Monday, December 1st, 2008...1:51 pm

Handmade Holiday: Embroidery Inspiration

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There’s a claim from that last post I need to return to. “I’m making luggage tags! I think I’ll personalize them with embroidery.”

I can’t say that I’ve EVER embroidered ANYTHING before. But it looks so easy — and it must be in my genes, ha! Check out this bookmark my mom made in the ’70s, I love it so much!


mom_bookmark_bottom.JPG  mom_bookmark_amazing.JPG  mom_bookmark_carol.JPG  mom_bookmark_sun.JPG  mom.JPG

(Several notes about my mom, pictured there on the right (looking as Mid-Century as ever on Thanksgiving Day 2008!). First, she is more talented than I’ll ever be. I do my best! Second, she named that smiley little bug “Oblio.” Guess she didn’t think it was right for him to go through life nameless. These two facts are a very fitting introduction of her. Love you, Mom!)

For my own needlework, I’ve been trying to combine inspirations to make some of my own “patterns.” Here’s what I’ve got so far…

An Amazon review of this book (below) said that none of the patterns inside live up to this cover design, but it in itself is pretty sweet.


Orla Kiely‘s stem design (below) is an instant classic! It’s not a breach of copyright if I copy this pattern for handmade, one-off gifts, right? (Right?) I even based my palette of embroidery floss off this color scheme.


Lovely retro cross stitch font.


Jonathan Adler has brought back needlepoint in a bad way. Case in point: An ironic iPod cover.



  • i want to learn embroidery SO BAD!!! i bought a book, and my lovely step-mom bought me a super-cute handpainted pattern, and they’re just sitting around. i really love the retro patterns…

  • Love your blog! (Found you while doing a google search for lego heart pin. ) I am a jewelry designer, with pretty intricate designs, but of course my daughter wants a lego pin… Maybe if I can get Kanye to wear one of my designs I ‘ll win her over?Anyway, great blog, I’ll be back!

  • This post is so inspiring, Janette! Now I want to jazz up some of my plainer pieces of clothing. I wonder if it is as easy as it looks. *Sigh* If only I had more time.

    Your mom is adorable!

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