Sunday, April 26, 2015

How to Embroider with the Back Stitch

Hey, hey, back with another stitch today. Hope those running stitches turned out well for you yesterday and you're feeling confident with them. Today's stitch is the back stitch. It's personally my favorite and I use it all of the time. Sometimes I will do an entire pattern just with the back stitch.

I like it so much because it's a solid line. You can adjust the thickness of it with how many strands you use to stitch it. Let's get started.

Just like yesterday, cut a 24" strand of floss and tie a knot at one end. Thread the opposite end through the needle. Pull it through approximately 10".

Start with a running stitch. 

From the bottom, send the needle up through the fabric the same distance over as the length of the running stitch.

In otherwords, if your running stitch was 1/4" long, then send the needle up 1/4" from the stitch.

Now send the needle back down in the same hole that the first stitch went down in.

Come back up in the hole where the second stitch ends. Now start all over.... running stitch first.... here's a diagram to help as well.

For the sampler, you want to stitch two rows of the back stitch. You don't need to switch floss thickness for these.

Tomorrow is the split stitch! See you then,

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Saturday, April 25, 2015

How to Embroider with a Running Stitch

This is our first day of stitching, I hope you were able to get everything transferred and your hoop set up yesterday. Let's get started on this stitching. Today's stitch is the running stitch, it's the most basic stitch. 
First, cut off approximately 24" of floss for this stitching. Thread the needle with the floss. Tie a knot at one of the ends of the floss. Pull the floss so the un-knotted side has approximately 10" of floss.

From the back pierce the fabric with the point of your needle at the beginning of the bottom line. From the top, pull the needle through the fabric until the knot reaches the back of the fabric.

Send your needle back in to the fabric following the same line approximately 1/8-1/4" from where you came up.

Reach around the bottom and pull the needle until all of the floss is through to the back. That is the running stitch.

Repeat the stitch by sending the needle up next to where the first stitch ended. Pull all of the floss up through the hole and then send the needle back down along the line. Continue this stitch until you get to the end of this row.

Note about stitch length; Stitches can be any size you would like, most of the time it's more about consistency than size. I say most of the time because if your going for a playful or wonky look, than you probably are wanting the stitches to be all of the same. Just remember there are no rules.

Now it's time to end the stitch. You can tie a knot on the back, but I like to weave my ends in instead. Why? It's easy and it looks nicer. Now that being said, if I were stitching on clothing or something that would be moving or getting washed a lot, then I would definitely tie a knot instead.

Using the needle point send the needle under your last full stitch.

Pull the floss all the way through and then send the needle through the next stitch. Make sure you're not catching any fabric when doing this.

Do this for about 5 to 6 stitches, you just want to make sure if the floss were to come out of a stitch or two it would still be secure.

Trim the thread.

Now you are ready to begin the second row, but before you do, let's separate the thread. This row will use five strands instead of six. That way you can use this sampler as a reference for thickness as well.

You most likely have enough thread left to continue using what is on your needle already. To separate it, you'll need to take the floss off the needle though. Start by finding one of the strands of floss at the end. Give it a little pull while holding the three strands in your hand. The remaining threads will bunch up a bit. When they do pull them back down to straighten and then pull the single strand from the top again. Hopefully, if everything goes well, you should have five strands together and one loose strand. Set that one strand aside and you can use it for the last row later.

Tangling; Floss can tangle pretty easy, the secret is never pull anything too hard, if you are gentle about pulling threads then the knots or tangles usually stay loose enough that you can work them out without too much headache. Every now and then, you just have to cut the darn thread out and start over if your tangle won't come undone!

Stitch the second row just as you did the first row. Then remove another strand of floss and continue to the next row, and so on and so on until you have all six rows of running stitches finished up.

This is good practice because most embroidery stitches have the running stitch as a base.

Let's say you make a mistake, maybe you stitch wasn't as straight as you were hoping for or maybe it was too long... you know how it goes. Good news, when embroidering it's super easy to fix those mistakes. Take the needle off of the floss and slide it under the stitch that you want to remove.

Give it a tug until the floss is out. Thread your needle and resew the stitch.

Okay, get all six of those running stitch rows finished up and I will be back tomorrow with the back stitch.

Hop you're having fun!

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Friday, April 24, 2015

How to Embroider, Transferring Embroidery Designs

Yay! You're back! Are you ready to get started? First things first the design you want to embroider needs to get on to the fabric you want to stitch it on. I hope you've gotten to play around with the Frixion pens, they are super fun aren't they?

If you haven't had a chance, draw all over a fabric and then take your iron to the cloth. It disappears very quickly. I have read and been told that if you put the fabric into the freezer, you're pen drawings will come back, but I haven't tried that yet.

Place the fabric on top of the printed sampler. Arrange the fabric so the stitching will be in the center of the fabric. You can always tape the paper and the fabric to your work table so things don't wiggle. I like to live on the edge and just hold it steady with my hands. Trace all of the design with the pen.

Next, you'll want to get your design in the hoop. I mentioned earlier and I will mention this again just in case you missed it. I usually only stitch with one layer of fabric, but when I used white I like to double it up.  For this piece I stacked two layers of fabric. That way the threads behind don't show through. This helps if you new or like me and don't really care how neat the back of the stitching is.

Take apart your embroidery hoop by loosening the screw at the top enough so that the top hoop comes off of the bottom. Were going to start stitching the six straight lines in the bottom half so place the fabric on top of the inner hoop so that the lines are in the middle.

Push the top hoop onto the bottom hoop. Finger tighten the screw to make things snug. Pull the edges of the fabric so the fabric in the center is taught. Now you can finger tighten the screw a little further.

As your stitching, the fabric will move some, every now and then you'll need to pull the edges again to stretch it again.

Get all that finished up and I will be back tomorrow with our first stitch, the running stitch.

Have a great day,

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Thursday, April 23, 2015

BugaPalooza has Arrived

BugaPalooza has arrived. Go see your favorite quilt shop, if they ordered it they should have it in stock by now or they can still order it. 

If you can't find it in a quilt shop near you, it's also available in my shop. You can find it at and if you need international shipping it can be purchased from my Etsy shop.

Here are some close ups of some of my favorites....

Have a great day!

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

the FLUFF Project and Six Weeks of Softies Drive

You know I make a lot of softies right? I had that whole Little Love Bunny thing where I couldn't just make one. Well, I've got a couple of great ideas if you like to make softies as much as I do.

First is an ongoing soft toy drive to help foster kids. It's called the FLUFF Project and is run by Kristy at Hopeful Threads. You can read about the FLUFF Project here and how to send her softies to help these kids in need. I am sending these softies today to her.

The second soft toy drive goes along with the Six Weeks of Softies Challenge over at the Sew Mama Sew Blog. This toy drive only goes until the end of the month (April 2015) so you can send yours softies to them but it will have to be soon. These bunnies are headed off to them today.

I think from here on, I will make multiples of every softie I sew that way I will always have extras to send to the FLUFF Project. I really hope you'll do the same.

Have a good day,

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

How to Embroider Stitch A Long

I have had so many people comment on social media about wanting to learn embroidery. Embroidery is a great addition to sewing and quilting or as project on it's own. I have some new embroidery patterns I am about to release as PDF's. This just seems like a good time to give some basic lessons to get you going. Let's kick off the stitch along on Thursday, sound good to you?  That gives you time to run out and get some supplies if you don't have them.

Here's what you'll need:

I will admit I don't have one brand of floss that I stick to, but right now my favorite to use is Cosmo Floss. It doesn't tangle as easy as some of the other flosses and they have some awesome variegated ones called Seasons. The drawback to these is the availability, I have a hard time finding them in stores so I order them from Oh Sew Retro. I used colors #701, #2563, #324, #8020, and #265. This is a sampler and you can use what ever floss you have or whatever colors you would like.

For fabric, you can pretty much embroider on anything, for the sampler I used Kona Cotton and because white can be see through, I double the thickness.

The needles will be found with other sewing needles on the notions wall, they will be marked as embroidery needles, if you can buy a sampler pack so you can decide which size you like using the best.

Scissors, just about any size will do but little ones do make it easier.

Your hoop can be any size as long as it is not so large that the fabric doesn't stretch across it. 6" is my go to size for most projects.

You'll need to transfer the pattern to the fabric, there are many different ways of doing this. My favorite is a Frixion Pen. These are sold in office stores, usually in packs of three. They erase with heat, so when your sample is finished, you just run the iron over the fabric and all of your markings are gone. They are great for sewing and quilting too!

One last thing... you sampler. You can print it here.

Alrighty, get to gathering your supplies, let's meet back up on Friday here at the blog and get going on this project.

Here's an image to pin(roll your mouse over it), this will remind you of all the lessons later.

Have a great day,

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