Posts tagged easy sewing

Embroidery Made Easy

Carina Envoldsen-Harris, whose colorful and creative embroidery I admire, has a new ebook, “Stitching Borders and Beyond.” The book is easy to read, easy to understand and absolutely beautiful to look out. I especially love her color combinations.

This is Carina’s second book. Her first book, “Small Stitches” is also available in her shop.

I asked my mom, who is the sewing expert in the family, to take a look at the book too and tell me what she thought. In a word, she raved about it.

She told me:

30 years ago I had a wonderful time learning and playing with embroidery stitches. Once you get the hang of it, it’s easy to improvise, to visualize where the thread is going to go and what kind of pattern you can make.

About 5 years ago I found an adorable book of embroidery stitches and thought it would be fun to give it a try again – surely I could pick up where I left off 25 years ago.

Alas, I couldn’t. I absolutely could not figure out where to put the needle in and where to bring it up. Even with a Needlework for Dummies, I struggled.

What she liked about Carina’s book, she said, is that the instructions are crystal clear:

“Pull the needle up at A and down at B”—why had nobody been so careful about saying just this? After studying her instructions for about 3 minutes, and then giving it a try, I was right back where I was 30 years ago.  And her array of stitches to learn is delightful!

My mom is a lefty, and when I told her that Carina also offers a left-handed version of her ebook, her response was, “Her instructions are so clear, I don’t even need left-handed instructions. Truly, they are the best set of instructions I’ve ever run across.”

Need I say more? Yes, actually. Carina has generously offered a free copy of “Stitching Borders and Beyond” to one of you. So if you’re feeling inspired by her beautiful patterns, or you’ve been meaning to learn how (or re-learn how!) to embroider, this is the book you want.

To be eligible to win, please leave a comment below letting Carina know which is your favorite pattern in her ArtFire or her Etsy shop by 5pm on Friday (July 2), and I will announce the winner next Tuesday.

Carina will be offering her book at a special introductory price until July 15, so if you don’t win, be sure to order your copy before the 15th for the best price!

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Birthday Party Update


Elena’s birthday party sewing demo for her friends went swimmingly. She did a really great job sewing a tote bag, and all the girls seemed duly impressed. In addition to the sewing demo, we made a flip-the-button-into-the-cup game that I found in an old (winter 2004) Martha Stewart Kids Magazine — sorry, couldn’t find it in her archives online (why, oh why did that magazine have to fold?). I also printed out these Martha Stewart bingo cards and the girls used colorful translucent buttons as placeholders.


The famous tote bags, filled with the button jewelry craft, stickers and some candy:


Oh, and the button birthday cake? Really lame, especially after nailing Rosa’s Hello Kitty cake. I tried several different things and finally gave up; I think I doomed it from the beginning when I accidentally colored all of the frosting, rather than leaving some white, to make the “thread.” But 8-year-olds don’t care. We had a good time.


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