Kasia, a self declared “minimalist rebel embroider” has created an incredible line of finished needlepoint pillows, bags, and accessories. Her modern take on an ancient technique sets her apart from her needlework predecessors. Kasia chooses simple ordinary objects like scissors, sink pipes and bottles and immortalizes them stitch by stich into a needlepoint time capsule She then sews them up into beautiful everyday objects like pillows and tote bags. “Who said needlepoint needs to be serious?!
” Kasia explains. Her wares can be purchased here .
When I ran across Kasia’s etsy shop I felt sheer joy. The whimsey and thoughtfulness that went into her creations filled up my creative soul. It is easy to find good design in needlepoint (something that will look nice on your couch). But it is not often that you find a resounding statement piece or a design that sets you still for a moment to think and ask yourself questions. What is it about this ordinary object, simplified then reinvented into another ordinary object through a process that takes a very very long time, that I find so pleasing? It is just a clean and clever statement. Slow down . . .find the beauty that is in today. Find the beauty in the ordinary.
Kasia, recently added a wonderful line of kits to her collection so that others can stich up her designs. These kits can also be found in her etsy shop.
If you happen to find yourself in Krakow, Poland then you can sign up for her workshop in this cosy gallery space. These workshops are intended to be not only an opportunity to learn a new craft but a time for communing and slowing down life’s busy pace while throwing down a few stitches with new friends.
Best wishes to you Kasia! xo
Laurence Devoge from Deco Chic Creations in France created this beautiful bag that is pictured above. I discovered it when my wonderful son gifted it to me for my birthday. I just love it!
It is so well crafted and the previously dated, slightly kitschy imagery is reinvented into something chic and utilitarian. Laurence finds vintage needlepoint and repurposes it into these stylish totes. About the bag and the process she says:
“Upcycling these vintage tapestries is an interesting approach: it is a way to pay tribute to all these women who have patiently embroidered, and at the same time, it is a way to re-discover them.”
Below are some other gorgeous bags from their French Deco Chic Etsy shop.
You can buy your own one of a kind bag here. Thank you Laurence for your craftmanship and concept and thank you to my sweet son for your thoughtfulness. I will treasure my bag.
A guest post by Michelle :
Some friends of mine found out I’ve made some quilts and they responded with, “So you’re a quilter?!” Me? I look around the room. Um, no. “But you’ve made quilts?” Yes. “So you’re a quilter?” No. I’m a person who makes quilts. See the difference? Small to some, but big to me. Being “a quilter” implies a slew of things I’m not ready to embrace–like the misnomer that I know what I’m doing and like it’s the one (primary? only?) thing I can achieve. I’m not a quilter.
In my mind, being a quilter means you don’t make mistakes. Real quilters wouldn’t need a seam ripper and their quarter inch seams are always a quarter inch–no more, no less. They’re not lazy (I’m always trying to find a way to skip the pinning process if at all possible) and they always pre-wash (isn’t that what those Shout sheets are for?). I make lots of mistakes. There was one project that I had to rip out so many seams that I wanted to jump off a bridge. Why? Because I thought I could get away with not pinning, that it would be quicker. Rookie mistake or arrogance? Both, maybe. But I paid dearly.
The project was in the homestretch and I couldn’t make it work with the errors that I
encountered created. I didn’t want to finish. I wanted to throw the stupid mess out the window or burn it and roast marshmallows over it. And yet, I couldn’t find my way to destroying the blasted thing either. I’m learning that to embrace something that has mistakes that just can’t be fixed is just as admirable (I hope) as creating something flawless. Creating something flawless is admirable. I strive for it. But embracing what is takes courage and that’s the kind of person I want to be–courageous. So I have to live that out everywhere, including in making. Am I right?
Because making isn’t just about the end product. It’s about the process, too, and that’s just as important, just as substantial.
By the way, it was nice meeting you all. Jenny invited me to share a few thoughts here, and I’ve really enjoyed my visit. ~Michelle
Lately I have been feeling a little bit like a one trick pony. Like all I know how to do is design needlepoint. The truth is that this is such a time consuming occupation that it does take up much of my time. That is an excuse. I haven’t been allowing myself to try new things. As I was approaching my 40th birthday I realized there were so many craft skills that I had yet to hone and some that I needed to revisit. I didn’t yet know how to sew, how to quilt or how to knit . Skills I had been wanting to learn but kept putting off. So it was time for this pony to learn some new tricks. With help from a friend (who will be guest posting soon), I was able to conquer my sewing machine phobia. After a kitchen curtain project and some pot holders I dove right into this quilt project, a Christmas present for my daughter.
Mom and you tube helped with some knitting basics. I knit a ridiculous number of infinity cowls and head warmers all in garter stitch. So fun! Yeah, now I am THAT lady. I think I will wear them all at once, especially today while it is 5 degrees out!
I even managed to revisit my old friend the potter’s wheel and throw enough bowls to wear my fingernails down to painful little stumps.
Then, inevitability I turned 40 but now with a few extra tricks in my back pocket. Let’s go 2014!
The truth is I am feeling a bit frustrated. I am working hard to come out with some new DIY needlepoint kits. I want to keep the cost low to the buyer but the product standards high with quality designs and materials. This is not easy.
So I am toying around with a few utilitarian concepts, one of which is diy media cover needlepoint kits. I always try to check out what is already out there so I can avoid repeating a concept and when I found these really attractive cases by Lands’ End marked down to as low as $7.99 I just felt like giving up. How can I compete with that?
Then this one for $14.99.
And lastly $7.99 ??!! . . .
I could now go on to rant about how this unfairly represents the value of needlepoint and craft but the truth is these are all so darn cute and I couldn’t fault you if you went and scooped up a bunch for early Christmas pressies. Just promise me when I do finally get my diy needlepoint media kits out you will understand that it is just not possible for me to sell them for $7.99.
*caution* I am amending this post on 8/27/13 to say that after rigorous use by my four year old daughter the floor pouf is not holding up well. Back to the drawing board on this concept. The stitched side panels are tearing. I am sorry to those of you that have attempted this project and had a similar result. I will look to come up with an improved version.
This project was created with a few goals in mind. It had to be stylish, fun, easy and budget friendly. And finally, my daughter had to love it.
This DIY Needlepoint Floor Pouf project was so much fun to make and the 7 count mesh made the stitching go by quickly. This would be a great mother daughter project. The design could be adapted to your personal color tastes and adding a name or an initial would be easy to do if you wanted to personalize your pouf.
What you will need for this project:
- 8 panels of 10.5″ x 13.5″ 7 count plastic canvas
- lots of yarn! 2 balls each of 4 colors of your choosing. For this project I used sugar n cream white, robin’s egg, hot blue and hot orange
- tapestry needle(s), size 16
- graph paper to lay out your design or invent your own designs!
- at least 2 bags of 20 ounces each poly fill
Let’s get started! 4 panels of the plastic canvas you will leave as is. These will be for the side panels. The other four will be cut to 45 holes long leaving the width as is (13.5″). Next you will layout part of the design with a sharpie permanent marker. Once you have stitched in the border pattern you can use the sharpie to mark in the diamond pattern. Needlepoint 4 of these panels.
Once you have completed the sides you can move on to the bottom. The latticework repeat pattern is carefully marked onto the canvas starting in the upper corner and working down. Remember each panel is a mirror image of the other. Once you have stitched them up you can whipstitch the two together.
To create the top butterfly piece you will be charting two mirror images of the half butterfly image seen here below. Mark that in with the sharpie as well and then add the lattice background. Whipstitch the two panels together.
Now the fun part! Using long lengths of yarn (I used white) whipstitch all the panels together. Knot the ends to anchor the threads so they won’t slip out later. View the picture below to see how each panels join together.
Stuff generously with the poly fill.
Enjoy somewhere soft and cozy to sit. My girly loves hers. She hurls it down the stairs every morning so she can use it at breakfast.
I am putting together a compilation of projects like this and others with more detailed instructions and charts, so stay tuned!
Whilst on my occasional perusal of what is new in the world of needlework I ran across these handsome duos. The above minis are by Zoe Gilbertson and below is the royal pair as designed by Emily Peacock.
Nicely done ladies!
Some incredible chinoiserie themed needlepoint canvases from Needlepoint Inc. for you to get your pagoda fix. These beauties are all stitch painted and available at Needlepoint Inc. in San Francisco.
This DIY Union Jack Pillow was inspired by all the amazing designers from across the pond that I have been covering on my blog over the last few months. Yay for the UK ! I finished it just in time to post it for this fun plastic canvas blog hop that Diane Gilleland of CraftyPod has arranged. You can view the other projects that designers have created at the bottom of this post. There are some really fabulous projects! But for now, let’s get you started on this one.
The materials that you will need for this project:
- 3 sheets of 10.5″ x 13.5″ plastic canvas size 7 count
- 6 balls of sugar ‘n cream yarn, 2 of each color (this will be more than enough) I used hot blue, white and red but you can vary colors as your creativity dictates.
- tapestry needle size 16
- sharp scissors
- sharpie permanent markers (different colors helps )
- graph paper and pencil to sketch/ work out patterns before transferring them to the canvas
- 1 20 ounce bag of polyester fiber fill
- Leave 2 sheets of canvas as is.
- Cut the third sheet into 2 strips of 16 holes x 70 holes and two strips 16 holes x 90 holes.
- To layout the design onto the plastic canvas first practice on graph paper and then carefully transfer to the pc using a sharpie permanent marker. Some stitchers use different colored markers to represent the different colored thread.
- First find the center point of the canvas and work outwards carefully counting out the pattern and marking it onto the canvas with your marker. Below are graphs for reference of the Union Jack and a repeat pattern that I used for the backside of the pillow
Mark out the striped pattern for your sides. I alternated blue and red with a single white line seperating them. The red and blue stripes are each 9 stitches wide.
Whipstitch the edges together leaving one end opened to stuff.
Finally, whipstich the pillow closed. Finished!
Two weeks of fun free plastic canvas projects ! Check out Claire’s handy gift tag post today and keep checking back for more as the days progress. Gotta go because I am still working on mine and short on time!
- May 6: Claire, The Bellwether
- May 7: Lorna Watt, Knits for Life
- May 8:Amy Johnson, Maker Mama
- May 9: Erin Currie, Seamstress Erin
- May 10: Carolina Moore, 30 Minute Crafts
- May 13: Cathy Attix, Trinkets in Bloom
- May 14: Jenny Henry, Jenny Henry Designs
- May 15: Janet Perry, Nuts About Needlepoint
- May 16: Pam Harris, Gingerbread Snowflakes
- May 17: Diane Gilleland, Crafty Pod