Hand embroidered circus initials K & A for shoe bags


Circus initials K & A for children’s shoe bags (hand embroidered by Mary Addison)

I’ve often wanted to embroider circus initials and thought they’d make fun cushions for children. Emily Peacock designs very jolly needlepoint kits using such initials but the design has lots of plain canvas to wield a needle through before you get to the fun of the decorative letter. So, for me, embroidered appliqué is the answer. And here are a couple I did for two more children’s shoe bags for Christmas presents. The felt letters are appliquéed to cotton ticking and pure linen, using cotton embroidery floss, all of which should make the finished bag strong enough to stand up to gym shoes and kit and subsequent washes when needed.  Great fun to do and – I hope- fun to receive. (Took these to London having only photographed the embroidered letters, but a shoe bag is a shoe bag is a shoe bag, so I’m sure you can imagine the finished look – though, now I think about it, the initials would make very nice presents on their own in a frame.)

Circus initial K (hand embroidered by Mary Addison)

Circus initial A (hand embroidered by Mary Addison)


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  1. Posted January 12, 2018 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    “Jolly” is the right word – cheering and cheerful. And as you say, the applique is sturdy but avoids the acres of plain tent stitch!

    • Mary Addison
      Posted January 15, 2018 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      A simple fun project that you can finish quite quickly is so refreshing from time to time.

  2. Sharon
    Posted January 13, 2018 at 1:25 am | Permalink

    I like the way the foot of the leg of your letter K actually looks like a shoe.

    • Mary Addison
      Posted January 15, 2018 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      I know what you mean – they almost seem characters in their own right!

  3. Amara Bray
    Posted January 13, 2018 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    These are beautiful. Almost too beautiful for a shoe bag.

    • Mary Addison
      Posted January 15, 2018 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      Thank you, Amara.
      I used to think embroidery was too good for everyday use (and I still have a problem with hand embroidered cushions actually being sat upon) but I’ve noticed hand embroidery turns out to be much tougher than I expected (think of all those antique tablecloths).

  4. Robina
    Posted January 14, 2018 at 5:19 am | Permalink

    You’ve captured the circus spirit beautifully with the colourful embroidery on those circus initials. Wonderful and inspiring.

    • Mary Addison
      Posted January 15, 2018 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

      How nice of you to say so, Robina! Many thanks.

  5. Posted January 19, 2018 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    These are super sweet. I love everything to do with the circus, especially the old-fashioned ones.

    • Mary Addison
      Posted January 19, 2018 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

      Thanks, Amalia. They were fun to do and – I hope – fun to receive.

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