Monday, December 15, 2008

Challenge 34 - Hand Stitch with Embroidery Floss

You guys are in for a treat this week.... our Guest Host is Scarlet Namvong - here is her challenge:

A little bit about me:

Hi! My name is Scarlet Namvong and I am one of the Creative Directors of Studio Calico, a monthly kit club and online community. I believe that scrapbooking is more than memory-keeping. For me, scrapbooking is a creative outlet, a vehicle for learning and experimentation, and a way to connect with like-minded people.

Through scrapbooking, my interest in other crafts has grown. I had never wanted a sewing machine until I “needed” one to stitch on my layouts, but now I crave designer fabrics as much as I covet pretty paper. I find myself wishing I could knit, crochet, embroider…

Since I work with paper more than I work with fabric, I have challenged myself to integrate sewing into my scrapbooks, most commonly through hand-stitching. What started with a basic back-stitch has expanded into an entire repertoire of stitches, including lazy daisy stitch, blanket stitch, threaded running stitch, cross-stitch, and the list goes on and on.

Who says that creative stitching should be limited to sewing projects and wall hangings?

My challenge to you:
Get out your needle and embroidery floss and stitch!

Here are few of my favorite things about hand-stitching on layouts…

First, it is cheap and the creative possibilities are almost endless. Embroidery floss typically costs less than 30 cents a skein, and there are so many colors available. Get into the habit of picking up a few colors each time you visit the craft store. Take along a scrap of patterned paper from a project that you are working on or choose a combo that coordinates with the other items in your cart.

Second, stitching on your layouts adds an element that is uniquely yours. You may be using the same papers and embellishments that hundreds of other scrapbookers are using, but your stitches are designed by you.

Third, stitching is a gift. Have you ever received a wall hanging or pillow that was stitched just for you? The person who made it for you poured hours of time and love into creating something for you to cherish. I feel the same way when I stitch on my layouts. To me, the homespun feel that stitching creates says, “I created this for you with my heart and my hand.” The layouts on which I take the time to stitch always seem more special to me somehow.

Here’s the layout I created for this challenge:

I used three different stitches here… a basic cross-stitch, a threaded running stitch, and a back-stitch (with a few cross-stitches mixed in just for fun).

What tools do you need to stitch on your layouts, you ask? What is a threaded running stitch and how did you learn how to do it? Can you show me some other examples of ways you have integrated stitching into your layouts?

So glad you asked… for the answers to these questions or for the chance to ask questions of your own, please visit my blog at
I’ll post several more tips and layouts for you to enjoy this week!

PALOMA'S LAYOUT: Notice how Paloma did "traditional" cross-stitching to write the first word of the title and to add a little design element. She also added stitched right onto her patterned paper - adorable.

BRENDA'S LAYOUT: Brenda reminded us that stitching can be simple to be effective. Notice how she used hand-stitching around her patterned paper, as freehand element by the butterfly, and as a way to highlight the journaling strips. Lovely.

JEN'S LAYOUT: I love to cross-stitch (and hand-stitch in general, for that matter!) on my layouts, but sometimes I do not want to go through the hassle of lining all those little holes up. Here, I went the lazy way and let my background paper do the work for me. I chose a pattern with a small dot - made it very simple to stitch.

DEBORAH'S LAYOUT: Deborah decided to cross-stitch a tree on her layout. Like Jen, she chose a patterned paper with small dots to make it easier to line up her stitches.

Now give it a try. Take a break from wrapping presents, making cookies, and going to parties and get something crafty done! You have 2 weeks to complete the challenge - Midnight on the 28th is the cut-off.

And just in case you need some added incentive, check out this AMAZING rak, being provided by the ever-generous Studio Calico. This November kit, named Fountain Square, is full of goodies and is valued at $34.50!


Anonymous said...

i just did a little bit of stitching... just by the butterfly


Beate said...

Oh wow, these layouts are all amazing! I often like to use stitching on my layouts, but I usually just do a running stitch or machine stitching. You've encouraged me to take it to the next level.

debra lynn said...

Here is mine! I love stitching on layouts and fabric, but I've only just started. The layout is on our blog, its titled Lucky Day

Marilyn said...

I love handstitching, especially since I am too scared to try an actual sewing machine, lol!! My layout is on my blog, Thanks for a great challenge!

Dania said...

- Preciosas todas las paginas.... me encanta este reto porque auna dos de mis aficiones.... el scrap y la ahuja.... gracias por la oportunidad....
- Os dejo el enlace...

Cassandra West said...

Here is my LO

Love stitching!! Both hand and machine!!!

Thanks for a great challenge!

emily minton said...

I love stitching too! Cheap and beautiful!

Here's mine:

Helsbells said...

I love sewing on my layouts. I find it very therapeutic to sit and sew :)

Here is my layout:

Thanks for the challenge.

Kristii said...

I combined my stitching challenge with a sketch by Allison Cope and I am happy with the results!! The gold floss was very hard to work with but it was worth it!

Anonymous said...

and i love stitch !!!
ok i test that as soon as possible for me ...

Chiqui said...

my layout with stitching is in my blog:
title of layout: this is me.

ladynurse4 said...

My layout for this challange is on my blog. It is the one that is mostly blue and brown and is of a castle in Germany. It is at the top right now.
Thanks for all the wonderful "out of the box" ideas for doing new things. This is a hobby that is always fresh and new thanks to you.

Anna-Karin said...

Amazing layouts! I love hand stitching on my layouts, so this was a perfect challenge for me. Here's my layout:

Happy New Year and thank you so much for all the inspiration during the year!!


kristintxo said...

I like stitching on layouts but I´m
clumsy... ;)
This is my layout:

Thanks for all challenges!!! Happy New Year!!!!!

Pilar said...

Here my layout!! I enjoyed making this LO, it´s so simple but pretty.

thanks Pilynor (from Spain)

susie said...

I know I missed the deadline for the prize, but I had fun working on the layout and I wanted to share. Thanks for the inspiration ladies!