Mini Tutorial: Hand Embroidery

I kind of feel like a poser posting a tutorial on hand embroidery when I’m so new to it myself, but then I thought maybe it would better if a newbie taught a newbie, you know?

My great-grandmother was skilled at embroidery.  My mother can remember going to visit her and watching her do intricate embroidery without a pattern.  Do what?!  I can’t even get my stitches to go in a straight line when I do cross-stitch, much less on an unmarked piece of fabric.

I am nowhere near that level of expertise by far.  Not even close.  I’m still learning the different type of stitches and tonight I’m working on a split stitch.  And for who else but MM.

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Supplies you’ll need: iron, fabric, & iron-on transfers {or you can trace a design onto tracing paper}. Preheat iron for five minutes on the appropriate setting for fabric being used. Do not use steam.

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Place iron on transfer; hold for five seconds. Do not slide iron. Carefully lift one corner of transfer to see if the design has been transferred to fabric.

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Use three strands of embroidery floss {this is color #3325} and come up from the bottom of the fabric.

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Go back down through the fabric.  {This is a total “normal” stitch}

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Now, this is where it gets a little different from normal sewing.  When you come back up through the fabric you pierce through the center of your last stitch, splitting it in the middle.  And taa-daa! you’ve just made a split stitch.

I love how thick hand embroidery is.

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I love how substantial hand embroidery is.

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And I love how heirloom it looks.

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I’m not finished with the pillowcases yet {surprise, surprise}, but I’ll be sure to show pictures when they’re finished.  In fact, they’re the last things to do before her big girl bed is ready.  We’ve already got the bed frame, mattress, comforter, shams, sheets, and bed skirt–everything.  And once these pillowcases are finished, it will be all ready {but the question is: am *I* ready for her to have a big girl bed?  I’m honestly thinking it will be a few more months before we’ll both be ready.}.

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