This piece was a collaboration between my husband and me, though he’s been in Chicago for work this week. He did his part a while ago – creating an art print for his store on Society 6. After I embroidered a storebought pattern the other day, I realized that some of his hand drawn type treatments would be really great to embroider. So I went looking at his work, and picked one of the simpler ones for my first try.
Here’s what his print looks like:
Since he wasn’t in town to ask for his files, I just copied this off of the internet and brought it into Photoshop. From there, I applied a “Difference” filter to quickly reverse things so that the type was black. Then I resized it and printed it out.
Next, I taped the printout to a window with the fabric taped on top. I used a washable Crayola marker to trace it, since I have no idea where any of my fabric markers are. I planned to cover up all my marks, so whether it completely washed out or not wasn’t really an issue, though. It was pretty quick to trace.
I’ve been watching tutorial videos from a site called Shiny Happy World. I’m always so grateful to the people out there who take the time to make how-to videos. I learned to crochet that way too last year.
Using a variety of the stitches I learned from those videos and my first piece, I started embroidering with stitches that I thought would look pretty. For the text, I used a back stitch, chain stitch, and split stitch. I also used a fly stitch (for the arrows) and french knots. I love the texture that the variety of stitches give the piece. The fun thing about embroidery like this is that you can really do whatever you want to do. There are no rules!
I am really enjoying embroidery. And I’m wondering if some pieces like this might be a fun addition to Matthew’s Etsy store, or one of my own. They don’t take too long, and embroidery floss is cheap. I’m keeping this one. For now, I’m going to hang it in the hoop on the wall in the front hallway. But I have just tucked and pinned the fabric on the back for now, instead of cutting it away, since I think it might also make a cute pillow.
Since this post is kind of a how-to, let me first say that I’m definitely not suggesting that you go lift an art print off Society 6 to embroider and sell. I don’t want to upset any artists out there! I think that you should pay for the art, in cases like that, and even then it’s probably not appropriate to sell your finished embroidery based off of the print. But since it’s my husband’s art, me copying it off his website and doing all this is okay.
But I imagine that there are some cute sayings that you can find out there, from bloggers, that are offered up for free, and would make adorable embroidery projects for personal use. The patterns offered in craft stores are so extremely limited. Most are definitely not targeted at my generation of crafters. With embroidery, though, just remember that anything can be a pattern. You can trace something from a magazine, type out your own stuff on your computer, or even use clip art from your computer. So don’t feel hopeless about embroidering something cute when you see the awful selection that they have at places like Hobby Lobby. Just skip that, and save some money.