of using embroidery with any medium I choose and will soon be scheduling a few nights of review with my hoops and needles.
Interested in doing a little modern embroidery yourself? Check out Jenny Hart’s book Sublime Stitching for some fabulous designs and tutorials or try some instant lessons on youtube.com. (Got to love technology + crafts.)
Running Giraffe by LilyVanilli72
Dolly Parton by Jenny Hart
Today I’d like to share one of my favorite creature crafters, WoolBuddy. WoolBuddy is the brainchild of Jackie Huang, who decided to make his own magical needle felted creatures for his newborn daughter when he couldn’t find what he wanted in the marketplace. Jackie makes everything from giant giraffes to bubbly frogs to pink R2D2s and sweet Totoros. You can even buy your own needle felting kit!
I was first introduced to WoolBuddy & the art of needle crafting when Jackie was at ComicCon in San Diego a few years ago. I was so impressed to see such a naturally beautiful, approachable & charming product amongst all of craziness that is Comic-Con that I instantly gravitated towards all of the creatures and have been hooked ever since. Fortunately for me a co-worker also found the magic in WoolBuddy’s work and bought me my very own WoolBuddy Frog! You can see him hanging out at my office desk below. Be sure to check out all of the fuzzy fun at woolbuddy.com and on Etsy!
Bubbly Frog hanging out with Spongebob at work
Love to DIY? Interested in witnessing robots compete? Are you a sucker for learning new & exciting things? Well than look no further then Mini Maker Faire Vancouver starting Saturday, June 25, 2011.
What is a Maker Faire? I’m glad you asked, although the answer isn’t so simple. Maker Faire is an event bringing together inventors, creators, innovators, crafters, hackers and like-minded individuals who want to share their knowledge and experiences with the community. The goal is to educate and invigorate the DIY spirit in everyone!
Started in San Mateo, California in 2006, and also being held in Detroit and New York, World Maker Faire is the premier event for grassroots American innovation. My friend Emily Smith spearheaded bringing Mini Maker Faire to the beautiful city of Vancouver (the Mini doesn’t make the event any less grand, it means that it is completely community-run by a group of non-profits in the city of Vancouver. How cool!!)
Emily is an advocate for crafters, hackers and community, everything that Maker Faire is about! As seen recently highlighted in Craft Magazine, Emily & her crew show us a behind the scenes look at yarn bombing in action! The group took the age-old tradition of knitting and crocheting to the streets beautifying bike racks in an effort to promote the upcoming Mini Maker Faire Vancouver happening tomorrow. A lovely addition to the city if you ask me. If you’re in the neighborhood be sure to check it out and if not don’t worry there may be a Maker Faire coming to your area!!