Hand Embroidery

The Cutting & Stitching Edge | Contemporary Embroidered Art from Mr X Stitch

Almas Pieters is a mixed-media artist from the Netherlands.

Almas Pieters - Genevieve

“As an illustrator Almas Pieters uses different kinds of everyday materials and crafts from grandma’s time to tell stories. She, in particular, has a fascination for thread/needle and textiles. Not bound by any technical knowledge she walks along beaten paths looking for new and surprising angles.

Almas Pieters - Stolen Beauties

“Inspired by the drive of outsider artists she starts off making collages with cut-out pictures and images from magazines and the internet, rearranging and recreating content. While stitching the loose elements together, covering the collage with a thick layer of brightly coloured thread, her imagination kicks in. Deviating from her original plan the collage gradually transforms into a new image, surprising Almas herself with the result. All pieces are embroidered by hand.

Almas Pieters - Godzillaman (detail)

There’s a real energy to Almas’ work – her pieces are filled with colour and packed with simple, vibrant stitching.

Almas Pieters - Warrior

I love that she starts off with paper collage,  but completely transforms the original material, in medium and in content. Almas makes new pieces of pop culture art with a rawness that’s completely engaging.

Almas Pieters - Mommas Boy

Visit Almas’ website to find out more about her work – I’m looking forward to seeing what she comes out with next!

Almas Pieters - I'll Walk Away If You Walk Away


The Cutting (& Stitching) Edge is brought to you in association with PUSH: Stitchery, the contemporary embroidered art book curated by Jamie Chalmers. Featuring 30 textile-based artists from around the world, it’s a must have for needlework fans.


Nuido It Yourself - Japanese Embroidery with Madeline Scharpf


ロングアンドショートステッチ <<< That’s Katakana. It’s one of three Japanese alphabets and used for words that are not originally Japanese but are commonly used. If you could read it, it would say: ‘rongu ando shiyoto sutichi’. That doesn’t help? What if I told you it’s, ‘long and short stitch’. Does ‘rongu ando shiyoto sutichi’ make sense now that you read it again?


The only difference between these two examples is the thread thickness.

The only difference between these two examples is the thread thickness.

You may be thinking, ‘Hey, that’s just regular ol’ basic embroidery stuff. What makes this Japanese?’ Well, these projects are inspired by ideas from modern, Japanese craft books bought in Tokyo then translated using my mega-awesome language skills. I’ll admit, I learned Japanese for the purpose of reading craft books as well as to help my husband and sons play Pokemon before the American releases. It can take a year for video games to be translated in English…ain’t nobody got time for that!


There's some more Katakana! It says, 'haibisukasu'.

There’s some more Katakana! It says, ‘haibisukasu’.

The long and short stitch, with it’s alternating lengths, is often used for embroidering flowers. It gives a sense of color radiance and creates depth. The petals of this Hibiscus are done entirely with long and short stitches. The definition of each petal is created by varying the color and angle but not the stitch type. You can create any flower shape and make it beautiful using only one, simple technique. Before beginning the long and short stitch, the petals were outlined with a chain stitch.

Now, you might be saying to yourself, “Ho-hum, embroidered flowers are old hat. Give me leopards, purrr!!”


Thank you Husband for helping me take this picture!

Thank you Husband for helping me take this picture!

Long and short stitch isn’t only for classic effects and it’s a great filler stitch that anyone can do. All you need to know for this project is, chain stitch and long & short. I chose a simple ribbon design because illustrating ranks low on The List of Things I Do Well.


Just a chain stitch and a few long & shorts.

Just a chain stitch and a few long & shorts.

Outline the ribbon with a chain stitch and make the center of the spots with varying long & short stitches. Don’t worry about perfection, everybody get random!


You could make the band any color you want!

You could make the band any color you want!

The band is an example of an even effort but the black portions of the leopard spots are more free-form.


Work back and forth in sort of a rainbow pattern.

Work back and forth in sort of a rainbow pattern.

Filling in the rest isn’t an exact science, but try to vary the lengths and put a short on top of a long when you can. Begin nearest the center, work back and forth until you’ve filled in your figure.


The back of my finished hair clip.

The back of my finished hair clip.

That’s all there is to it! Instead of leopard spots, try pink zebra stripes or colorful geometric shapes. To finish, I decided to trim the linen and outline stitch onto a piece of felt with some pink thread. You can turn this into a brooch or a statement necklace, I made mine into a hair clip.


I realize my clip isn't new anymore. Sometimes we've gotta use what we have.

I realize my clip isn’t new anymore. Sometimes we’ve gotta use what we have.

If you want a hair clip too, just cut another piece of felt, make two slits more narrow than the metal clip, secure the clip with a few stitches and glue it to your embroidery. Come back next month because I’ll be talking about the alluring world of Sashiko. Ja mata! See you next time! じゃまた!



Madeline Scharpf

When she’s not gallivanting overseas (usually to Japan) Madeline is making things at home in the Oregon countryside where she lives with four dogs, a pig and her human family. You can keep up with Madeline’s endless fiber projects and find her travel blog at www.madelinewonderland.com as well as visit her Etsy shop at www.etsy.com/shop/TheAliceSyndrome.


Kate Blandford's Deviant Discoveries

Welcome back to another Deviant Discovery. Following up from this post a couple of weeks ago I have stumbled on yet another skull themed delight, this time in the shape of a radical hand embroidered cat skull by the talented Sotone.

Sotone - Cat Skull
Has anyone seen any awesome stitchery over on dA? If you’re a member be sure to join the Phat Quarter dA division. Have a happy weekend!


It's Kate BlandfordKate Blandford is a craft and doodle enthusiast currently working in Bristol. With a penchant for cross stitch and pixels, Kate produces work dabbling in both the handmade and the digital. Her work was once described as ‘shabby chic for Satanists’ due to her love of embroidery, twee skulls and Slayer. You can visit her website here: www.kateblandford.com


It's another Stitchgasm from Mr X Stitch - the home of contemporary embroidery


Big props to Andrew Salomone for featuring this amazing piece by Laura Hartrich on Make.

Calvin and Hobbes Hand Embroidery by Laura Hartrich

Calvin & Hobbes was just one of the best cartoons ever, and Laura’s embroidered panel is a masterwork.

Calvin and Hobbes Hand Embroidery by Laura Hartrich (progress)

I was pleased to read this tale of a recent appearance of Bill Watterson in the Pearls Before Swine comic strip.


Weave - A Social Network for Stitchers


Mr X