With embroidery. Hey there, it's Jen, and I've always had a thing for embroidery. Old or new. Better yet, old and new. Because there's always a way to put a new spin on an old skill. Here's some eye candy to get you thinking.
Gillian Bates' amazing freehand machine embroidery
more by Nea... with 3D elements
And this blog is one of the most clever and inspiring things I've seen in awhile. Have you seen Embloggery? Yup, every single one of the blog posts is hand-embroidered. To see more, check out the Flickr set.
So you've got some ideas... now what? To transfer your design onto fabric, you can draw free-hand with a washable marking pen or pencil, or trace a design by holding the pattern layered under the fabric up to a window or light table. I printed out some clip art and traced it onto a flour sack towel with a washable quilting pencil.
Vintage iron-on flour sack towel patterns are actually still readily available at lots of hobby/craft stores – look for the Aunt Martha brand (here in the states, at least.)
You can also do a Google search and find many free vintage patterns online.
I bought this iron-on pattern for $1.50 and am super tempted to start embroidering day-of-the-week towels for my kitchen.
Just like my grandma used to make. Ahhh, the nostalgia. I just love the feel of them, too.
Experiment with embroidering on colored fabric, felt, canvas or paper. Here, I stitched over an existing pattern on one of my Orla Keily kitchen towels. (And no, you don't have to limit yourself to towels! I just happen to be in a towel mood for some reason.) :)
The best part of embroidery is that you can use just about anything as a pattern or source of inspiration. I had fun trying free-form designs with no exact plan in mind – cool things to try might be faux bois or a series of circles or undulating lines.
and Kim has been working on some little hand sewing projects;
So let's see what you can do with a needle and thread! It's such a quick and fun thing to do (even if you've never tried it before) and such a fantastic way to add a bit of color and homemade love to just about anything. If you feel you need to brush up on your Embroidery 101, this should help you get going. Happy spring – have fun!