Category Archives: Embroidery

Non-cross stitch embroidery

Finished Project: Water is Life

Happy Friday everyone, I’m back with another politically-minded embroidery project.

A photo of an embroidery hoop on a green background. The words "water is life" are embroidered in blue and surrounded by concentric circles embroidered in various shades of blue.

This one is done with three strands of floss in different shades of blue on what I think is cotton (it’s a random fabric from my stash). I intended the concentric circles to represent ripples on the surface of water. I also learned that I can’t freehand draw very even circles.

The finished hoop is available for purchase in my Etsy store. If you like this project, consider donating to Earthworks or Charity:Water, which both work to provide clean and safe drinking water to people throughout the world.


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Filed under 2017, Embroidery, Finished Projects

No Ban No Wall Embroidery Hoop

Following up on my No Ban No Wall cross stitch pattern from a while back, I decided to get back into freeform embroidery and make something similar. I stitched this on some loose-woven linen from my fabric stash with cotton embroidery floss.

picture of wooden embroidery hoop with embroidered brick pattern and the words "no ban no wall"There’s nothing quite like stabbing something a bunch of times to sublimate rage at the state of the world. I stitched this in late February, mostly while watching old (pre-election) episodes of Last Week Tonight. Who knew I would have nostalgia for the summer of 2016?

This completed hoop is available in my Etsy shop.



Filed under 2017, Embroidery, Finished Projects

Finally Finished: Hand Embroidered Notecards

In anticipation of holiday-related social calls (read: people coming to our apartment), I’ve been cleaning up around the place. Last night I went through the big bookcase, finding treasures (and plenty of junk). Among the treasures: a tiny dried out gingko leaf, and these embroidered notecards I made back in 2012 or 2013.

four white notecards embroidered with different animals: top left, an adult and a baby elephant; top right: a tortoise; bottom left, a single sloth hanging from a branch; bottom right, a mother sloth hanging from a branch with her baby

I completely forgot that I made these until I found them in a paper bag tucked inside a book. I’d already done the hard part of embroidering through the paper; each card just needed a piece of cardstock glued on the inside to hide the messy backs of the stitches. I took care of that and now they’re ready to go!

Each card is about 4 by 6 inches, typical notecard size. The elephants, tortoise, and single sloth are my own design; the sloth with baby is a free pattern from Wild Olive.

Hooray for cleaning up!

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Filed under Embroidery, Finished Projects, Paper Crafts, pre-2014

Finished: Handmaid’s Tale Embroidery Hoop

I took a break from cross stitch to do some regular embroidery and made this tiny (5 inch) hoop with a quotation from Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale:

photograph of embroidered hoop on grey fabric with red letters that read "nolite te bastardes carborundorum"

The hoop says “Nolite te bastardes carborundorum,” which is fake-Latin for “Don’t let the bastards grind you down.” It’s a phrase the features somewhat prominently in Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, which is one of my favorite books ever. I need to put it on my re-reading list.

The technical specs for this piece:

  • Pattern: self-made in Adobe Illustrator
  • Fabric: Grey printed quilting cotton from Joann Fabrics
  • Thread: 2 strands of DMC 321 (all back stitching)
  • Hoop: 5 inches
  • Time spent: 1 afternoon

I am not actually as thrilled with this piece as I thought I would be. It’s nice, but when I was finished I just thought ‘meh.’ Don’t hate it, don’t love it. Don’t know what to do with it now. I think I’m going to stick with cross stitching.

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Filed under 2015, Embroidery, Finished Projects