How to Embroider Almost Everything

My book is out now!

Woo hoo!

I can’t wait to see what you make with all these motifs. There are over 500!

The title is How to Embroider Almost Everything and I took that really seriously. I tried to draw ALL KINDS of different things. Yes – there are your normal embroidery subjects – flowers and trees and cute animals. But there are also pages and pages of other things – like laundry hanging on a line, household tools, colorful cocktails, and more. It was so much fun!

Want to see a peek inside the book? I recorded a video of me looking through my author copy for the first time! You can watch it here.

Want to order it? Here are a bunch of links for places to buy.

If you already bought a copy – thank you so much! I hope you love it!

If you do, please leave a review. You can do that by clicking on any of those purchasing links. Online reviews help so much – especially on Amazon. Like Facebook, they keep the details of their algorithm secret – but they do tell authors that more reviews lead to higher rank in search results. Posting an Amazon review (even a super short one) is a really, really nice thing to do for books you like. πŸ™‚

Happy stitching! I can’t wait to see what you make! We’ll have a special category in our photo contest next month – so be sure to snap a photo and be ready to share!


October at Shiny Happy World

Happy October!

I shared the new calendar yesterday – here’s all the news for the month.

And here are all the links to the things I mentioned. . .

And I forgot to mention the sale on awesome colorful tea towels in the video! There are perfect for stitching and giving as inexpensive handmade gifts and they’re all 20% off this week. More details here.

Have a fabulous month!


How to Embroider Almost Everything – My First Look!

It’s almost here!

I’m counting down the seconds – literally – until my new book is available! πŸ™‚

How to Embroider Almost Everything!

Want to see me open my author copy? We can flip through it together!

Don’t forget – if you pre-order your copy now, you’ll get those bonus motifs so you can start stitching while you wait for the book to arrive. πŸ™‚

Email your proof of purchase to

And follow me on Instagram to see some more detailed peeks at my favorite motifs.

Happy stitching!


Bears in the Hills – the Finished Project

Last week in the comments on one of the Bears in the Hills work-in-progress posts, someone asked if they could see it finished.

How did I never post a photo of the finished piece? That’s crazy!

But it’s true. πŸ˜› I shared it in the newsletter, but I never posted a photo here.

So I’m fixing that now. πŸ™‚

Ta da! The Bears in the Hills are finished! Here they are. . .

Aren’t they cute?

I’m so happy with this project! I loved every bit of the stitching (so many lovely stitching hours on the sofa!) and now it’s framed and hanging in my studio where I see it every day.

Want to make your own? Sign up for the Bears in the Hills class here.

Happy stitching!


Bears in the Hills

The Bears in the Hills are here!

I’ve been working on this for a while now and it’s finally to a place where you all can join in!

Sign up for the workshop here.

It’s the same price as a pattern, but it’s set up as a video workshop on Teachable, where I host all my free introductory workshops.

There’s a video lesson for each embroidery fill design, showing you exactly how I do all the designs without marking anything.

Sign up for the workshop here.

I can’t wait to see all your bears!

Happy stitching!


Mandalas to Embroider – book review

Mandalas to Embroider by Carina Envoldsen-Harris is a beautiful collection of easy-to-embroider mandala patterns.

I love stitching mandalas so much! (You can find instructions for stitching freestyle mandalas here. And here’s a mandala sun I made using this round graph paper.)

The book is great for beginners, with a short spread about materials and a few pages showing how to do some basic embroidery stitches – all you need for these pretty designs.

There are patterns for 12 large mandalas and 12 small mandalas – and they’re all iron-on transfers.

And – I love this thoughtful detail – the book has a pocket in the back cover to hold those transfer pages after you cut them out.

I love it when the publisher of a book really thinks about how it will be used.

I was going to stitch one of the tiny designs and maybe wear it as a necklace. I love this group – all named after artists. πŸ™‚

But in the end, the paisleys sucked me in. πŸ™‚ I decided on Paisley Constellation.

There’s a two-page spread for each design, showing the pattern, a color chart, stitch guide and the finished design all in one place. I love that!

Here’s a closer look at the information page.

See how clearly everything is laid out?

Of course, I ignored it completely. πŸ™‚

As soon as I got my design transferred (just a super easy iron-on) and hooped in the purple hoop I decided on a bunch of cool colors for a watery-ish look.

I always start stitching the biggest outlines first.

After I was almost done I decided that it need a little pop of warm color, so I made the flowers dark pink, and decided on a light pink for all the little stars.

Here’s my finished hoop!

I’m so happy with how it turned out!

The one thing the book doesn’t have is instructions for finishing your hoop art. But I’ve got you covered. πŸ™‚

There’s a video here showing how to frame art in a hoop – without using any glue.

And there’s a post here showing how to cover up your messy back when you frame it in a hoop. This is especially nice for a project like Christmas tree ornaments, where the back can actually be seen. And all the small designs in the book would make FABULOUS Christmas tree ornaments.

My mandala was so much fun to stitch – I’d love to do another in a completely different colorway. You can transfer each design about 10 times before the ink runs out. That’s a lot of stitching fun!

Get Mandalas to Embroider here. And have fun with it!

Happy stitching!


This post contains affiliate links. That means I make a little commission if you buy something after clicking through.

Free Beaver Pencil Case Pattern

I’m participating in the Back to School Sewing Series with Sulky. You can make this fun pencil case!

That beaver can’t wait to chomp on all those colored pencils. πŸ™‚

See a little sneak peek of that beaver design here – including a look at all the beaver designs I didn’t use. πŸ™‚


Step 1

Download the embroidery pattern here.

Step 2

Print or trace the pattern out onto a sheet of Sulky Sticky Fabri-solvy at 100% size. The rectangle should be 4 x 9 inches.

Step 3

Peel off the paper backing and stick the pattern onto the fabric. Make sure you position it so that the whole image will fit in the hoop, with fabric all the way around.

Step 4

Choose your threads!

So many pretty colors. πŸ™‚

Step 5

Embroider the design using two strands of Sulky 12 wt. thread. Stitch right through the stabilizer and the fabric.

I used backstitch for all the lines. Learn how to backstitch here.

I used satin stitch for the pencil leads. This video shows how I satin stitch pointy shapes.

Look closer!

I decided partway through stitching that I wanted a little more color on the barrels of the pencils – so I added some stripes running down them.

Your pattern has the added stripes. πŸ™‚

That nose!

I wanted the nose to be solid, but instead of satin stitching I decided to applique it with a tiny scrap of black felt for a velvety soft texture.

At this point I just left it unstitched.

Step 6

Trim the fabric down to 1/2 inch outside the rectangle.

Make sure you do that now – once you soak away the stabilizer that handy line will disappear. πŸ™‚

Step 7

Soak the piece in cold water for an hour or longer. I often leave mine to soak overnight with no problem. Rinse it in clean water, gently squeeze out the extra water, and iron it dry face down on a fluffy towel. This video shows how I iron my embroidery dry without smooshing the stitches.

Step 8

Whipstitch the nose in place using matching thread.

For a small piece like this I like to use a glue stick to hold the piece in place while I stitch it down.

Step 9

Stitching done!

The front piece for your pencil case is all fancied up. Now it’s time to sew it up into a pouch.

Cut a back piece from the main fabric 10 x 5 inches.

Cut two lining pieces, also 10 x 5 inches.

Step 10

Follow the instructions in this post to sew up your fancy lined zipper pouch. πŸ™‚


Now – go check out the rest of the series! It’s a fun group of free projects!

Happy stitching!


Under the Sea Embroidery Pattern

The Under the Sea embroidery pattern is finished!

These are all sea creatures that my husband drew while he was on various planes last year, traveling to schools to talk to kids about his books.

Aren’t they fun? I enjoyed stitching them so much!

They’d be great stitched onto some tea towels, or a tote bag, or a swimsuit cover-up, or a T-shirt. Add a little ocean critter to anything you like!

These are super easy to embroider. I used backstitch for almost all the stitching on my sample – the easiest stitch there is. πŸ™‚

Get more details (and the pattern) here.

Happy stitching!



Happy Birthday Embroidery Pattern!

Happy Birthday embroidery pattern from Shiny Happy World

There’s a new embroidery pattern in the shop!

Stitch up some birthday motifs on anything you like! Embroider little partygoers on handmade goody bags. Stitch a towering birthday cake onto a tea towel. Add a bunch of balloons and a birthday greeting to a T-shirt.

Have a party!

You can get the new pattern here.

Happy stitching!


Keep Going.

Keep going. A stitched reminder from Shiny Happy World.

When you’re tackling a big project (learning a new skill, moving into a new house, trying to change years-old habits) there are bound to be setbacks.

The important thing is to keep going.

No internet in your new house? Figure out how to use your phone as a hot spot and keep going.

Did you skip your new morning run because it was freezing and crazy windy? Just pick it up again the next day and keep going.

Are you making your first quilt and your seams in a few intersections don’t quite match up? Shrug it off (nobody will notice anyway after it’s washed and crinkly) and keep going.

Julia Child is one of my heroes. I watched her on TV when I was a kid and I don’t remember many specifics, just her personality. Except one thing.

She was showing how to make some kind of sauce – I don’t remember what – and she was warning watchers that the sauce could break. She told you what to watch out for in the hope that you could prevent it – but then she said something to the effect that if it breaks, it breaks. It will look terrible but it will still taste fine, so serve it by candlelight and enjoy.

In other words – keep going.


Happy stitching!

(Oh – and for those who want to know what that fancy-schmancy stitch is – it’s backstitched chain stitch. It looks hard, but it’s actually really easy. There’s a video showing how to do it here.)