While quarantine is still underway, I wanted to try my hand at embroidery. I assumed that knowing how to sew would give me a bit of an advantage, but I must admit I was more than just a tad bit mistaken. While the stitches that I used to complete my project were not very advanced ones, I certainly have a newfound appreciation for those that embroider regularly, create large pictures, or those that use more difficult stitches.
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First things first, I researched a few different stitches and after scouring the internet to learn the basic stitches (which are, in fact, similar to sewing machine stitches) like a running stitch, a backstitch, and a chain stitch I quickly found that some stitches are far more advanced, like french knots and lazy daisy stitches.
Once I got familiar with the basic stitches, I began to research which design I would attempt. I created my image online, selected my supplies, and printed out my design. I then used an air erasable pen to trace my design onto my muslin and got to stitching.
I began by stitching the planter pot where I used all 6 strands of my embroidery floss by creating a horizontal satin stitch for the larger portion, which fills large areas and a vertical satin stitch for the smaller accent portion of the planter pot. These areas went by quickly but it was in the next portion where my patience was tested.
Once the planter pot was complete, I moved to the leaves of my plant, which took a lot more time and patience. I used 4 strands of embroidery floss in 3 colors of green (alternating colors) and created fly stitches for my leaves, which I stacked very closely on top of one another until I got to the edge where the leaf got very thin.
I experimented with which stitches I would use for the leaves, so I used another scrap of fabric and stitched right over my paper stencil for a few test stitches.
Once my leaves were too thin to use the fly stitch, I used a basic running stitch to fill in the rest of the space. These leaves were a lengthy portion of my project. Once I got the hang of them, I was able to zip through them a lot more efficiently.
Lastly, I created a macrame inspired hanger for my pot. I used 6 strands of embroidery floss and created a pattern by placing my needle where I wanted to create the stitches. I placed my stitches where I saw fit, and at last, I was finally done. I re-positioned my design on my hoop and cut off my excess fabric edges, but you can tuck them away by taping if you would like.
Techniques & Pointers
- I used a wooden hoop for this project, but i found that plastic hoops hold my projects in place with minimal slippage.
- This process took a lot of time and patience, so I got comfy in front of my favorite shows and embroidered for a few hours at a time.
- Don’t be afraid to play with your floss size, this creates a thinner or thicker stitch, which brings a lot of versatility to the table.
- I recommend watching videos to learn about placing your fabric onto your hoop and how to make basic stitches to get started.
I found that embroidery yields beautiful results as long as you have a lot of patience and are willing to undergo some trial and error to get satisfactory results. My project came out pretty well, and I’m excited to add this piece to my home decor. After completing my piece, I can see why embroidery is relaxing for some, and it’s a great craft that is relatively inexpensive and will certainly keep your fingers nimble and your mind sharp.
What are some tips and tricks that you use while embroidery?