Posts Tagged ‘decor’

The Celestial Quilt – Sleeping Under the Stars

Today we bring you a very special Lab project from a member of our team, artist Caitlin! This is Caitlin’s first Lab project and she jumped in with gusto. She helped design the new Ecliptic Constellations pack and wanted to take the use of these designs to a whole new level. Here she is to talk about her experiences with this fun and ambitious project…

Here at Urban Threads, we are always searching to explore new frontiers, and this Celestial Quilt is no exception. I wanted to explore the final frontier, in fact … space! When we first started scheming about space designs, I was drawn to the idea of making a quilt. Quilts are many tiny pieces joined together to make a whole, just as billions and gazillions of tiny stars and planets and asteroids and space debris and comets and satellites and UFOs come together to make the whole night sky.

Celestial Quilt

As I began to plan out the quilt, I used the circle of the ecliptic as a starting point. The ecliptic is the apparent path of the sun on the celestial sphere as seen from the earth’s center. These constellations are based on all the constellations that appear on that line (which is why there are 13 constellations instead of the 12 from astrology), and so it was a natural place to start.

My mom is an avid quilter, and I grilled her with questions about the space quilt scheme. Could I applique the embroidery on after I pieced? Could I stop and start quilting as many times as I needed? Do you trim batting before or after you start quilting? She was an invaluable resource in getting this project completed. I researched star charts and celestial maps, and found they showed stars in various sizes to describe their brightness. I realized, with the availability of various individual star sizes, I could build any constellation, from any corner of space I desired! No hoop was standing in my way, I was free to add as many twinkly stars to my design as I could handle. Since I was building a quilt, I hooped up each square one at a time and began stitch stars, one by one. This process was nice, because if I had any fabric tearing, or some crazy thing happened with my embroidery, I was only risking a little piece at time.

Celestial Quilt

I worked with a fabulous new UT artist, Danielle, and we began by illustrating the 13 constellations that fall on the ecliptic. This is path of the sun from our viewpoint on earth, as it travels across the sky throughout the year. These are also known as the signs of the zodiac, along with the addition of the Ophiuchus, the 13th constellation on the ecliptic line. We wanted to keep the actual stars prominent, since they have inspired stargazers throughout time. Then we added the zodiac imagery with a dreamy, celestial quality that stayed light and airy. Each sign of the zodiac has such a fantastic story and feeling, it was fun to try and capture it with embroidery thread.

Celestial Quilt Celestial Quilt

Since I had such beautiful embroidery to feature, I decided I would keep the actual quilting stitches to a minimum, and use the imaginary lines between stars to quilt the top and bottom together. Here I faced an interesting learning curve. I was doing free motion quilting for the first time on our UT embroidery/sewing machine, and didn’t realize I could move my fabric backwards, forwards and sideways, without turning the entire piece! I was slowly rolling up, and pushing parts of the quilt though the machine over and over before I realized it was unnecessary.

Celestial Quilt

Quilt stitches are similar to embroidery running stitches, and the can be decorative and complicated, while also functioning to hold the quilt together. The effervescent swirls behind each zodiac design could easily be used to quilt with, and I tried to replicate the swirls and loops with my free motion quilting.

Celestial Quilt

Since it’s too cold in January to sleep out under the stars, I am super excited to have brought the stars inside, to a much warmer and snuggly place: my bed.

 
This project is part of The Lab, a UT initiative to experiment, collaborate and innovate to see just what can be done with the art of embroidery.
 
Check out our other projects by searching for the UT Lab tag.
 

New Kawaii & Tattoo Christmas Collections

Just can’t bring yourself to stitch another plain ol’ Christmas design?

Bring some personality to the season with these two new collections you won’t find anywhere else – Kawaii Christmas and Tattoo Christmas! Whether you’re into the super SQUEE side of cute Christmas, or you’re looking for the dark side of Santa, one of these collections is sure to bring something new to the holidays. Plus, they’re both ON SALE for a limited time, now though Dec. 16 at 11:59 p.m., Central time.

Visit the sale page now!

Want to punk the halls a little bit this year? For some, skulls in Santa hats and tattoo sparrows is just the way to celebrate the season. Check out the new Tattoo Christmas collection!

 

Maybe you’re more into the super cute side of Christmas, but less kittens in sweaters and wooden knick knacks, and more SQUEE faces and Japanese inspired cuteness. Elves, santa, bunnies in bonnets and all kinds of Christmas goodies are ready to decorate your tree or light up your holidays. Check out the Kawaii Christmas collection here!

Thinking you want more than just ornaments? Any design can be stitched as a regular applique too. Check out this tutorial to see how to easily use them both ways!

So no matter your tastes, light or dark, naughty or nice, you’re sure to find something to delight in, and something new to stitch (finally!) this holiday season.

Want even more reasons to shop? How about a Christmas Bonus!

Through Dec. 16 at 11:59 p.m. Central time, place an order of $25 or more. (Fun fact: that’s the exact combined total of the sale-priced Tattoo and Kawaii Christmas machine embroidery packs) After you place your order, you’ll receive an email with a super secret code good for $10 off a future order. $10 off a $10 order? Yup, cool by us. $10 worth of free designs from Urban Threads! You may earn only one $10 code, and you must use it by Dec. 31, 2012, or you’ll lose it.

So what are you waiting for? Check out the sale page and get shopping! 

New Yuletide Revelry Collection

Christmas may seem a long way off to some, but if you’re going to get stitching this holiday season, now’s the time to get started! Nothing brings new life to your holiday gifts and decor like the new Yuletide Revelry Collection, showcasing elegant, painterly motifs that can be layered and combined to create graceful, colorful designs.

Everything from bold Christmas motifs to elegant accents let you embroider endless coordinating creations. Practice laying out your favorite designs in overlapping patterns like we did in this tutorial, and make yourself a classy Yuletide pillow like the one above.

Bold colors don’t always mean heavy designs! Even though these designs have a lot of stitches, they’re layered with open fill techniques to mimic the whimsical qualities of painting, and it helps keep them lighter for more projects and more kinds of fabric.

Hand designed lettering lets you add all kinds of holiday wishes to your projects. Try out this tutorial to embroider on fabric and turn it into a custom card!

You can choose from various holiday greetings all laid out in beautiful handwritten script. Add a couple of coordinating flourishes to bring the whole thing together.

These designs don’t have to just be for decor. You can use them to stitch up gorgeous gift bags. Just check out this tutorial for an easy how-to on stitching up simple pouches great for all kinds of holiday goodies.

Angels, holiday bells, and backgrounds of holiday music or lyrics bring the season out in bold style and light stitches.

Want even more of a handmade touch to your creations this season? You can stitch up this in-the-hoop gift tag. Leave it as is or even learn how to tea stain it using this tutorial on how to assemble it all together.

On everything from gifts, to home decor, to bringing a little holiday glam into the kitchen, these designs are versatile enough to work for any Christmas project you can dream up! Tea towels, aprons, napkins, pillows, blankets, gift bags… anything and everything can be embroidered to bring new holiday cheer!

Plus, if you’re looking to really coordinate your sewing fabrics with your favorite new Christmas designs, we now have new coordinating fabrics available from our Spoonflower store! Grab the big and beautiful Vintage Yuletide fabric (left) or the bright and cheery Yuletide Wishes fabric (right) with elegant handmade script and pretty snowflakes.

Combined with your new embroidery designs, you can create totally matching creations that blow away anything you could buy in a store. Order it today to give yourself time to stitch up all your Christmas creations!

Even better, when you order any version of the Yuletide Revelry design pack through Nov. 18, you’ll receive a special bunch of free bonus printables – gift tags, a gift box, and a greeting card. These printables will be added to your order history in a separate order after you purchase any version of the Yuletide Revelry design pack.

Still not enough Christmas joy? How about all these embroidery designs are on sale through November 18.

Grab them up and get stitching — after all, Christmas is only 45 days away!

UT Tutorial – Lace Spiderweb Doily

Haunt your house with this new design! Grab this lace spiderweb design, and then check out this tute to learn how to assemble the pieces into the creepiest of doilies

Yup, we can even make doilies a little punk. We’re special like that.

DIY Cross Stitch Everything

I might becoming a little paranoid about this after too much internet lurking, but I swear little embroidery gnomes are going all around the design world and punching little holes in things to embroider everything. Seriously, after featuring this embroidered cuff last year, I’ve been seeing cross stitch-able items all over the darn place…

Stitch light from LampGustaf

Embroiderable iphone case from Connect Design

Embroiderable pendants from Panduro Hobby

Embroidered furniture from Gan Rugs

DIY cross stitch cup from Industreal

Embroidery artists have long been drilling holes into things to embroider the previously un-stitchable, like this example or this one, but now companies are just saying “the heck with it” and drilling holes in their own darn stuff. No home decor or accessory item is safe. Anyone else spotted those wayward gnomes drilling into something else I missed?

Tutorial – Halloween Lanterns

Creative stitcher Giliell is getting into the Halloween spirit! She created these amazing embroidered Halloween lamps from our Illusion Skull, Ravens & Pumpkins, and Raven’s Claw Tea design (along with many others) for a set of glowing Halloween lamps.

Even better, she’s sharing a tutorial! It’s in both english and german, and it’s very easy to follow along, so grab your favorite Halloween designs and get stitching.

Get the tutorial here.

UT Tutorial – Lace Chandelier

Looking to glam up your next party? Nothing says classy like a chandelier. Especially one doused liberally in glitter.

Yup, you can stitch this! Just grab the freestanding lace design here, and then check out this tutorial on how to put it together and glam it up for your next occasion. You can skip the glitter if you choose, but I think having perpetually sparkly hands also adds to the class, don’t you? Darn skippy.