Meet Embroidery & Textile Artist Kirsten Chursinoff

The Orchard 2 Meet Embroidery & Textile Artist Kirsten Chursinoff

The Orchard – Artist Kirsten Chursinoff – Photography – Ernst Schneider.

I encourage you to take some time out of your busy day to read the interview with Textile Artist Kirsten Chursinoff and to view a sampling of her work.  I thought you all might like to learn more about Kirsten and her work since she appeared on CME’s back page in the May/June issue. Please visit her on her blog, website or Facebook page, her links are supplied at the end of the interview as well. Please feel free to leave a comment.

Where do you live/from? Are your surroundings inspiring?

I work from my cottage-in-the-sky studio, which is downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The urban environment is exciting, but I’m never very far away from nature, which is my true source of inspiration. Extensive seawall trails, parks and lively community gardens are only a few minutes away.

Can you give us a little background on how/why you got started embroidery and working with textiles.

My mother and grandmothers always had some project on the go: needlework, knitting or sewing. I was initially seduced by the colors of hand embroidery floss, all beautifully organized and bundled in little skeins. I didn’t think I was an artist, but I loved to make decorative things.

What do you find are the greatest challenges in your profession?  Are there any challenges with technology that you find inspiring and/or frustrating?

Professionally, there are so many choices to make when you build your own career from scratch. Deciding whether to teach, submit book proposals, design patterns, or make original work to sell, are huge decisions and I hope to be able to do a combination of those without having to compromise too much of my creative vision.

There are technological challenges as well. My work is made using free-motion machine embroidery on a domestic sewing machine (with the feed dogs removed) and I enjoy the sketch-like/drawing quality of the stitches. I’d like to try a more professional machine but I worry that I’ll loose my signature style.

I also have trouble because I love building up layers in my embroidery. I try and blur the lines between hand and machine work, but it can be difficult stitching through all the layers of fabrics and stitches.  I like to add finishing details by hand and sometimes I have to use pliers to pull the needle through!

In the years you’ve been working with embroidery what is the greatest change that you’ve noticed? Or is there something that you’ve had to adapt to?

I think we all need to try and remain a few steps ahead of mass-produced work. Keep our work personal and creative. We use machines, but the work should reflect the person guiding the stitches.

What is your conception process for a design or project? Do you sketch it out, take a photo etc.

I love to use a collage-type approach to designing. Yes, I take photos, do research, and spread out all the possible colors that might work for the subject; but then I start cutting shapes of fabric and laying them out in different arrangements until I find something pleasing to my eye.

What are your favorite items, textiles etc. to work with? Where do you go to find these items? What was a “I can’t believe I found this” item?

I combine embroidery, quilting, beading and other textile techniques in my work so I can always find something for my stash in any crafting or art supply store. Shopping can be dangerous! Finding materials to build a stash is always exciting. I also find delight in small scraps and castaways from other crafters.

What has been your (to date) greatest/proudest achievement in the creative world?

Seeing my artwork and writing published in magazines was very exciting, and I was interviewed and had my studio photographed for the book Hoopla: the art of unexpected embroidery, by Leanne Prain.

What would be a dream project or commission for you?

I would love to illustrate a children’s book with embroidered pictures.

Between all that you do, where do you find time to actually create?

I was able to pursue my embroidery art full-time for several years before we started a family, but initially I would sneak it in whenever I could. I stayed up late at night, and even did hand-embroidery on the bus while commuting to college.

At the moment, I’m finding it challenging to find time for my embroidery work. My two little boys are full of life and energy. I don’t want to miss a moment of their joy for life, but at the same time, I feel a bit lost without a project in my hand or at my machine. During the early days of their lives I returned to my roots as a hand-embroiderer so that I could work quietly during nap times and at night, but I’m itching to work faster and miss the speed of a machine.

What do you do when you are not at your sewing machine/studio

I take my boys to the beach!

What are your plans for the future?

Build up a body of work for my next exhibition. I’ve been working on some hand embroidered birds. Hopefully I’ll find the time to develop some bird ideas that combine hand and machine embroidery.

Any tips you’d like to share with the Creative Machine Embroidery readers on embroidery, creating or inspiration?

I would like to encourage people to find a way to personalize their embroidery work and try new things. Combining familiar techniques with new ideas can enrich both the work, and the experience.

Lupines Small Meet Embroidery & Textile Artist Kirsten Chursinoff

Lupines – Artist Kirsten Chursinoff – Photography – Ernst Schneider

Fennel Blossoms Meet Embroidery & Textile Artist Kirsten Chursinoff

Fennel Blossoms – Artist Kirsten Chursinoff – Photography – Ernst Schneider

Autumn Allium Duo Meet Embroidery & Textile Artist Kirsten Chursinoff

Autumn Allium Duo- Artist Kirsten Chursinoff – Photography – Ernst Schneider

Almost Ripe Large Meet Embroidery & Textile Artist Kirsten Chursinoff

Almost Ripe- Artist Kirsten Chursinoff – Photography – Ernst Schneider

To see more of Kirsten’s embroidery and textile art:

Kirsten Chursinoff, Textile Artist (on Facebook)

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CME 4th of July Freebies!

flag fireworks1 1024x683 CME 4th of July Freebies!

Seems hard to believe but 4th of July is only a few days away. Get ready for  BBQ’s and summer fun with these FREE projects from Creative Machine Embroidery and Sew News.

Get this FREE 4th of July embroidery design to decorate tote bags, lawn blankets, napkins, beach towels the sky’s the limit. Get it FREE until July 15th.

Burst 5 200 CME 4th of July Freebies!

If you would like the entire CME Fireworks Collection please visit The collection is  15.00 for 6 unique firework designs in small and large sizes for a total of 12 designs in all.

Firworks Collection small 1024x738 CME 4th of July Freebies!

Decorate for summer! Instead of spending money on a BBQ cover, make your own with our Protect and Serve project. You can do as we’ve done and make it in a 4th of July theme or use year round appropriate colors like black, brown or grey to keep your grillin’ investment covered and protected throughout the year.

protect and serve 200 CME 4th of July Freebies!Dress up the picnic table with this fun table runner and napkin setBBBQ 200 CME 4th of July Freebies!Or make an patriotic table set with an easy to make bunting that can be used as a wall hanging too.

Buffet 200px CME 4th of July Freebies!Happy 4th of July!

And, to announce the winner of last week’s Wednesday Giveaway the winner is Sandra C. I will be in touch with you shortly to tell you how to claim your prize.

Posted in Wednesday Giveaway | 3 Comments

Christmas In July – A fun contest from Quiltmaker + Wednesday Giveaway

CIJ14logo Christmas In July    A fun contest from Quiltmaker + Wednesday Giveaway Our sister publication Quiltmaker is holding a fun contest called Quiltmaker’s Christmas in July.

Below are their details and please go to their website to enter Quiltmaker’s Christmas in July.

There are 8 winners! Each prize package is worth over $558.

CIJ14quilts 500 Christmas In July    A fun contest from Quiltmaker + Wednesday Giveaway Each person will win one holiday-themed quilt tops (plus backing and binding to finish) and beautiful fabric from:

• Clothworks
• Hoffman California Fabrics
• Moda Fabric
• Northcott
• P&B Fabric
• Quilting Treasures
• Robert Kaufman
• Timeless Treasures

AND winners will also receive the following wonderful prizes:

• Three pattern book set from AccuQuilt
• Variegated thread set from Connecting Threads
• Quilt Ruler Upgrade Kit from Guidelines4Quilting
• Free-Motion Machine Quilting for Beginners DVD featuring Helen Godden from Handi Quilter
• 18 spool box of Cotona thread from Madeira
• Handwork Sampler: Printable Sticky Fabri-Solvy and 6 popular colors of Sulky 12-wt. Cotton Petites 50-yd spools from Sulky

To enter the Christmas in July contest please go to

The contest will be open from 2:00 pm MST on 5/29/14 until 11:59 pm MST on 8/5/14.

Are you ready for Wednesday Giveaway?

Since we have a quilting theme going on, lets’ stick with it! Up for Wednesday Giveaway is 3 quilting books from Patchwork Place. To enter into this contest enter a comment about how you keep cool while sewing in the hot months of summer.

photo3 Christmas In July    A fun contest from Quiltmaker + Wednesday Giveaway

One winner will be announced next Wednesday!

Posted in Wednesday Giveaway | 9 Comments

FREE Cutwork Design + Tips from Penny Muncaster-Jewell

Penny Muncaster-Jewell has a beautiful project in the latest Creative Machine Embroidery magazine.

Unique Technique: Cutwork Part 1 on page 54 will take you through step-by-step to beautiful cutwork designs you can do yourself.

cutwork shell 500 FREE Cutwork Design + Tips from Penny Muncaster Jewell

Plus, we’ve got a freebie too! Download the clamshell bitmap image and the embroidery desing for FREE from until October 31, 2014.

As an extra bonus Penny herself has some tips for you in creating your own cutwork designs. Read on:

  • When I am creating cutwork designs (or in fact any designs where there are multiple layers overlapping each other, such as applique) I often create each layer in a separate file and also in a different color thread!
  • Since the layers are created from the same image they will align up perfectly. Then when I put them together, if I can see a yellow thread which is in layer one and should not be visible, I know which layer to fix.
  • I also do my test stitch out using the different colors so that I can also quickly identify a naughty stitch and where it is from.
  • Once I know every stitch is behaving and nicely hidden I stitch it out using a single color. Using the different colors to just take the machine stop in-between layers. Hope this helps you when you are working with multiple overlapped layers.

Visit Penny at

What are your tips for working with cutwork designs?

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Bernina announces the 2 winning designs for its faceplate contest

BERNINA of America, the premier manufacturer of sewing, embroidery and quilting machines, is pleased to announce the winners from its Faceplate Face-off contest that allowed Facebook fans to choose two faceplate designs for the 2015 BERNINA 350 Special Edition (B 350 SE).  Ricky Tims and Tula Pink’s designs were chosen from among 10 entries submitted by the sewing industry’s best designers.  The contest ran from Monday, March 17 through Tuesday, April 14.

Additionally, one lucky Facebook fan who voted was randomly selected to win a B 350 SE featuring the design receiving the most votes.  Brenda P. of Pensacola, Fla. will receive a B 350 SE with the faceplate designed by Ricky Tims.

“We congratulate Tula Pink and Ricky Tims on their winning designs and Brenda for winning the B 350 drawing,” said Paul Ashworth, President of BERNINA of America.  “We also thank all of the designers and BERNINA Facebook fans who participated in the contest.  BERNINA has a great relationship with the artisans in this industry and our customers, and the overwhelming response to the contest helped illustrate that.”

TulaPink 350Revised Bernina announces the 2 winning designs for its faceplate contest

Tula Pink graduated from Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. After graduating she worked as an exhibit designer for museums in Los Angeles and then got involved in the music industry.  She later moved east to focus on fabric design and sewing, where she designed her first collection in her living room.  Today, Tula works for Free Spirit Fabrics.

Ricky Tims has successfully blended two diverse passions into one very unique and interesting career with his love of music and quilting.  He is known in the international world of quilting as a best-selling author, enthusiastic and encouraging teacher, an award-winning quilter, fabric designer, and a talented and spellbinding speaker.  His innovative and entertaining presentations feature live music and humor combined with scholarly insights and wisdom.  Ricky’s quilts have been displayed worldwide and are highly regarded as excellent examples of contemporary quilts with traditional appeal.

FP RickyTims Bernina announces the 2 winning designs for its faceplate contestThe B 350 SE comes equipped with six full shank presser feet, a slide-on extension table to quickly increase the work area, and the BERNINA Free Hand System (FHS), which is a knee-operated lever that raises the presser foot, lowers the feed dogs and releases the thread tension at the same time.  Other accessories included with the B 350 SE are the BERNINA Walking Foot #50 and the BERNINA Free-motion Quilting Foot #29C.  MSRP for the B 350 SE is $1,899.
The machine also comes equipped with 115 stitches, a maximum sewing speed of 900 stitches per minute and a stitch width up to 5.5 mm.  It has a direct-selection function with a bright LCD screen that allows sewists to switch quickly between 20 utility stitches, 52 decorative stitches and 11 quilting stitches.  In addition, a high-precision buttonhole function with two programmed buttonhole styles will give users the ability to sew buttonholes of the exact same length every time.  The B 350 SE has memory space to permanently store up to 30 stitch-pattern combinations, and a bright LED sewing light.

BERNINA’s 3 Series line of machines is ideal for beginner and more experienced sewists.  The B 350 SE is an outstanding choice for everyday mending jobs and alterations, as well as creative sewing and quilting.  With simple, intuitive handling, first-class functioning and solid, Swiss-quality construction, the B 350 SE will provide continued enjoyment for the sewist making the transition from simple to more complicated projects.

Founded in Switzerland more than 100 years ago, BERNINA is the world’s premier manufacturer with a proven reputation for offering state-of-the-art sewing and embroidery systems, sergers and embroidery software.  BERNINA’s leadership is marked by an impressive number of industry leaders, influencers and artisans who chose to partner with the company.  BERNINA products are sold in the United States through a network of approximately 450 fully trained independent dealerships.  In 2008, the company introduced the revolutionary BERNINA 830, a machine designed to change the home sewing industry. 

To learn more and to find a dealer, visit or call (630)978-2500.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Quilters Need To Know Webinar

webinar Quilaters need4 Quilters Need To Know Webinar

Diane Tomlinson on May 29th will walk you through an hour of tips and techniques that will not only save you time, but also improve on your quilting skills.

Here is what you’ll learn with Diane Tomlinson’s Quilters Need To Know webinar:

  • How to figure the finished size of the quilt you want to make.
  • How to calculate yardage for your quilt.
  • How to figure the diagonal measurements of standard blocks.
  • How to figure and cut diagonal setting pieces for diagonal-set quilts.
  • Ruler to decimal conversions
  • The math of an eight-pointed star and how to size it.
  • Quick cutting guidelines for patchwork pieces
  • Step by step instructions on how to make and apply regular binding & make bias  binding from a square of fabric.

Who should attend?

  • Beginners and experienced quilters
  • Quilt class teachers
  • Shop owners
  • Editors and designers writing patterns

Can’t make the live event? Don’t worry! Your registration comes with access to the archived version of the program and the materials for one year. You do not have to attend the live event to get a recording of the presentation. You will receive a copy of the recorded presentation in an email that goes out within 1 week after the live event.

Diane Tomlinson is Associate Editor at Fons & Porter. She loves her job meeting and working with the designers who provide all of the beautiful quilts readers enjoy in every issue of Fons & Porter magazines.  She is a fourth generation sewer and quilter, designer, and art enthusiast.  For Diane, it’s all about the design, color, and making! She enjoys teaching and encouraging quilters to learn new skills and enabling them to design and create their own treasures to hand down to future generations.

Cost: 19.99 for an hour of professional quilting instruction.

Join now!

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When & How To Use Stabilizers + Free Stabilizer Organizer Project

Stabilizers are an important part of machine embroidery. But, the different types of stabilizers can be overwhelming. Here are a few tips for when and how to use stabilizers.

Paper-release and water-activated adhesives stabilizers are a must-have in any machine embroiderer’s toolbox. Let’s look at their limitations and benefits.

Adhesive stabilizers make it possible to embroider an item without subjecting it to the stress of traditional hooping. If you are working with velvets or delicate fabrics traditional hooping can mar the fabric. Adhesive stabilizers can be usied to hoop small items such as cuffs and collars, or to position an embroidered motif close to an edge.

Here are other ways in which to use adhesive stabilizer

  • Cut a piece of slightly larger than the hoop, remove the paper backing and place it adhesive side up on a flat surface.
  • Place the inner/outer hoops (tightened) backside down onto the adhesive stabilizer.
  • Wrap the corners up and over the edges to secure.

Here’s another way to use adhesive stabilizer.

  • Hoop the stabilizer with its adhesive surface face up.
  • Score the paper covering and remove it from the area within the hoop, or lightly moisten a water activated stabilizer to activate its adhesive. Use a light touch when moistening the stabilizer. A damp sponge or foam paintbrush swiped across the stabilizer surface is usually sufficient. Too much water results in a very strong bond that makes removing the stabilizer after embroidery a challenge.
  • Position the item to be embroidered on the hooped stabilizer and smooth it into place with your fingers.
  • Use the hoop’s markings or placement grid to ensure the item is straight and positioned properly within the embroidery area. For best results, allow a minute or two for a water-activated bond to set before moving the hoop to the machine.

Handle adhesive stabilizers with care and follow these tips.

  1. The adhesive on some stabilizers can build up on the needle, leading to thread breakage. Keep a needle cleaning packet or alcohol wipes handy, and clean the needle when you change thread colors. Water-activated adhesives are less likely to gum the needle than paper-release varieties. Use the smallest hoop appropriate for  the design, or consider motifs that do not have detailed outlines digitized to stitch last.
  2. Use caution when releasing the fabric from the stabilizer to avoid fabric damage (such as pulling loops in terrycloth). If a water-activated stabilizer bonds too securely to the fabric, try moistening it again to make removal easier.

What’s your favorite way to use adhesive stabilizers?

Check out collection of stabilizers and stock up!

 If you would like to make this handy stabilizer organizer to keep all of your stabilizers in control Click HERE for the free project!

organizer full size  When & How To Use Stabilizers + Free Stabilizer Organizer Project


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Learn to Embroider on Shoes! Plus, Download a Free Design from the Latest Issue of CME!

Breathe some life into your shoe collection by adding embroidery! It’s easier than you think to embroidery shoes, whether with hand sewing, textile adhesives or fusibles. Here are three great methods to try.

Sheer Embroidery

For freestanding embroidery, try organdy or organza neatly trimmed just outside the outlining.

Purple Sandals 288x300 Learn to Embroider on Shoes!  Plus, Download a Free Design from the Latest Issue of CME!

  1. Hoop the sheer fabric without a stabilizer. (If using more than one layer of sheer fabric, prevent puckering by alternating the fabric grain). Make sure to color-match with the top thread.
  2. After completing the embroidery, trim close to the outer stitching, being careful not to cut the threads. Embellish with beads, if desired.

Trimming Tip: For an even closer trim, use a stencil cutting tool or hot knife to very carefully melt the fibers of the fabric. Make sure not to heat your tools too hot, as too high of a temperature can leave burn marks in your design.

Water-Soluble or Tulle Embroidery

Use this method when you want a “no background” look. Be sure the design has enough stitching to hold itself together once the water-soluble stabilizer is dissolved. Always test stitch if you’re not sure!

  1. Hoop one or two layers of a light- or medium weight stabilizer.
  2. Embroider the design and tear away excess stabilizer.
  3. Dip the design in water to remove any stabilizer from remaining areas and dry thoroughly before applying to the shoe.

Tips for Unstable Designs: If your design doesn’t have sufficient stability on its own, but you want no visible fabric, choose fine netting as the base in combination with water soluble stabilizer. Choose a netting color that matches your shoe surface.

Freestanding Applique

Embroidered Shoes 300x200 Learn to Embroider on Shoes!  Plus, Download a Free Design from the Latest Issue of CME!

  1. Hoop water-soluble stabilizer and the applique fabric. Match bobbin and upper thread because the finished edge will be visible.
  2. After completing initial stitching (enough to hold the fabric in place), remove the hoop from the machine. Do not un-hoop your work yet.
  3. Cut away the excess fabric close to the stitching and 1/8” outside the stitching, exposing the water-soluble stabilizer. Be careful not to puncture the stabilizer.
  4. Replace the hoop and continue stitching the motif.
  5. After completing the embroidery, un-hoop and remove the water-soluble stabilizer, leaving your finished applique!

Looking for more inspiration? Check out Jessie’s article, “Steppin’ Out,” in the May/June issue of CME. And don’t forget to download the free design, available through June 30th!

shoe 500 Learn to Embroider on Shoes!  Plus, Download a Free Design from the Latest Issue of CME!

Have you ever embroidered your shoes? Want to give it a shot? Tell us below!



Posted in Free Designs, Free Tutorials | 3 Comments

Free Embroidery Project with Angelina Fibers And A Giveaway!

shawl 500 Free Embroidery Project with Angelina Fibers And A Giveaway!It’s always chilly here in the office and that’s why I always have a favorite pashmina scarf nearby. These are perfect for spring and summer when there still might be a chill in the air. And, great for the office because they look stylish and give the right amount of warmth in a breezy office.

In the latest issue of Creative Machine Embroidery magazine you can get the Angelina Pashmina project and all the how tos and instructions HERE. This article tells you how to achieve wonderful results when working with Angelina fibers to make a plain pashmina into something one-of-a-kind.

For today’s giveaway there is a collection of Angelina fibers from Embellishment Village for one lucky reader. This collection is the Forest Floor collection, which includes beautiful green, blue pink and earth tones. These would give a lovely sparkle to a pashmina scarf.

All you need to do to enter is answer the following question: Are you always cold in the office or are you constantly overheating?

AGForestFloorweb Free Embroidery Project with Angelina Fibers And A Giveaway!The winner from the last Wednesday Giveaway is Laura K. Thank you for your funny cat story! I will be in contact with you shortly to tell you how to claim your prize!



Posted in Wednesday Giveaway | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

5 Quick Tips for Interfacing!

TakeShape 154x300 5 Quick Tips for Interfacing!The proper application of interfacing can create a polished professional look. Interfacing provides stiffness, support and structure to fabric. It is often found in bags, home dec projects, collars, cuffs and curved areas on knit garments. Discovering the inherent helpfulness of interfacing can take your sewing skills to the next level. Use these tips to master interfacing and get stitching in no time!

1. To Fuse or Not to Fuse: There are two main types of interfacing, fusible and sew-in. The type determines how the interfacing is applied to the fabric. Fusible interfacing is adhered to the fabric wrong side using glue that is applied to the interfacing in the creation process. Sew-in interfacing is sewn to the fabric wrong side and is used primarily when the fabric cannot withstand pressing. In general, fusible interfacing will change the fabric hand, creating a stiffer result.

2. Weigh In: Both fusible and sew-in interfacing comes in several weights ranging from light to heavy. Consider the fabric’s end use as you select the interfacing. If the project is a bag or home dec project a medium to heavyweight interfacing will most likely work best. If the project is a chiffon shirt (or similarly flowy garment) a lightweight interfacing is best. If you’re using interfacing simply to reinforce the fabric for longevity, match the fabric weight to the interfacing weight.

3. Knit or Woven: In addition to all the versions of interfacing listed above, there are also knit and woven interfacings. Knit interfacing should be used with knit fabric; it’s often used to reinforce curved seams. Woven interfacing is best used when working with woven fabric; try to align the interfacing grain with that of the fabric for best results. There’s a third type, non-woven interfacing, this includes fusible fleece, it has barely any drape to it and is best used when fabric needs to be seriously stiffened (such as for a bag).

4. Adhering Advice: When fusing interfacing to fabric, make sure to determine the interfacing side with the glue first. The glue side will have either dots of glue across the surface or it will have a sheen to it. The glue side will also feel different in comparison to the non-glue side. Always place the glue side to the wrong side of the fabric. Use a damp press cloth to adhere the interfacing. Be sure to press down with the iron, pick it up and move to a new spot on the fabric. Never run the iron over the surface of the interfacing while adhering it to the fabric. Check the packaging instructions for additional advice on adhering the interfacing to your fabric.

5. Go for a Test Drive: Adhere a piece of interfacing to fabric the wrong side and send it through the laundering process you plan to use on the finished project. If the interfacing comes unglued or there’s excessive shrinking, either consider a different type of interfacing or choose a more delicate method of laundering (such as dry cleaning).

With these interfacing tips under your belt, you’re ready to stitch something up with a little rigidity. Here are a few projects and resources to consider:

Coupon Clutch 200x 5 Quick Tips for Interfacing!Embroider a handy coupon clutch to keep grocery trips organized and headache-free! The interfacing gives this fun project the stability to hold all your coupons and then some.

Summer Style TN 5 Quick Tips for Interfacing!Make an interfaced collar with an all-over design and let your creativity shine.

ck cme 200 5 Quick Tips for Interfacing!


Stitch up an interfaced frame for someone special. This is a great gift for moms, dads and grads!

SN10214 5 Quick Tips for Interfacing!


For an exceptionally thorough look at interfacing, purchase the Feb/Mar ’14 issue of Sew News from

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