Sunday, 29 December 2013

Fresh Florals Embroidery Pattern

Buy this on Selz Sell digital downloads on Selz

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Embroidery Kit Sale

Fancy some holiday stitching?
My little embroidery kits are normally £3.50 each
Now 2 for £5 for a limited period
Just buy 2 kits and enter the coupon code KIT14 at the checkout

Monday, 23 December 2013

Merry Christmas

A very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year to all my friends out there in blogland
Thank you all for your support during 2013 :)

Monday, 16 December 2013

Rag Bag Stockings

My grown up children still love a stocking filled with bits and pieces on Christmas morning
Just been getting them ready for filling this week and thought I would share them with you
They are a combination of randomly patchworked fabrics, applique, hand quilting and embroidery with ribbons and trims

So why not raid your fabric and haberdashery stash and have a go at making your own?

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Last Minute Christmas Gifts

Picture this familiar scenario:
It's just 2 weeks to the big day, the kids are breaking up from school any day now and you still have stocking fillers and teacher gifts to think about
Arggh! Tired and stressed and rapidly running out of money, you need some 'me' time and some cheap and quick gift solutions

Maybe I can help

These cute little embroidered felt circles can be easily made into keyfobs or badges with just a few jewellery findings
So make yourself a cuppa, put your feet up and relax with a bit of therapeutic hand stitching

First gather your supplies:
Free Pattern
Small scraps of felt (wool or acrylic)

Stranded embroidery thread
Embroidery Stabalizer (Fuse and Tear)
Crewel needle
Fineliner or pencil
8 - 10 Jump rings and 1 keyfob clip or brooch pin
Jewellery pliers

Step 1
Cut 2 felt shapes the same size - I have used 55 mm circles cut with a die cutter but any shape will be fine and they can be different colours)
Trace your chosen design from my free pattern  onto the papery side of the stabalizer
The other side has a waxy coating (a bit like freezer paper) - make sure the waxy side is facing the felt then press for a few seconds with a hot iron

Tip: if using acrylic felt cover with a cotton cloth first or you will melt the felt!)

Step 2
Using 3 strands of embroidery thread stitch along the lines with a back stitch
Make your stitch quite tight and remember to fasten off securely at the end
More stitch ideas HERE

Step 3
Now for the fun bit!
When the stitching is complete simply tear away the stabalizer to reveal the design

It will tear away very easily - remove any tiny bits with the point of your needle

Step 4
Holding the front and back pieces together blanket stitch around the edge using 2 strands of thread

Step 5
To make into a keyfob
Stitch the first jump ring at the top of the shape with a few overcast stitches

To make into a badge
Stitch the brooch pin to the back

Step 6
Attach the rest of the rings to the first one to form a chain then attach to the key fob clip
Voila! your'e finished
Simple or what?

Make lots more yourself to give to teachers, friends or as stocking fillers 
Draft in some help  - they are easy enough for older children to stitch and will keep them busy while they are waiting for Santa

Monday, 9 December 2013

Christmas Crochet Decor Ideas

Today's post takes a look at ideas for using crochet in your festive decorating scheme

White Shabby Chic 
Just LOVE these crocheted snowflakes
This beautiful blog Inspiration In White has loads more ideas for this type of scheme
Snowflake patterns HERE, HERE and HERE
Love these crocheted tree decs from Drops Design
The free pattern is HERE

These jars covers are a must!
The free pattern is HERE

Granny Style 
For granny fans out there this tree skirt from Red Heart is the perfect project

These gorgeous granny style baubles are from Annoo's Crochet World

And these retro decorations are by the amazing Lucy over at Attic 24

I have collected loads more christmas crochet ideas over at my Christmas Crochet Pinterest board

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Christmas Light Bulb Competition

Anyone interested in taking part in the new Christmas competition of crafting light bulbs for LightBulbs-Direct?
Wish I had known about it sooner as I have loads of ideas but no time!

The competition involves entrants taking old and dud light bulbs and decorating and them in imaginative ways into exciting new Christmas decorations (such as baubles, wreaths etc.) 
Entries are now being accepted, with a £100 gift card being offered to the winner!

Please visit this link for the full details of the crafting competition and do read the full Terms & Conditions here before taking part

I was intrigued by this art form so I did some research - this Santa by Cyndi Mckinney is one of my favourites!
Take a look at her blog to see more of her amazing artwork

Click HERE for more examples of lightbulb art

Friday, 6 December 2013

Hand Stitched Christmas (Part 2)

Today's post is a little tutorial for my hand stitched fabric leaves 
I hang mine from the garlands I wind up the stair rails but they also look great on trees as part of a woodland scheme

What you need
Scraps of cotton fabrics in greens, browns, oranges 
Piece of twine (approx 7 ins)
Black embroidery thread

What you do
1. Cut out the leaf template and place onto the front of a piece of cotton fabric
2. Draw around the template (this will be your stitching line) then cut out the leaf adding approx 1/4 inch all round
3. Cut the back of the leaf to the same size
4. Place the 2 leaf shapes with W/S facing and tack securely
5. Using 2 strands of black embroidery thread work a stem stitch along the stitching line you marked in step 2 making sure you are stitching through both layers of fabric
6. Leave a 3 cm gap in your stitching then stuff the leaf with polyester filling
7. Continue the stem stitch to complete the leaf and close the gap
8. Make more leaves and stitch together in pairs
9. Stitch on the button, tie the twine to the button and hang any where you fancy for a bit of woodland magic

Leaf Template

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Hand Stitched Christmas (Part 1)

Since returning from the K&S Show last month I have hit the ground running
In between working on a series of exciting embroidery magazine projects (watch this space for news of these next year!) I have decided its time I started thinking about Christmas so I braved the dusty depths of the loft and retrieved the decorations

What better way to get into a festive mood than with a visit to Santa
Here is my grandson Xander (3 3/4) in his Christmas jumper delighted to meet the big man at our local garden centre on Sunday afternoon

I made the little robin cushion in the photograph by stitching the design onto a scrap of vintage linen then onto a square of cotton fabric 
Back the cushion with another square of fabric and fill with toy filling and a broken up cinnamon stick for a lovely Christmassy scent
You can make little tree decorations in the same way - the pattern is here and I also have a kit available
More hand stitched decoration ideas very soon!

Monday, 18 November 2013

Harrogate Knitting And Stitching Show 2013

My kits are all ready, my teaching bag is packed, now all I have to do is get my hair done and pack my suitcase!

This can only mean one thing - I am teaching at this years Knitting And Stitching show for the first time!

So excited and really looking forward to meeting lots of lovely new customers and catching up with old friends :)

This cute little fella is for one of my Saturday classes  - one of the 1hr workshops I will be teaching over the weekend 
Bookings are taken until just before the start of the class so if you haven't booked in advance - go along to the Learning Curve desk and see if there are places available
Would love to see you at one of my classes :)

Thursday, 14 November 2013

French Linens

My latest magazine project in the December issue of Popular Patchwork Magazine
The French Linens pattern is a 3 piece set of embroidered patchwork messenger bag, scarf and spectacle case
The gorgeous Linen Closet  fabrics I used by Renee Nanneman for Andover Fabrics were the starting point for my inspiration as they put me in mind of well used, faded rustic French embroideries
The embroidery is inspired by traditional Dorset feather stitchery complete with Dorset Button embellishments

I would love to see your projects made from this pattern  - please post them here or on my Facebook page :)

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Reflections Of Autumn

On a glorious November day like today I remind myself how lucky I am to live just an hour away from some of the most beautiful scenery in the UK
Had to share with you these glorious 
Autumn colours reflected in Lake Windermere I captured this afternoon

Festive Decor In Stitches

It's that time of year when crafty fingers start twitching to create something for Christmas
So here are some ideas for festive decor using my embroidery patterns
First we have Festive Fun which I have used to make these cute hangy thingys for your tree, door handles or where ever your home needs a bit of festive cheer

Quick and easy to stitch they are made from scraps of spare fabric and ribbon filled with toy filling

Visit Julie Bull's Craftsy Pattern Store »

Festive Fun Two continues the stitchy theme with a set of cute little designs including an angel and snowman seen here stitched onto a cushion, a doorhanger and a Redwork patchwork block

Another way to use embroidery as part of your Christmas decor is to leave your stitching in the hoop and use it as a piece of wall art as I have done with Rockin Robin and the curvy reindeer from Wishing On A Star

So go on - have a go
If you are complete beginner see my Beginners Guide to get you started and get stitching!

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

New Shabby Reverse Applique Tutorial

Here is the first of my new embroidery tutorials :)
Shabby Reverse Applique 
A step by step tutorial which takes you through the process of creating a reverse applique flower block
The shabby reverse applique technique can be used to create tablecloths, throws, pillows, cushions and much more
Available as an instant download 

Forever Autumn

The evenings are getting cooler, the nights are drawing in and parents are heaving sighs of relief as they prepare for the big return to school
This can only mean one thing - Autumn is approaching !
So what better way to ease yourself gently into the new season than with a bit of therapeutic stitching 

My Forever Autumn embroidery pattern includes 5 designs inspired by the flowers, fruits and leaves of the season

The 9 page PDF contains:
Images of stitched samples
Colour guides for Anchor Stranded Cotton and Valdani Perle Thread
Pattern sheets with mirrored versions of each design

Available as an instant download HERE and HERE  (GBP)

My patterns are now also available on Craftsy (USD)

The pattern also includes a 3 page section on stitching Shisha mirrors

If you have never tried this then I urge you to have a go - I can't promise it will change your life but when you have mastered the technique you will be stitching them onto everything!

****Breaking News****

Look out for my new series of technique e -books

Coming Soon!

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Embroidery Display - Crocheted Frames

Many thanks to all the lovely ladies I met at my 'How To Display Embroidered Artwork' Demo at The Festival Of Quilts last week :)

One of the ideas I shared was mounting a tiny embroidery into a crocheted frame

The pattern for the frame is HERE

First work the crochet around a metal curtain ring
Cut the embroidery into a circle and stitch by hand to the crochet stitches at the back of the frame
Next stitch a  felt circle over the embroidery to neaten the back
A ribbon is threaded through one of the crocheted loops to hang the frame

The tiny baby design is from my new embroidery pattern celebrating the birth of the new Prince Of Cambridge
It will be available very soon from Xander Panda

Thursday, 27 June 2013

New work at Manchester Royal Exchange

I am very excited that my work has been selected to be shown here along with other members of The Art and Craft Guild of Lancashire from 2nd July to 25th August 

Our work will be displayed in the glass cabinets along the colonnade of The Great Hall

UPDATE 23/07/13

'Just Go With The Flow' and 'Secrets Of The March Moon' have been sold (!)
'Fly Into My Arms'  is still available and I delivered 3 new pieces on the weekend

'Just Following Our Noses'
        'Love You Deerly'

'Tree Hugging'
The exhibition runs until 25th August so if you are in Manchester city centre pop in and have a look :)

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Xander Panda

I have been busy updating my embroidery website and I'm quite pleased with the result

My patterns and kits are still available from my Etsy and Folksy stores but can also now be purchased straight from the Xander Panda website

The patterns are available as instant PDF downloads via Selify

Click, buy, download and start stitching NOW!

Monday, 20 May 2013

A Busy Weekend

It's Monday morning and after a very busy 3 days I'm at home catching up on emails, website amendments and of course blogging

So what did I get up to on the weekend?

I spend a very happy Saturday teaching a lovely group of ladies to crochet

Granny Squares and Hexagons
They were all enthusiastic beginners who at the start of the day knew nothing of the delights of the granny square or the mystery of the magic ring

However, they persevered and emerged after 5 hours delighted with their efforts and still wanting more

Join my mailing list to receive details of my workshops

If you would like to hire me to teach a crochet, hand embroidery or patchwork workshop please contact me at 
for rates and availablity
Join As You Go Hexagon Blanket

 I spent Friday and Sunday at the Gallery where I really enjoyed chatting to customers and working on some new embroidered and crocheted brooches

Embroidered Brooches

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Two More Events

This Saturday 27th April I will be teaching 3 workshops at this exciting event
There is still time to book

Also starting on Saturday and running until 6th May is my first exhibition with Textilia 3 
'Vistas and Voices'  is at Fountains Abbey, North Yorkshire
I have 3 new pieces in this exhibition , there are some sneeky peeks above
If you are able to make it to either event please come and say hello   

Spring Crochet

After hand stitching my second needle craft passion is crochet so I am delighted to have been asked to teach a beginners crochet workshop with the lovely Linda Robinson of Creative Thread Workshops
Join us on Saturday 18th May for a fun filled day during which you will dive head first into the bewildering sea of crochet techniques armed only with a hook and a ball of yarn
You will emerge the proud owner of a set of small samples created from basic stitches and will hopefully have solved the mysteries of the Granny Square and Magic Ring

Click HERE to book