Archive | December 2012

Embroidered and Embellished by Christen Brown


I am so excited to announce my second book, Embroidered and Embellished, will be published in June 2013. You can find it here on C & T’ Publishers, and Amazon’s. I just got a peek of the inside of the book yesterday, and I can tell you honestly that I am thrilled,  it will be so beautiful!

The book is evenly divided into the four categories of embroidery that I love. Traditional, Silk Ribbon, Raised and textured and Bead Embroidery. There are two projects per category, ranging from simple to more complicated; with a total of eight projects all together. There are about 20 stitches in each embroidery chapter, with a few extras thrown in for a total of 85 stitches.

I took all of the step-out photography as I did for my first book, Ribbonwork Gardens. I also illustrated the embroidery diagrams and drew steps for sewing, which were translated digitally by the staff.

There will be plenty of inspiration in the Gallery section, from wall hangings, to purses, etuis to pillows, garments and jewelry. There is also one special purse that was created by my dear friend Maryanne Gross, you can find more of her work here at Zingala’s Workshop.

Hope that you find inspiration in every day, and enjoy!




Winter/Spring 2013 Classes

I am excited to announce five NEW classes that I am teaching for Here is the line up:

New! Dyeing to Be Beautiful 3 lessons beginning January 25, 2013

dyeingbeautiful2sThis technique class will teach you how to successfully dye your own fabrics, laces, ribbons, trims and threads to be used in your creative fiber art adventures. The dyes are easy to use, with simple sewing, pinning or tying resist techniques. These lessons will only cover the use Colorhue dyes, and natural fibers including cotton, silk, rayon, linen and wool. These dyes are easy to work with, non-toxic and self-setting, and best of all they yield beautiful colors every time.

New! Chantilly Lady’s Lace Cuff 4 Lessons beginning February 15, 2013

chantilly1This lovely lace cuff is reminiscent of tranquil days lounging on an overstuffed satin pouf, or demurely sashaying along a tree-lined avenue, parasol in hand. Two separate processes, one with Texture Magic, and the other with Solvy make the base of the cuff and the lace frill; pre-made lace will also be used.
chantilly2There are two styles to choose from that will be embellished with needle-tatted and crochet components, ribbonwork flowers, a few silk ribbon embroidery stitches, beads and buttons. The base can be left in the natural colors of the lace, or you can dye the components with the self-setting Colorhue dyes (no other dye will be covered). Please also note that basic crochet knowledge will be very helpful.

New! Cotillion Tassel 3 lessons beginning on March 15, 2013

cotillion tassel, ribbonwork, ribbon flowers, ribbon, beadsThis tassel or “furniture jewelry” will be unique and feminine addition to any space, perhaps hung on a boudoir mirror or in your sewing room. The base of the tassel is covered with a small bit of fabric that is adorned with velvet ribbons, buttons and charms. Jacquard ribbons and cords are stitched with beads and more ribbon becoming unique encrusted dangles hanging from the base.

New! Phat Matt the Cat 2 lessons beginning on March 19, 2013

phatmattIf you are a cat lover, this cuddly felt cat is your guy! Matt is made from three or four colors of felt, adorned with a few embroidery stitches and buttons. This is a great simple project that can be completed in a few days, or over a weekend. The colors that you choose can be life-like or more contemporary, matching a theme or your décor. Whatever you choose, you can’t go wrong with this friendly guy.

New! Melange a Trois 3 lessons beginning on April 11, 2013

melange a troisDo you love mixed media, decorative paper, ribbon, lace, ephemera and collage? Well this is the perfect class for you then. You will learn how to combine all of these bits of gathered treasure and create them into gift envelopes, bags, and small boxes.

gift envelopes, collage, mixed media gift bags, collage, mixed media gift boxes, collage, mixed media

Simple easy techniques, your sewing machine and a bit of imagination is all you need! There are two different envelopes to choose from; two sizes of the small gift bags; and two sizes of the mini matchboxes; with a bonus pattern for a gift tag.





I also have ten of my popular classes returning, these are:

A Crazy Lady’s Guide to Piecing 3 lessons beginning on January 22, 2013

crazy pieced blockCrazy piecing is definitely an accurate description for piecing disparate and awkward bits of this and that together. It can be confusing and confounding when you first start, in fact that is the first question people usually ask, how do I start? Questions that usually follow are what do I put where, what fabric do I use, what color should go next to what, and how on earth do I get myself out of that boxed in mess I created?

Kelp Scarf 2 lessons beginning on January 24, 2013

solvy base with yarnsIn class you will make stitched “mesh” from strips and scraps of fabric, decorative yarns, ribbons and metallic or rayon threads. The result will be a lightweight, colorful scarf that can be worn all year round.

Beadazzled Stitches 4 lessons beginning on February 7, 2013

beadazzled stitches, bead embroideryDo you love embroidery? Have you ever embroidered with beads? This is the perfect class for you to learn how to combine these two techniques. I will give you directions to make a simple strip-pieced base made from batik fabrics or if you have a CQ base already made you can work on that in class. This class takes you on a journey that explores beads, embroidery and other embellishments.

Scrumptious Scraps 5 lessons beginning on February 12, 2013

dyed lace scrapsScrumptious bit and pieces of vintage laces are melded and stitched together to form a unique and beautiful base for your creative stitched designs. Once the lace scraps are turned into a base, I will show you how to dye the base and a variety of ribbons (some silk) that can be later used in the embroidery and ribbon worked vignettes.

Magic Web 2 lessons beginning on February 28, 2013

machine stitched laceThis is a great technique project; I call it Metallic Threads 101, but it doesn’t stop there. In class you will make a “magic web” from bits of precious scraps, decorative yarns and metallic threads, sandwiched together with Solvy and machine stitching, lots of machine stitching. The unique fabric that you create will be used as a base for a heart shaped brooch that will be embellished with buttons and beads.

All That Glitters 2 lessons beginning on March 7, 2013

metallic threadsDo you love shiny, opulent threads, but are unsure how to use them, well then this may be just what you are looking for! The class includes a brief history of metallic threads from her article “The Glittering World of Metal Thread Embroidery” for Piecework Magazine.
In the first lesson you will explore how to use these opulent threads in your sewing machine. In the second lesson you will learn how to use them by hand. Please note that this is a technique class only, the sample pieces from each of the lessons can be put into a journal, or assembled however you wish.

Textured and Treated Reticule 3 lessons beginning on March 21, 2013

textured and treated reticuleThis class is full of cool techniques; it will be hard to decide which one is your favorite!  First you will stitch your fabric, shrinking it and manipulating it into a textural base. Next you will create a mesh of specialty threads and covered tendrils or branches. Embellishments and embroidery will include hand applied rayon cord, needlelace, shisha mirrors, and beading. Directions will be given to make a four-sided purse; however you could use your own pattern to make a pillow or wall hanging the choice is yours.

A Crazy Lady’s Guide to Embellishment 4 lessons beginning on April 2, 2013

crazy pieced base with embroideryDo you have a crazy pieced block or quilt top perhaps from A Crazy Lady’s Guide to Piecing that is just waiting to be encrusted with embroidery, ribbonwork, and embellishment? In this class I will cover many techniques that you can use to create a unique and beautiful heirloom piece that will be passed down from family member to member. Please note that there will be no instructions to make or finish the block or quilt.

Beadazzled Somemore Purse 4 lessons beginning on April 5, 2013

beadazzled somemore purseThis class delves deeply into the wonderful world of bead embellishment, exploring a wide variety of stitches and embroidery techniques. The sample that you will be stitching on can become a purse (using the pattern provided), a pillow or wall hanging, or whatever you choose. The techniques that will be covered are free-form peyote on fabric, free form bead embroidery, multi bead embroidery, attaching trinkets, buttons and charms with beads, and so much more. Your project will start with a beautiful batik fabric, a variety of seed beads in several sizes and colors combined with a collection of buttons, glass charms and larger beads. This class is a must for anyone who loves beads!

Hope that you find something to ignite your creative spirit!

Happy Stitching! ~Christen