It's taking a while to recap all of my crafty endeavors over the past few months, so I'm going to speed things up a bit!
The Floss Box. They have some really cute and inexpensive patterns. I changed the colors a bit from the recommended color scheme and opted not to use beads for the berries/cones. (I used french knots instead, which are fun to do!) The embroidery is on some fancy embroidery-specific material I bought from the craft store, but I think I like working on regular old cotton a bit better. I did find this nice wood-grain-looking hoop, though. I glued down the back of the fabric over some cardboard and felt, and put some felt on top of that to finish it off. I gave it to my aunt as a thank you gift for having me over for Thanksgiving, and she loved it! (She's actually thinking about getting back into sewing and knitting now, too!) Most of this piece was done on the train. (Hooray for commuting!)
I made the Rudolph and Santa tea towels using Christmastime patterns from Sublime Stitching. The handwriting is my own, and I added the red buttons as a final touch. I was planning on giving these as a gift, but I ended up keeping them. :)
(I bought these white floursack tea towels from Amazon and I wasn't a big fan. The weave was too loose and some of my stitches weren't staying put -- I couldn't do french knots here, for example. I wouldn't buy them again. They were also a little on the pricey side. I just found out that Target sells floursack towels, so I'm going to give them a shot next time.)
This folkart-style Christmas tree is based on a free pattern from Badbird's. (I made a few changes based on the limitations of the fabric.) I made this as a gift for my aunt and uncle, as well as this bird:
This is another pattern from The Floss Box. I decided to do this all in red, both for simplicity's sake and curiosity about redwork. I wasn't sure what the big fuss was about -- why not "purplework" or "orangework"? (Apparently, it has to do with the novelty of red thread back when varieties of colorfast thread weren't so readily available.) But it was kind of nice to only stitch in one color. It keeps the focus on the stitches themselves. I also added buttons to this one since I couldn't do french knots on this fabric. I thought the green tree and red bird looked nice together.
Polka & Bloom as soon as I saw them. I had to be patient for the formal pattern release, but it was worth the wait. The patterns call for a variety of bright colors -- turquoise, gold, purple, and pink -- but I wanted to stick with silvers and pale blues to give it more of a wintry feel. This was my first time using metallic floss, and it's kind of a pain, but I like the final look of it. These towels are still hanging on our oven door. Again, the handwriting is mine. (It's not very neat this time around, but that's okay...)
This little penguin is another free design from Badbird. I wasn't sure what to do with him after I embroidered him, so I ended up making a quilted door hanger. The quilting isn't great (it was my first attempt) but I love the embroidery and I think it made a festive addition to our otherwise boring white door/white wall area.
So, as you can see, my embroidery was off to a running start! The holidays were a good excuse to jump right in. I'm not sure I would have been so ambitious if I had started embroidering at any other time of year. :)