Posts Tagged ‘machine embroidery’

The 20 Best UT Halloween Ideas & Inspiration

October has arrived, and it’s a popular month here at Urban Threads! We’ve loved Halloween since we started and that means there are 5 awesome years of projects, customer inspiration, Lab experiments and chic designs to get you inspired and stitching your spooky heart out. Scroll down for the top 20 BEST Halloween ideas…

Last October kicked off to a glamorous and gothic start with the Evenfall series. A collection of lace pieces that can be put together in endless ways to create magical costume creations. See the whole photoshoot and check out the collection.

Looking for some easier glam? This chic lace chandelier is a cinch to make and looks extra awesome doused in glitter. Hang a bunch to add dark romance to your next spooky gathering! Learn how to make it here.

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One of the most popular Halloween stuffies, these little Day of the Dead pincushions have been a fan fav for ages. Here’s how to make them.

One of our earliest Lab projects teamed some nature noir designs with fashion due KMK Designs for a gothic Steampunk ballgown that’s out of this world. Read about the whole project here.

Steampunk Lace Mask

Steampunk gets better with a few accessories. This mask was stitched from a lace design then brought to the next level with steampunk charms and spraypaint. See how easy it is to make here.

Sometimes the best costume ideas come by using designs in totally unexpected ways! This featured project from UT stitcher Krista turned a regular stitching wing design into a big idea. See how she made them here.

Day of the Dead Unity Candle

Halloween doesn’t just mean ghouls and goblins. Sometimes it comes with a little romance! Stitch your favorite dark design onto organza to spiff up a wedding unity candle just the way you want it. Learn how to make your candles more awesome with this tutorial. 

Lace Witch Hat

Out of time for a costume? All you need is a cool hat. Sometimes, small things can make a big impact, and this adorable lace witch hat is no exception. Stitch it out and dress it up for a custom accent that’s all you. DIY right here!

People aren’t the only ones that can benefit from a little dress up. Check out this feature on Urban Entrepreneur Cher, who runs a whole etsy store willed with dark and magical designs for dolls. Check out her amazing doll outfits and try not to wish too hard they were people sized.

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Speaking of, this one is people sized, but still a bit too darn small for me, which is a shame. Our very first Featured Project was this amazing Steampunk Alice costume. Think you can rock that dress with as much attitude as that little gal? See the whole thing and decide for yourself.

Day of the Dead Lace Mask

Dia de Los Muertos is always fun around Halloween, and it’s such an elegant way to get into the spooky side of things. This two color mask gets an easy updated with a stick and some flowers to whisk you off to masquerade majesty. Make it here.

Steamcoat detail

Go crazy using the popular steampunk trend and an upcycled a coat with all different designs using a coordinated color scheme. See the full effect on the finished coat.

EEK!

Costumes and indoor decor are a popular way to use embroidery, but don’t forget about the outdoors! Craft a spooky welcome using boas and lace to make your own custom wreath. See how easy it is.

Love tattoos but don’t want the commitment? Try them out this Halloween season with this hugely popular tutorial. See how easy it is to make them.

Steampunk Vamp

Think Halloween costumes are just for kids? Get inspired by the late great Marty Gear, and see some of the amazing embroidered costumes he made over the years. You really need to read about this guy.

Monster Lights

Get creative with monster stuffies and turn them into little Halloween lights instead! Get your fright lights on with this easy tutorial.

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Have you heard about our annual costume contest? There are some really amazing entries from last years contest, like this amazing Assassin’s Creed costume. See them all here.

Feel like going all Frankenstein? Go mad and make your own Monster Factory with this set of kooky designs. Want some ideas? See what the UT team made with em!

Want to spook up the house? Craft up a bunch of these pieces and assemble them into this spooky sweet spiderweb doily. See how easy it is to make.

Finally, if in the rare chance you’re not into the mood for stitching, you can always made this adorable printable instead. It’s FREE!

Feeling inspired? Tis the season. No matter what your inclination, costume, decor, accessories and more… there’s room this weekend to try at least ONE of these ideas, right?

There’s always time for Halloween…

Featured Project – The Blue Fairy

Autumn is really starting to bloom around here, and it’s got me all excited about Halloween! Fall is my favorite season, and the array of amazing costumes it brings isone of my favorite things about it. I thought it would be perfect to kick off the costume season with a favorite costumer we’ve seen before… the amazing Urban Threadster, Azre Greis! You will probably remember her from the epic Steamwork Doll Costume, and she’s back and stitching with a vengeance. She whipped up this amazing water-themed blue fairy costume for a Ren fest she was planning to attend. She went just as crazy this time as she did last time, and the results are impressive! She joins us today to talk a little about what inspired the costume and what it was like to make…

This is an incredible costume! Talk to us a bit about what started it. Was it for an event in particular?

Thank you! Out in Texas there is a large Renaissance festival called TRF (Texas Renaissance Festival) and I really didn’t have anything good to wear out to it as the mish-mash I had worn the prior year was very disappointing. We were going to it with a friend who was renowned for her adorable fairy costume and decided we’d make costumes to go with her. I chose a water fairy because I love the water and the color blue and had blonde hair at the time so they all seemed to fit together well.

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She was very gracious and encouraged the project by asking me what kind of wings I’d like to have and made those for me along with the goggles I have on my head. TRF is typically a cold and rainy faire so the costume was made from many parts and has lots of opportunities for layering for the sake of warmth and weather compliance.

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I wanted to look like I was flowing all the time, perpetually coming up out of the water so all the fabric is very light with a lot of reflective qualities. The cape I’m wearing was actually made for by a friend vendor at another faire called Sherwood Forest who was inspired by my costume and made it just for me, even with holes for my wings to go through!

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How did you go about choosing designs? How many are on there?

I chose light designs with a lot of open space. The costume itself uses salt water animals while the cape is fresh water. Overall the costume includes about 31 embroideries.

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How long did the embroidery take?

Probably about 70 hours. I used a lot of metallic thread which always slows me down.

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How long did the whole thing take you to make? Was the costume designed by you, or was it based on a pattern?

The costume has evolved a bit over the last year or so. All told I think I put about 2 weeks of work into it. I added trims, more pearls, decorative stitching and knickknacks such as the satchel and a vial of perfume with some stones. The idea for the pants came from a genie pattern made by Simplicity, but I drastically exaggerated the drape pieces for it so that I’d get more swish when I walked.

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The top is a common blouse again from Simplicity with the rest of the sleeves cut off and a looser neck. The rest of it is just kind of slapped together from late nights and “brilliant” ideas that didn’t always work out. The two drapes on my arms were originally meant to be tight against my arm the entire way up and then in strips hanging down. I dropped that idea in favor of the loose sort of drape effect it has now for the sake of warmth.

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Did you run into any problems along the way? Any tips for people trying something like this?

Always make sure you’ve got the right stabilizer. I had to do over one of the pieces for the chest because the stabilizer I had was too lightweight and collapsed under the design. The fabric I used had a lot of stretch and needed the additional support the stabilizer granted. I also learned a lot when I did the leg pieces (organza) and used the knowledge from that to do a better job on the cape with a water soluble one side adhesive stabilizer.

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It took a really long time to properly rinse the cape so that it flowed properly, but it was worth it in the end. To anyone else doing such a thing, hang up your large project in a stand up shower, close the shower curtain and use hot water in a downward spray to get all the stabilizer out and keep it from making your ends stiff.

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How did people react to the costume and the embroidery?

The best reaction I ever got was a small boy, around 4 years old, who flew at me when we were at Sherwood. He came to a dead stop in front of me and peered, stating with great confidence, “I remember you…!” And proceeded to tell me a story about how he’d met me in the forest once the year before.

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This was impossible as the costume was new at the time, but it made me feel fantastic to know I had embodied a child’s imaginary experience and brought it to life. I’ve gotten many compliments, been mistaken for cast at two different faires (which I’d love to be one day) and it’s a fun costume to wear. It takes a lot of time to get on but it’s always worth it and it’s very comfortable to go tearing around being silly in.

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You seem to always be cooking up new costume ideas! What’s your next project going to be?

I am currently working on several new things! A Princess Toadstool from Super Mario Land (SNES), Queen Frostine from Candy Land (the board game), and Queen Zurline from The Life and Adventure of Santa Claus (a Rankin-Bass movie) as well as a new sort of barbarian costume that I plan to use a lot of Celtic or Nordic patterns you’ve got up on, I’m having trouble deciding so all the printed out pieces are pinned to the dress in various places. I’ve also done several wedding dresses using designs from Urban Threads that I hope to get some good pictures of soon once the brides have had time to settle in and pick their favourites.

I’m totally addicted to you guys!

As usual, this costume gets my gears going about this year’s Halloween costume. Slightly out of character for me, I haven’t yet decided what I’m going to be, but this certainly gets me inspired to start! What about you stitchers? Have any epic costumes in the works? Well, if it’s anything like the stunning creations from Azre Greis, be sure to drop us a line at blog@urbanthreads.com or upload your Urban Threads stuff to our flickr group so we can see what you’re stitching.

Makeup by Kristie MacLean, wings by Jenna Idaho, cape by Two Spools, and photos by Marcos Melendez. See Azre Greis’ shop here.

WIN An Original Signed Art Piece – Embroidered Bear

*Contest is now closed! Winner will be announced soon*

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This is it people! As part of our last weekend where the new Anima embroidery design collection is on sale, we’re offering one more chance to get your hands on an original embroidered piece of art. Today, the piece you can win is THE BEAR.

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If you missed it before, we stitched up TWO one-of-a-kind GIANT embroidered pieces, using our industrial machines and special thick Burmilana thread, stretched them on frames, and signed the back as original limited edition art pieces! Think of them like a print, but waayy cooler, because these things are big, bold beautiful thread brought to life on canvas. Last weekends giveaway saw someone lucky walk away with the Raven piece.

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Each stretched piece is 16 inches by 20 inches, with the embroidery design measuring nearly 17 inches tall.

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Each piece is signed and dated on the back by the two original artists who collaborated on these designs, illustrator Danielle, and resident evil genius and illustrator Niamh! So, whether you’re a seasoned machine embroiderer, a die-hard hand stitcher, or even just an art lover, this is your chance to win the last limited edition signed piece from the artists of Urban Threads. Here’s how the giveaway works:

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This is the LAST of two giveaways. This week, the original piece is you can win is THE BEAR.

In order to win this piece, you must first be registered on Urban Threads. If you’re not already, it’s easy! Sign up here. If you’re already registered, there’s just one more step.

Leave a comment on this blog post (just say hi, or something nice!) and make sure you leave it under the same email address you’re registered under at Urban Threads. We need to be able to track you down and verify you on the website in order to contact you about your prize!

Leave your comment by this Monday, Aug. 19 at 11:59 a.m. (that’s right before noon!) Central time in order to be entered for this Bear giveaway. That’s it!

giveaway

Ready to win a totally unique art piece? COMMENT BELOW! And remember, this is your last chance to grab one!

Speaking of last chances, you can still stitch the designs your own, but the SALE is only on through THIS WEEKEND, ending Sunday Aug. 18. Go see the entire Anima Collection, and get in touch with your animal side before the sale is over!

WIN An Original Signed Art Piece – Embroidered Raven

*Contest is now closed – winner coming soon! Remember, your chance for the bear comes this upcoming weekend!*

anima_giveaway

In celebration of the new Anima embroidery design collection, we thought we would do a very different kind of giveaway…

You see, Urban Threads works a little differently from some other stock embroidery companies, in that we employ all in-house artists that create these awesome embroidery designs. Our team of talented designers and digitizers work hard to make all of these creations unique and ready for thousands of crafters to stitch. However, sometimes it’s kind of fun to remember these pieces at their heart are original creations, and so we wanted to do something a little special with two of our favorite designs from the series.

giveaway_both

We have stitched up TWO one-of-a-kind GIANT embroidered pieces, using our industrial machines and special thick Burmilana thread, stretched them on frames, and signed the back as original limited edition art pieces! Think of them like a print, but waayy cooler, because these things are big, bold beautiful thread brought to life on canvas.

detail_bear

Each stretched piece is 16 inches by 20 inches, with the embroidery design measuring nearly 17 inches tall.

signed

Better yet, each piece is signed and dated on the back by the two original artists who collaborated on these designs, illustrator Danielle, and resident evil genius and illustrator Niamh!

detail_raven

So, whether you’re a seasoned machine embroiderer, a die-hard hand stitcher, or even just an art lover, this is your chance to win a limited edition signed piece from the artists of Urban Threads. Here’s how the giveaway works:

______________________________________________

We’re giving away TWO pieces, this weekend and next. This week, the original piece is you can win is THE RAVEN.

In order to win this piece, you must first be registered on Urban Threads. If you’re not already, it’s easy! Sign up here. If you’re already registered, there’s just one more step.

Leave a comment on this blog post (just say hi, or something nice!) and make sure you leave it under the same email address you’re registered under at Urban Threads. We need to be able to track you down and verify you on the website in order to contact you about your prize!

Leave your comment by this Monday, Aug. 12 at 11:59 a.m. (that’s right before noon!) Central time in order to be entered for this Raven giveaway. That’s it!

giveaway_raven

Ready to win a totally unique art piece? COMMENT BELOW! And remember, the Bear piece will be up for grabs soon, so be sure to visit us again for another chance at an amazing piece of art.

In love with these designs? Us too. Even if you can’t win ‘em as signed pieces, you can still stitch the designs your own, ON SALE through Aug. 18. Go see the entire Anima Collection, and get in touch with your animal side.

Urban Entrepreneur – Sew Fun Doll Clothes

Far from the traditional outfits you’d usually find on these pretty dolls, Sew Fun Doll Clothes specializes in making offbeat and fantastical outfits that any one of us would LOVE to have! It seems almost unfair that the dolls get all the fun. The lovely Urban Entrepreneur Cher joins us today to tell us how she made a growing biz out of making one-of-a-kind embroidered outfits.

SEW FUN etsybanner

Bram's Bride lace top hat

I assume the love of dolls and doll clothes came first. What got you into all that?

I’ve been sewing since junior high, but started sewing doll clothes when my daughters got their American Girl dolls as gifts many years ago. I loved the historical outfits and stories those early Pleasant Company dolls came with, but since we couldn’t afford to buy that many doll clothes back then, I started sewing for my daughters’ dolls.

Bram's Bride

My girls are now grown and on their own, but making doll clothes gives me an excuse to still play with dolls!

Cheshire Grin

What then started you into embroidery?

Several years ago I was using a Brother sewing/embroidery machine as a back-up machine, but I had never used the embroidery attachment. On a whim, I decided it was about time to see what it could do … and as anyone who has done machine embroidery knows, it didn’t take long to become completely addicted! It was only a matter of months before I outgrew that little Brother machine and upgraded to a Viking embroidery machine so I could do bigger and better things.

Cogs Butterfly

What made you take the plunge into starting your own store?

I love sewing, I love making doll clothes, and if I didn’t sell what I make, or want to make, I’d run out of room to store all my creations. I opened my Etsy shop, SewFunDollClothes, in 2008 to fund my addiction! And I am so grateful that people like my doll clothes enough to keep me sewing full time.

Dracula Tee

Where did you first find Urban Threads?

I saw several Etsy sellers using UT designs on baby clothes and thought it would be fun to play with putting some of UT’s designs on my doll clothes. Did a quick Google search, landed on your website. Perfect timing too – it was right when I was starting to prep for Halloween, and there are no better Halloween designs than UT!

My Stitch Witch Halloween outfit did so well, I knew immediately that I would be using Urban Threads designs a lot more from then on.

Little Red_1

What kinds of folks are your customers? Who do you hope to cater to?

I sew for a wide range of customers. When I first started my shop, it was moms and grandmas buying gifts for their daughters who love all things girly. I still love creating the cute girly outfits for them, as that’s where I got my start. There is also a growing number people looking for doll clothes for boy dolls – moms, grandmas buying for their sons’ boy dolls, and adult doll collectors customizing their American Girl dolls into boys.

Poe's Muse_2

Once I started using UT’s designs, I was able to offer gothic, fantasy, and steampunk doll outfits to teen and adult doll collectors adding to their collections. I love the diversity of my customers, I never get bored with just one style.

Steampunk Christmas

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned since you began?

Biggest lesson for me was that, while it can often take me longer to get decent photos than sewing the outfit did, getting good photos is extremely important, especially when presenting outfits for doll collectors. I’m still learning which backgrounds and lighting work the best, how to take a decent close-up, and even which doll model shows off the outfit best. With what I know now, I really wish I could go back and re-take photos of some of the outfits I’ve done in the past!

Stitch Witch

Where would you like to see your shop in one year? Any fun stuff planned for the future?

When I started my shop on Etsy, I never could have anticipated where it would be today. It seems to work best when I let my creative whims lead the way! But I’m pretty sure it will include more steampunk, some adventurous outfits for boy dolls, and some UT designs on leather.

Western Steampunk

I am just in love will all these little outfits. That steampunk dress and the tiny matching top hat? To die for. Seriously, I wonder if we could briber her into turning these out in slightly larger sizes? It’s always so fun to see someone who gets to turn a passionate hobby into a thriving business. There’s nothing better than doing what you love! Thanks, Cher, for sharing your story with us. If you love her stuff, be sure to visit her super cute Etsy store to see even more.

Do you use Urban Threads designs to create one of a kind products? Want to see your story or your store featured here and join our gang of Urban Entrepreneurs? Send us an e-mail at blog@urbanthreads.com with a link to your store/website or attach sample photos, and you could be featured!

 

Featured Project – Medieval Elven Dress

It’s been a spooky and costume filled week here at Urban Threads, with our Halloween in July celebrations going on, and it seemed a great time to share this amazing embroidered costume from Urban Threadster Kaino. Kaino really wanted an excuse to whip a classic “princess dress” like many a little girl dreams of. When the Elven Court series appeared, it seemed like the time to do it!

Kaino joins us today to explain the work that went into this amazing dress from someone who has only recently learned how to sew!

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What started this project? What was the dress for?

I start this project because our association Celtic Hardt organized a Highland games contest and a medieval market, so it was a great excuse to wear a pretty dress while also advertising my work and my little home shop Kaino Art’Couture.

Plus it’s a little girl’s dream to wear a princess dress.

making1

How did you go about designing your dress?

I used for this dress the McCall’s costumes pattern M6376, because I’d never sewn anything like this before, and it was a big big challenge for me. The only thing I changed on the pattern was the sleeve design because it looked too simple and I wanted to repeat the black and purple colors.

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I chose for this project a purple and a black velvet, because there are my favorites colors and because it s a heavy fabrics, which have a luxurious look, but are hot, very hot in the summer! (Oh well,  it looked great)

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I also used 12 meters of little black lace on the whole dress. A friend gave me the crinoline petticoat from her wedding dress, and it gave me a simple way to have a fuller dress bottom, like a princess!

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Any challenges along the way?

Oh yes! Sewing something like this was tricky since I only started sewing in December of 2011. I made this dress in 10 days, working day and night. My husband and all my friends followed along through the steps of my work (which I posted on facebook for people to see), and that was a great support.

embroidering

Talk us through the embroidery… which designs did you use? How long did it take to embroider it all?

I had planned this project before I had any designs for it, and I saw on facebook your post for the Elven Court embroidery pack…. I fell in love and immediately purchased the pack!

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I used 3 differents designs from this pack. The Elven Court tree crest for the chest, which took about 80 mins to embroider.  The Elven Court knotwork corner I used twice in mirror at the bottom of the dress, and just the moon from the Elven Court crescent moon curve for the two handles and also, twice on the back. I used 3 different colors and even silver metallic thread for the moons, tree and knot.

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I spent one entire day embroidering the dress, but before that I tested the designs many times on some test fabrics to make sure I had made good color choices.

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How was the dress and the embroidery received?

Really really really great! Everywhere I went, both dress and embroidery designs people loved it. First on Facebook and then in real life at the medieval event. I even had some little girls saying “Mom, look a princess!”

It was amazing, and see stars in my two daughters eyes …. “Mom you look great! “

Love it :)

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Any plans for other amazing embroidered creations?

I regularly use your designs for my creations! And yes, I’m already thinking about my next big project (an Elven or faery dress), and definitely on my own wedding dress (But I have plenty of time!)

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You look so amazing and absolute thrilled in your new dress, Kaino!  You look like a real princess, and not only that, a princess who can make and embroider her own darn gown! That’s a DIY princess if I’ve ever heard of one.

I can’t wait to see what you whip up next, and what amazing stitchy creations come out of your sewing room come Halloween.

Do you want to have your project featured on StitchPunk? Drop us a line at blog@urbanthreads.com or upload your Urban Threads stuff to our flickr group!

July Flickr Roundup

It’s finally time for the July Flickr roundup! I am so impressed at the incredible variety and superb quality of the projects that everyone keeps sharing! Here are some of my favorites this month…

monsters

This amazing monster pillow by The Evil Thread is right in my wheel house. I love the neon colors and furry multicolored monsters.

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Mary Kay Beckley made these one of a kind zombie kitty shoes! They are so summery and spectacular. It just goes to show you can have fun even without an embroidery machine sometimes.

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Here is a cute hand embroidered smart cookie by Rosie. The effect of embroidering on the argyle fabric is brilliant!

Einhorntasche

I love this sweet heart shaped einhorntasche (unicorn) bag by Leah. I want one for my toddler, Olive. Or maybe I just want it all for myself!

Oliver + S Roller Skate Dress with Urban Threads Patterned Feathers

Cory created this dress with a feather border for a sweet little girl. She sewed the whole dress from scratch, but it’s a great example of how adding an embroidered border onto a dress or tunic top can really kick it up a notch in awesomeness!

UT Wolves KiltThis very manly embroidered kilt by Draconyz rules.  The nordic wolves look great in those colors.

My first quilt!

Check out this black and white and red all over quilt by Jibbidibbi. Can you believe it’s her first one? She made great use of the miniature menagerie bug doodles with white on black stitching.

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These are the best potholders for, dare I say, glamping?! Kraizdnurz clearly has some glamorous camping style with these cute s’more and camper potholders.

Messenger Bag

Great Gans und Garn bag with queen bee running stitch design. The limited color palate she chose is so sophisticated!

UTgalery

How can you make steampunk look snuggly? Petlwing did a great job by making a steampunk quilt! I love the applique gears and kitty cameo!

Ship in a bottle

I feel like this ship in a bottle in an embroidery hoop art by Dona has layers of deep meaning. And I like that.

Celtic Rogue

Finally, here is an amazing Celtic hood by Fine Leather Design. This is an incredible piece, and a great photograph. And did you see those the cuffs?! Wowie-zowie!

Everything is looking snazzy up on the UT Flickr group! I hope everyone is enjoying some summer sunshine by day, before they work all night at their embroidery machines cranking out magical sparkly embroidery awesomeness.

Do you want to see your stuff featured in a roundup? Upload it to our flickr pool or e-mail it to blog@urbanthreads.com, and you could see your stuff on StitchPunk