A spontaneous stitch out with no planning whatsoever

As an avid digitiser I had to embroider my New Year’s message for you all! Rather than create something new I decided to take one of my favourite collection and create a new design with the elements. This is the result and you can purchase the designs in January 2019 for just $7.50. What a bargain to start a year of embroidery.

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A study in white for a machine embroidered bridal veil?

Back in the summer after seeing that remarkable embroidered veil which was worn by Meghan Markle, I knew it was time to digitise some unique designs for veil embroidery. The Rachel Kathryn Bridal collection is named after my eldest daughter. Some designs really lose their depth and detail when they are stitched out in just one colour. The collection has been created to keep the details of this distinct embroidery using various white and ivory threads, and successfully on sheer fabrics. 

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The march of the Nutcrackers

This Christmas it seems that we have all become fascinated with decorative Nutcrackers due to the release of the film, the Nutcracker and the Four realms. I well remember my first attendance at Covent Garden, London to the Royal Ballet perform Tchaikovsky’s wonderful ballet of the Nutcracker, so when I decided to digitise some of these charming figures, I decided first to do my homework and find out more.

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My first Christmas roses

Over the last few weeks I have been putting the finishing touches to my new collection, which is called Winter Jewels. These designs celebrate the beauty of the Hellebore, known as the Christmas or Lenten rose. This is however much more than a collection, but a botanical study of these magical flowers that are actually made up of sepals not petals.

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Embroidering a large design and using the wrong thread!

When I was digitising the first designs in the new Vintage Grace collection I had the advantage of the big picture. I have admired the clip-art that was used for this collection for a long time, wanting to create detailed embroidery designs from it.  Continue reading

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Shadow work for the Grace Font

Last year I created the Grace font which has proved very popular, with the option of dainty flowers, so I thought I should complete it by creating lower case letters and numbers so you have more choice when creating an embroidery with letters. Did you know that these pretty fonts stitch out as shadow work? Let me show you how easy it is!

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Embroidery inspired by a royal wedding

I love a wedding, but don’t we all? Yet the royal wedding of Queen Elizabeth’s grand daughter, is something very special, full of pageantry, the splendour of Windsor castle, along with the royals all dressed up. It is always fascinating to see the first glimpse of the dress, the flowers and the outfits of all the wedding guests.  I was pleased to see that there were myrtle flowers in Princess Eugenie’s bouquet, which is a royal tradition.

“Queen Victoria who was given a nosegay of myrtles by Prince Albert’s grandmother.  A sprig was planted by the terrace walls at Osbourne House on the Isle of Wight in 1845 where it still flourishes today.  It has become a Royal tradition  for sprigs from this same plant to be used in royal bouquets!”

It all reminds me of the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge back in 2011, when after studying the bridal bouquet I digitised the Bridal Grace collection. Kate Middleton’s bouquet featured  lily of the valley, hyacinths, sweet williams,  myrtles and ivy leaves, all symbolic.

Earlier this year I noticed that myrtle plants were for sale in a little nursery that I visited, so I had to have one, and this is my plant which flowered for the second time back in July. You can see all the new growth which happened when the drought came to an end here in England. I will treasure this plant as its flowers are so precious.  The buds which are featured in the embroidery designs really are tiny globes of cream! Ok, I made them pale green, but I don’t think I had so many colours in my palette of embroidery threads back then, and it also proves that digitising can be more accurate when you are familiar with the flowers you are transforming into embroidery, growing them in your own garden which I love to do.

I am still immensely proud of the collection of designs and you can see it here, in all its glory in the original colours.

Today Princess Eugenie had very similar flowers in her delicate bouquet, all symbolic, white roses, stephanotis, myrtles, lily of valley and thistles. The flowers of stephanotis, with their delicious fragrance,  are very similar to the hyacinths symbolizing a crown. The Greville tiara with emeralds, borrowed from the Queen, matched the glorious leaves of the flowers. In fact  some of the floral displays represented trees and there were trees outside the chapel. The delicate blue thistles were a wonderful addition to the bouquet symbolizing strength, bravery and determination, perfect for a bride prepared to show the large scars on her back from surgery at the age of 12. I loved her dress and when I was able to find close ups of the fabric, it was evident that it was produced especially for the dress, made of a silk, viscose and cotton mix with motifs which included thistles representing Scotland, shamrocks for Ireland and roses for England, along with ivy.

As there are four days left in the Birthday event you can still purchase the 5 sets of Bridal Grace designs for $7.50 each, but this sale finishes on Monday 15th October, 2018.

Best wishes to the happy couple and happy embroidering from Hazel


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A flamboyant crazy quilt block -a re-blog

In completing my 12th Romantic Crazy quilt block I decided to be more flamboyant than usual. After I had added the four pastel shades of silk dupion along with some lace to the base fabric and completed the embroidery, I searched for lots of silk ribbon, pearls, crystals and other items to embellish my block. I find it is a good idea to lay them all out around the block to see what goes well and what doesn’t….

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Seasonal embroidered gifts

This morning I drove through the New Forest, a national park not far from where I live. It seems that autumn has arrived with a flourish here, the leaves are turning and dancing to the ground and the ferns have changed into golden bracken. The colours all around reminded me of the Gloriana Gold collection, which features little aspen type leaves in greens and golds. This collection along with Pumpkin Scrolls is perfect for Thanksgiving embroidery.

You will be fascinated with the blending of rich colours that are used for the embroidered pumpkins in Pumpkin scrolls. and they can be used for all sorts of projects for around the home. However they would also make a wonderful thank you gift to give, if you are celebrating with friends this year.

How quickly the Christmas flurry of excitement and busyness comes upon us. Ideally we should start our Christmas embroidery in January! My Christmas collection for this year is still in development so I will show it to you another time, but there are lots of seasonal design collections at Graceful Embroidery. I would like to share some spectacular projects which will inspire you this year to get embroidering. Giving an embroidered gift or card brings so much more joy than a bought one, I feel.

Create a 12 days of Christmas wall hanging.

Embroider some crazy quilted stockings.

Make a table runner with the designs from the Holly Bells collection. This simple place mat is easily constructed with a design in Elegant Messages 3 

I have created two collections with poinsettias, Poinsettias promises and Stars of Bethlehem. 

You will find dimensional flowers in the later collection as shown on this cushion. These stockings below were embroidered with Poinsettias promises which has the ornate scroll work very similar to Celtic knot work.

Last year I created the Gilded Treasures collection which featured an unusual colour scheme, based on some wrapping paper that I had seen. I had a tree skirt in mind when I digitised these designs.

Hopefully you will have got a few ideas on designing and creating your own special Christmas project. Now is the time to stock up on the Christmas and thanksgiving designs at Graceful Embroidery as my sale has been extended to October 15th. Have fun and enjoy being creative.

Happy embroidering from Hazel













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Getting back to embroidery – part of a re-blog

It seems that many machine embroidery enthusiasts are prone to taking a break from embroidery for a time, especially during the summer months, and require some inspiration to plug in their machines, hoop up some fabric and get embroidering again. Maybe this is the result of a series of failures and disappointments. There are several ways to get back into the excitement of seeing a design stitch out on your machine.

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