a cottage of your very own

A couple of weeks ago, Susan showed some very cool embroidered pictures of cottages on her T-Cozy blog. Knowing that I sell copies of vintage patterns on my website, she emailed to ask if I knew anyone who could take her original picture and make a pattern from it. It was a challenging picture to trace (lots of tiny leaves and flowers) but I told her I'd do it. Yes, it's possible to digitally trace original embroidery but it's not magic—you still have to do all the tracing. It's just done with a mouse instead of a writing instrument and a steady hand and graphic design background doesn't hurt either.

The pattern is now for sale and you can head over to her latest blog post for ordering information. It's a really a cool pattern, and not just because I had a hand in it's creation. Everyone loves a sweet little cottage surrounded by flowers, even if they don't really live in one themselves.

A beginning embroiderer may want to practice up on their stitches—about half of the design is cross stitch (that's easy) but the rest uses a variety of other stitches—like chain, outline, French knot, and lazy daisy. If you need help with those, check out my Stitch School posts listed to the right in the sidebar. And, like my patterns, you'll need to transfer the design to your own fabric.

Someone emailed me recently asking if I'd do a tutorial on transfering patterns. I didn't think it was that complicated as I just lay the pattern on a lightbox with the fabric on top and trace over the lines with an air-soluable marker. But, that only works if your fabric can be seen through. I recently bought some flannel-backed baby burp cloths that I thought would be cute with a bit of embroidery in the corners. I set up the lightbox and (oh, no!), you can't see through the layers of fabric. There is another way to do it involving a transfer pencil, so maybe a tutorial would be a good idea after all.

I'll add it to the list. Next up for Stitch School is a post about attaching beads and sequins (or other small objects) because sometimes you just need a little extra bling! I'll try to get that posted next week if the weather cooperates for picture-taking. They weren't kidding about those April showers—it's rained every day since the beginning of the month!


Anonymous said...

The cottage is so sweet! I will have to make one. What brand of transfer pencil do you use? I bought one at Joann's and it was total crap. Everytime I tried to sharpen it the lead would fall out. Grrrr! I usually use by window to trace, but there have been some fabrics I would love to use but can't see through.

Niesz Vintage Home said...

ooh...I can't wait for the bead and sequins post.
I have a fabric that just screaming to be embellished with some bling.

Kimberly :)

Susan from The T-Cozy said...

Thanks again for all of your help in creating the pattern for this wonderful sampler. You are so talented!!!

Sweetness and Light said...

That is the sweetest cottage I have ever seen, I'd love a tutorial, pattern or all of the above :))

KR said...

what a sweet sweet cottage embroidery piece that is :) you are very talented!

I have some big news over at my blog as well, so if you have a moment, pop on over and take a peek. HUGS!


Heather said...

I use the sulky heat transfer pen and love it, it works much better than the pencils. I wrote about them on my blog, if you are interested I'll email you the link.

janet said...

Thanks, Heather! I'll give the pen a try. And for others who might be interested, you can find her post about it here (about halfway down the page):


Anonymous said...

I ordered my copy of the sampler. It is sweet & I can't wait to customize it with my own colors.

I will check out the Sulky transfer pen. I've been using the red pencils for years but I can never get the sharp point for tiny detail.

Heather said...

janet- i didn't want to seem like I was promoting myself so I didn't post the link, but since you did I thought I should give the direct link:

The pen really is a dream compared to the pencils!

j. nell said...

How relaxing to read you blog (and I love your site too!) I love to do applique--and have been itching to try embroidery and pattern design. Your blog is a definite keeper!

Anonymous said...

Hi! I really enjoy your blog and love the stitch school. I just got into hand embroidery, though I do lots of other crafts. I wondered if you ever use Press 'N Seal to transfer. It is the new thing in quilting and I thought it might work for embroidery, too. I'm in the middle of trying it out and it seems to be working pretty well. Just pull off a piece of pressnseal and put it over your pattern. Trace (very easy to see through). I use a regular ball point pen. Then pull off the pressnseal and place on fabric. It clings very nicely to the fabric. While quilting with it I did find that the ink can transfer to the thread but I think that was only because I traced and immediately started quilting (machine). I think if the ink dries for a few minutes its not a problem.

Anyway, thanks for your blog. I will check out that sulky pen, too. I have been looking for a good pen/pencil. I've been using Roxanne's Quilter's Choice pencil and it is very good, but still hard to get detail.