Sew & Stitch Embroidery

Have you noticed how many amazing new books are coming out this season? Our wish list is growing longer and longer and we’re SO excited to dive right in and start creating. You’ll be learning about a lot of new releases here on the blog and today I’m excited to tell you about the first, Sew + Stitch Embroidery by Alyssa Thomas of Penguin & Fish.

book_cover_webI had the pleasure of meeting Alyssa in Portland, OR at this year’s Spring Quilt Market. She was super sweet and immediately mentioned that she adores using Pellon® products and had, in fact, used them for most of the projects in her book. Though I’m obviously biased, I adore hearing things like that… that designers, quilters, sewists and creators use and love our products. When I got a note from her and her team about the book release and upcoming blog tour, I was more than thrilled to jump on board.


I received the book last week and it’s gorgeous. The photos are nicely staged, clean and do a wonderful job of showcasing the projects included. There is an easy to follow introduction with all sorts of embroidery basics, including a section on how to effectively use an embroidery stabilizer. Alyssa also takes readers through basic stitches, making the projects completely achievable for beginners.


Always up for a challenge (even as a beginner!) I thought I’d try to tackle one of the smaller projects. After flipping through, I decided on the barn owl throw pillow. It didn’t seem too complicated and I thought it would be a relatively quick sew (good since I sat down with it on Sunday!). I used a white linen backed with Pellon® 987F Fusible Fleece as my base and transferred the embroidery pattern via Pellon® 542 Stick-N-Washaway™. I did not enlarge the design as the book suggests, but instead opted for a small pillow with some extended stitches, resulting in a finished size of about 10″ x 10″. I had some yarn leftover from various knitting projects and did my best to match colors. The end result is different, but I still love it!


The stitch guide suggests some simple back-stitching, along with the chain stitch and french knot, two stitches which were somewhat new to me. I had a very easy time following Alyssa’s instructions and feel like I was able to achieve the desired result, even if some of my french knots are a little on the loose side;). The chain stitch was also much easier than I expected!



Once I finished the embroidery, I simply cut a second piece of linen to match the first, backed it with Fusible Fleece, and stitched the 2 pieces together with right sides facing. I left a 3 inch gap for turning, clipped the corners, turned it right side out and stuffed it with Pellon®’s Perfect Loft™ Cluster Fiber Fill (LOVE that stuff!) I then hand-stitched the opening closed.


The resulting pillow is an adorable little addition to my daughter’s (almost finished!) nursery. I’m looking forward to trying another project from the book and just have to narrow down my options first.


To learn more about the book, head here and make sure to check back tomorrow!! We have a special guest post planned courtesy of author, Alyssa Thomas. She’s put together a special tutorial just for our readers and she’ll be sharing it right here on the blog. We’re so thrilled and have no doubt that you’ll love what she’s put together. See you tomorrow!


Penguin & Fish Blog Tour:
Tuesday, Oct. 8 – Mr. X Stitch 
Wednesday, Oct. 9 – Pellon 
Thursday, Oct. 10 – While She Naps 
Friday, Oct. 11 – The Last Piece 
Saturday, Oct. 12 – Feeling Stitchy 
Monday, Oct. 14 – Wild Olive 
Tuesday, Oct. 15 – Bad Ass Quilters Society 
Wednesday, Oct. 16 – Spoonflower 
Thursday, Oct. 17 – Sew Mama Sew 
Friday, Oct. 18 – Skunkboy 
Saturday, Oct. 19 – Meet Me at Mikes 
Monday, Oct. 21 – Quilt Dad 
Tuesday, Oct. 22 – Follow the White Bunny 
Wednesday, Oct. 23 – Sarah Jane Studios 

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