Not long until July! Part Two

To complete my Embroidery blog I will describe some of the stitches I have used in my embroidery work and explain why I picked them..

There are numerous embroidery stitches that are ideal to use on light fabric. It all depends on what you are trying to create. So I think that the best option is to focus on four basic stitches so that you can try them, once practised you can move onto something more elaborate.

Running stitch, back stitch, cross stitch and satin stitch.

The Running Stitch is a simple stitch very much like a tacking stitch which I use to reduce fraying around the edge of the fabric. However the running stitch has smaller stitches.
 

Back Stitch on a white pillow case.

A stronger stitch than the running stitch but similar. Used for creating a solid line. One thread or two of embroidery silk are used depending on the thickness of the line you are embroidering. Start as for a running stitch but make the sequential stitches by passing the needle back into the end of the previous stitch.
 

Cross Stitch.

This stitch can be used to completely fill an area. Bare in mind that small cross stitch like the above takes time. This particular picture took me about two months to create, working two or three hours a day.

The stitch is excellent for canvas material where the weave can easily be counted and worked over an even number of threads for each stitch. When making cross stitch to fill the design, work the first slanting stitch for the full length, then work back completing the crosses.
 

Satin Stitch on leaves on a cushion.

Again can be used to fill an area. It is worked from left to right, therefore allowing a more flat surface than the cross stitch. Lines of running stitch could be worked inside the outline first to give a raised effect.
 

Have fun and be creative.
 
 

Not long until July! Part One.

“Oh my goodness, summer is on the way, my exhibition in Daglan will soon be here.” At the moment I am not too nervous, just very excited. There are a few more pictures and cushions to be completed and I shall be ready for my exhibition.

Over the last few months several people have asked me various questions about my embroidery, “what is my plan”, “were do I start”, “when I am thinking of my next piece of embroidery work”. So here are a few suggestions which I hope will help anyone who is thinking about starting embroidering work.
 

Preparation

It might be best to try out a few small pieces of embroidery first, this you can do by looking at the various kits available in haberdashers and online which contain everything needed. Then if you get “the embroidery bug” you can move onto something more difficult.

1/ Planning. First, you will need, paper, pencil, fabric, embroidery silks, needle, wooden frame.

2/ Think about what the completed work is going to be e.g. a cushion, pillow case, a picture, embroidery to embellish a dress or shirt, or if you want to think big a tapestry. Not as large as the Bayeux tapestry… yet, although our son has suggested I embroider a tapestry of our family which would cover a wall of a large room!

3/ Consider fabrics. cotton, linen or canvas and what colour, it all depends on what you are going to make. I prefer plain white cotton for pictures and pillow cases and neutral coloured linen for cushions.

4/ I then sketch an outline of what I want my embroidery to look like onto paper so I can make alternations to the design at this stage. Think about the size of the picture and what colours of embroidery silks you will use. Remember that for a large area more than one silk is needed. All silks have a number on a paper ring around them so that if need more you can go back to the shop and buy the exact colour.

5/ When ready, measure your fabric two or three centimetres larger than a frame. Cut out the fabric. My preference is for a double layer of fabric which holds the stitches better without puckering.

6/ When pieces of linen or cotton are to be used they will be handled quite a lot so place a running stitch around the edge of the cut out fabric to stop it from frying so much.

7/ A good tip is to stretch the fabric. This is completed by placing the fabric into the frame as taut as possible, lightly spray the fabric with cold water and leave to dry.

8/ Sketch your design onto the fabric.

This is “Our French Dream”. Relaxing in a sunny garden with the produce of the Perigord on the table, wine, truffles and walnuts.
 

Begin you embroidery.
 

I added more flowers and one of our cats to the picture.
 

This is a butterfly that has just settled onto a flower.
 

The completed work is to be used in our poster for the exhibition.
 

9/ Use your imagination or research when creating a period piece. Or sketch a landscape or a château it is up to you, in order to create something unique.

10/ Most importantly, have Fun
 
 

Part Two will be our next blog-What stitches to use.