Embroidery Hoops

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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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2

Okay….so I have a stupid question. I really want to try cross stitching/embroidery but I have no idea what that material is called or where to get it. Not aida cloth, but that plain white fabric you always see people use in embroidery hoops.

Any ideas?

Take a look at this fabric… it's plain old muslin, and you can get it at any fabric store, or even the Walmarts that haven't thrown every bolt of fabric out.
Probably in the range of $2-5/yard for 45" wide fabric.
http://www.picturetrail.com/sfx/album/view/21784677
That's about a 10" wide piece shown there… here's what the fabric looks like up close:
http://www.picturetrail.com/sfx/album/view/22521551
the machine stitches here are 3 mm long.

This is what I typically give to beginners for surface embroidery, or for doing stamped cross stitch. It's cheap, easy to work with and holds up well.

The real secret of embroidery is that once you know what you're doing, you can embroider on anything you can get a needle through, from the most delicate silk organza like the wings of this dragonfly: http://stitchinfingers.ning.com/photo/stumpwork-dragonfly?context=user
to heavy velvets http://www.hchc.edu/hellenic/campus_life/library/archbishop_iakovos_collection/gallery.html?pic=15 and even leather: http://natural-history.uoregon.edu/metis_textiles13

If you want to do counted cross stitch, then a fabric where you can really see the holes, like aida or evenweave linen, is easier to start with. I usually start beginners at about 10 stitches per inch.

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2

So for D&T textiles i need to give a step by step guide on sewing machine embroidery. Only half the class have used the sewing machines so i dont know. Could somebody please help. Thank you.
Our teacher said sewing machine embroidery:)

This is a sewing machine and not an embroidery machine?

Do these machines have built-in decorative designs (sometimes called embroidery)?

Are you expected to do free-motion stitching (embroidery)?

All three methods require the use of stabilizer.

The embroidery machine comes with hoops and the stabilizer and fabric are hooped together with the stabilizer on the bottom.

To emulate with a sewing machine, you need to baste the stabilizer to the back of the fabric and the sewing machine will then stitch the selected design. There is usually an open toe presser foot for this process.

For free-motion where you are the designer, baste as for the decorative stitching, disengage the feed dogs (or cover them with an index card and tape it securely to the bed of the sewing machine) and use a darning or free motion presser foot. Presser foot down and then you move the fabric to make the design. You can draw the design first with chalk or air soluble fabric marker, or draw on tissue and fasten over the fabric and trace with stitching.

Stabilizer for machine embroidery comes in tear away and cut away. Cut away is trimmed close to the stitching and left in. Tear away can be gently torn from the stitching.

Use a needle for embroidery.