|Image from http://www.freeprettythingsforyou.com/|
Instead of showing a stitching project I've either made or received I thought I'd use today to give a few pointers to useful guides and support for anyone interested in starting to learn embroidery.
Although I've been cross stitching since a young age I didn't try any other embroidery until a couple of years ago, and now I'm totally hooked, so I want to spread the love!
To get started you'll need:
- An embroidery hoop
- An embroidery needle
- Some floss (I tend to use DMC stranded cotton)
- Some material to embroider onto (the wonderful thing is that this can be pretty much any material - a leftover scrap, a pillowcase, a tea towel - so many possibilities)
- Some embroidery scissors
And importantly - a pattern to embroider! This is where the awesome Sublime Stitching stepped in for me. Jenny Hart, creator of Sublime Stitching sells a truly amazing set of iron-on embroidery designs (pin-up girls, beefcakes, woodland animals, kitties - you name it!). You literally choose the design you want to stitch and then iron it onto your material - it leaves a really clear outline and is perfect for the beginner stitcher.
|Example of a pattern transfer set from Sublime Stitching|
When I first started embroidering I stuck to three stitches - backstitch, running stitch and split stitch. You can see lots of different stitches and how to do them on the Embroiderer's Guild website here. Find a stitch you're comfortable with and practice. My first ever project was just a scrap of material with me practising all kinds of stitches in no particular pattern. Doing this totally took the pressure off learning. I progressed onto Sublime Stitching patterns, and then started drawing my own designs.
To anyone thinking about learning to stitch - I'd honestly say just go for it! Of all the crafts I've tried it has brought me the most happiness.
Helpful embroidery links:
Craftster - a totally supportive and lovely crafty community. It's a great place for inspiration, and if you have any problems with your stitching you will probably find the answer is already there - and if not, you can ask!
Wild Olive - a blog by Mollie - an incredibly skilled stitcher who has lots of free patterns, and stitching tips - I've learnt a lot from her. Mollie's 'embroidery basics' guide can be found here - it tells you everything you need to know to get started
Sublime Stitching - as I said above - gorgeous, easy to follow sewing patterns, great starter kits and just all-round stitching awesomeness
Sew and So - for stitchers in the UK, one of the best sites I've found for reasonable embroidery hoops, thread and material is Sew and So - although there are lots of great shops around
Hope this overview has helped...now get stitching, and have fun!