Embroidery Stitches

1


I've been embroidering since I was three, and have taught a number of beginners some of the basics. I usually use aida for their first lessons, because it's easy to see the holes, and you get some practice at working stitches regularly. Here's a good site:
http://www.needlenthread.com/videos and another:
http://www.embroiderersguild.com/stitch/stitches/index.html

My suggestion: pick a few stitches you like the looks of and play with them a bit. Develop your own variations. Sketch a design and try some stitches on it. Here's a piece of wrought iron art:
http://dhruvphoto.blogspot.com/2007/03/madien-hair-fern-could-fit-in-graphic.html that I turned into a quilt square for a friend — I used three stitches: stem, feather and a variant of the french knot, and three shades of green — I was pleased: http://www.picturetrail.com/sfx/album/view/21784677

Head for the library for some books on embroidery — there are all sorts of formal styles of embroidery, ranging from cross stitch to blackwork to redwork to whitework to polychrome; free stitching and counted thread work; work on surface fabrics and work "in the air" like stumpwork. Play. It can be a really cheap hobby, and one you can keep handy for fidgeting — a square of fabric and a needle and a skein of embroidery thread can easily fit in an altoids box.

DMC has, over the years, done tremendous amounts of design books for embroidery ("DMC Library"). Particularly if you're interested in historical styles, they can be an excellent resource. Here are a few more books, some beginnerish, some advanced… just have fun:






www.amazon.com/Mountmellick-Work-Irish-White-Embroidery/dp/0851055125

Don't let first projects overwhelm you, think small at first — a little featherstitch or chain stitch variant covers the top of a pocket or around a cuff in very little time, and is much less discouraging than getting yourself into the middle of a needlepoint rug project. And choose a small oval hoop for your first hoop. They're easy to hold and work around. Me? I mostly work in hand, without a hoop. Even easier once you've gotten the idea of thread tensions taught to your fingers.

FWIW, these are the usual types of hoops I give to beginners — easy to adjust, hold the fabric well, light in the hand, pretty cheap.

www.createforless.com/Darice+Spring+Tension+Hoop+7/pid17632.aspx
(aka tension hoop, spring hoop) (and also works for machine embroidery
and the plastic Susan Bates hoops:
www.createforless.com/Bates+Hoop-La+Embroidery+Hoop+_and_+Frame+5/pid69998.aspx which has an adjustment screw.

5" round is a good size for most women to hold. though I still prefer the oval hoops
that are harder to find. //www.nordicneedle.com/PROD/6980B.html

When you turn pro, go for the scroll frames or q snaps and similar, if you want to work in a frame.

3

I am someone who can't even sew a button. I am a total beginner, but I'd like to learn how to embroider and something about crewel really appeals to me. I know they sell kits at craft stores. What would I need to make sure the kits have? In other words, what would I need to begin? I'm scared I will go into Michael's and spend 4x more than I need to because I don't know what to get. Thanks!

Crewel is surface embroidery with wool on linen — it's fun, but there are some texture issues for some people, as well as expense. Most of us who embroider started with cotton floss (DMC and Anchor are good brands) on cotton fabric. See my answer to: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20101122123123AAk0Aft

If you want to stick with crewel, you'll want a beginners kit and a hoop — 6" is a good size for most women's hands — when you get really good you can move to stretchers. Or you may find that you prefer to work without a hoop — some of us are crazy that way. <g> I'd also buy an extra pack of assorted size embroidery/crewel needles, about $1 at Walmart, probably under $2 most other places.

If you want to do embroidery with cotton floss, pick up some colors of floss that you like, a packet of embroidery/crewel needles, and a 6" or so embroidery hoop — the ones I like for beginners look like this: http://www.amazon.com/Susan-Bates-Hoop-La-Embroidery-Hoops/dp/B000GBO9M8 or http://www.beverlys.com/plastic-embroidery-hoop-5.html You'll also need a pair of scissors or a nail clipper to cut threads (why, yes, I've embroidered on airplanes, why do you ask??? <g>)

The book I learned most of my first crewel embroidery stitches from, and still a very good one, is Erica Wilson's Embroidery Book: http://www.worldcat.org/title/erica-wilsons-embroidery-book/oclc/657147/editions?editionsView=true&referer=br and Erica Wilson's Fun with Crewel Embroidery: http://www.worldcat.org/title/fun-with-crewel-embroidery/oclc/567395&referer=brief_results — check your local library, they're likely on the shelves.

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3

I would like to start doing needlework projects but am not sure where to start.
I am thinking about asking for some for Christmas is why! I used to do a needlepoint but I forget what it was, the fabric was the same colors as the yarn.

Alice and I started out the same, with stamped cross stitch. From there, I learned other embroidery stitches, did crewel as well as thread embroidery, and needlepoint. I can do counted cross stitch, but another that I choose not to do.
My mother latched rugs, that was as close as I cared to get to that. Just was not for me.
I sew, I bead on material, I make jewelry.

I would recommend stamped cross stitch, it is easy to learn, and as you can see, can lead to other kinds of stitching. And it is generally inexpensive to learn and do. I have some pillow cases in the works right now, they and the thread cost me way less than $10, I had the needles and hoops.

Lots of sites online, Michael's and Hobby Lobby both sell it in kits, and some individual pieces like baby bibs. My local quilt shop sells lots of cotton with designs for embroidery stamped on it, some are copies of antique designs.

And from there, you can make quilt blocks and quilts, make gingham aprons with cross stitch designs, learn to embellish clothes and accessories, learn to bead fabric [it is easy].

I have a stitching book, I think it is from Reader's Digest, that my Mom bought me, I have learned several stitches out of it. Visit your local library and book store to see what you might be interested in. And of course, ask for the book for Xmas, too!

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4

I can't find any classes, any suggestions would be welcome. Thank you.

The "classes, lessons" are listed here and I hope that you will find the one that you get the most information from. Please, when you find it, put it in your favorites so you won't have to hunt for something you can find in the lesson you "took".

Free embroidery designs and lessons for you to stitch
A page to help you find all the free embroidery designs throughout my site. For anyone looking to start hand embroidery free patterns allow you to try lots of new …
http://www.needlework-tips-and-techniques.com/​free-embroidery… – Cached
Free Embroidery Stitch Glossary Free Sewing Stitch Lessons A-L
Free Embroidery Stitch Glossary. Stitches A-L including buttonhole, chain, couching, feather, fern, fishbone, fly, interlaced bank, lazy daisy, long and short stitch.
http://www.craftandfabriclinks.com/stitches/​free_embroidery… – Cached
Embroidery | Free Embroidery Patterns | Embroidery Stitches
Free step by step instructions for embroidery. Lessons are illustrated. Learn the art and stitches of this wonderful craft today.
http://www.craftown.com/instruction/​embroidery.htm – Cached
My Embroidery Mentor, Deborah Jones
Do you want two full days of private embroidery lessons from embroidery expert … Sign-up for the Embroidery Insider – a free monthly e-mail for embroidery tips and inside …
http://www.myembroiderymentor.com/lessons.php – Cached
Shadow embroidery lessons. – Crafts – Free Craft Patterns …
Learn the beautiful art of shadow embroidery for free at Craftown. Illustrated instructions, step by step instructions.
http://www.craftown.com/instruction/shadow.htm – Cached
Generations | Free Embroidery Lessons
Follow along these helpful lessons for your Generations Embroidery Software. The sky's the limit in embroidery designs.
http://www.generationsemb.com/​embroidery…archive-lessons.html

5

I am looking to buy a embroidery and sewing machine and i am not sure which one to get as there are many out there. I have never worked on a sewing machine and really don't do that much sewing however i would like to be able to make a quilt also. I do the hand embroidery and cross stitches and while i love it i would like to be able to do different patterns of like my pictures and things like that without it takeing me two years to finish a project. Does anyone have any suggestions?

This is akin to asking for a car, when you really want is a Bat-mobile that can travel on the air, road and water. Nevertheless, there are a few things you could look for to make your dream come true.

There are many reviews and buying guides on the web:
Embroidery machines: http://www.galttech.com/research/household-DIY-tools/best-embroidery-machine.php
Sewing Machines and Patterns Review: http://sewing.patternreview.com/news

Whichever machine you select, get the machine's manual. There is a common assumption that machines are all the same, but it's not true. Used machines can be wonderful, if they've been well cared for. But it does you no good to assume all machines need oil (not true), or to miss out on the machine full creative ability.
Sewing Machine Manuals: http://www.mastersewusa.com/

You can make Couture-level garments on a straight-sew machine, but most modern sewing machines offer more than one stitch. It's creative use of these that make them powerful. I'm speaking of ordinary sewing machines that adjust stitch length, have a Zigzag or other cover stitches, plus whatever geometric or floral designs. For truly giving these options a workout on ordinary sewing machines, I suggest the public library. Seek out books on Decorative Machine Stitching
Fine Machine Stitching http://www.amazon.com/Fine-Machine-Sewing-Revised-Embellishing/dp/1561585866/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1257164512&sr=8-2

And consider Bobbin Work. Many an artist has used a simple machine to create amazing works. If the thread, fiber, or ribbon is too thick to go through the needle, why not run it through the bobbin?
Bobbin work: http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/5025/bobbin-work-when-threads-are-too-thick-for-the-needle

On any machine you're considering, ask if the Feed Dogs can be lowered. Fabric is advanced under the sewing machine's foot by way of a moving metal assembly that pulls the fabric through in one direction only. If you can lower the feed dogs, you can move in any direction opening an entire world of creativity. Seek out web articles and books on Free-Motion Embroidery or Free-Motion Quilting it's a world of hoops and stabilizers – but the work can be done on ordinary sewing machines that have the option of lowering the feed dogs.
Anatomy of a sewing machine: http://www.a1sewingmachine.com/image/basic%20sewing%20machine%20parts.jpg
Watch a video on free motion technique: http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/3833/video-manuels-free-motion-embroidery-technique
Be advised: Manuel is working on an extraordinarily FAST manual machine. But it you note the hoop, the rotation of it, the turning of the work, it will make other Free Motion Embroidery directions make sense.
How to do free-motion embroidery http://aces.nmsu.edu/pubs/_c/C-213.pdf

Machine quilting can be done on any straight sew machine. Some are just better at it than others because they have greater torque, or a larger arm. And these are great when you want to throw money at it. But artists can get a lot out of simple machinery if you learn the concepts of what you want to do. You do not need thousands of dollars to start.

Embroidery machines are quite amazing and you'll be deciding between a bunch of Disney or the ability to digitize your own designs. Give some thought about the size of your work, what parts you need done for you, what magic you expect of the machine – and I greatly encourage researching what other artists have done with machine embroidery. You might just find they use a less expensive model (than what the dealer is telling you) to achieve their work.

The Art isn't just in the machine, it's in you.

3

I am a beginner at embroidery and love what can be done with it. For the life of me though, I cannot get my stitches even and consistent so it always looks like a two year old did it. Any suggestions?

If you are doing free-hand embroidery – make a visual pattern with a self-erasing (air disappearing) pen. You can mark even intervals for the stitches – use a ruler if you need to.

There are a huge number of pre-printed embroidery patterns that you can download for free and use for your embroidery. Use a light-box and transfer to your material and indicate where each stitch is to begin, end.

I often use my pinky finger nail to measure where the next stitch is to be taken so as to make my handwork stitches more even.

If you are doing work on an even fabric – a cross stitch fabric – evenweave – linen – then you can count the number of threads for each stitch.

If you are doing cross stitch as the stitch — be sure to count the number of threads, squares. Make sure that the thread goes in flat — untwist the thread while still in the air — I use something called a laying tool (a small dull pointed long cylindrical metal tool) to make sure that the thread lies perfectly flat for each stitch – yes, I admit, I am a perfectionist!

HTH – Please remember to leave a note when you vote!

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