Embroidered Turtle Ornament

Embroidered Turtle Ornament

Embroidered Turtle OrnamentMy mom and sisters and I are all fans of the Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre, a great charity that works to support Ontario’s native turtles.  Many native turtle species are on the ‘at risk’ list, and KTTC work to educate the public, conserve wetlands, and make Ontario a safer place for turtles.

I’m generally not a big fan of charities, but this one’s a good one, in my opinion.

Anyhow, they had a fund raiser planned called ‘The Art of the Turtle,’ and asked artists to create turtle ornaments and donate them to sell at their event.  We decided to each make an ornament for this great cause.

Embroidered Turtle Ornament
As you can see, the kittens were extremely helpful as I was working, holding the fabric so that it didn’t slip. I

I didn’t have a lot of time to get to this project, so worked on it while I was home for Thanksgiving back in October.

I’d wanted to do something sparkly to catch the light, but was more drawn to embroidery, and knew I could make something that glowed with colour.  I research some Metis and Northern European embroidery and beadwork, and got to work.

Embroidering is a nice way to spend the time, particularly if you’ve got a happy cat – or a whole clutch of happy kittens – in your lap (as long as they don’t get too interested in your embroidery floss).

Since I’m working on a dark felt, and didn’t have a good way to draw on it, I sketched out the basic pattern in white thread.

I embroidered the outline in chain stitch, one of my least-favourtite stitches to do, but one that fills space with colour pretty fast.

Embroidered Turtle Ornament
Then I began to fill in the sections of the shell; at first, I was doing backstitch, but switched back to chain stitch because it wasn’t showing the colours very well.


Embroidered Turtle Ornament
The shell, nearly complete.



Embroidered Turtle Ornament
I try to keep the back neat and tidy, but usually it just looks like a mess, especially if I know it will be hidden.
Embroidered Turtle Ornament
I cut out pieces for the head, legs, and tail from more of the green felt.
Embroidered Turtle Ornament
The kittens were helping me decide which way the turtle’s front legs should go.
Embroidered Turtle Ornament
I don’t love using glue guns for this kind of thing, but it was the easiest way to keep the layers together so that I could sew without them slipping.
Embroidered Turtle Ornament
Nearly finished!
Embroidered Turtle Ornament
The final project!

Embroidered Sun Shade

Embroidered Sun Shade

Embroidered Sun ShadeSo I’m really, really late posting.  I’d been learning a song for the past two weeks, and was finally getting to a point where I was pretty happy with it, when I sat to record.  Listening back, I was kind-of overwhelmed by how much I hate the ukulele accompaniment; whether it’s the arrangement, or my playing, or whatever, I re-recorded it over and over, and never felt any better about it.  I kept procrastinating, hoping I’d find a way to make it work, but in the end I just had to admit defeat.

So instead of a new song I’m posting an old piece of embroidery.

It’s something I made for Cassie, when she was travelling south to take a class in Desert Ecology. Since she was going to the desert, I thought I’d make her a piece of embroidery that she could attach to her hat, kind-of in the style of the French Foreign Legion.

Embroidered Sun ShadeI’d wanted to make it a lot more elaborate than I had time to do – I run Summer events, so as the weather warms my free time dries up. I remember that I was still working on the chain of flowers as we drove Cassie to meet up with her class in Southern Ontario, and I finished it off just in time.

The finished/unfinished nature of this particular project is kind-of obvious – the placement of all of the elements is random, because the white space between them was was supposed to be busy with flowers and images and colours.

This was a while ago, before sugar skulls appeared on everything, so I’m not sure if that makes it more or less culturally appropriative, but I was trying to represent that she’d be in the desert in both the southern U.S. and northern Mexico, which is why I included it (Also, I find them fascinating and pretty).  The cactus is the universally-recognizable symbol for North American desert (even if it’s not found in all of them, Looney Tunes taught me that deserts have Saguaro cactus.), and of course, a howling wolf.

Embroidered Sun ShadeI’m most proud of the wolf; it’s probably the best-drawn and executed of anything on this piece.  I feel a bit sheepish about having embroidered a howling wolf on something, but let’s just pretend I was embroidering it ironically, okay?

Embroidered Sampler

Embroidered SamplerThis is an embroidered sampler that I created from a pattern.  Generally I design my embroidered pieces myself, but this one was kicking around the house, and so I started working on it.  The main change that I made was to re-work the colours, which were originally in some super-gross pastels. I (obviously) prefer the colours in the picture.

I think this design was called a ‘Jacobean’ sampler, but it looks to me more like the 1980s than the 1600s.

You’ll notice that there’s space at the bottom, which is where my name and the date is supposed to go; it’s the one part I can’t seem to get around to finishing.  The rest of the sampler has been done for years.

Here are some close-ups:

Embroidered Sampler Embroidered Sampler Embroidered Sampler Embroidered Sampler Embroidered Sampler

Hand-Sewn Felt Flowers

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Created using a template I found online, these felt flowers each have barrettes attached to them so that you can put them in your hair, but could also be worn as a brooch or grouped together to make a bouquet.