Beautiful Embroidery

For those of you that are new to hand embroidery, I want to offer a few tips.  This is the first clue in my mystery followers, so I hope this little lesson will make the embroidery step clear.

Gather your supplies…

My favorite supplies.

My favorite supplies.

I like to use Valdani Perle Cotton size 12 for my all my embroidered quilts.  My other supplies include a 5″ no slip hoop, Clover Chenille needles size 24, and Graphite Pencil for tracing my design.  Optional is a thimble and Clover Embroidery Threader.

To embroider a CURVE…

Lefties stitch around the curve CLOCKWISE.

Lefties stitch around the curve CLOCKWISE.

Righties embroider a curve COUNTER CLOCKWISE.

Righties embroider a curve COUNTER CLOCKWISE.

 

I was inspired years ago in adding embroidery to my quilts by looking at very early quilts.  This particular quilt was amazing.

The embroidery in this quilt is amazing.

The embroidery in this quilt is amazing.

 

What I saw in this quilt and others changed my way of embroidering quilts forever.  This needle woman not only stitched one line with one thread, but then HIGHLIGHTED her embroidery by doing a second.  I know the picture doesn’t show it, but there was also a THIRD line of embroidery in this little thistle.

How do we accomplish the same thing?  By using 3 different colors and going just to the NORTH of the previous stitching line.

Many of you asked what colors to use.  I just chose colors that coordinated with my fabrics.  They don’t have to match perfectly.  Choose colors YOU love.  The only concern you must have is that you will see your stitching on your background fabric.  If you use pastel colored thread on a pastel background, all your lovely stitching will not show and there will be weeping, which we try hard to avoid when quilting!

In my sample, I chose cranberry to begin.  I’m working on the stem stitch.

Your thread is held down by your left thumb if you are right handed.  (Not doing too good a job in this photo.)

Your thread is held down by your left thumb if you are right handed. (Not doing too good a job in this photo.)

Because I’m right handed, the needle is always going from right to left.

After I have stitched my line, I’m going to thread up a second needle with a second color.  This time I’m using gold.

Using the gold I'm stitching just ABOVE the previous line of cranberry.

Using the gold I’m stitching just ABOVE the previous line of cranberry.

I’m not stitching on TOP of the previous cranberry line, but to the NORTH of the line.

I could stop right there and have a beautiful line, but I am going to use a third color, green.

WOW!  Look what happens to your embroidery.

WOW! Look what happens to your embroidery.

 

Your stitching goes from ho hum to YUM!  Here is a sample of a single line that I did in “Poke Berry Baskets”.

"Poke Berry Baskets" by Cindy Blackberg  close up shot

“Poke Berry Baskets” by Cindy Blackberg
close up shot

The stitching IS lovely, but look what I did in my new quilt, which some of you are working on…

Close up using 3 different colors of Valdani.

Close up using 3 different colors of Valdani.

Of course, the question is going to come up, “Do I HAVE to use three different colors for my embroidery?”  Of course, not!  My sample of “Poke Berry Baskets” is fine.  You can see the stitching line perfectly.  This is YOUR quilt you are working on and you should do what YOU want.  This is supposed to be FUN!

Happy Stitching!


Comments

Beautiful Embroidery — 15 Comments

  1. Love the mystery, have all of my blocks cut, most of them traced and one completed. Can’t wait till March! Next clue and Quiltfest.

  2. I am confused. Your picture shows/says that right handed people go from left to right or counter clockwise. Yet when I see you working as a right handed person you say the needle always points from right to left. Please explain.

    Thanks, I love your work.

  3. Hi Cindy
    I used chocolate brown, an old gold, and a light tan color of the Valdani and am amazed at how the simple embroidery just glows! Love it! Thanks again for hosting this online!!
    Best stitches,
    Mercy in very cool Miami – had to turn the AC off and wear a sweater almost all weekend 🙂

  4. Question, Do you first stitch the whole design in one color before you start the second color and so on? Or do you continue to have all the threads on a needles as you stitch and alternate between them, as it looks like in your post. I am thinking the first part of my question is correct.
    just want to check with you first before i get started, Thanks

    • Kris, It saves me time if I thread up 3 needles. I start with one color and bring it to the edge of the hoop and leave it. Then I do the same for the other 2 colors. I move the hoop and pick up needle 1 and so forth around the shape.

  5. Hi Cindy,
    I just completed the top to your previous mystery sew-along. i brought it with me to my guild’s retreat to finish the embroidery and it got rave reviews about the embroidery. Your method of using 2-3 different colors so enhances the handwork. I also finished your Fancy Tennessee Waltz quilt and the appraiser really liked the embroidery! Thanks for a great tip. I’m looking forward to this mystery!
    Missy

  6. Glad I reread your answer regarding on how you do multiple threads. I did not remember this. Working on the mystery and thinking about how many times I was going to have to go around the same block. Thanks for your great tips.

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