Needlepainted Flower

After I finished the teal rose, I was still in the stitching mood. I started looking through drawings online and ones saved on Pinterest and on my computer, including some tattoo designs I’ve been saving for ideas for future tattoos.

This one has really caught my eye a lot of times:


So, I had to stitch it! I did have to change it up a little bit to fit the piece of fabric that I had, hence the circle around the picture. Plus I ended up tweaking the design a little bit along the way.

I used a light blue background that has subtle clouds on it, which are hard to see in the pictures. After choosing my colors, I started working on the stitching. I had picked a range of blues for the outer petals, but quickly realized an issue after I started the first one. The colors were too light and blended with the background. I did some digging in my threads and redid the petal.

Then when I got to the purple petals, I ran into another issue (part of which is most of my purple threads appear to be lost in a tote somewhere…). The one thread I picked out which I thought would blend, didn’t. So I had to carefully rip it out and add in another purple.

This particular needlepainted project seemed to fly by and I finished it up rather quickly, then found a nice frame for it.

Once it was completely finished, I did a porch drop at my friend’s house. Surprise! 🙂

The original design may still end up as a tattoo somewhere on my body some day. We shall see.

Needlepainted Teal Rose

100 hours of hand stitching, one thread at a time, to create this Teal Rose that now hangs in my mom’s sewing hangout. The rose itself measures about 7″ in diameter.


This rose came about after a friend posted a picture of a beautiful “perfect rose” from her garden.


(photo credit V.L. 2020)

I saw the picture, downloaded it, and played around in a photo editor with inverting the color.

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I received permission from her to use it in an embroidery design. I had to make the photo black and white, print it out, then trace it to get the lines of the individual petals. I realized once I got ready to stitch that I missed a petal in the tracing and had to go back and add it. Oops! You can see that I have the petals numbered. This gives me a rough idea of which ones are stitched first. All the 1’s, then the 2’s, etc.  The numbering may change as I work inward as I may realize something overlaps different than I thought.

Once I had the drawing made, I had to then transfer it to fabric and stitch the outline. I decided to stitch the rose in teals because I absolutely LOVE how the inverted picture of the rose looks in teal.

I used 9 different threads in teals and very pale blue-teal in order to create this rose.

Needlepainting by hand involves taking one single thread at a time and stitching one petal or section at a time, moving from background to foreground. The stitches used are long and short stitches.  You need to look at the way the petals/sections lie, the direction of them, and think about light vs dark.  I could do this same design in other colors and the shading could turn out completely different based on where I put the lights and darks.  I could shade it as if the sun is shining from at angle and have one side darker than the other.

As you can see in the below pictures, I started from the outside and worked in, because the outside petals are “behind” the front/inner petals.  This is not always the case, so you have to study your design and pick out what would be the background. Stitching the petals like this help give the layered look and help the individual petals stand out more. It would suck to get all the way done and just have a teal blob as an end result.

If you love embroidery but haven’t tried needlepainting before, try it! Check out Trish Burr’s books and videos.  I started with her books and designs, then kind of adapted it a little to fit my style and started finding my own designs to use. Or I use photographs that I’ve taken or friends have taken and turned them into designs.

The possibilities are almost endless. If it can be drawn, it can probably be needlepainted. Although you may have to make minor adjustments to get ‘sections’ to stitch. In the above pictures you can see that the center of the rose originally was a larger piece that I later broke up into smaller sections to make it easier to stitch.

Princing Project

Recently, a group of us started talking about doing a project where we all used the same quilt pattern or type of quilt block to make quilts, using the fabrics we already had at home.  We decided to go with Log Cabin blocks because there is a lot of variety out there with Log Cabin blocks. Traditional, Wonky, Curved, Half or Quarter Log Cabin, etc.  We named it Princing Project after a good friend of ours who makes some of the most beautiful quilts from scraps. And from fabrics that you would never think could go together.

I decided to go with Quarter Log Cabin blocks for mine, all scrappy.


And then, of course, I had to play around with layout ideas once I had enough blocks made up.

I’m not completely finished yet with the quilt top. I still need to add one more side to it to make it wider, but it’s definitely…bright.  I made some smaller Quarter Log blocks and put them together to make the center block.  It’s so busy and bright though, that it’s hard to really tell.

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Very loud, very bright, very colorful.  And all made with scraps!


Where Have I Been?

Or rather, what have I been doing?

I’ve been up to my elbows in acrylic paints! Only unlike the painting in my last post where I was attempting a design, I have been learning the art of acrylic pouring.

It’s more than just dump paint on a canvas and tilt it, which a lot of people think that’s all there is to it. I’m still learning, so I’m not an expert by any means, but I can share what I’ve learned so far.

This was my very first one. I had old tube acrylic paints and a vague idea of what pouring medium was for. I did puddle pours as that’s all I knew about at the time.

Lessons from this one:

1) wear gloves.

2) mix enough paint that it will also cover the sides.

3) don’t use old paints.

After that I picked up some new paints, but cheap ones as I’m in the practice and learn stages. Although pouring medium is not cheap. Get it on sale! (I’m using CraftSmart paints and Liquitex pouring medium).

This was my second one. I did puddle pours again.

Lesson: after pouring the puddles, don’t forget to do a little swish through the puddles with a stir stick. Otherwise you get blob areas like I did here. But don’t stir too much either or you get mud.

After that I started experimenting with dirty cup pours, multiple puddles on one canvas, flip cups, and dragging a toothpick through the paint. And got better at making sure I got the sides covered.


1) different paint colors need different amounts of pouring medium. Experiment with it.

2) some colors work excellent together and some turn to mud colors.

3) as you tilt the canvas you can use one hand to catch paint and kind of slide it down the edge of the canvas to help draw paint to the edges and over.

4) glitter paints are a hit and miss paint. Sometimes the glitter will pop like crazy, other times you’re scratching your head (hopefully without paint drenched gloves on still) wondering if you really did add glitter paint or not.

5) Enjoy. Have fun. Experiment.

6) you might not like the end result, but someone else might fall in love with it. Don’t immediately decide it’s a failure. (Unless it’s a canvas of mud. Then it might be!)

Lots of pictures incoming!

I’m loving this art!

Playing Around

I decided to take a sewing break after the big push to get all those bags done. So I’ve been dabbling with a few other hobbies the past couple weeks.

One hobby, which I’d actually love to take classes on to learn the correct techniques, is painting. But for now I just have fun with it. I created a little 12×12 canvas painting for our living room:

I took random items from around my Wife Cave to get the various circle sizes.

I’m also working on transforming an old wooden tray that I bought years ago into a craft tray. So far I have a few base coats of paint on it but haven’t decided on design yet.

In the center section I’m going to glue some fabric pin cushion balls that I made.

I’ve also worked a little on my latest embroidery rose (which I don’t appear to have a picture of), some artist trading cards, a few fun drawings, and a Zentangle drawing:

What have you been up to lately? Try anything new?

Note: if want to comment here but are unable to, you can find me on Facebook, Little Orphan Stitch, and comment or message me there to let me know.

Bags, Bags, and More Bags

Well, I have been working hard at making bags, pouches, and more for the past couple months getting ready for a craft show at Michigan BuskerFest. It is this Saturday, and I think I’m at the point where I feel ready.

A pile of bags:

K.I.S. bags:

Medium vinyl pouches:

Wallet style vinyl pouches:

Business/ credit card size pouches:

Coin/earbud pouches:

And the newest in the line up, dispenser bags for carrying waste bags for dog walking. They are also great for parents. Why? Well, ever been in a restaurant with your little one and they have that dreaded diaper explosion…all over? Have a dispenser bag with you and you can bag up the clothes to contain the mess.

Wish us luck!

Free Motion aka “drop the dogs and go”

About a month ago my mom taught me how to free motion quilt. She always says, “just drop the dogs and go”. Unfortunately, at the time it was shortly after the thumb versus rotary cutter incident, so I wasn’t able to do much.

I’m mostly healed now, it all reattached, although I do have decreased sensation and pain around the scarring. It’s only been 4 1/2 weeks though, so I’m pretty happy.

Anyway, back to free motion. You know what? Its fun! Drop the feed dogs, put on the correct foot, and get a good grip on the piece you’re working on.

Those above are a few of the ones I’ve done in the past couple nights. And a few more from tonight:

Tips from me:

  • Have a good grip with both hands on your fabric
  • Steady, fast speed with the foot pedal and consistent speed with your hands
  • Remember stitch length is determined by how fast you move the fabric with your hands. No feed dogs!
  • Have fun and don’t worry about it.

I hope you get a chance to try it out if you haven’t tried it before. And if you tried it and didn’t like it, just try it out again and remember… have fun and don’t worry! It’s not supposed to look perfect

Prototype: Doggie Bag

A week or so ago my hubby told me he had another idea. A bag to carry a roll of plastic bags for dog walking. I’ve let the idea percolate in my brain for the week and tonight I sketched it out then started cutting and sewing.

One of the main features was to have an opening to dispense the baggies. Easily done, but I made this one a little too open. I think the next one will have a skinnier opening, and I might add some vinyl between the layers around the opening to stiffen it up.

Another feature we discussed was being able to easily clip the bag to a leash or belt loop.

I also squared the bottom corners so it stands nicer.

This holds a 4 1/2″ wide roll of baggies easily.

Now to make the next one with a couple minor changes.

If you have a dog that you walk and clean up after, do you see anything that could be improved on this design? I appreciate any feedback!

Recycling Tip

My mom makes these neat bowls made from leftover thread clippings. She’s the queen of no-waste with her art quilts, wall hangings, and items like this:

So while I sit here and make bags and pouches, I save all my thread clippings to give to her. I found that a great way to contain the threads that is also easily portable is using a large (200 count) Tic Tac container.

They can hold a lot of thread, and if you shake it up it’ll actually turn it into a loose thread ball (I’m easily amused at times).

Another bonus is you are recycling/repurposing the container instead of throwing it in a landfill somewhere. 😁

First Big Order

Even with the thumb injury, I managed to finish the order tonight! Thank you, Mom, for helping turn a lot of these right side out.

15 vinyl lined pouches and 3 coin/small pouches.

Next up is making more bags and pouches for the craft show next month. The goal is 20 vinyl pouches, 20 coin pouches (at 18 now), and 15 K.I.S bags. I just sold another K.I.S this weekend as well, pictured below.

I think my hubby will be happy when my Wife Cave is set up on the other side of the basement and I move my bag production out of the dining room. 🤣