Wednesday, July 20, 2011


(First, though, are you on Google +? If so, I'm right here!)

Last week, Sara at The Split Stitch posted that she was looking for help stitching some new patterns so she could add them to her shop. So I emailed her, even though I only taught myself to embroider earlier this year. I thought it would be fun to stitch up some patterns, and a good opportunity to include some new-to-me stitches for practice. Sara is being wide open with the patterns--color and stitch choice is up to us, as long as there's a good contrast so potential customers can get a feel for the patterns.

And did I mention, we got to choose our pattern? I think I was third on the list, and I was pretty excited to see "Snakes." We love us some snakes here! The pattern includes four: Emerald Tree Boa, Rattlesnake, Cobra, and a stripey snake that could be, well, anything stripey. So the first thing I did was pin some snake photos through Pinterest. Then I went shopping for floss. And then I started with the Emerald Tree Boa, so he's the first one I finished.

I haven't even ironed him yet, so, um, excuse the wrinkles! The outline stitches are backstitch, which is my favorite stitch, except for the dark green around the white spots--that's a tiny split stitch using only two strands. The white is satin stitch, which I don't enjoy doing so much but it does make the spots pop. I lightly shaded the snake with a bright green colored pencil (thanks for the idea, Wendi!) because it needed to be green, and the muslin is not green. Truthfully, even I could have faced filling it all in, I'm not sure the muslin would have held up to it. I think this snake would look really cool embroidered on a green background.

For the rattlesnake--and this is as far as I got last night--I decided to try seed stitch as a fill stitch. So far, I really like it.

As you can see, I go really high-tech with the transfer method--I hold it all up to a window and trace it with a pencil. This works just fine with muslin. I much prefer it to the tear-away stabilizer I've used on jeans and felt, which requires breaking out the tweezers at the end.

I'm really enjoying stitching these, although I'm generally not so much for crafting on a deadline. I think I can pull it off, though! You can read about Sara's other volunteers here.


Donna Lee said...

I love to try out different patterns and embroidery has been a favorite of mine for a long time (and needlepoint and crewel). I often forget that I have a large selection of embroidery thread and that lots of things look better with just a bit of embellishment. I remember embroidering denim shirts for my then fiance when I was in college.

Bells said...

the more you post about embroidery, the more of a yearning I feel to give it a go. I can cross stitch, but embroidery is an unknown world.

Love love love the snake!