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aimee ray (3)Aimee Ray is no stranger to the Lark community. She’s become quite the prolific contributor over the years, and her designs are known for their fun, lively aesthetic. With her latest addition to the popular Doodle Stitching Series coming this Spring (Doodle Stitching Transfer Pack), I wanted to check-in with Aimee and learn more about her influences and creative approach. Check out our Q&A below, and make sure to look through the entire series for unique embroidery patterns and fun sewing projects!

 

How did you get started stitching?

Starting when I was about 5, my grandma used to bring samplers for me to learn on when she came to visit. I picked embroidery up again several years ago as an adult, just as a personal creative outlet. I did computer design work all day and hand stitching was (and still is) a great way to let out my own creativity, in a relaxing and primitive medium, completely different digital art.

 

What was the inspiration/idea behind the Doodle Stitching series?

It was really just born out of my own doodles that I turned into embroidery patterns. I had great encouragement from internet friends and my personal designs led to the creation of all of my books.

 

Doodle Stitching Transfer

Aimee Ray’s new book Doodle Stitching Transfer Pack hits stores this April.

 

What are some new projects you’re excited to share with readers in this book?

While it largely contains motifs from previous books, these are all on iron-on transfer paper, making them even easier and quicker to stitch up! That’s something I’ve wanted to produce all along. You’ll also find several brand new patterns in there that aren’t available anywhere else.

 

Do you have a favorite motif?

I don’t think I could pick just one, but my favorites to work on always seem to be fairy tale or Asian-inspired motifs.

 

What are the essentials for someone looking to start stitching?

All you really need is a needle, floss in your favorite colors, a hoop and some kind of fabric. Embroidery is super versatile and it’s easy to add embellishment to almost any craft project or existing fabric item.

 

If you were stranded on a desert island and could only bring items to complete one project, what would you bring?

I see myself bringing enough fabric, floss and needles to create some enormous embroidered art quilt or tapestry that would never really be finished, I could just keep adding to it as long as I’m there. ;)

 

 
 
 
 
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Stitch Love Valentine Blog Hop

February 11, 2015, 10:34 am  Posted by guestblogger
 

Hello, Lark Crafts Friends!

 

With Valentine’s Day in just a few days, what could be more perfect than to make something sweet for someone you care about? Or perhaps something special for yourself? No matter who you are stitching for, my book Stitch Love: Sweet Creatures Big & Small is the perfect way to get started.

 

Along the idea of stitching love, we’re having a little Valentine blog hop! Be sure to visit all of the stops along the way this week. You’ll see fun and simple things to make AND you’ll pick up some free patterns featuring a few of my critter friends celebrating Valentine’s Day!

 

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Have you heard of a hairy-nosed wombat? Well, this is heart-nosed wombat! He’s just a baby, and I promise that he’ll love you forever.

 

I stitched up this little guy on linen (I printed the pattern at 75% for the brooch), then I used the instructions for the Undersea Buddies Brooch Trio from Stitch Love: Sweet Creatures Big & Small. This is one of those projects that is quick to put together, and you can use any motif with it!

 

Wouldn’t you love to have a little wombat on your winter coat? The embroidery motif is free for you! Just download the PDF and get ready to stitch!

 

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StitchLove_ValentineWombatPattern

 

We’ve also got a little something extra. One lucky winner will receive this hand-stitched Heart-Nosed Wombat brooch, plus the set of Undersea Buddies brooches, AND a copy of Stitch Love, compliments of Lark Crafts.

 

To enter, leave a comment (maybe you’d like to share what animal you’d like to stitch the most!), and we’ll select a random winner. Giveaway ends Sunday, February 15 at 9pm EST .

 

And don’t miss all the other patterns on the Stitch Love Valentine Blog Hop!

 

Monday: Shiny Happy World & Wild Olive

 

Tuesday: Little Dear Tracks

 

Wednesday: Lark Crafts

 

Thursday: Hugs Are Fun

 

Friday: Feeling Stitchy

 

Saturday: Pretty By Hand & Wild Olive

 

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Mollie Johanson is the creator of the popular blog Wild Olive (wildolive.blogspot.com) and Etsy store (where she’s sold over 3000 embroidery motif downloads). Her designs have appeared in Heart-Felt Holidays and Felt-o-ween (both Lark), in magazines (including several features in Mollie Makes), and in craft books from other publishers. Mollie lives in St. Charles, IL.

 
 
 
 
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We’ve got a wonderful surprise for all of the Stitch Love fans out there! Author Mollie Johanson has provided us with instructions for an adorable embroidered felt lettuce leaf to go along with the Gleeful Guinea Pig Plush project included in the book. Check out the instructions and how-to photos below to make your own, and please post pictures of your Gleeful Guinea Pig munching on her leaf in the comments section. 

If you don’t already have your copy of Stitch Love, order your copy here.  

 

GuineaPigLettuceLeaf1

 

The Gleeful Guinea Pig Plush in Stitch Love: Sweet Creatures Big & Small ended up being one of my favorite projects in the whole book. My sister has claimed this gal for her own, but I thought she looked hungry. Guinea Pigs love lettuce, so I stitched up a felt lettuce leaf for her. And guess what? The Gleeful Guinea Pig loves it!

 

To make your own, you will need:

Green felt

Green embroidery floss

Scissors

Tracing paper

Pencil

Needle

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 Download the pattern here:

Gleeful Guinea Pig Lettuce Leaf

  GuineaPigLettuceLeaf2

 

For each lettuce leaf, cut two leaf shapes from green felt.

 

GuineaPigLettuceLeaf3

 

Using the tracing paper method given in Stitch Love, embroider the veins onto one of the leaves with back-stitch and three strands of green embroidery floss.

 

GuineaPigLettuceLeaf4

 

Carefully tear away the tracing paper.

 

GuineaPigLettuceLeaf5

 

Hold the two leaf shapes together and stitch around the edge with running stitch and three strands of green embroidery floss. Hide the knot between the layers.

 

GuineaPigLettuceLeaf6   GuineaPigLettuceLeaf7

 

Now you can serve a snack to your favorite stuffed guinea pig!

Stitch love, friends!

 

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Mollie Johanson is the creator of the popular blog Wild Olive (wildolive.blogspot.com) and Etsy store (where she’s sold over 3000 embroidery motif downloads). Her designs have appeared in Heart-Felt Holidays and Felt-o-ween (both Lark), in magazines (including several features in Mollie Makes), and in craft books from other publishers. Mollie lives in St. Charles, IL.

 
 
 
 
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Enter to win a copy of Stitch Love

January 21, 2015, 10:11 am  Posted by Brita Vallens
 

Stitch love coverStitch Love by Mollie Johanson will be released next Tuesday, January 27!  In celebration of this adorable book’s release, we will be giving one copy away to two lucky winners.

Featuring beginner-friendly embroidery patterns from a rising star in the craft community, the book showcases a variety of irresistibly cute critters—pets, farm animals, dinosaurs, even mythical favorites like Pegasus. There are 25 projects in all, from a hedgehog stroller quilt to a dachshund keyboard wrist rest, plus dozens of motifs.

To enter to win a copy of Stitch Love, leave a comment on this blog post by 9PM EST on Sunday, January 25. Winners will be selected by Monday, January 26. Click here for the official rules. Good luck!

 

 

 
 
 
 
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Stitch Love projects perfect for Valentine’s Day

January 07, 2015, 09:59 am  Posted by Brita Vallens
 

Stitch love coverWe can’t wait for the upcoming release of Stitch Love by Mollie Johanson! The projects are undeniably adorable, and with Mollie’s clear step-by-step instructions, plus the comprehensive sewing and embroidery basics sections, they’re easy to make, too. To make crafting the projects even easier, a PDF of the templates at full-size will be available for download on the Lark Crafts website.

 

Valentine’s Day will be here before we know it, and any of the cute projects in Stitch Love would make a great gift for a valentine. Who wouldn’t melt at the sight of the Frozen Yeti Ice Pack or the cuddly Gleeful Guinea Pig Plush? You could also embroider one of the many adorable motifs onto a simple plush heart or the pocket of a cozy sweater (the holiday mouse motif with angel wings and a heart would be perfect!).

 

Keep checking the Lark website for more on Mollie Johanson and Stitch Love, plus a giveaway or two in the coming weeks. In the meantime, check out Mollie’s website: wildolive.blogspot.com and pre-order your copy of Stitch Love today.

 

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We are so excited for January and the release of Mollie Johanson’s Stitch Love, which features beginner-friendly projects for making your own irresistibly cute critters!

 

As an extra bonus to the adorable projects featured in Stitch Love, the book also includes over 100 fantastic embroidery motifs. Some are part of specific projects in the book, as in the case of the rooster and footprint motifs on the Doodle Doo Apron (see image below), but you can also add them to your own projects as well.

 

Stitch Love_Doodle Doo Apron

 

The book includes easy-to-follow instructions for using a variety of embroidery stitches, and the motifs are organized by theme—from dinos and woodland critters to fantasy creatures like a unicorn and bigfoot and an assortment of animals from the Arctic and Outback. The motifs which author Mollie Johanson has included in Stitch Love are too cute to resist. You’ll want to stitch them on absolutely everything!

 

Check out a few images of the stitched motifs included in Stitch Love, below, and pre-order your copy today.

 

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A Playful Hoodies Halloween at Lark Crafts!

October 31, 2014, 20:17 pm  Posted by Deborah Stack
 

A raccoon, a rabbit, a fox, a wizard, and a gnome walk into a publishing company.

This might sound like the beginning of a joke, but to the staff at Lark Crafts, it serves as an accurate description of our front lobby this Halloween! Weeks of planning and crafting have lead to our group bringing one of our favorite books—Playful Hoodies—off of the page and into the real world, and we are so excited to show off our hard work.

 

Group hi res

 

Not only are playful hoodies adorable, they are quick and easy to make. Josh, our wizard (and a member of our marketing/publicity team), had never sewn a stitch before beginning his hoodie! He was able to whip his costume together in just a few days.

 

For the seasoned veterans among us, like John (the fox) and Connie (the raccoon) one evening was all that it took to pull together an adorable costume. My simple rabbit came together in less than an hour. All of us agree that the most time-consuming part of our projects was waiting for our materials to arrive in the mail!

 

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Playful Hoodies (and Sewn Together, an upcoming Lark title featuring our raccoon hoodie) have both proven to be fantastic resources for new crafters and veterans alike, for adults and children, and feature projects that can be pulled together in a weekend.

 

We would love to see your playful hoodies! Whether you craft a costume for a child, a friend, or for the whole family, make sure to share your photos on the Lark Crafts Facebook page!

 
 
 
 
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Spring Preview Saturday: Designer Crochet

October 25, 2014, 14:00 pm  Posted by Connie Santisteban
 

The key to building a hand crocheted wardrobe is lots of planning and I’m here to give you as much advance notice as possible so you can clear your queue, wind your yarn, and prepare for some fantastic new patterns coming your way this spring! I’m delighted to announce Designer Crochet: 32 Patterns to Elevate Your Style (April 2015) by Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby with gorgeous photography by Jason Mullett-Bowlsby. This dynamic duo is the pair behind Shibaguyz Designz.

 

Whether you’re a size XS or a 5X, these patterns are made for you. Crochet fans can expect an array of stunning designs from an elegant knee length duster to a curve hugging off-the-shoulder dress to a floor sweeping lace skirt. Wardrobe essential pieces like a basic open front cardigan and pullover to matching winter accessory trios make this the perfect single book to build your hand stitched closet from scratch.

 

Every pattern is chock full of notes and schematics to ensure a proper and flattering fit for sizes XS through 5X and the book includes detailed step-by-step photos to teach you important skills like how to set in a sleeve or sew in a zipper.

 

Marvel at some of our favorite designs below and be sure to pre-order your copy today!

Cloaked Hoodie

 

 

Drape Front Cardigan

 

 

Hooded Wrap Vest

 

 

Maxi Skirt

 

 

Off the Shoulder Dress

 
 
 
 
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Crochet Boutique HatsWhen speaking about my books—Crochet Boutique and Crochet Boutique: Hats – I often get asked about the process behind designing a pattern. My answer changes from time to time, but the truth is that it’s never always the same.

Sometimes it starts with a lush new yarn purchased on impulse, sometimes there’s an idea born from a new stitch or technique recently learned, or sometimes it’s just a hole in my wardrobe that I’m yearning to fill with something handmade.

Other times I just start stitching and see where it takes me. However, I hope this will provide a bit of insight for those wishing to begin the design process on their own.

 

LEARN THE LANGUAGE

If you’re going to write a pattern for others then you will also need to know how to read a pattern. If you’re only writing for yourself then your own shorthand or crochet lingo will be just fine. I often write the first draft in my own “language” and then translate it into common crochet terminology. If you intend for others to use your patterns then you should become familiar with common crochet terms, abbreviations, and techniques. When working from patterns, begin to pay attention to the typical layout and format of the patterns.

 

MAKE A SKETCH

It often seems I get ideas at the most inopportune moments – during rush hour traffic, or when brushing my teeth while I’m already 10 minutes late to work. However, when a really great idea strikes I try to take the time and make a quick doodle so I can come back to it later. It could be later that day or five years from then. Sketching your designs can also help you figure out the mechanics and technical details of how your pattern needs to work. There have been plenty of times in the design process where I’ve had to stop the frustrating circle of frogging and restitching and just draw on paper how I want the piece to work. Most of the time it helps!

notebook

CHOOSING THE RIGHT MATERIALS

Think about the type of material that will work best for your project. Sometimes it helps to think in terms of fabric shopping. You wouldn’t choose a delicate lightweight fabric for an upholstery project, nor would you choose a heavy jacquard if you were creating a loose and flowing sundress. Your yarn and hook choice can follow the same line of thought. Want something thick and sturdy? Choose a chunky or super bulky yarn and go down a size or two from the recommended hook. You can also experiment here. An extra large hook and a fine yarn can be the perfect combination to give you a beautiful open lace by using even the most basic stitches. When you think of yarn weight, content, texture, and color combined with all of the hook options available, the possibilities seem endless.

materials

THE IMPORTANCE OF GAUGE

I admit it. When I first started writing patterns I was a “no gauge” offender. Since most of my patterns were written for my own use in those early days, thinking about gauge wasn’t at the top of my list. I was pretty familiar with my tension and the projects I made repeatedly never seemed to vary too much in that regard. However, we all stitch a little differently, and that’s why gauge is important to include when writing patterns intended for others. Though this may vary by the type of project, most measure gauge by creating a 4-inch square. Once you have your square, you can then measure the number of stitches and rows required to meet the desired gauge.

ruler

PUT IT ALL ON PAPER

Once you get started, don’t forget to write down every little detail along the way. Think you’ll remember how many chains you worked in that fourth round once you’ve finished? You may, but if it turns out you don’t then it can be a nuisance to count back and figure it out. Though it’s hard to resist the urge to keep working till the end once you find your groove, it’s best to go ahead and write down each step as you go. Made a mistake and had to frog a few rows to make a change? Don’t forget to note what you did and any improvements. This can get tedious, especially when working on something more intricate, but good detailed notes are what make a pattern.

many notebooks

TEST, TEST, AND TEST AGAIN

You’ve written your pattern and you love the finished project. Great! Now make it again. Take notes, correct a few typos, make a few tweaks here and there to make it even better. Now make it again. And again. You get the idea. The more you make your design and read over your pattern the better it will be. Once you’ve been over it plenty of times, give it to a crafty friend and see how their project turns out. Ask them for suggestions or to let you know if any step was unclear along the way. Don’t be scared of  critique – it’s the only way to improve! There are also some wonderful groups online on sites such as Ravelry who will test out your patterns for you and offer suggestions for improvement.

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Happy stitching and designing!

–from Rachael Oglesby

 

 
 
 
 
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One + OneAre you headed to Rhinebeck, NY for the annual New York Sheep and Wool Festival this weekend? Our friends at Fabulous Yarn in Tivoli, NY will be having a pre-Sheep and Wool party this Saturday, October 18th from 10am to 2pm. The festivities will include a trunk show with finished garments from Iris Schreier’s latest book, One + One: Wraps, Cowls, and Capelets.

Iris will be at the store signing books. Yarn for project kits from the book will be offered at a discount during the event, both in person and online . There will even be goodie bags for first 50 attendees!

Visit Fabulous Yarn at 60 Broadway, Tivoli, NY 12583 or call (866) 514-1127 for more information. And be sure to RSVP on Facebook if you’re planning to attend. See you there!