Stitch Along Sampler: Student’s Work

I have a treat to share with you today. This project was created by one of my students Misa Turnage. She has taken a block from my class The Stitch Along Sampler, and turned it into an unexpected surprise.


The block became a focal point for a tote bag. Misa used block #7/Embroidered Chorus. She added in her own touches by embroidering the four sweet little flowers in the corners.


To assemble the bag she used a grouping of related floral prints, added in some lace here and there and voila! What a cute bag, it just turned out so wonderful!

Happy Stitching, and thank you Misa for sharing! ~Christen

The right needle


I was fortunate enough to be asked by Barbara, the owner of Joggles, to stitch a few of her wool houses for a video. She was generous and gave me extra pieces to use for my own designs. Here is an example of one of the houses that I turned into an etui or needle case.

As a teacher of embroidery everyone, I mean everyone asks me if the needle makes a difference. YES is the correct answer!


The purpose of the needle is to make a hole big enough in the fabric, or to be inserted into the canvas so that the thread can follow with ease. If the hole is too small, the thread will eventually fray, if the hole is to big then the thread will not cover the hole. So again YES!

tomato pincushion

Many students get confused once the needle is out of the package, so I suggest dedicating a pincushion to your embroidery needles. I take each section and write down the type of needles that I use with a permanent marker. For instance, embroidery, sharps, milliners, cotton darners, beading and chenille needles are all in my tool box, therefore there is a wedge on the pincushion with their name on it!

needles and thread

Another good idea is to dedicate a piece of fabric or even an index card for the types of needles that you may be using. Then thread the needle with the type of thread or ribbon that you would use for embroidering your project. Insert the needle into the fabric or card, then tape the thread down. Write the name of the needle on the fabric or card. Voila, no more confusion!

Happy Stitching, and enjoy~ Christen

Crazy Pieced Etui

I will be teaching again in Houston this year at Quilt Festival, 2016. One of my classes is all about Flowers for CQ Embroidery.

crazy pieced etui

I just finished this example of a crazy pieced project, in this case an etui or needle case.

crazy pieced etui

Here is is opened to reveal a page of felt to place the pins and needles into, and a small pocket to hold scissors.

example of crazy pieced embroidery

Here is the full piece, before I stitched it into the etui.

sampler of ribbonwork and silk ribbon embroidery

Here is the sampler for the pieces that we will be covering in the class.

I am really looking forward to meeting all of my students, and sharing this wonderful information.

Happy Stitching, and enjoy~ Christen

Hankies and Lace Wall Hanging

Hankies and Lace Wall Hanging with Christen Brown

hankies and lace wall hangingThis class is scheduled to begin Thursday October 13, 2016.

This project combines vintage handkerchiefs, ribbons, lace and cotton fabrics. The hankies will be your focal point, with ribbon, lace and appliques used as useful camouflage. Both traditional and silk ribbon embroidery stitches will be used to embellish the edges and inner sections of the hankies. Free standing elements and embellishments that will be added are appliques, yo-yo’s and flowers all made from bits of fabric. Vignettes with silk ribbon embroidery and ribbonwork flowers will be embroidered throughout the hanky base. Buttons, charms and beads will be added in here and there to finish the project.

The finished project can be turned into a pillow or a wall hanging. My book Embroidered and Embellished is a required supply. Student must be familiar with all forms of embroidery stitches before class, as no stitches will be demonstrated during class time. Student must also have both machine and hand-sewing skills.

Week 1: Creating The Base $20.00

be my valentine hanky wall hangingThe base of the project is created with hankies, linens, fabric and ribbon. Several different examples of hanky designs will be explored. Machine and hand sewing will necessary to finish the base, and will be need to completed at home before the next class.

Week 2: Fabric and Lace Embellishments $20.00

samplesLearn to make free standing elements and embellishments: appliques, yo-yo’s and flowers, bird’s nests and more all made from bits of scrap fabrics and lace.

Week 3: Ribbonwork Components $20.00

ribbonwork flowers

The ribbonwork flowers that will be covered are: the rosette, posy, ruched petal flower, U-gather petal flower, rickrack flower and 3 petal fan.  Student must be familiar with hand sewing skills before class.

Week 4: Lace, Appliques and Embroidered Rows $20.00

embroidery sample

Lace and small appliques will be stitched here and there, and embroidered rows of stitches will encrust the edges of the hankies. Student must be familiar with embroidery stitches before class.

Week 5: Floral Vignettes $20.00

hanky base with vignettes

Arrange and design fabric and ribbon components from Weeks 2 and 3. Stitch in additional elements and designs with silk ribbon embroidery. Student must be familiar with ribbonwork and silk ribbon embroidery stitches before class.

Week 6: Silk Ribbon Embroidered Roses, Buds and Flowers $20.00

Embroider smaller vignettes of roses, buds and other flowers around the larger vignettes and within the hanky sections. Student must be familiar with silk ribbon and traditional embroidery stitches before class.

Week 7: Decorative and Detail Stitches $20.00

Embroider decorative and detail stitches along the border rows, and within the hanky sections. Student must be familiar with traditional embroidery stitches before class.

Week 8: Bugs, Buttons, Charms and More $20.00

Embroider small detail stitches like spiders, butterflies, and dragonflies. Add in buttons charms and a few beaded stitches to complete the vignettes and border rows.

Week 9: Finishing Touches $20.00

Variety of bindings, stabilizers, and additional finishing touches will be covered.


This class is held on Thursday afternoons, from 12:30 – 2:30.

Beverly’s Fabrics,
6185 Balboa Avenue
San Diego, CA 92111

For additional information on the series, and if you are interested in attending, please contact me:

Until then, Happy Stitching! ~Christen

The Crazy Corner: Students Work

During the first run series of my class the Crazy Corner, I had several ladies allow me to photograph their project’s journey through the sixteen weeks of lessons, and then publish their work here. Please give each of them a round of applause and much praise for their beautiful work!

Under the Sea by Karen Oberle

step14Karen started with a printed fabric that had sea horses on it. She chose additional fabrics to compliment the colors of the first, adding threads, ribbons and beads following the same color scheme. She adapted many of the techniques to her underwater theme, for instance instead of a basket, she created a sunken ship; the flowers became shell shapes; and she added in many more inventive items.


Carolyn’s Garden for a Friend by Carolyn Barkow

largeCarolyn started with a garden theme, which began with several fabrics that had a floral print. She continued the theme by adding in a basket for berries, a bee skep, butterflies, and lots of flowers. There is a tiny birds nest at the top left corner, filled with blue beads for the eggs.


Please check in periodically, for the remaining students work.

Happy Stitching to you all! ~Christen

Roll of Stitches

embroidery cornerI have combined all of the small samplers that I created for my class the Embroidery Corner, into a rolled book. The class is a 16 week course where we explore a stitch and it’s variations, or several related stitches each week. I use my book Embroidered and Embellished as a reference guide.

embroidery cornerI created a cover for the rolled book from another longer sampler that I had started to stitch on in class. Here is a peek into the book.

embroidered sampler

embroidery sampler

embroidery sampler

embroidery sampler

ECdedicationI learned the art of embroidery at the age of seven from my mom. It is the one needle art that I continue to use every day, I love it!

Happy stitching to you all, enjoy! ~Christen