I feel like my sewing has slowed down, but my creating definitely hasn’t! I recently became a fan of hand embroidery and find it’s my solace after a long day of work or when I want my hands to be busy but my body wants to be lazy.
I like being able to make things for others and that’s where embroidery wins over sewing. You don’t have to worry about fitting issues or if they’ll like the style. With embroidery, you can make anything relevant to the recipient!
My good friend Taryn got married recently and we’ve always been “art buddies.” She’s incredibly talented and we usually gift each other some of our artwork. I thought a handmade embroidery to commemorate her special day would be perfect!
I wasn’t sure of the colors for the wedding at the time I started this, but I did know it was all about shabby chic! I wanted to keep a minimal color palette but still have something that pops, so I chose complimentary colors – blue and orange.
I’ve honed in on my rosette-making skills and tried out some new-to-me lettering. I love how this all came together!
I used techniques from “Stitch Encyclopedia: Embroidery: An Illustrated Guide to the Essential Embroidery Stitches” to learn how to make the rosettes, but here is a good tutorial online. You basically stitch a 5-spoke “star” shape, then thread the needle close to the center of the spoke. You then weave your thread under every other spoke in a circle until your rosette fills up the space, then you knot off your floss in the back and you’re done!
To fill in the spaces between the rosettes, I stitched lazy daisies, French knots, and small leaves. All of these techniques can be found in the Stitch Encyclopedia book, or there’s plenty of YouTube tutorials out there for those, too!
For the lettering, I used a DMC embroidery transfer pen to sketch freehand which has blue ink that disappears when you put cold water on it. Magical! I looked up different lettering styles online and came up with this mish-mash modern calligraphy. I really had no rhyme or reason to filling in the lettering as I just used simple back-stitches throughout until I filled it up how I wanted it to look. I also took my floss apart to use only 2 or 3 strings so the lettering wouldn’t be too bulky. I used some sashiko thread I had on hand for the lettering. I am still a newbie embroiderer, so I am trying to figure out the best way to go about things. In hindsight, I think it would have been better to stitch the outlines of the letters first, then fill in the rest with floss afterward. Oh, well, I think it still came out OK!
I used an 8-inch hoop with linen fabric as the base. The embroidery thread has a matte finish to make it… uhh… shabby-chic-ier? I used Mira HandCrafts 100% cotton embroidery floss (purchased here) for everything but the lettering. I love how I got almost every color in existence with 105 skeins but I do find DMC quality threads to be better since they’re a bit sleeker. The Mira flosses are six-string flosses that are 8.75 yards long each, so I am set for a good while with embroidery floss!
To finish the hoop, I trimmed the linen down to about an inch and hot glued it to the hoop. There are other techniques that are fancier, like stitching a felt backing, but I took the easy route. Honestly, no one will even look at the back when it’s displayed!
At first, I wasn’t going to do so many flowers but I got carried away and WOOPS, here we are… they really are addictive!
I also made a dress for myself for the wedding, so stay tuned for that! It’s something very different but very fun!
‘Til next time!