I had some cute scraps I didn't want to throw away but they were too small for any sewing projects so I decided to use them in a new way. I turned them into embroidered wall art. Here is what I used for this project:
Two 4 inch embroidery hoops and One 5 inch hoop. These are available at any craft store, fabric store, and online. HERE is an example of what they look like.
Scissors for trimming fabric
*Optional Fusible interfacing (and an iron to fuse it). This is available at your local craft and/or sewing store. HERE is an example that I used. If you like to sew, this is a useful item to have around. It adds structure to fabric. I used it to make my fabric less transparent so you could not the stitches in the back.
Embroidery Thread - You can find this at any craft store. There is every shade of color imaginable and you can buy them individually or in a pack with a variety of colors to get you started. I really like the DMC brand. The thread is really smooth and easy to work with.
Scissors to trim thread
Embroidery Needle - I have a variety pack and I try to get one with a decent sized eye at the top to make it easier the thread. HERE is an example of a sample pack of needles.
I started by using my hoop to frame part of an image on the fabric. I tend to work with materials I have on hand so the process is more intuitive and less planned out but if you prefer to plan ahead, measure the image you wish to frame and buy that size hoop. Just make sure to that there is an inch and 1/2 of fabric outside the hoop.
I had on hand a 4 inch hoop and a five inch hoop. Pictured above is the 4 inch. I decided I wanted a bigger space around the poppy so I tried the 5 inch hoop. I played around a little with the composition until I found one that looked pleasing to me.
I liked the bigger hoop since it allowed more of the white to show and even some pops of color at the bottom. You can get more abstract by capturing pieces of the flower, if you like. There are no rules here just go with what looks pleasing to you!
In this example I just chose the tips of three different poppies because I like the way the composition looked.
O.K, back to the first example. Once you have decided on the composition, put the fabric in the hoop and trim it leaving an inch and a half of border around the edges. The border keeps your fabric piece securely in the hoop. You will also need the border for when you finish your embroidery. You will secure it to the back of the piece for a nice clean finish.
At this point I removed the piece of fabric from the hoop and added some fusible interfacing. The reason I did this was twofold. I used a piece of COTTON fabric for my project which can be kind of see through. The interfacing helps to prevent the dark stitches in the back from showing through. The second reason is that I chose a light color fabric ( the white part) and that will also tend to be more see through. If you are using a darker, thicker fabric (like Calico, for example) you can skip this step.
The interfacing is really easy to apply. I took a close up to show you that there is a rough side with little dots. This is the side with the adhesive. Apply this textured side to the "wrong" side of the fabric. Cut a piece to match the fabric or even a tiny bit smaller than the fabric and iron to fuse the fabric and interfacing together.
Here is the piece of fabric I am using. Underneath it is the interfacing, textured side up. I take my iron and fuse them together. The reason you don't want the interfacing piece to be bigger than your fabric is that the adhesive will melt onto your iron so make sure it is cut the fabric size without overlap.
Once you have all your fabric prepared, trimmed and framed in your hoop, here comes the fun part. Get your needle and embroidery thread and have at it!
I started by choosing some coordinating thread. I really wanted to bring out the brownish black of the center of the poppy. I noticed there are hints of a golden yellow and the bright orange of the poppy.
It is fun to embroider over the picture itself. I used some straight stitches and some french knots to highlight the inside of the poppy. I could not find a color that was a combination of brown and black so I made my own. Embroidery floss comes in six strands so I used an 18 inch length of two black strands and two brown strands and I loved the result. I then used that same thread combination to add a little outline in the negative space doing a simple running stitch. If you are unfamiliar with the french knot you can practice it HERE. If you want to learn the running stitch you practice that HERE. They come with free printable PDFs to practice on, as well.
In the next piece I just outline the tips using my brown/black thread combination.
I decided to add some lettering. I simply used a mechanical pencil to write some words then used the backstitch to embroider over the letters. Don't worry if you think your handwriting isn't perfect. I like to see the real deal. I'm always visually drawn to handwriting. It's so personal and a part of the art which makes it unique. Feel free to use a stencil guide if you like. There are no rules except to follow your intuition and have some fun!
i finished outlining the tips of the poppies, back stitching my lettering, then added some cross stitches and french knots to add some more interest.
In my third and final piece I used split stitch to just fill in some negative space and outlined the tip. This is a fantastic way to experiment with different stitches! You can get really fine detail if you use only one thread which is great to outline with.
Once you feel finished, finish off the backs of the hoops. Use a running stitch around the border of the fabric on the back, then cinch it together and knot it.
That all there is to it. Just grab some nails and find a nice place to hang your creations!
If you are interested in the poppy fabric it is available at my Spoonflower shop HERE.
Thanks for stopping by!