April 16, 2010

Follow the White Bunny Embroidery Tutorial Four

This is Nicole's final installment in the Embroidery Tutorial. Many, many thanks to her for the series!

Hoop up and learn a stitch or two!

With only a few basic stitches you will be able to embroider lots of patterns. Once you’ve mastered these you can pick up new ones along the way or with each new project you start. But first you will need to put your fabric in the hoop.

Hoop up!
Your hoop usually will consist of two rings (or maybe even squares): an outer ring and an inner ring. The one with the things on to fiddle with is your outer ring. You need to put your fabric on the inner ring and lay it as smoothly as you can. Place your outer ring over the inner ring and adjust it until your fabric is nice and taut but not too tightly spanned. Also take care that your fabric isn’t distorted.

Threading your needle
Now your fabric is in the hoop, take your floss and cut about 10-15 inches off your thread with those cute scissors. The 6 stranded floss consists of six strands (really!).  You can use all six strands or divide the thread. The less strands you use the more delicate your embroidery will appear. Floss has a smooth and a rough side, when you run it between your index finger and your thumb you will probably feel the difference but sometimes it’s kind of hard to tell. Ideally thread your needle with the smooth way downwards. On the end of your thread you make a little knot. Knotless starts are also possible but we shall not worry about those yet.

There are many, many stitches you can use in hand embroidery so I will just mention a few basic stitches here. One of the easier and very useful stitches to learn is the back stitch.

{Back stitch, photo courtesy of Nicole Vos van Avezathe}

Another great stitch to learn is the split stitch. Also check out the chain stitch, stem stitch, French knot, satin stitch and the lazy daisy stitch.  I wish I could show them to you in person but sadly that’s not possible. Luckily there are many helpful resources to be found both online and in embroidery books. I will share a couple of my favorites here.

On Needle N' Thread you will find excellent video tutorials which can help you to master many great stitches. I learned the French knot (feared by many embroiderers) with the video tutorial from that site!

Currently Amy from the Early Bird Special blog is starting a virtual Embroidery Class (free!). Amy is a very talented stitcher and one of her upcoming posts will cover some of the basic embroidery stitches.

Sharon B.’s Dictionary for Hand Embroidery and Needlework is a great resource if you want to learn new stitches (besides the ones I already mentioned).

Some of my favorite, older books for learning stitches are:
A-Z of Embroidery Stitches, by Sue Gardner
The Stitches of Creative Embroidery, by Jacqueline Enthoven
And recently Yvette Stanton released The Left-handed Embroiderer’s Companion, which will be very helpful if you are a left handed stitcher (like me!).

If you are looking for a book that covers the basics but has some cute projects too you might want to check out Jenny Hart’s Embroidered Effects, or Aimee Ray’s Doodle Stitching.

Now that we're all set to start stitching, be sure to check out Nicole's gorgeous patterns. You'll be able to make something truly lovely with any one of them!

Happy stitching!

1 comment:

embroidery said...

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