Embroider like a Grandma

 

Yay! It's here! The embroidery tutorial has arrived before the winter is over! Phew! I made it! Now you can get cozy and start a brand new beautiful project!

I usually take out my embroidery hoop - which is always ready for when I need it - and embroider for hours on end without realizing I had other stuff to do. haha

Maybe for you it will be a new medium you are looking forward to learning, and I assure you, you are going to fall in love with it! There are truly tons of different ways in which you can apply your embroidery - as a decorative wall piece, a brand new look for your jacket, a special handmade linen canvas bag... anything you choose to do will undoubtedly be awesome!

So let's get started!

 

 

What you will need:

Embroidery needles - they are those sharp ones with a long eye, so it's much easier for threading. 

 

 

Embroidery thread - I will give you two options here:

Stranded cotton - also called embroidery floss

 

 

It comes in skeins and they are divisible into 6 separate fine threads. For this embroidery, I used 4 out of the 6 thin threads. You can use all 6 if you want a bulkier look, and I'm sure it will look amazing! 

Or Perle cotton thread

 

 

It is a non-separable thread and it's a little thicker than the embroidery floss. They usually come in balls and they give an amazing texture too.

I love the brand Anchor for both these types of thread (not sponsored, by the way) because the color doesn't fade and it doesn't bleed! I've been buying them for ages and I really trust them!

 

Small scissors

 

Embroidery Hoops - they are optional. I think they are a great tool, because they help with the weight of the fabric and to keep it steady and straight at all times. Your hands and your wrist don't have to hold the fabric so strongly, and for me, that's a huge bonus - I have a loooot of pain in my left wrist, unrelated to embroidery, it's a yoga injury. But sometimes it does get in the way when you are finishing off a thread near the edge. I very often remove it and feel lazy to put it back on, especially with this piece, because there are lots of smalls details. You'll see I gave up on it in the end. haha So it's up to you! 

 

Fabric - I used the Let's Embroider (Hello, Sunshine!) print from my latest fabric collection, which was specially made to be embroidered, and you can purchase it here. This is what it will look like if you get the $5 Test Swatch, which is an 8 inch / 20 cm square:

 

 

 As I said, I chose to use 4 of the 6 fine threads that come in the stranded cotton.

 

 

I first cut 1 meter of it, which, in my case, is enough for one petal or leaf, hold 4 of the skeins with one hand and, with my other hand, I hold the other two and pull them all the way down.

 

 

This can be a bit tricky! Don't try and separate them by distancing your hands apart horizontally, because it's going to get tangled up. You have to pull it downward! If you can't do it the first time, no biggy! You can use all 6 individual threads until you get the hang of it! 

Now, you will learn how to make the perfect back side, which means there will be no knots! The front and the back are supposed to look exactly the same!

Thread your long-eyed needle and grab your fabric. Start from the front:

 

 

Leave about 2 inches / 5 cm of thread tail once you've pulled the rest through, so you can make it secure later.

 

 

Go back to the same first hole and make sure you are holding those 5 cm of thread that you left in the beginning. 

 

 

Now, the closer you go to that first stitch and the more accurate you are while following the line, the prettier your embroidery will look. 

 

 

 

 

The only tip I have is to make sure you are leaving the remaining 5 cm of thread hidden inside the new stitches you are making.

 

  

And it will look like this. 

 

 

Once you are almost done, cut the excess thread from under the stitches. Now you can finish and take your needle to the back.

 

 

In the back part, tuck your needle under all those stitches. 

 

 

 

 

Cut the excess thread.

 

 

And that part is ready! Soooooo easy! You can do all the other leaves and petals like that, and you can choose the direction you want to take the stitch in each element. I like to vary the direction, because it gives it different textures and it does look more interesting.

 

 

The stems and the "pineapple" are a little different, but super easy and fast to do too!

Start from the back now (image below), leaving about 4 inches / 10 cm of thread. Hold that back and don't let it through the hole - we'll deal with that after we are finished.

 

 

Start with the needle on the edge of the line...

 

 

Cross it to the other edge, making about a 1/4 inch / 0.6 cm stitch.

 

 

Okay! This is definitely, definitely not exact! Don't worry too much about them being the same size, or even any specific size whatsoever! Just go with the flow, follow your heart and I'm sure it will be beautiful! Haha not vague at all! 

The second stitch will go back up half-way to the stitch above it.

 

 

 

 

In 2 minutes you'll have this.

 

 

Last stitch...

 

 

Take your needle to the back of your embroidery.

 

 

And go under the stem stitches one by one until you get to the 6th or 7th, so it's secure.

 

 

Now remember those 10 cm you left in the beginning, starting from the soft pink little flower? Thread your needle with that, and do the same thing you just did above.

 

 

Cut the ends and done!

 

 

There you go! You can embroider like a grandma now! Just need a tiny bit of practice and you will be making awesome things before you know it!

 

 

 

 

Onto the wall it goes!

 

 

Please, e-mail me at hello@dreamingwithisa.com if you have any questions or suggestions, I'll be happy to help! 

Also, I would love love love to see what you're doing: #dreamingwithisa to share your creations!