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Fabrics and yarns get all the love, but needles? Not so much. Those tiny, skinny little things are easy to overlook, but it's super important to choose the right one, whether you're sewing, quilting or embroidering. The type you use will make a huge difference in how your project turns out.
Debbie Henry
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!
Mary Corbet
It's way too easy to forget about our beautiful embroidery projects once they're done, and just let them float around the house all neglected.
Kristen Valencia
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.
Kristen Valencia
We love a cute embroidered saying as much as the next maker, but when you’re ready to stretch those stitchin’ muscles, these projects are just the beyond-the-basics inspo you need.
Bluprint
If you're ready to stitch your way onto the hand embroidery bandwagon, these projects are calling your name.
Bluprint
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.
Debbie Henry
Lifestyle
You've made up your mind to finally take a crack at knitting, cake decorating, paper crafting … whatever. And here’s the truth: The best way to make this happen is to just go start already.
Liz Callahan Schnabolk
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.
Debbie Henry
No one's surprised that hand lettering and hand stitching are instant BFFs, right? Beautiful, swirling script accented with neat, textural stitching just makes sense.
Sara Barnes
If you're into embroidery (and you should be!), the Internet is chock full of amazing patterns and designs, just waiting for your needle and thread. Don't let the question of how to get that pattern onto you fabric deter you: there are plenty of simple methods that will get you stitching in no time.
Kristen Valencia
Embroidery just keeps getting cooler. First, 3-D embroidery was giving us major Insta-envy, but now we're heart eyes all the way for this latest trend: sheer embroidery. Not familiar? Sheer embroidery leans into see-through fabrics, such as tulle, organza, and silk to create stunning embroidery designs that seem to be floating on glass.
Lindsay Conner
Embroidery is a nearly perfect hobby: 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.
Mary Corbet
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.)
Noa Aga
If you've been loving the embroidery trend, 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 look great on your tree or wreath.
Jessica Long
The holidays are the ultimate excuse to dress your family in matching pajamas (you know you want to). These DIY jammies not only keep your whole fam cozy in style, but let you personalize each pair.
Jodie Rackley
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.
Kristen Valencia
If you've got two tees and a pair of scissors, you're less than an hour away from this adorable shirt. This hand-stitched cutie is great for kids (especially 'cause they can totally help make it). But you might just want one for yourself, too.
Bluprint
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.
Kristen Valencia
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!).
Bridgeen Gillespie
Hand embroidery brings a personal touch to just about any project — from a quilt label to a favorite quote to hang on your wall. But hand embroidering letters can feel mighty intimidating, especially when it comes to the curves of each character. We'll help.
Kristen Valencia
I first tackled embroidery in middle school — I mean, who DIDN’T want an embellished denim shirt in the mid-70s? Unfortunately, I was teaching myself, using random supplies I found in my mom’s sewing stash. That little brown puppy design definitely didn't turn out as cute as I’d envisioned. Luckily, nothing could kill my budding textile obsession.
Embroidery hoops can be the key to joyful stitching — or make you totally miserable. So it's definitely worth the time to choose the right hoop for your project. There's no real substitute for old-fashioned trial-and-error, but having a little info up front can help.
Kristen Valencia
Maybe you've embroidered a sweatshirt or jacket — and that's great. But we've discovered an amazing off-of-the-T-shirt way to showcase our stitching. Meet the embroidered pendant necklace!
Bluprint
Our motto? Never settle for plain. So when we found a stash of plain, solid-colored pencil cases, we just had to deck them out with a bit of embroidered felt.
Bluprint
Instagram is the place for embroiderers to show off their creations, and we can't get enough. From stunning hoop art crafted in the satin stitch to oh-so-fancy beading, you'll find loads of inspiration for your own embroidery (or at the very least, a daily dose of eye candy) when you follow these artists.
Sara Barnes
Where some people see a plain sweatshirt, we see a blank canvas for our needle and thread! This time, we transformed an everyday layer into a top that lets us wear our hearts on our sleeves.
Bluprint
You've invested in a machine and now it's staring you in the face. Here's the must-have 411 for everyone who's discovering machine embroidery for the first time. Stitchers, rev your engines!
Debbie Henry
As with most crafts, getting started on hand embroidery can seem daunting when you consider the huge array of available hoops, frames, needles, thread cutters ... whew, you get the picture. But don't be fooled! The list of actual hand embroidery essentials is refreshingly short. In fact, all you technically need is a needle (if you're cool cutting thread with your teeth ... no comment). I recommend the handful of tools below to get you started.
Mary Corbet
The French knot is one of those hand embroidery stitches that's either your best friend or your worst enemy. They're tricky, but (sigh) they're also really useful. Cluster them together for a dense, textured filling. Scatter them loosely for an airy lightness to your embroidery. Or make isolated stitches if your design needs a little punctuation. So don't let a bad experience shake you — we can help you nail this.
Mary Corbet
It's the reigning cool kid for crafters in the know — from satin-stitched hoops to fancy-pants jeans, hand embroidery is everywhere. We talked to artist and Instagram embroidery star Jessica Long of Namaste Hand Embroidery about how this humble craft has stitched its way into the limelight and captured all our hearts and hands.
Sew
Some people get excited about organizing their office supplies, their paint stash, or simply tidying their sock drawer. For those of us who groove on spools, let's talk about how to organize them and some clever ways to keep your stash stashed.
Rachel Hauser
Do you ever feel like you can't possibly hang another frame in your house? The next time you want to display a special photo, think outside the box and inside the hoop! Transfer the image to fabric, hoop it up and add three-dimensional details with a little embroidery floss.
Bluprint
Hand embroidery is all about those stitches. But those stitches are all about that floss. Not sure what to use for your next project? Let's take a look at your choices. Really, it comes down to the big three: cotton, silk, and wool. Sure, there are other specialty fibers you can use, but these three will be your heavy hitters (and the easiest to find).
Mary Corbet
At a moment when embroidery is most definitely having a moment, Sarah K. Benning is at the top of her game. Her dense, incredibly detailed pieces, which layer threads the way a painter might layer oils, have made her one of today’s most popular and successful contemporary embroidery artists. We caught up with Sarah for a peek inside her extraordinary world of teeny, tiny stitches.
Every style blogger worth her selfie is posting summer snaps with a glass of rosé in one hand and straw beach bag in the other. And with good reason: the bags are roomy, durable, and pretty darn cute. (Plus, sand just shakes right out of them.) What's not so cute: how crazy-expensive they can be, sometimes upwards of $150, especially when they have embroidery or other embellishments. Say goodbye to your #summervibes budget.
Embroidery is everywhere, and its latest cool twist is breaking free of the hoop! We’re in love with 3-D stitchery that extends beyond the traditional flat circle with flowing threads or bumpy flourishes. Here are five 3-D trends to try.
Lindsay Conner
We’re sending a big thank-you to embellished jeans and cheeky throw pillows for making embroidery the newest crafty comeback! Want in? These 10 stitches will get you started. Plus, they're a great foundation for when you're ready to take your hoop to the next level.
Kristen Valencia
Watercolor painting and embroidery. Both great art forms. But have you considered a mash-up? (Bear with us here!) Hey, it works for the most unlikely musician pairings, and it will work here. In fact, adding thread to a watercolor work will definitely add a robust new dimension to your work — a unique sculptural effect that will draw admirers.
Sara Barnes
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