Embroidery: Taking Your First Steps

Embroidery: Taking Your First Steps
Embroidery is a chance for a bit of creative quality time with the one that matters most – yourself. 
Start by finding a well-lit working area. Natural light is always best, but electrical lighting will do just as well.

I never tried embroidery but I’d like to give it a try. Could I?
My embroidery kits follow a printed stencil and are therefore easy to embroider. The stitches follow the drawn-out lines in simple, easy-to-learn techniques. Remember – the process is no less important than the end result. The more you stitch, the more skilled and precise you’ll get.

How do I choose my first kit?
The more complex the print, the more skill (and patience!) you’ll need to complete the kit.
I suggest you start with the medium sized kits (8.5x8.5"): Spring Flowers, Happy Little Fairy,
and also large sized kits (12x12"): Winter Girl Hugs Her CatBlue Deer, Bambi Girl.
These kits can suit craft lovers as young as 9 or 10 years old.

Should I use the entire thread?
No. The kits come with DMC mouliné threads which are comprised of 6 strands. In order to maintain a precise and gentle work, I recommend splitting the thread and using two strands at a time.

Do I have to use a hoop?
The hoop is a tool; it can help with certain techniques, but some stitches are more easily done without it. It’s a matter of personal taste, trial and error.

How do I know which stitch/technique to use?
Each kit comes with a booklet. On the back you will find the stitches used in that specific kit. Inside the booklet is a key marking each technique: a little loop drawing symbolizes a Lazy Daisy stitch, outlines are usually marked as back stitch, etc.

Why do the prints in some kits extend beyond the perimeter of the hoop?
Some prints interact with the square format of the fabric rather than that of the hoop. Your finished piece can be framed in a square frame, or be made into a bag or pillow. You can choose to embroider only the portion that fits inside the hoop, and forgo the rest of the print.

How can I incorporate fabric into my embroidery?
An addition of fabric makes your piece more elaborate, makes it stand out. Use tracing paper (or baking paper) to trace the outline of the section you want to “dress up” in fabric – a skirt, hair bonnet, etc. Cut out the sample and place on the desired fabric, and cut accordingly. You can sew the fabric onto your embroidery piece, or use fabric glue.

How can I hide the access fabric extending beyond the hoop?
You can always use the square format of the print and frame your finished piece in a square frame, make it into a pillow, or any other crafty idea you might come up with. If you do want to hang it in a hoop, be sure to stretch the fabric tightly. You may add some fabric glue (such as Gutterman) to the interior part of the external hoop, then sew together theedges of the fabric so that they won’t show. Only then can you choose to cut away the access fabric. Remember: you cannot re-stretch your fabric after cutting.

Got any more questions? I’m always happy to help.
Share your finished pieces with me via email or on facebook —I’d love to see them, and I’m always happy to help out with tips and tricks.

Happy stitching!

November 14, 2016 by Tamar Nahir
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