Monday, January 26, 2009

Embroidery WIPs

When I was a little girl, my mom bought me a cross-stitch kit. I remember that I kept having to ask for her help to undo some of the knots I created when stringing the embroidery floss through the fabric. She was patient and would show me how to be more careful and go more slowly so as to avoid the knotting. Now here I am an adult woman and I still have the same problem! But that aside, I have rediscovered my love of embroidery! My knowledge of stitches isn't much, but what I know, I stick to. I am comfortable with split stitch and satin stitch and can even make a somewhat perfect French knot! So, I get by.

You probably recognize the Wee Wonderfuls Hillary Lang pattern. The flower pattern is a free download from the Needlecrafter site.

For you other knitters on a budget, purchasing embroidery floss is almost as fun and fulfilling as buying yarn. And much cheaper too! The color selection is vast so I'm nowhere near bored of my collection yet. But as newbie embroiderer, here are my issues and questions:

1. The back of my patterns aren't very pretty. Are yours? Unlike knitting, the backside isn't nearly so interesting or attractive. Maybe it shouldn't be, I don't know.

2. Why do most craft stores only sell cross-stitch stuff? Maybe I just don't know where to look but finding a flower pattern to embroider took me a long time. Of course, all of Hillary's stuff is great so I am lucky there.

3. How do you store your thread? I've just been wrapping mine around those white plastic holders. Sometimes I have to scoop around my box to find a color. I figure there is probably a better system.

Please do send me links or ideas that you've come across that you think I can benefit from. I really appreciate it!

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Elissa said...

wow! you do great work! i recently "rediscovered" how fun embroidery is too. the backs of my embroidery are TERRIBLE and always knotted and goofy because i am impatient and always squeezing it in during car rides or something. and my embroidery tin looks like a rainbow barfed with knots and string everywhere, so if you have ANY organization to your threads you are doing better than me! i look for vintage transfers at thrift stores and i really like to embroider my kids' drawings

Terriaw said...

Wow, these embroidery projects are gorgeous! I did recognize the pattern by Hillary Lang, but I don't think I have that one. It's quite cute! The back of my embroidery projects aren't pretty either. Kind of like a messy collage of snips of color.

I am definitely lazy in how I store my thread. I have one of those small plastic drawer sets and I have the threads sorted by colors. Check a fabric store for a variety of threads and non XS patterns.

Cami said...

Love both of these stitches! Great job on them. I am new to embroidery and I feel the same way. I love to buy the embroidery floss since it is super cheap. I don't know how to store it yet. I have a zipper pouch I keep it in but that isn't going to work for much longer. Maybe I'll try the white cards. Oh, and the back of mine never, ever look pretty!

fioretta said...

Just found your blog - love it (and this post too!).

I have some of the same problems/questions... for instance, the backs of my pieces don't look that pretty either. ;) In regard to patterns though, I have found so many online or in books. I bought the book Doodle Stitching by Aimee Ray and there are so many cute projects in there.

Storing thread is becoming an issue for me! I have lots of different colors (love that I got myself into an economically-priced hobby, for once). Right now it is all stuffed into a couple mason jars - leftovers and all. I need a better system!

BumbleBee Bagz said...

have you gotten into ribbon embroidery yet? talk about addictive. I have some patterns somewhere...I'll have to put some on my blog.

Melissa said...

I love Hillary Lang's stuff. I've been wanting to get back into embroidery. I haven't done it in ages.
Maybe I'll have to practice with that flower pattern!

Sarah Bonn said...

I had a cross stitch phase when I was a teen and I had a plastic case that came with the white cards. It was partitioned into sections and each section held 5-7 cards. On their sides so you could see the colors. It wasn't very big but could hold about 60 cards. I'm sure there's something like that still out there.
Beautiful work - I've never been brave enough to attempt real embroidery - I'm not so patient with my mistakes!