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Monday, June 28, 2010


I'm the godmother of this little bundle of cuteness, who I'm pretty sure is actually a bisque French baby doll who can make sounds.

So far I'm failing miserably at the godparenting thing. For one thing, my charge, Mattie, lives in Pennsylvania, so we don't get a lot of bonding time. For another, I can't seem to get my act together a regards holidays, so her gifts are always late. Mattie turned one about two moths ago, and I'm just getting her gift into the mail today.
I went all Martha Stewart on you again.

These are little tank tops embroidered with roses. This type of embroidery is called "bullion roses" and it is very easy (but it takes a lot of thread). It's free-form and the stitch is difficult to mess-up, so you can really be creative and enjoy yourself when embroidering.

I have my own little list of tips and tricks for bullion roses, but I found a pretty good tutorial here.

Some of my tips -
1. Use a small-eyed needle. Bulky eyes are hard to pull through wrapped thread.
2. When making rose petals, make the wrapped thread section a little longer than you want the stitch to be and it will create a life-like curve (see how in the tutorial some of the rose petals seem too straight? You want to avoid that).
3. When you wrap thread, usually the bottom of the wrapping tends to unspiral a little bit and make that end of the stitch a tad wider than the other end. So make sure that if you are making leaves, the bottom of the stitch becomes the base of the leaf (otherwise the tip of the leaf will be wider than the base, which only works on Ginko leaves).
4. To make a color gradient, I use two strands of thread of different colors but I keep one strand the same. For example, in a pink rose the center will be two strands of pink, the next row of petals one strand of pink and one strand of light pink, and the outer petals one strand of pink and one of peach.
Try it. It's not hard at all and you can whip up some pretty good last minute gifts if, say, you forget an important birthday!


  1. An added note - buy washable embroidery thread; wash items before you decorate them; Don't wash or dry finished products with things like zippers and bras with hooks, lol.
    Also this is tooting my own horn, but my roses look way better than the tutorial. Copy mine, not theirs!

  2. Those are adorable! I love all things crafty, but embroidering is one thing I haven't actually tried!

    Regarding your question about Freedom's Run, I live about 40 minutes away from Shepardstown so I'm pretty familiar with the area. I did a 5K last month at Antietam to get a taste for the hills since it appears they'll all be towards the end. I was really nervous before signing up because it sounded difficult (and the reason I tried googling it to see if I could find any reviews on it which is how I found your blog). It should be a gorgeous course though and I'm just looking to finish and enjoy it!

  3. Oh wow. I know for a fact I could not do that. I am not being modest. I just can not handle doing anything that requires 'free forming' it. That's why I am good at crocheting and knitting since you kind of have to follow a pattern. :)

    They are so adorable, though, and hand made gifts are the bestest. I think you are a great Godmother!