Once upon a pixel – A new book in the making

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Beginning of this year I published my first book. A super tick quilt book full of all paper piecing patterns that I ever designed. Now, half a year later I’m working on my second book. Together with Gerda from Studio Koekoek I’m writing a book about pixels.

Pixel patterns can be used in cross stitching (please do take a peek at the Studio Koekoek website) but of course also in quilting and crochet. In the book ‘Once upon a Pixel’ you’ll find a collection of pixel patterns in the once upon a time theme. Including many fun projects for a children’s room or nursery. It’ll be full of fairy tale figures, knights, princesses and castles.

The last months I’ve worked on making the quilts for the book. If you follow me on Instagram you’ve probably seen some sneak peeks of the projects. Also in my latest vlogs (YouTube – Sugaridoo) you can see some power quilting being done ;)

 

All test stitchers thank you thank you for all your hard work!

 

I can’t wait till it’s time to shoot the final product photo’s. Meanwhile we keep writing, stitching and quilting.

 

Would you like to be the first to place a pre order for the book? Then keep an eye out on the Sugaridoo Instagram and Facebook. With a week or 2 we will be ready to take the first pre-orders

The book will be released end of September 2017 on a craftfair in the Netherlands (Handwerkdagen in Rijswijk). On this same craft fait there will be an exposition of all the projects made for the book.

After the book release there will also be a digital version available as an e-book (in Dutch and in English) via our webshops.

Liefs,
Irene

Selecting yarn colors for crochet

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Hi there!

Picking the right colors of yarn for your crochet project can be challenging. Choosing the perfect color combination can really give your work that bit of extra pop. But which colors match and which aren’t so great together?

How do you pick colors when you’re about to paint your house? With color swatches! Super easy to use, pick a few, hold them next to each other and you’ll quickly see if the combination is a winner. So why not use color swatches for crochet yarn :) They are super easy to make. Let me show you how.

What do we need

  • Yarn
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Thread bobbins
  • Optional: double sided tape

color Swatches materials

Let’s get started. Take a thread bobbin and put a small piece of double sided tape on the back. You can skip this step if you want. I like to secure the thread to the bobbin this way, but it also works without the tape.

step1

Now stick the end of the thread to the double sided tape and start winding you thread around the bobbin.

step2

Wind and wind and wind and wind..

step3

Secure the end in the notch of the bobbin and cut off the thread.

step4

Now write down the brand and color number of the yarn on the bobbin. I use one letter to remember the brand (in this case P for Phidar coton 3) and then the number for the color.

And that’s it! Just repeat this for all the yarn lying around in your house and you’re all set to mix and match yarn colors.

When you make it a habit to make color swatches every time you buy new yarn, you won’t have the problem of not knowing the brand or color number anymore (happend to me too often haha..).

color Swatches2

Easy peasy right? Let me know what you think of yarn color swatches!

Love,
Irene

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How to frame a cross stitch quick and easy

Last Sunday I attended a local home made market in The Hague. I had some cross stitch art on display in hoop and got asked many times how I framed them. So let me share my technique for framing a cross stitch with you. I love how simple this is and the perfectly finished look it creates.

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What do we need

– a finished cross stitch
– matching hoop
– white thread and needle
– piece of wool felt
– fabric glue
– pinking sheers or normal scissors

Before we start, use the inner ring of your hoop to trace a circle on the piece of felt. We will use this later on.

Let’s get started

First we prep our cross stitch for framing. I sometimes skip this step with small projects, but for larger ones I do recommend following this.

To prepare for framing you first wash you fabric. A gentle hand wash will do just fine. After washing, let it dry flat. When it is almost dry, you give it a nice press (on the back of your work) and then it’s ready to frame.

After washing, drying and pressing you center your work in a matching hoop. Make sure the outer ring sits nice and tight.

frame1

Now cut the exces fabric around the hoop. Leaving about 2.5 cm (1”) of fabric around the hoop.

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Take a white thread and and needle and sew the acces fabric together. Sew crisscross from side to side to get all edges inward.

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Cut the felt circle you traced before we started. You can use pinking sheers for a nice finish, but normal scissors also work fine.

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Finally, put some fabric glue on the back of your work along the inner ring of the hoop. Put your pieces of felt on there and gently press it to secure it in place.

 

And your done! Looks pretty doesn’t it? I hope this helped you framing your cross stitch art.

Have a lovely day!
Love,
Irene

Plastic canvas tutorial – Robot keychain

Hello there! So nice to have you here on Sugaridoo. Want to learn to stitch on plastic canvas? Read on! We’ll be doing a tutorial on how to make these cool robot key chains.

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All aspects of cross stitching on plastic canvas will be covered. There are so many options for using this technique. Please share in the comments what you are making, I’d love to know!

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What do we need

  • Plastic canvas, 7 count
  • Yarn (i use fingering weight cotton)
  • Wool needle (with a blunt tip)
  • Scissors
  • Key chain or clip with a little ring

All materials are available as a kit in the Sugaridoo Etsy shop: Robot DIY kit.

Pattern
This is the pattern for the awesome little robots:

Patroon

Let’s get started
We begin by attaching our first thread. Don’t tie a knot. Just thread your needle and hold the end of the thread at the back side of the canvas.

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We will work with cross stitches and back stitches in this pattern. Cross stitches are made like this:

_crossstitch

Want to know how more about making cross stitches? Check this beginners Cross Stitch Tutorial.

Make your first row of half cross stitches, make sure you stitch around the thread end at the back. Here you see the front.

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And this is the thread end at the back, all tangled up in the stitches.

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After you secured the thread end at the back you can continue making cross stitches.

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When you come to the end of your thread, bring it to the back of your work. Wiggle the needle through a row of stitches and pull it through. When it’s secured, just cut the tail of the tread sort.

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Starting with a second thread is already easier than the first one. Just wiggle your needle through some stitches at the back and you are ready to go.

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Just continue making your cross stitches ate the right locations following the pattern. When you did all the stitches you will get something like this:

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After all cross stitches are done you can make the back stitches. Don’t pull them too hard, just tight enough will do. They give a nice detail to your work don’t you think?

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You can learn more on how to make back stitches in This Tutorial.

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So now both sides of the key chain are finished. We only need to sew them together. Attach a thread to the back of one of the robots and pull it to the front in a square on the side. Place the robots back to back and start looping around the side. I did three stitches per square as you can see below. This fills up the sides really nicely.

_Stramien10

Continue until you reach the end of your thread. Wiggle the needle in between the two robots, trying to catch some stitches at the back. Then pull through and cut off the thread. Same for attaching the next thread, wiggle it in between the robots. Try to get your needle through a few stitches at the back so the thread will stay in place.

In the corners you can loop about 5 or 6 times. Leave one top corner open to be able to attach the little ring there.

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Here you see the open top right corner and the key chain supplies. Open the little ring, pull it through the top corner and attach the key clip and charm.

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And that’s it. You’re done, good job! There are endless possibilities with this material, I love to see what you are making. Just leave a comment to let me know what you are working on.

Love,
Irene

_Stramien14

 

Learning to cross stitch [Part 4]

Welcome the last part of our mini series on learning to cross stitch! Today we will finish our ladybug with the back stitches. Yesterday we talked about following a pattern. Missed yesterdays post? You can find it in the links below. In this series the following topics will be discussed:

Part 1: Materials
Part 2: Cross stitches
Part 3: Following a pattern
Part 4: Back stitches

During this series we will work on a cute little ladybug. Just click on the image below to find the enlarged image of the pattern. I hope you follow along and enjoy your first steps in cross stitching.

Free_ladybug_crossstitch_pattern

 

So lets talk back stitches! I love to do stitch them, they add the details to your work. In the ladybug pattern all back stitches are done with a single black thread (DMC 300). In the schematic below you will see how some stitches are made. You pull your thread up at the end of the first stitch you want to make. Than you go back to the beginning of the stitch and go to the end of your second stitch. So you kinda work backwards ;) Probably the pictures will be more clear than my explanation.

_backstitch

I started stitching around the pink body of the ladybug. In this pattern all outlines will be stitched. We start by stitching some straight line (1-8).

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At the end of the straight part we will take a turn, so at the back of your fabric you will see a diagonal stitch. But as you can see, on the front we have only horizontal and vertical stitches (11-12).

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After you’ve gone around the body you can stitch around the dots and also around the black areas. Do you see how wobbly the stitches look at the back :) Such a difference with the front!

When all outlining is done, we have to stitch the feelers. Just simple back stitch them from the head toward the end of the feeler (13). Then gently wave your needle through the stitches on the back, back to the head (14). When you cross the empty area of the fabric with you black thread on the back, it could show a bit on the front.

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And that’s it! There is your cute little ladybug. What do you think? Quite fun cross stitching isn’t it? :)

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Thank you so much for reading this mini series, I hope you’ve enjoyed it!

Love Irene

Learning to cross stitch [Part 3]

Welcome back to part 3 of our mini series on learning to cross stitch! Today we will learn how to follow a pattern. Yesterday we started with the first eight stitches. Missed yesterdays post? You can find it in the links below. In this series the following topics will be discussed:

Part 1: Materials
Part 2: Cross stitches
Part 3: Following a pattern
Part 4: Back stitches

During this series we will work on a cute little ladybug. Just click on the image below to find the enlarged image of the pattern. I hope you follow along and enjoy your first steps in cross stitching.

Free_ladybug_crossstitch_pattern

We will start by stitching the high lighted area in the pattern below. (The green area is what we will stitch, the grey area is already done.) All the squares marked with a dot will be stitched in cranberry pink (DMC 601). Basically we will stitch in columns from right to left until our thread is finished. Usually you will try to make columns as long as possible, but the dots of the ladybug are a bit in our way, so we will have to work around them.

_patroon2

When your thread is finished before mine in the pictures, no problem. Just bring you thread to the back of the fabric and fasten of as we learned at the end of Part 2 of this series. In pictures (13-15) you’ll find how to start with a new thread.

We finished our first row at the left bottom corner of the first cross stitch. This is not where we want to start with our second row. Therefor we will go two squares down and on square left via the back of our fabric (1). From here we will make twelve cross stitches (2-3). When you finish your last stitch, look in the pattern where your next row will start. You can finish you stitch and go to your next starting point in one move (3).

_Tweederij1

Make the third row of 14 cross stitches (4). Now the pattern tells us to make a row that consists of cranberry pink and dark mauve cross stitches. We will first only make the cranberry pink stitches. So we skip the dark pink parts, in this row just skip two squares (5-7). And we will also skip them on our way down (8-9).

_Tweederij2_en _Tweederij3

The next row has 4 dark pink stitches, we will skip these as we did in the row before (10-11). I’m no a fan of skipping to much squares, this leaves loose threads at the back of your work (you can see the larges crosses at the back). So when I can I try to work around areas that are stitched in a different colour.

If you still have thread left cross stitch the next two rows, I only stitched them up to the second dot of the ladybug (12).

_Tweederij4

There is no golden rule on how to proceed from here. You can first stitch everything in Pink, or stitch some of the dots in dark pink. I chose to stitch the black area first, the plusses in the pattern. Doing this gives some guidance on where the pink will go next.

_patroon3

So now we have to attach a new thread. Just thread you needle and pull through some stitches at the back of your work (13-15). I never make knots. Make sure that your thread ends at the approximate location where you want to make your first stitch (16).

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Now just stitch the black area (17) and finish of when your done (18).

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Now I continued with the green area above the dots of the lady bug (19). Then I did the blue area (20) and then the pink area (21). Go ahead an attach your thread and stitch :)

patroon6

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Did you see how I not finished my last row in (21)? This is not a problem. My thread was finished half way along my row so I just fastened off and attached a new thread. ow continue to finish all the cranberry pink areas in the pattern (22-23).

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After the cranberry pink I moved to the dots in dark pink (24). I stitched one dot and moved my thread through the stitches on the back to the next dot. That way you don’t have to fasten off after each dot and you won’t end up with long loops of thread on the back.  After the dots we only need to do the head in black (25). I’m sure you’ve got the hang of it by now!

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That is starting to look like a ladybug isn’t it? Lovely! I hope you’re enjoying cross stitching. Tomorrow we will have the last part of our mini series where we will discuss the back stitches. Hope to see you there!

Love,
Irene

 

 

Learning to cross stitch [Part 2]

Hi there!

This is the second part of the cross stitch mini series! In the first part we discussed our materials so now we are ready to start cross stitching! If you missed the first post, please just check back via the links below. In this series the following topics will be discussed:

Part 1: Materials
Part 2: Cross stitches
Part 3: Following a pattern
Part 4: Back stitches

During this series we will work on a cute little ladybug. Just click on the image below to find the enlarged image of the pattern. I hope you follow along and enjoy your first steps in cross stitching.

Free_ladybug_crossstitch_pattern

Cross stitches
Lets thread our needles and get started! We will start by stitching the row of stitches marked in the picture below. These will be stitched in DMC cranberry pink (601). Each square in the pattern will be one cross stitch on your fabric. The little arrows in the green spots mark the center of the pattern.

_patroon1

This ladybug pattern is a small design, so we will count from the center of the pattern to the stitch at the bottom right. That will be 19 squares to the right and 10 down from the center of the pattern (1). You don’t have to be very precise, just about 19 and 10 stitches will do. Bring your needle from the back to the front and leave a tail at the back of the fabric (2).

_begin1_en

Now it is time for the first stitches! I learned to cross stitch in columns up and down. This is not the only way to cross stitch, it’s just one of the options. You can also stitch from left to right, right to left or down and up ;). The following schematic drawing shows how to make four cross stitches going up and down.

_crossstitch

Now we’ll move to our ladybug. The place where your thread comes out of the fabric at the front is the bottom left of the first cross (3). We will first make eight half crosses in one row up (3-8).

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And in the same way we will make eight stitches down (9-14). When you’ve done a few stitches you will see that it’s not that hard at all!

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And there they are, you have made eight nice cross stitches!

Fasten off
Now we finished our first row we can fasten of the tail at the back. At the back of the fabric you will see horizontal stitches (15). To fasten of the tail just pull it underneath the stitches (16) and cut off the end (17).

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There it is, your first row of cross stitches! In our next post we will finish all of the cross stitches of the ladybug.

Hope to see you there,
Irene

Learning to cross stitch [Part 1]

Hi there!

So nice that you are stopping by at this introduction to cross stitching. This week I like to share some basics about cross stitching, so we will have a small series on learning to cross stitch!

Already a cross stitch pro? Than this would be nothing new to you I think, just hop over to take your free pattern! ;)

The following topics will be discussed on the blog this week:

Part 1: Materials
Part 2: Cross stitches
Part 3: Following a pattern
Part 4: Back stitches

During this series we will work on a cute little ladybug. Just click on the image below to find the enlarged image of the pattern. I hope you follow along and enjoy your first steps in cross stitching.

Free_ladybug_crossstitch_pattern

Supplies
So what will we need to start cross stitching?

  • To cross stitch this little lady bug we will need a piece of embroidery fabric. On aida 5.5 blocks/cm (14 count) the design will be about 7.2 x 7.2 cm (2.9x 2.9″). Make sure to take a larger piece of fabric, that will leave all options open to frame your work or use it in any crafty project.
  • Secondly we will need some yarn. For this project DMC was used in the colors black (310), cranberry pink (601) and dark mauve (3685). We will need about 1 m of black, 1 m of dark mauve and 2 m of cranberry pink.
  • And of course we will need a needle (with a blunt point)
  • and a little scissors.

_supplies

Pulling a thread
Embroidery floss consists of six treads. Usually we will use two threads for cross stitches and one thread for back stitches. To pull one thread out of the floss, hold the strand between your thumb and finger (1). Take one thread and pull it all the way out (2-6). Just take one thread at the time, when you take two, the strand will tangle up.

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Finding the center
Before we start we will find the center of the fabric by folding it. This way you your design will always end up in the center of the fabric. Just fold the fabric twice and you’ll have your center stitch. Most pattern will mark the center of the pattern with small arrows on the side.

When you start stitching you can start with the center stitch of the pattern, or you can count your way the the side of the pattern. I like to use this second options for small designs. With big designs I work my way out from the center.

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We will start stitching the ladybug tomorrow! Yay :) Hope this was helpful so far. In the next posts we will make cross stitches, back stitches and learn to follow a pattern!

Have a lovely day,
Irene

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