Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Do Embroidery.

Embroidery is a simple pleasure.  So simple, it was the first crafty thing I learned how to do when I was seven or eight.  So simple, it is the first craft that I have handed down to My Oldest....and in a year or so we will hand it down to My Youngest.  My weens get familiar with needles and scissors early on...makes for interesting walking and sitting wherever they've sewn...hehehe...I think.  The second thing they learn after learning how to stitch...is how to stick your needle into the fabric securely.  Unless you want some unexpected piercings...this is a very important step.

But, for all it's simplicity, it has almost instant gratification...which is something I really appreciate in a craft.  As soon as you pull that thread through the fabric...you are working on the finished product. I love it!  With quilting you have to cut all the fabric and sew the pieces together.  With sewing clothes you have to fiddle with the pattern.  But embroidery...pure action.

When I get the need to create, oftentimes I pick up pencil and paper and start drawing.  It doesn't have to be a masterpiece...sometimes I sew it, sometimes I don't.  But it's a fun process.

I got inspired for this little wall hanging by a pillow my Mother has.  I am a great pretender.  If I see something cute...I want to make it for my own....with my own spin on it.  So, I took the simplistic flowers, the detail on the leaves, the bright colors...and made something all my own with it.

The embellishments are one of my favorite parts of this kind of embroidery.  Figuring out what you can do with the empty bits.  Figuring out how to mix light and dark and straight and curvy.  I would use 2 to 3 strands of embroidery floss for this...probably 3 as it's very simplistic.  Go with what feels right.  Too thick and you can't see the fine details.  Too thin...and you can't see the fine details either.  Experiment until it feels right.

And then...there's the French Knots.  I am not going to tell you how to make french knots here.  Let's just say there are plenty of tutorials out there for them...but they are fun!  In fact, there's an entire website devoted to just...loving french knots.

Process is simple...just draw.  If you're brave, you can draw right on the fabric.  If you're feeling hesitant, draw on paper first and then trace your image onto your fabric.  I typically use white Kona Cotton for my embroidery. It's simple and sturdy.

And...because I am a quilter first...I had to do this with my embroidery.  Give it a border, some minimal quilting inside and binding.  It's what I do.

Trust me, I am no artist, but I find this fun to do. So, I'm okay with my lackings.  Here's my garden this summer...and Ginger the Pup.

And this is what My Oldest is currently working...she wanted a tiger....

That is a tiger. I'm sure of it. I drew it.

I don't encourage perfection when she's sewing...but I do try to give her some basics so she's learning as she's having fun... like trying to follow the lines and attempting to get her satin stitch...somewhat close together. But, I keep the pressure to a minimum. Right now, I just want my daughter to come to love sewing.

So, if you're feeling creative, grab some fabric and some embroidery thread and start stitching. You might find that you like it.

Thanks for reading!



  1. I love this post, Heather. So sweet. I love that you are passing this down to your little ones. I might have to pick up a needle and thread and give it a go...

    1. Thanks Mary. You definitely need to try it.

  2. I love your flowers Heather. Maybe if you had been my teacher as a child, I would love sewing more. I did try needlepoint and enjoyed that for a while as a young adult.

    1. Thanks Danni, I hope I am teaching my girls in a positive way that will encourage them to keep doing it into adulthood.

  3. I cannot embroider to save my life Heather - however I can do a mean cross stitch, which reminds me of a little cross stitch I've been slowly working on for years, I should get it out again xxx

  4. Heather, what gorgeous details. I can see why Mel decided to knock off his project and how awesome that you have started your girls on learning the craft of embroidery!! ~ Amy


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