Hey guys, I'm so excited to be posting this little DIY project with you! I've been happily planning and embroidering for the past few weeks in order to share this with you today. Lately, I've been so inspired by scandinavian folk design that a few of my paintings and drawings are filled with tiny little red cottages. Aren't they the cutest things? And since I started to paint them, I've been dreaming up other ways to incorporate them into our home (especially since my husband is Finnish- it only makes sense, right?).
Embroidery has always been close to my heart. I first learned how to stitch from our amazing mom who is an expert when it comes to stitching of all kinds. I remember Kristen and I making our first embroidery projects on lazy summer afternoons- our days were always filled with carefree crafting during summer break! I'm sure mom was just trying to find ways to keep us busy, but learning from her instilled the love I have now for the simple task of creating a picture using only a needle and thread. There's something so essential to this art form. I feel as though it connects me to the women of the past, those who wove tapestries or worked on their children's clothing in craft circles. And if you've never tried any sort of needlework, I highly recommend starting with embroidery! It's so very simple, relaxing and can be done anywhere. So without further ado...
You will need:
-Pattern Print Out (link below)
-Fabric (any solid coloured cotton will do).
(If you don't happen to have vintage hand-me-down paper from your grandmother...try looking at a fabric store. It'll probably cost more than 49 cents, but shouldn't be too pricey!)
-Embroidery Floss in the colours you like.
I chose a deep red, light grey, brown and white. Embroidery floss is one of my favourite things to buy. There are so many colours and each one goes for about 40 cents! I buy mine from Michaels.
These needles have an end that are more blunt than regular sewing needles, which is great for not poking your fingers! If you don't have embroidery needles, you can use regular ones, but you may want to don a thimble!
-A Small Embroidery Hoop, such as this one.
Embroidery hoops often run rampant at thrift stores and I pick up a few every time I go to have on hand.
If you decide to make something out of your embroidery, you'll want to think about how the end product will look. I chose to make a pillow, but you can also use this pattern and make it into anything you like, such as a wall hanging or felt coaster! If you choose to make the pillow, you'll want to cut your piece of fabric 1" larger than the dimensions of the pillow you're choosing to cover (I won't be explaining the pattern to my pillow, but I found a good tutorial here).
Begin by lining up the transfer paper (coloured side down) and the pattern on your piece of fabric. Make sure your transfer paper is facing the right way by testing it out on a scrap piece of fabric first. I also used painter's tape to secure it so it wouldn't move on me! This tape can be found at any local hardware or art supply store. Once everything is in place, you can begin to carefully trace the lines onto your fabric. Don't mind my gnarly grandma hands... thanks mom.
Once your pattern is transferred, you're ready to begin sewing! Line up your hoop around the pattern and make sure to tighten into place. The fabric should be fairly taught, but not so tight that it stretches and skews the pattern. Once your hoop's on, you can choose your first colour to start- this is where your artistic license comes in :)
I'm no expert in stitching (yet!) and there are SO many stitches to learn! I plan on learning and practicing some new ones over the next while, but I used three really basic stitches for my project. If you haven't learned any embroidery stitches before, I suggest taking some time to learn and practice a few stitches before getting started. Here are some tutorials for the stitches I was using:
Once you have the hang of it, it's easy to just start filling in the lines! So turn on your favourite show, make a cuppa tea, hunker down for the evening and start sewing! Below are some shots of my finished product- I think if I were to do it again, I'd blow up the pattern to make a larger house, but I'm still happy with the end result. I have to admit, I'm a little nervous to be posting a shot of my living room, as it's a work in progress, but at least it's clean and I've now added one more detail to beautify it! Also below is the link to download the pattern. Happy Stitching!