Category Archives: Machine embroidery

Winter’s Day

Winter’s Day

I started this project after a walk on a beautiful sunny day.  Using white fabric, I machine stitched shapes using a twin needle and then cut out parts.  I coloured a second piece of white fabric using Caran D’Ache Neocolor II water-soluble wax pastels and Derwent Inktense Pencils.  The plan for the piece evolved as the weather changed.  An ice-storm brought down many branches from my pine trees and then froze them to the ground and covered them with snow.

Detail – hand embroidery and weaving

I stitched the pine branches onto water-soluble stabilizer with the sewing machine and once the stabilizer was washed out I sewed them onto the back side of the cutouts.

Detail: Winter’sDay

This will be one of the pieces I will be entering in Out of the Box‘s Fibre Fling 6 show in April.


This year is Raggedy Ann’s 100th birthday.  So to commemorate the event I am making some Raggedy Ann-type dolls.  This is my first attempt.



The face is machine embroidered.

Later this month she will be donated to the Ottawa Fire Department to be given to a child in crisis.



I recently watched a video demonstration by Dory Kantor on Notans.  Traditionally these are done cutting out black paper and gluing the results to white paper.  In the video Dory uses colour and that was a major stimulus for me to give it a try.

I started by experimenting with face shapes. Once they were done I traced and scanned them and then used my embroidery software to make embroidery patterns.







Next I tried a flower shape and I cheated on this one as I changed it while I was tracing it to get the form and shapes I wanted.




Then, just for fun I did cat silhouettes.


All the embroideries are done on white organza.



Forest Fawn

This is a fused applique I recently finished for the Out of the Box colour challenge.

deer amoung leaves applique

Forest Fawn

It is from a photograph I took of a fawn that, with its mother regularly visited my cottage in Calabogie.  The deer are quite used to humans and don’t run off as long as there is a bush or  a tree (and sometimes just a long piece of lumber) between you and them and you don’t get too close.

I used machine stitches on the tree trunk and branches for shading then coloured between the stitches using Derwent Inktense Blocks. The leaf detail is hand embroidered.

Embroidered Landscape

My doll club (All Dolled Up) and FAC (Figurative Artists Consortium) are planning a fibre art and doll making retreat in June.  We will be gathering at the local community college for a weekend of learning and sharing while having a lot of fun.  Most of us will stay in the residence as there will be lots to do in the evenings as well.

Several members of All Dolled Up  and some non-members are contributing items to the delegate bag that will be handed out to all who register.  I have made a number of embroidered fridge magnets that will be included in the delegate bags.

embroidered landscape - fridge magnet

embroidered fridge magnets

Each one is a little over 1 inch square.  They are all the same design but I have made several different colour versions.  They are machine embroidered.

I’m looking forward to the retreat; I know it is going to be a lot of fun.


Prudence is another doll whose shape was inspired by a bottle. (See Making a Pattern from a Bottle here.)

I used the same pattern as for Portia and Passion ( see here and here)  except that I made the pattern slightly smaller.

Sewing Embroidered Parts together

The front and one side are sewn together half way

I used the sewing machine to make  the hair.  Using the same  green thread  I used in the body, I sewed straight lines on water soluble stabilizer and then sewed over it with a decorative stitch that caught both straight lines.

Sewing hair by machine

Sewing decorative stitch over the two lines of straight stitch

After washing out the stabilizer and letting it dry, I cut it up and used Fray Check to seal the ends before sewing it on the doll’s head.  I marked dots on the head with a pencil as a guide.

Sewing on the hair

Sewing on the hair

The face was painted with pastel pencils.

Here is the completed doll.

Art doll made from bottle pattern


Detail of art doll

Detail – Prudence

Thread Tangle from a Photograph

  This past week I did two more thread tangles from the same picture.

The picture is one that I took of my nephew when he was small.

I sketched the picture and then traced it, outlining the areas with a different values.

In my embroidery software, I choose a different colour and pattern for each area.  This allows me to do different versions more easily.

As these tangles originate from a photograph I seem to want to do at least one version in more realistic (but not necessarily accurate) colours.

As the picture is almost square I couldn’t decide whether to do it in portrait or landscape orientation. So I did one of each.

Sherry and Passion

I have completed 2 dolls this past week.  Both are based on bottle shapes and have been seen here in their unfinished forms.

Passion unfinished

Sherry unfinished

This is what the dolls looked like the last time you saw them.

For Passion I removed the panel and then emphasized the twist with beading.

Sherry involved a lot more work. I made free motion large flowers and leaves.  I tried to do some smaller ones in free motion, but ended up using my embroidery software and machine embroidering them.  They all had to be sewn on by hand with invisible thread.


I have finished one of the dolls using the pattern I made from a bottle.  I have named her Portia.

I wanted to keep the shape of the bottle so I didn’t add arms.

Portia - Detail

I used the same green thread for her hair as I used in the embroidery.  I altered the pattern for the stopper of the bottle by adding a nose and a chin to make the head.


Mistakes happen.

Here are 2 of the 4  pieces embroidered from the pattern I created last week.

Unfortunately I forgot a very important step. I forgot to check the pattern to make sure that it was symmetrical.

So the resulting shape is a little twisted.

I took out the piece with the inset and sewed it back together.

It still is twisted but l can use this.

I went back to the pattern and fixed it up and stitched out another version which looks more like what I originally had in mind.

I will add bases and stuff these, add heads and maybe arms.

Embroidery Detail

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