Introducing….My Version of God Bless Our Pad!

god bless our pad

Friends!  It’s finally here!  I have received SO many requests to release a God Bless Our Pad kit that I finally gave in and produced a version of it.  It’s now ready for pre-order and will be ready to ship in 2-3 weeks!  Just like my Happiness Is Homemade kit, the kit finishes at 18×24 inches, includes high quality linen blend fabric stamped with the pattern, enough 100% wool to complete the design, a crewel needle, and instructions.  Beginners, don’t be scared!  You can do this!  Order here to get the first round of kits!

Introducing KitKat!

KitKat

 

I’m proud to unveil a new crewel kit!  I give you KitKat – a saucy kitty festooned with bright flowers, sitting in a shower of starbursts.    This kit is a small sampler – only 5×7 – and provides a great opportunity to dip your toe in the world of crewel before tackling a big project like my Happiness Is Homemade kit.  And it’s only $15!  It’s available for pre-order right now in my shop and will be ready to be shipped out in a week or so!

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Like Happiness Is Homemade, KitKat has been designed to fit right in with your vintage crewel collection, or would be happy to be the start of a new collection.  There are only a few, simple stitches required so you have no excuse not to jump right in!  Like Happiness Is Homemade, each kit will include stamped linen fabric, all the wool needed to complete the project, a crewel needle, and complete instructions.

Win a Happiness Is Homemade kit!

happiness is homemade finished

 

Have you been wanting your very own Happiness Is Homemade kit?  Well now is your chance to win one!  Leave a comment on this post and become a follower of the blog by clicking the +Follow button on the bottom right hand corner of the screen and you could be receiving your kit in the mail!

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Never done crewel before?  Don’t worry!  This thing is easy enough for a beginner.  And you can always email me if you have trouble.  I’m hard at work on some new, exciting designs that I can’t wait to show you!  But in the meantime, leave a comment and follow me before the drawing on the evening of March 24th, this Sunday.

WARRENTON!!  NEXT WEEK!!!  Prepare yourself for a couple weeks of obsessive posting about its wondrous bounty.

A Closed Mouth Gathers No Feet

Ok fellow crewel lovers.  Be prepared as I am about to break the internet with the awesomeness of the following photo:

a closed mouth gathers no feet

 

GAH!!!  My friend Bobby found this at an estate sale several years ago and thought I’d appreciate seeing it.  Is it not the most incredible piece of crewel work ever??  He also has God Bless Our Pad but we both agree this one wins hands down.   I love it so much.

If you have a piece you think beats this one send it to me!

Happiness is Homemade kits are ready!

 

Introducing the first in a planned line of vintage inspired crewel kits, Don’t Be Crewel by Betty Crafter!

www.bettycrafter.com don't be crewel

If you would like to make your own Happiness is Homemade crewel wall hanging, head to my brand new shop and get yourself one!

www.bettycrafter.com don't be crewel

Each kit will come with fabric stamped with the pattern, wool, a crewel needle, and instructions.  All you’ll need are stretcher bars if you choose to use them and a frame!  It’s quick to make and easy enough for a beginner.  Give it a try!

 

 

Happiness Is Homemade

Sorry for the long absence, but I’ve been busy stitching away on my first original crewel design!  I’m super happy with it and anxious to share it with you!

I wanted to design something that would fit right in with all my 1960s and 70s crewel pieces and I think I’ve done it!  I also finally got motivated to rehang them all so they looked a little more purposeful.

I framed it with a simple gallery frame for stretched canvas I got at the art supply store.

This project was so fun to do!  And I designed it in a way that should make it easy enough for a beginner to do.  I am busily working on designing packaging and should be able to accept orders for kits in the next couple of weeks!

Crewel Stitch-A-Long Complete

Melinda and I have finished our Try A Little Kindness crewels!

Looking at our finished pieces together like this, my color “mistakes” are pretty obvious, but I think they both look great!  I’m not upset that I messed up the colors, but I like the colors as called for in Melinda’s as well.

I just need to nail my frame on there and it’s all done!

Here’s Melinda’s added to her perfectly balanced and staged collection:

And here’s mine slapped up on my wall with the others, not staged or spaced or anything, with no thought to balance or design.

I need to work on making this wall look better, but I’ve got something in the works that needs to be added first.  I’m currently working on my first, original crewel design!  I can’t wait to show it to you – I’m super excited about it!  I actually have several in the works and I’m thinking about making kits available for sale if people like them.   Maybe you can help me with a little market research.  How much would you pay for a crewel kit for a wall hanging the size of the Try A Little Kindness or God Bless Our Pad one?  How much would you pay for a pillow kit?  The style will be similar to the things you see in this last picture here.  Thanks friends!

Crewel Stitch-A-Long Progress Update

Melinda and I have been hard at work on our Try A Little Kindness crewel kits and making a surprising amount of progress!

Here’s Melinda’s:

And here’s mine:

I managed to find an frame off a piece of crewel in my inventory that was falling off anyway and I think it’s perfect!  Not everything is perfect though.  Do you notice any difference between mine and Melinda’s?  Color differences?  That’s because Melinda is very smart and I am not.  When she opened her kit, she laid out all the wool and matched it up to the color chart.  I just dove right in and started stitching, not realizing that I was dealing with red, red orange, burnt orange, bright orange, rust, pale orange, and gold all in one pattern!  The letters called for bright orange and pale orange, so I grabbed the colors that to me, were clearly bright orange and light orange.  Later on when I was frantically searching for red orange, I realizsed I had used red orange and bright orange for my letters.  Oh well – I will just have to do some creative color re-arranging because I am not about to rip it all out!  Really the only major thing that will be affected is the huge flower on the right.  Mine will be a one of a kind, that’s for sure!

Are you working on a crewel piece?  Send me a photo of your progress and I’ll share it!

In other news, I’m FINALLY getting my etsy store back up and running!  Keep your eyes peeled for such gems as this 1950s black velvet one shouldered party dress:

Crewel Stitch-A-Long: Let’s get started!

All right, y’all – the time has come to liberate this beauty from the depths of my stash and give it the shining glory it deserves in my collection!  If you don’t have a vintage Try A Little Kindness kit, don’t worry!  Use any crewel kit you have laying around.  Or, if you dare, search “vintage crewel kit” on ebay and get yourself one!

Today, we’re just setting up.  First of all, obviously, open the bag and remove all the contents.  Iron the fabric to get it as smooth as possible, and put the needle in a safe place.  Don’t put it in the fabric as a storage solution quite yet – we have some work to do first!

There are several ways you can do this.  First, you can opt for the traditional method and use an embroidery hoop.  You will want to use this method if you’re making a pillow.  Second, you can mount it right in the frame you’re going to use.  Or, the method I’m using and will demonstrate here today, is using artist stretcher bars.  You can get these at any artist supply store.  I’m choosing this method because it will already be pulled taught – no wrinkled fabric from moving the hoop around countless times, and no need for blocking at the end.  Plus, it will enable me to hang the piece right on my wall as is while I look for the perfect vintage frame.

This project calls for 2 18 inch stretcher bars and 2 24 inch.  18×24 is the size of the finished piece, so if you’re using another kit, you’ll want stretcher bars that match the size of the finished product, not the size of the fabric.  Just fit the corners together and use a rubber mallet to make sure they’re snug if necessary.  I found I didn’t need one.

Next, start attaching your fabric to the stretcher bars with your trusty old staple gun.  It’s basically just like upholstering furniture.  Start by stapling the center of each side and slowly work your way out to the sides, rotating sides so everything is done evenly.  Space your staples about one inch apart.  Pull taut, but not too tightly – you don’t want to distort your image!

You’ll find that any wrinkles that remained in your fabric will be pulled out.  Yay!  No wet blocking!

When you get to the corners, fold the fabric in whatever way makes it look smoothest from the front.  I’ve never found a sure-fire way to do this, but what usually works is folding the corner piece back across the bars and then bring the sides up.  Make sure to check from the front before you staple anything to ensure you like the way it looks!  Also, after finishing one corner, then do the one opposite.

After getting the corner folded and stapled you’ll probably want a bunch more staples on either side of the corner to get everything nice and smooth.

And voila!  Your piece is ready to stitch!  And hang on the wall, as you can see!  I’ve seen a lot of vintage crewel pieces unframed, hanging just on the stretcher bars.  Who knows – that may be the destiny of this one as well.  We shall see.

So get stitching friends, and we’ll meet back and check our progress!  If you are stitching along, send me photos of your progress and I’ll feature them here on the blog!