Take traditional embroidery and turn it on its head with one key tool: the punch needle. Also known as needle punching, the craft uses embroidery floss or yarn to create bold texture and beautiful designs on monk's cloth. Fiber fanatics can't got enough of the fun, easy-to-learn technique, so get in on the craze with one (or all!) of the projects below.
It's hard to find a wardrobe without denim, so why not make your blues one-of-a-kind with a little hand embroidery? Textile artist Kat McTee, instructor of Bluprint classes Startup Library: Hand Embroidery and Hand Embroidery on Denim, shares her must-know tips for personalizing your daywear.
Embroidery samplers are fun to make and retro in the coolest possible way. The oldest surviving European versions date all the way back to the 1500s, and they played one basic role: showing off stitches and demonstrating skills. While samplers still serve that purpose — like the mandala sampler from textile artist Kat McTee's class Startup Library: Hand Embroidery — now they double as beautiful hoops all on their own, and are more likely to score a spot on the living room wall than get stashed away in a drawer.
Whether you're DIYing your decor or gifting to your loved ones, it's easy to stitch some warm and fuzzy feelings this Valentine's Day. These patterns have so much love to give, you'll have trouble choosing just one.
Whether you're hosting a whole crew of friends or simply serving your favorite dishes for a relaxing night in, there's nothing cuter than setting said meals on top of trivets that totally speak to your personality. These pig's head and lamb's tongue designs from our Maker Knows Best series are easy to make using basic punch needle techniques. Grab the templates, thread your needle and start punching!
If you've ever wondered what it would be like to craft alongside your mom or daughter, look no further than Christie and Isa Beniston. As the hosts of Maker Knows Best, this mother-daughter duo bonds over their shared creativity, even though it manifests in two totally different styles. We sat down with these lifelong makers to find out more about the role art has played in their relationship, and how their approaches differ when embroidering, sewing, quilting or punch-needling. (That's right, they're also versatile crafters! )
Traditional embroidery is great, but lately everyone's fiber radars seem to be focused on the beautiful textures created with punch needle (also called needle punching). The craft looks eerily similar to embroidery when you just see the tools, as you need embroidery floss or yarn, a hoop, fabric and scissors to start. But that extra tool — the punch needle itself — makes a big difference.
One of the most important (and overlooked) aspects about machine embroidery is often invisible to everyone but the person stitching. That's right, we're talking about the stabilizer. Because using the correct one makes all the difference between a beautiful piece and something that looks poorly made.
Cutwork embroidery is a technique commonly used on linens to give decorative flair. It's similar to appliqué, but instead of adding fabric you trim it away. Doing so leaves open areas that are finished with satin stitch.
Crafting for the holidays is supposed to be fun — but so often our yarn balls turn into stress balls as we try to meet deadlines and get everything done. But with a little planning, you can keep yourself happily making as the holidays approach. Sounds magical, right?
If there's one thing to love about embroidery, it's that there are a ton of different forms at your disposal. Stumpwork, goldwork and whitework are all traditional techniques still popular today, but there's another that's quickly re-emerging: blackwork.
Monogramming adds a personal detail to any project: piped icing on cake designs, embroidered stitches on home decor, stamped initials on stationary, even custom details on quilt or sewing projects. And these days, you can pretty much design your monograms however you want. But if you want to keep things more traditional, there are a few monogram etiquette rules to consider following.
Whether you're stitching an inspirational quote in big, colorful font or adding subtle detail to a larger project, it's easy to add a personal touch by stitching your own handwriting. And while the technique you use totally depends on your personal style, some stitches are a better fit for lettering than others. Choose your favorite stitches from the ones below, write your phrase legibly and you'll be on your way to perfectly handwritten embroidered letters.
In our color-saturated world, there's something so pristine and timeless about white-on-white. Which is exactly why whitework embroidery is having a moment. If you want to tackle this elegant style of embroidery, here are the basics you need to know.
When you see a dimensional, almost lifelike embroidery project that pops off the hoop, you're looking at a specific — and pretty darn gorgeous — technique. Known as stumpwork, this form of embroidery rises off the fabric surface by building on stitches or creating three-dimensional components.
It's time to take your embroidery to a whole new dimension — literally. Stumpwork embroidery (also called raised embroidery) is any dimensional embroidery piece. It originated in mid-1600s England, and is most commonly used in nature scenes — for example, the leaves and petals on a flower, or the wings of pretty dragonflies.
Floss often gets the spotlight in hand embroidery, but the fabric that floss is stitched on is just as critical to the finished look of your project. The right background fabric (or “ground”) will support and showcase your gorgeous stitching. But if you use the wrong kind, you can stretch, pucker and even distort your design, ruining all that hard work.
While there are a slew of beginner embroidery projects you could tackle right this second, what about when you want to expand your horizons? These techniques go way beyond basic stitches and materials for a whole range of gorgeous textural effects. Your projects are about to hit a new high.
Do you hear that? It's the beach, mountains and, oh, everywhere in between calling. That's right — it's vacation season! And any great trip calls for some packable, practical, and oh-so-stylish embroidered accessories. Whether you prefer to stitch by hand or make it by machine, these plane-worthy projects are ready for takeoff.
Crewel embroidery: It sounds like a Gothic horror movie. But it's actually the name of a beautiful, ever-popular type of surface embroidery that's been around for centuries. Know what it is and ready to dive into crewel embroidery? Check out our class!
So you've outlined your embroidery pattern, maybe with a stem or split stitch. Pause for a second to admire your work. But just for a second, because here's your next task: filling in your design. There are a number of different fill stitches you can use, but these are the five every embroiderer will use time and time again.
Raise your hand if you wear T-shirts every single day, or wish you could. We hear you. T-shirts are so comfy, many of us just want to live in them. But let's face it: Plain old T-shirts can get a little boring. They need attitude and style. They need embroidery.
A beautiful embroidered or quilted piece is a work of art — and that's a proven fact (just ask Sotheby's). But before you can get started on your own masterpiece you need to choose your thread. Here are a few pointers.
No one's surprised that hand lettering and hand stitching are instant BFFs. After all, beautiful, swirling script accented with textural stitching just makes sense. Plus, the technique is pretty straightforward: once you're happy with your hand lettering skills, simply write your message on fabric. Then, stitch over the letters.
Fact: the internet is chock full of embroidery patterns and designs that are just waiting for your needle and thread. But, uh, how exactly do you get them onto your fabric? With one of these simple methods, of course.
Embroidery just keeps getting cooler and cooler. First there was 3D embroidery serving up major Insta-envy, and now we're heart eyes for the latest trend: sheer embroidery. Not familiar? Let us show you all the ways you can use see-through fabrics — think tulle, organza and silk — to create stunning designs that look like they're floating on glass.
Embroidery is a nearly perfect craft: It's relaxing, it's creative and there aren't too many rules. But some guidelines can help take your needlework to the next level. And one of the most basic is to avoid knotting your thread.
Everywhere we look, hoops are going green — literally! The #PlantLady trend has made it into the embroidery world, and we couldn’t be more excited about it. (Especially those of us who aren’t the best at remembering to water the real deal.)
If you've been loving all thing's embroidery this year, now's the time to show off those stitches for the holidays! These ornaments from Jessica Long of Namaste Embroidery (and our Modern Hand Embroidery class) use beginner-friendly stitches to create adorable sparkly samplers that will look great on your Christmas tree.
The holidays are the ultimate excuse to dress your family in matching pajamas. These monogrammed PJs keep your whole fam cozy in style, and they're super easy to embroider — hello, perfect holiday gift!
The seventies are back and way better than ever with rainbow pocket jeans. We love these for kids, but if you want to make a pair for yourself, go for it. No judgment here: get to it and find your pot of gold!
You could embroider "home sweet home" on a hoop, but we'll leave that to our grandmas. On the other hand, stitching this whole neighborhood of adorable little dwellings is a project we'll gladly take on ourselves.
If you have two T-shirts and a pair of scissors, you're less than an hour away from finishing this adorable embroidered shirt. And while it's great for kids — they can totally help make it — you may just want one for yourself, too.
Embroidery... it looks so cool, yet can seem so mystifying when it's time to gather your supplies. I, too, once stood at the fabric store wondering which needles and thread were appropriate for, um, everything. But don't fear! The basics you need are actually pretty straightforward.
A traditional Japanese needlework technique, sashiko was originally used for repairs and reinforcements. But today it's getting lots of love for its decorative purposes. The patterns are always graphic and repetitive, and they use only a basic running stitch (yes, beginners, you should try this!).
Hand embroidery brings a personal touch to just about any project, whether you're adding a quick quilt label or stitching your favorite quote to hang on the wall. One of the best ways to make a big impact: choosing a font for all your pretty letters. You can play around in a word document to check out different varieties; once you've found one you like, transfer it to your fabric and start playing with these four stitches (we used full six-strand embroidery floss) to find a style you totally love.