Monday, February 22, 2010

Embroidery Tutorial

I've been asked questions via e-mail regarding my embroidery. I'm definitely not an expert but I thought I'd share what works for ME.

The following pictures will explain a little better: (the explanations are under each picture)

1. I prefer to use a spring hoop because I find that my fabric is nice and taut and doesn't get loose. I lay the traced design on the outer ring of the hoop and insert the spring. And, I like to put the handles at the top in the 12 o'clock position

There is no right or wrong way to use this hoop it just happens to be what works for me and I've done it this way for over 20 years. :-)

You may also notice that I trace with a mechanical pencil - again a personal preference.

2. I like to do my embroidery with two strands of embroidery floss but I don't like to have knots on the back of my work. So, I strip one strand of floss - twice the length I think I will need - fold it in half - thread the two ends through the eye of the needle leaving the loop on the end of the length.

Bear in mind that purists will poo-poo this method because floss and/or thread does have a nap and now you've got opposing strands. I'm not a purist so it's all good. :-)

3. To take my first stitch I bring up my needle from the back of my traced design.

4. To complete the stitch I go down and then put my needle through the loop in the floss.

4a. Another view of my needle going through the loop of floss.

5. The back of my work with the first stitch being locked into place. I don't like to use anything on the back of my embroidery work (i.e. fusible, batting or muslin) . This is just a personal preference.
6. The loop method will not work with variegated threads unless you want a blended or tweedy look.

I strip two strands of embroidery floss, thread my needle, take my needle down from the top of my work, away from the traced design, keeping a length of the threads on the top (long enough to thread my needle later and weave the threads through stitches on the back) You can also make a knot at the end of the two strands and do the same thing thereby parking your threads off to the side.

6a. A view of my thumb holding the two strands of floss while I take my first couple of stitches.


I hope this tutorial is clear and answers some of the questions you may have about what works for Me. Please pardon the condition of my hands - I live in Arizona (it's a dry heat but it's also a dry cold)


As always, thank you for stopping by to visit - please come again very soon.


In Friendship!

24 comments:

Loris said...

I like your idea that you use to avoid knots on the back. Also think that design you are working on in the tutorial looks like fun :-)
I've been thinking about your embroidered snowmen lately...might have to get going on those too.
Thanks for your tips.

Country Log Cabin Quilter said...

I love to embroider also and don't use any backing (I never heard of doing that until I started reading some Australian blogs). I like your idea of doubling over the thread. I think I'll try that next time I start something (which I am thinking about doing soon). Thanks!

Karen said...

You use a bigger hoop than I do. I do use the same type as you do, though. I enjoyed reading your tutorial. We do things differently. I have to say you do some nice embroidery work!

Caths Pennies Designs said...

Thank you, thank you!! I've always been bothered by the knots and threads at the back of my embroidery work. I'm doing it your way from now on. :)
Cathy

Cindy said...

All I can say is that I admire the talent that you have. And I love when people such as yourself share your love of the craft.

Blessings...

Dresden Quilter said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you! Just one other question. How long do you make your stitches?

Lurline said...

Thanks, Darlene - I must try a hoop for embroidery one day! I do rememeber that method to avoid having a knot at the back of one's work - the things we forget!
Hugs - Lurline♥

paulette said...

Thanks for the tutorial!! Enjoyed it!
Paulette

The Quilt Buddy said...

Your embroidery is always gorgeous!

Thanks for sharingyour tips with us!

Just Ramblin' said...

Thank your for sharing. I, too, dislike knots and never know what to do and I never use a backing. I am anxious to try your method of doubling the thread. I am also going to look around for a hoop like yours. Mine are so old, but they get the job done. Seems like I am always pulling on my fabric though. Thanks for the tutorial. Nola

Allie said...

Good tute, Darlene! I do have a question though. I don't like to use anything on the back either - but how do you do your letters? I hate to knot and tie off for every single letter, but if I skip over to the next one the thread shows through. If I'm doing something with a LOT of lettering, I usually add fusible fleece to the back - but it's hard to stitch through. I'm curious as to how others handle this.

Carrie P. said...

I need to find one of the those hoops. Thanks for the tips.

Quilt Hollow said...

I saw this yesterday...why didn't I leave a message? Who knows...my mind this week is a scattered mess! Head colds are not my friend.
The tip for not knotting in the back is something I always did for cross stitch...why didn't I think of that for embroidery as well? Thanks for the reminder...if I ever get to doing some embroidery! I'm overwhelmed at moment.

Carol said...

What a great tutorial! Thank you for sharing your wonderful tips. Your embroidery is always just beautiful!

Rae Ann said...

I just found your blog and am happy that I did! I have been wanting to learn to embroider for a while now, so I appreciate the tutorial. You make it look so easy. Thanks!

Kelly@ Charming Chatter said...

Thank you SO much for sharing! You know I love your embroidery -- and now I have some tips to go on. Can't wait to try the method, and to find a spring hoop - I have one of the screw ones, and am always having to stop to tighten the fabric! Thanks so much for the pointers!

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

Thanks for the embroidery tips Darlene! I need all the help I can get!

Linda said...

Great idea no knots in the back. Thanks for the tip.

Kathie said...

great tutorial
I am going to give embroidery a try again soon
I will look for a spring hoop, I like how taut your project is.
Kathie

kjquilts said...

Thanks for all the great tips!

John'aLee said...

Hi! I really appreciated your tutorial. Also love the log cabin quilt. Great blog!

Carole said...

Thanks for the tutorial! What is the brand of your spring hoop? I haven't yet found a hood that I like. I'm forever tightening my hoop. cheers!

bingo~bonnie said...

I started a year ago doing redwork and have been teaching myself as I go - never before had I heard your trick but I like it and will give it a try! I don't use knots in my work either and have just been starting out with long thread on back and working it into my stitching...

I think I'll like your idea better ;) thanks!

Love from Texas! ~bonnie

bingo~bonnie said...

also - I've never seen a spring hoop like you showed - what brand is it?

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