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In and out of style for centuries, crewel is back in favor with our favorite designers—and we couldn’t be more thrilled. The sophisticated embroidered embellishment of crewel can be seen in traditional and contemporary patterns on everything from pillows to drapery and even wall coverings.With the introduction of our fabulous new Belle Vigne Collection, we wanted to get the skinny on the centuries-old art form.

In a nutshell, crewelwork is wool embroidery that is typically stitched on a coarse cotton or linen fabric. This decorative formpersonalized baby gifts, known as free embroidery, employs a variety of stitches to produce a richly textured design. And unlike silk or cotton embroidery threads, crewel wool is thicker so it creates that raised, dimensional look and feel we love so much.

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Crewel became very popular during the time of Elizabeth I. Utilitarian crewel wall hangings and bed spreads brought welcome warmth to drafty stone castles and wood structures. But it wasn’t until the reign of James I in the first quarter of the 17th century that much of the traditional decorative designs we know today—stylized floral and animal motifs featuring flowing vines and leaves—were created and refined. Known as Jacobean embroidery, the first designs are believed to have been painted or printed by the East India Company and sent to England.

Today, popular motifs are often screen printed onto fabric, and an embroidery machine follows the outline of the design. Our collection, however, is crafted by hand in the age-old tradition of skilled craftsmen in the valley of Kashmir. In India, crewel embroidery is a timeless art, and masterful crewel workers are known for their uniform and consistent stitching using fine thread knots. As a result, the serene Jacobean floral motif of our Belle Vigne Collection boasts an exceptionally textured depth that simply can’t be achieved by machine.Whether you add fresh romance with floral embroidered bedding or gain graphic color from a decorative pillow, crewel has a knack for making centuries-old style like new again. You could say we’re crazy for crewel!

Shop our Belle Vigne Collection.

August is here, and the new school year is about to begin. And back to school time means new backpack time! Here are some of our all-time favorite free backpack tutorials and patterns to get you inspired for back to school!

Go karts are fast, fun and can be controlled by little hands and feet. The best go karts are one step closer to the “real deal,” and one of the most thrilling kid toys out there. The design makes it an excellent car for racing. If your kiddo wants one, have no doubt, that is what they have in mind. If you are not as excited about getting a go kart as your kid, you can thank Art Ingels, who made the first go kart in 1956. If you do not know much about go karts, then relax, we’ve got you covered and will help you sift through what you need to know.

Do you want your daughter to make a face like this?Or like that?Or maybe this?Then make her one of these magical tutu dresses of magic.And watch her flit about the yard in fairy princess heaven. Find out how to make a magical tutu dress after the jump!

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