17 January 2024

Beaded Embroidery Collection for Eileen Hull Designs

Hi everyone and welcome. This month Eileen Hull's design teams are celebrating the release of a collection of Sizzix Classics dies which all have a stitching theme. During the Release Party back on January 2nd I previewed a collection of beaded embroidery projects using a couple of the new dies (plus some older favourites). Now I'm back to show you them in more detail.

First up is the Embroidery Hoop, and at 4" in diameter it is a perfect size for creating home decor pieces. I began by choosing a heavier weight piece of linen to fit between the two hoops - make sure to check the fit when doing this as you may need to sand the hoops a bit. I also chose to stick together three die cuts to make a sturdier frame since it will be handled a lot, but if you are going to wall mount yours one or two layers should do. Paint the hoop and 'metal' tightening piece and fix in place over your chosen fabric. Securing the fabric in place on the back of the inner hoop can easily be done by using high tack tape.

Taking a closer look you can see how the felt flowers and leaves, cut from the Envelope, Folder & Flowers Die Set, have been stitched with a mix of blanket stitch, satin stitch and French knots. The leaf stems have been created by adding craft wire down the centres before couching them with dark brown embroidery thread. Doing this allowed me to bend them into more realistic shapes.

Now whilst I love stitching it is not for everyone, so some suggestions to achieve a similar look with a 'no sew' approach try gluing felt flowers and leaves onto the fabric background, embellishing them with glittering, vintage buttons and floral brooches. I will be back next month with more ideas for taking this approach.

Moving on to the Needle Book, I cut mine from thick felt with the intention of embroidering them using a mix of Eileen's flowers and leaves, various stitches and more beads. Since the threads could be seen inside the books I chose to die cut a layer of fabric, heat bonding it to the reverse of the felt cover before adding blanket stitching around the edges. Inside the first one I added a simple felt panel, perfect for holding needles and pins in the traditional way.

Inspired by the contents of a Christmas cracker, I stitched a piece of elastic inside a second Needle Book to hold tiny make-up brushes, perfect for those 'on the go' touch ups. The small size of the book (3 1/2" x 2 1/4") makes it the ideal size for slipping into the smallest of handbags so think about other small things you want to keep protected/secure/discrete when you want to go out and about.

During the Release Party FB Live I asked for other suggestions to fill the inside of the final Needle Book and the general consensus seemed to be requests for small pockets to hold medication or even sweet treats. So I used the folder die from the Envelope, Folder & Flower Die Set to cut a piece of felt, folding it in half and sewing it onto the lining of the Needle Book. The tabs at the top make the two resultant pockets more accessible. Again I have more ideas for using this 'fan favourite' die and will be back with more to share with you.

That's it from me for this month's theme. Make sure to check out all the fantastic projects from the rest of the team - links to their posts can be found on Eileen's blog throughout the month.

For now thanks for visiting,
Jenny xxx

2 January 2024

Eileen Hull Designs Chapter 1 2024 "It’s All about Stitching" Release Party

Hi everyone and welcome. Thanks for joining Eileen Hull's "It’s All about Stitching" Release Party where Eileen and the team will be sharing creative ways to use her Chapter 1 2024 Classics release dies - we can’t wait to share them with you! There will also be giveaways too so make sure to watch the live show on the Eileen Hull Designs Facebook Live/YouTube/Instagram Livestream on Tuesday, 2nd January at noon Eastern Time.

And now it's time to introduce the Chapter 1 2024 Eileen Hull/Sizzix collection!
Here's what Eileen has to say about this exciting collection;

"You asked for it - we did it! The Classic Cantilever Sewing Box, Embroidery Hoop and Needle Book dies have been brought back because you asked. These dies all relate to stitching but of course may also be used in other ways. They are all Bigz dies which are so versatile because of the number of materials that may be cut with them.
I have fond memories of my Mom’s wooden sewing box and designed this Cantilever Sewing Box to replicate that. It’s great for storing sewing supplies like needles, thread, buttons, floss and pins - but it also works for hair bands and clips, small storage items, jewellery, desk organization and small treats. Use the drawers separately to organize your desk drawers or create a shadowbox - so many ways to use! Finished size is 3 1/2” x 6 1/4” x 2 1/4”.
The Embroidery Hoop measures 4” and is designed to be cut from thick material such as matboard or chipboard. You can actually tuck thin fabrics in the hoop and stitch on them. Or you can die cut from paper and use the hoop on card fronts. Use the pieces separately or all together.
The Needle Book is also a ScoreBoard die and features a pretty scalloped edge to the book. It measures 3 1/2” x 2 1/4" x 1/2" and is perfect for storing your stitching needles and pins - works great when made from felt! But it can also be made from matboard, chipboard, leather or fabric - one of the benefits of the Bigz dies."

Projects I've made with the new collection;

Since it's all about stitching I've been having fun with Eileen's dies, felt, beads and embroidery, creating a floral 'Embroidery Hoop' and a set of three 'Needle Books'.

The flowers from Eileen's 'Envelope, Folder & Flowers' Sizzix Thinlits Die Set are the perfect size to mount on the Embroidery Hoop.

I developed a set of three floral felt Needle Books because I couldn't decide which of Eileen's flower designs to use on just one. And because they are small it doesn't take much to decorate them!

I hope you've enjoyed seeing the first of my projects using Eileen's latest Classic die releases. Make sure to tune in to the Eileen Hull Designs Facebook Live/YouTube/Instagram Livestream on Tuesday, 2nd January at noon Eastern Time and also head on over to see the rest of the project peeks in the blog hop.

Blog Hop Stops;
Eileen Hull Designs
Pam Bray
Sarah Lizzie
Lisa Hoel
Jenny Marples - you are here
Maggi Harding
Susie Bentz
Tonya Trantham
Sue Eldred
Sharon Curtis
Jennie Atkinson
Teresita Arvelo

19 December 2023

2023 Round Up for Eileen Hull Designs

Hi everyone and welcome. Can you believe 2023 is almost over? Time sure flies! This month Eileen Hull’s team members are taking a look back and sharing their favourite projects from the year in designer round ups. So what are my Top 3 makes of 2023? Being honest it was hard to narrow it down to just three this year, but here goes...

Taking them in date order, February saw me sharing the 'Love of Home' Frame Pocket Journal celebrating my combined passions for journals, book-making, mixed media, stitching and architecture. As well as including a few hand-drawn doors I loved playing with fabric, paper, paint and lace to create the collection of pages inside.

In August I shared the results of a month long project, a Field Notes Accordion Album created as part of the #junkjournaljuly2023 challenge. The daily prompts and collage style landscape accordion pages were the perfect place to play with more of Eileen's dies, stamps and embossing folders. Mixing embroidered felt die cuts with hand drawn images and layered backgrounds throughout, it was fun to work with the random backgrounds and reflect what was happening on each day.

My last pick comes from October when the stitching reached a whole new level and much patience was required to decorate the Fall Slotted Treat Box. A true labour of love, I discovered that sewing machines don't like self-adhesive fabric and resorted to hand stitching all those zig-zag patterns on the patchwork background!

And there's more to come next year with the first of Eileen's releases coming in January 2024!!! The teams are already hard at work making samples to give you all some ideas for using them. For now that's it from me for this month's theme. Make sure to check out all the Top 3 projects from the rest of the team - links to their posts can be found on Eileen's blog throughout the month.

For now thanks for visiting,
Jenny xxx

21 November 2023

Starlit Village Festive Embroidered Hoop with Eileen Hull Designs

Hi everyone and welcome. This month Eileen Hull's design teams are fully immersed in the Comfort & Joy Event 2023. This is our fourth annual Comfort & Joy which started during the pandemic as a way to stay connected throughout the holidays even though we were separated from family and friends. Now it’s a Eileen Hull Fan Club tradition!

The team have been creating with holidays recipes that include an Eileen Hull die or product! Keep in mind “recipes” can include anything – actual baked goods, journals, banners, tags, cards, home decor, gift wrap and gifts to give and sell. Please make sure to share YOUR “recipes” in the Comfort & Joy ’23 photo album in our Fan Club group – there will be prizes! We hope that you are enjoying this event and look forward to seeing what we all create this holiday season! If you are not already a member, join the Fan Club on Facebook.

Having got the bug for creating embroidered leaves for my Fall Slotted Treat Box I went all out on the home decor front and added lots more stitching to Eileen's 'Starlit Village' to create a festive hoop.

Details and 'in progress' photos sharing the 'recipe' for creating this can be found exclusively in the Eileen Hull Fan Club so make sure you're a member to see those!

I used the Sizzix Thinlits 666535 Starlit Village Die Set and Sizzix Thinlits 666474 Envelope, Folder & Flowers Die Set to cut the felt shapes.

Eileen's dies cut through felt beautifully and the stitching adds to the design and dimension of each element.

That's it from me for this month's theme. Make sure to check out all the fantastic Comfort & Joy 2023 projects from the rest of the team - links to their posts can be found on Eileen's blog throughout the month.

For now thanks for visiting,
Jenny xxx

27 October 2023

Fall Slotted Treat Box for Eileen Hull Designs

Hi everyone and welcome. This month Eileen Hull's design teams are celebrating fall themed projects made with her versatile Sizzix dies. I've created a Fall 'Slotted Treat Box', making use of lots of stitching and fabrics.

This took more work than anticipated due mainly to having used adhesive-backed fabric to create the patchwork covers for the case - not sewing machine friendly!!! I ended up hand stitching all those zigzags but am so pleased with the results.

Cutting leaves from Eileen's 'Envelope, Folder & Flowers' die set in felt offered up the option to embroider them - if you haven't seen the incredible creations of Salley Mavor of Wee Folk Studio, from whose work this was inspired - then I strongly recommend a visit! There is something very comforting about sitting stitching wrapped up a warm blanket as the nights get longer and colder.

The pearl beads used as berries were coloured with alcohol inks and Sizzix Luster Wax in Gold has been used as a contrast on the metal corners, handles, locking mechanism and little label, as well as around the edges and inside of the box.

That's it from me for this month's theme. Make sure to check out all the fantastic Fall projects from the rest of the team - links to their posts can be found on Eileen's blog throughout the month.

For now thanks for visiting,
Jenny xxx

18 September 2023

Card Caddy Accordion Album with Floral Silhouettes for Eileen Hull Designs

Hi everyone and welcome. A new month equals a new theme and this time around it’s Box Bonanza month. Eileen Hull has designed many different box dies over the years so Eileen's teams are excited to share their ideas. I decided to use Eileen's Sizzix Scoreboards 'Card Caddy' Die to create a case to hold a new accordion album - with no spine this type of album can flop around a bit so a bespoke box is the perfect solution to keep it safe. 

The Caddy case has been decorated on both sides to match the pages of the album inside, with paper collage, washi, stamping, stencilling, stitching and lots of trims. The accordion album measures 5 1/8 " (13cm) square, so just a touch smaller than the width of the Card Caddy (which measures 5 1/4") to allow it to slip in and out easily and there's plenty of room for layered pages. In fact I made my accordion pages double-sided with covers cut from matboard and decorated with the flowers from Eileen's Sizzix Thinlits 'Envelope, Folder & Flowers' Die Set.

Inside the album opens out onto the first of seven fabric backed, double-sided spreads, each depicting bits of hand-drawn architecture spotted whilst visiting a local National Trust estate. Knowing I wanted to make use of Eileen's Sizzix Thinlits 'Floral Silhouettes' Die Set (available only at scrapbook.com) including these drawings felt like a good way to give them some context.

The basic backgrounds have been created with a collage of book pages, music manuscript, typed sheets, lined and squared paper, glued to a thin base layer and backed with muslin to help stop them tearing when stitched. It's easy to blend the various sheets together with a little coordinating paint, leaving some of the text visible and some covered.

After drawing and inking over the architectural designs colour has been added with washi tape, gel printed tissue and some beautiful trims from the lovely Sharon Louise at Rowan Tree Crafts.

You may by now have spotted some stencilled letters in the background, created by using a homemade card stencil cut with Eileen's Sizzix Thinlits 'Tiled Alphanumeric' Die. Using Eileen's dies to create stencils and stamps makes them an even more invaluable creative tool.

I wanted to include the Floral Silhouettes throughout the album but initially struggled to pick the right colours. In the end I die cut them from black card before blending Sizzix Luster Wax over them, starting with 'Ivory' before adding 'Gold' highlights. It really helps the layers to stand out.

All the stamping has been done using Eileen's stamp sets including adding the leaves behind the flowers, labels and days of the week.

Stitching is always great for adding extra texture so I have included machine stitching in black to emphasise some of the architectural details and hand stitching simple cross marks with Sashiko thread.

I hope you've enjoyed taking a closer look through this accordion album with its matching Card Caddy case. Make sure to check out all the fantastic projects featuring Eileen's box dies from the rest of the team - links to their posts can be found on Eileen's blog throughout the month.

For now thanks for visiting,
Jenny xxx
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