Tuesday, November 25, 2014

How to tie a (nearly) perfect bow

It's bow tying season! Whether you're making cute holiday crafts, or wrapping presents, knowing how to tie a nice bow comes in handy. Here's how I do it. It's not completely fool proof, but once you learn a couple tricks and get the hang of it, you'll be tying (nearly) perfect bows all over the place.

Start by tying a knot around your project. Notice how the two ends of the ribbon head off in opposite directions. This happens naturally when you tie a knot on something vertical, and why bows often end up looking wonky.

Fold the right end of the ribbon back under itself to make a loop.

Bring the other end down over the loop. If you have thick ribbon it may fold naturally, that's ok.

Now loop the second end and push it under the first loop, and back through itself. Keep the second loop under the first one.

Pull the two loops and two ends in opposite directions alternately, guiding the ends down and the loops upwards. It may take a little tweaking to get it to lay just right, but you're almost there. Pull the loops tight once you've got it.

Trim the ends at angles, or with a V shape and finish them off with a bit of fray check. 
You're done!

If you missed my Ribbon Wrapped Hoop tutorial and free Merry and Bright embroidery pattern, be sure to check them out right here!

Happy Holidays and happy Bow Tying.

xo aimee

Monday, November 24, 2014

Make a ribbon wrapped hoop frame

How about a free tutorial and a festive Holiday embroidery pattern?
Today I'm going to show you how I frame lots of my embroideries in wooden hoops wrapped with ribbon. It's super easy and a great way to display your work. 
Plus, you'll find this cute Merry and Bright embroidery pattern to stitch up for the Holidays at the end of this post. It's straight from my newest book, Doodle Stitching: Holiday Motifs!

You'll need:
a wooden embroidery hoop to fit your work
white craft glue

I'm using 5/8 inch satin ribbon, but any type will work. You can use wider ribbon for larger hoops (this hoop is 4 inches) but don't go smaller than 5/8 for this size or it will start to bunch up.

Start by stretching your embroidery fabric tightly onto a wooden hoop. Cut off the excess fabric about 1/2 inch around the edge. Now fold the fabric edge around the back of the inner hoop and glue it down with white craft glue. Let it dry completely.

When it's dry, remove the outer hoop. Starting at the screw, put a line of glue on the inside of the hoop. I put glue on the inside just to be sure it won't show at all, especially when using a sheer ribbon. Begin with the end of the ribbon on the inside and wrap it at a diagonal angle around the hoop. Pull it tightly and pinch it flat on the inside and outside as you go. When you get to the other end of the circle, wrap the ribbon an extra time around the end of the ribbon to hide it.

Here's a tip: unwind a foot or so of ribbon before you start and put a pin in it to keep it from unwinding further until you're ready for it. This will save you a long mess of ribbon getting in your way while you work, and when it gets twisted up, you can just let it dangle and untwist easily.

Now place the outer hoop back onto the inner one and tighten it up. You're done! Well, with this part. Tomorrow I'll be posting Part 2 of this tutorial, how to tie that (almost) perfect bow for the top!

Oh yes, and here's the embroidery pattern! There are lots, LOTS more where this came from (for Christmas and many other holidays as well), check out my new book, Doodle Stitching: Holiday Motifs at bookstores or online!!

Have fun stitching and don't forget to come back tomorrow to finish up!
xo aimee

making freebies!

new free art

I've been working on new free art, in pinks this time! Find out more by clicking Free Art on my blog above, or visit my website aimeeray.com


I chopped up a bunch of old embroidery scraps and made pin/buttons to give away with orders!
If you order any physical mailed item from my shop in the next few weeks, you'll get one. :)

Hope you have a super lovely Thanksgiving week.
❤︎ aimee

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

new Petite Blythe customs

Holly the Christmas Elf

winter the little dear girl

Two new custom petite Blythes are in the shop today! Chilly weather girls, Holly the Christmas Elf and Winter the Deer girl are awaiting adoption. They would be perfect Holiday gifts, or additions to your Holiday decor this year!

xo aimee

Monday, November 17, 2014

Saturday, November 15, 2014

little fox

little fox

Here is a tiny ooak doll I've just finished!
Little fox is completely hand stitched, embroidered and painted and comes with a tiny fox traveling companion.

little fox

Awaiting adoption (along with little Owlet) at www.littledear.etsy.com

xo aimee