#xstitchersofinstagram

by Mr X on 29 June 2015

xstitchersofinstagram, curated and shot by Mr X Stitch

Mondays are like marmite. You either like em or hate em. There’s no hating Holly Levell’s plush marmite though. #notevenifyourevegan #mrxstitch via The Mr X Stitch official Instagram http://ift.tt/1C1EUrv Follow us on http://ift.tt/1GckNXo and @mrxstitch you pics to share your stitchy ‘grams with us! #xstitchersofinstagram #mrxstitch

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#xstitchersofinstagram

by Mr X on 28 June 2015

xstitchersofinstagram, curated and shot by Mr X Stitch

Eleanor Pigman makes portraits with #beads. Pretty cool huh?
Share your stitchy ‘grams with us – @mrxstitch #xstitchersofinstagram #mrxstitch

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Nuido It Yourself - Japanese Embroidery with Madeline Scharpf

 

When I started Nudio-it-Yourself, a whole year ago, Bunka was the the first technique I wanted to show you. I got a little sidetracked with other ideas, as I often do, and didn’t get around to making up my mind about a kit and needle. So, in honor of Nuido-it-Yourself’s first birthday, I bought my column the Bunka kit it’s always wanted.

 

It's puppy time!

It’s puppy time!

 

What the funka is Bunka, anyway? Essentially, Bunka is punch needle embroidery. The difference between needle punch and Bunka is the thread you use. Needle punch uses typical embroidery floss, such as DMC, where Bunka uses Kao yarn. Kao yarn looks and behaves completely different from your typical embroidery floss. Kao yarn is a knitted thread and it doesn’t need to be separated like embroidery floss but it does need to be unraveled.

 

Pull gently to preserve kink.

Pull gently to preserve kink.

 

Bunka kits come in either Matsuhato or Tokyo Fluffy. Matsuhato have a bit of a raised dimension, but are considered flat. They often depict traditional Japanese scenes or flowers. Fluffy Bunka is just like the name sounds. The stitches are brushed with a fluffy brush, giving the piece a fur effect. All the fluffy kits I’ve seen, so far, are of cute little animals like puppies, kittens, foxes and pandas. Fluffy kits are super kitschy, like they belong with some 60’s Big Eye art and we all totally needed one.

 

Example of Matsuhato

Example of Matsuhato

 

Your Bunka kit should come with pre-printed fabric, any accessories, like eyes, and enough thread to finish the project. The fabric is printed with your image and numbers indicating which color of yarn to use, paint-by-numbers style. What doesn’t come with the kit is your Bunka needle, a long needle threader, a hoop or stretcher bars and a fluffy brush. A fluffy brush is only needed if you’re making fluffy Bunka. You don’t need one for Matsuhato. I recommend buying an adjustable Bunka needle, that way you can use it for fluffy or flat projects. When you’re making a fluffy project, you want the needle at the longest possible setting in order to achieve maximum fluffiness. Your new needle should come with a long needle threader and an instruction booklet about how to Bunka. I got mine from BunkaCraft Embroidery.

 

Stuff to buy

Stuff to buy

 

There are a few websites that sell Bunka kits and supplies. You can even find some on Ebay and Etsy. You may find that Bunka is rather rare. There aren’t tons of sites to choose from and YouTube has very little to offer in the way of Bunka information. It seems like the young, video savvy, blog-tastic youth haven’t caught on to this somewhat aggressive form of needlework. Don’t be fooled by it’s lack of popularity, Bunka is seriously fun and anyone, regardless of skill level, can enjoy this project. Here’s a helpful video I found.

 

What comes in the kit

What comes in the kit

 

I did have a bit of trouble finding information about how to Bunka. In fact, I nearly gave up because it just wasn’t clicking for me, at first. Here’s a few things I learned along the way.

 

      1. Fluffy Bunka is worked on the printed side, turned over and brushed on the underside. So the bottom is the top, in the end. You don’t have to trace your image on the other side. Just know that the finished image is reversed from the side you’re working on.


        I fill in all the spaces for each color before moving on to the next.

        I fill in all the spaces for each color before moving on to the next.

         

        I had to test out the brush, but you'll probably want to finish the entire project before you brush

        I had to test out the brush, but you’ll probably want to finish the entire project before you brush

         

      1. I chose to use a hoop instead of stretcher bars, so be sure to get a hoop large enough to work the entire image because the product is thick and won’t secure well if the stitches are under the hoop edge.
      2. If your stitches aren’t staying, then your fabric may not be taunt enough, you may have forgotten to unravel more thread or there’s tension coming off the bobbin.
      3. It helps if you have nails when you’re picking at the end of a new thread to fray it.
      4. The thread follows behind the direction you’re working. Rotate the needle to change directions.
      5. To begin, wrap all the Kao yarn in the skein around a bobbin and work off the bobbin.
      6. Be careful while working in your lap. I stabbed my thigh plenty of times.
      7. Tape around your finished image before brushing it. The brush will damage the fabric. I was lazy and didn’t tape, it’s very disappointing.
      8. Brushing takes time. I found folding the fabric to expose the knots helps.
      9.  Don’t over brush. It will turn from fur to fluff.


        Pinch between fingers to expose the knots

        Pinch between fingers to expose the knots.

         

 

Part brushed, part not.

Part brushed, part not.

 

Bunka works up quickly and is far more forgiving than common embroidery. No hours are spent tenderly picking out stitches who’ve done you wrong and no concerns about breaking or fraying threads. If you break a thread in Bunka, just re-thread your needle and keep punching away. Bunka is enormously satisfying. Fraying the Kao yarn is like frogging a crochet project without the dismay and you get to stabby-stabby-stabby like you haven’t a care in the world.

 

Done!

Done!

 

My next Fluffy Bunka will be stitching a kitten onto a denim jacket. Imagine the effects and depth you could add to your typical embroidery project! Hair! Clouds! Don’t brush it and you end you end up with crazy easy bullion knots! I’d love to see more Bunka on the internet. If you have any questions about your project, I’m here to help. Just put your question in the comments!

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Madeline Scharpf

When she’s not gallivanting overseas (usually to Japan) Madeline is making things and staying sunny in beautiful Honolulu, Hawaii. You can keep up with Madeline’s endless fiber projects and find her travel blog at www.madelinewonderland.com

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#xstitchersofinstagram

by Mr X on 27 June 2015

xstitchersofinstagram, curated and shot by Mr X Stitch

A fairly tame NSFW for you this Saturday, courtesy of Ruby42. #crossstitch #mrxstitch #clownjizz #rainbow via The Mr X Stitch official Instagram http://ift.tt/1NmVZNA Follow us on http://ift.tt/1GckNXo and @mrxstitch you pics to share your stitchy ‘grams with us! #xstitchersofinstagram #mrxstitch

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