Adventures in Embroidery

If you had come to me a year ago and said, “In one year’s time, you will be an embroiderer,” I probably would’ve replied, “Pssh, naw, not me.” Oh, how minds change! Not only do I cross-stitch, but I embroider now, too! I’ve always been one for cute handmade things, and I’ve been knitting on and off for years, but the recent renewal of embroidery and cross-stitch has made me realize that I, too, can stitch fun and awesome things. And so can you!
There are now countless sites/blogs/books that show how versatile embroidery and cross-stitch can be.
The most famous is probably Sublime Stitching, which has been active since 2001 and has patterns for all sorts of kitschy embroidery such as tattoos, sushi, and… vital organs? You can find Sublime Stitching books and kits in the craft section of most bookstores, too!

A little more on the other side of nerdy things are the Sprite Stitch forums, dedicated to all video-game related stitching. From Pokemon to Zelda, Mario to Okami, you can find all sorts of patterns and projects in the various message boards. Some of my favorites include an Okami bookmark and this awesomely detailed “Home Sweet Home” Mario cross-stitch.

Okami bookmark by awenmir

 When my husband and I were back in Sydney to celebrate Chinese New Year with his family, I finally picked up a copy of this Japanese embroidery book I have been coveting ever since I saw a few scans of it online. Even with the jacked up prices of Sydney’s Kinokuniya, the purchase was totally worth every cent!

That’s right, it’s got 500 patterns!

 I swoon over this book. It has so many adorable patterns, all arranged into sections such as “fruits,” “animals,” and “celebrations.” I’ve been having so much fun looking at it, but difficulty deciding what I can embroider with all of these cute things!

I picked up a couple of tote bags from the local craft store for only $1.50 each the other day, and thought they’d be perfect to practice some of the designs on. Right now I’m working on a fruit and vegetable-themed tote, to be used for groceries, of course!

Beetroot and strawberries!

 I’ve also been dabbling in making my own designs for various projects, as I have all of these ideas for things I’d maybe, possibly, theoretically like to make a little pocket money off of in the future. Maybe an Etsy shop? I think my skills need to improve a little more before I dive into that, though. I did make this business card holder for my husband entirely from scratch, though, except for the cursive “b,” design, which I got from the aforementioned Japanese book.

Unfortunately my poor planning skills mean that this “card holder” is actually too small to hold any normal-sized business cards, so it’s back to the drawing board… He’ll just have to use his imagination and put it to some other use, I guess! Silly me.

Long story short, I’m loving embroidery! Today I head into the city and will definitely be picking up some more colors so I can add some more fruits and veggies to my tote. Expect more pictures soon!

In other news, I’ve changed the layout already! I’m pretty finicky, I guess. Tell me what you think? I’m trying to go for something simple yet eye-catching.

Till next time! 

About Anne Lee

Also known as apricotsushi. Anne can be written with the kanji for apricot (杏), and sushi was the most quintessentially Japanese thing I could think of when I was 13, resulting in my goofy, albeit memorable, nickname.