In Which I Learn Something New

Learning to Embroider - BOM In Progress

It’s no secret that I love crafts. Sewing, crochet, DIY, you name it.

I love quilting…especially, most especially paper piecing.

In last week’s TTMT, I mentioned that I want to learn to embroider. It’s frankly getting too hot to crochet in the carpool line, which is how I usually while away my time waiting for my kids.

Also, there is a certain PROJECT that I would like use embroidery for, but I’d really like to get the hang of it before I jump in with both feet.

So, here we go.

After asking my lovely peeps over on Facebook for suggestions and opinions for getting started, I had two handy links to get going with.

First was Sublime Stitching’s How To. I have definitely been on this fabulous website before, but only to admire. The How-To was so wonderful and easy to follow, I printed it out…and then I *might* have laminated it. What? It’s fabulous, and I need to drag it along in the car with me. I also learned there are several stores in Austin that carry Sublime Stitching goodness….field trip!

The second useful link was Blue Bird Quilts’ Retro Nine Patch BOM, a lovely free pattern each month by Australian designer Lyn. I agree with her fans there, a Flickr group would be wonderful inspiration for a newbie like me! I printed month one and used my handy Sewline Ceramic Pencil (I have a green one…it’s fabulous!) to transfer the image onto a lovely swirly background.

After observing of friends that embroider, I decided to back my fabric with a piece of muslin. I love the way the thread pulls through both layers of fabric and feels nice and secure. So far, the stitching has felt very natural, even though I don’t do much hand sewing and it’s been ages since I picked up my hand quilting. It’s going smoothly, and hopefully will continue to do so. As of today, I’ve only practiced the Split Stitch and the Stem Stitch. Hopefully future stitches will go as nicely!

I don’t know if I’ll follow along with the entire Blue Bird BOM, but I do like the retro designs and today’s stitching was very enjoyable. Who knows, maybe I’ll keep it up. With another month of carpool ahead of me, I might even be able to get caught up!

Do you embroider? Do you have favorite sites, blogs, etc.? I’d love to hear your pointers!

And, you know what? I can draw… and I get the feeling that may come in very handy in the future…of DOOM.



10 thoughts on “In Which I Learn Something New

  1. kristel

    Looks pretty good so far!

    I saw the cutest pattern (which is by Aneela Hoey, and I think was the inspiration for Sherbert Pips, of the little girl on the tree swing) on Etsy, which made me wish so very hard that I knew how to embroider. But I really, really have too many WIPs. It would be good though, for when I’m bored on breaks at work or on the train home – sort of more transportable. (And like you said – less hot in warm weather, for sure.)

    1. ofenjen Post author

      So, I’ve been doing this what, a day? If you can sew, you can embroider. It actually surprised me how fast I was able to stitch with just a guideline. The only thing I bought two new hoops and that was because I think I gave my old one away and my quilting hoops are ginormous, so obviously wouldn’t work. Perfect for breaks…or the train! I’m looking forward to figuring out how to incorporate stitching into other quilting projects, because you know, I don’t have anything else to do! 😉

        1. ofenjen Post author

          Yes! That’s really my impetus for learning. I have a very clear picture in my head for what I’d like to do once I feel confident to stitch on my PoD blocks.

  2. cosmictwirling

    Wow! That is fabulous.
    What!!?! DOOM!!?! What!!?!
    LOL all us “Doomies” are waiting on pins and needles for Wednesday as it is…now there this…

  3. Mariarose

    Try using linen fabric, I see you are using a high quality cotton, which has a dense thread count. Linen may have a bit more flexibility/give as you stab the needle through. Don’t forget that floss in a lightly spun 6ply. It is designed that way so that you will un-ply it and use only some of the plys at once.
    Lots of fun, lots to learn
    Mariarose from POD.

    1. ofenjen Post author

      I haven’t actually had any issues stabbing my needle through, but I did start with a brand new sharp, so I’m sure that helps! So far, I’ve used two, three and four strands, depending on what the stitch guide I’m using recommends for each stitch. Fun to do!


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