Friday, February 7, 2014

Bit by the Embroidery Bug

Last year, I decided to make a few of my Christmas presents. Most of my original ideas were scrapped in the end. (Everyone I know may get DIY coasters from me someday. They're still half-finished in a box under my bed.) But one project stuck: embroidery.

About ten years ago, my mom decided to sew embellishments on plain dish towels for her mom, and she asked me to help. I haphazardly completed one or two, and forgot about it. When I was looking for DIY ideas for Christmas 2012, it all came back to me; especially how happy Grandma was about those towels. I figured after all that time she could probably use some new ones! So I bought a bunch of flour-sack dish towels (her favorite), a value pack of embroidery thread, and a hoop. Et VoilĂ !

Towels for Grandma

To my surprise, when I was done with the towels I still felt like sewing. I was officially hooked. I bought a few more supplies (like embroidery-specific needles and a threader... who knew?) and thought up some more ambitious projects.

Black-work (in bright colors) for Beth
(Pattern from Mr X Stitch)

Since those worked out, I just kept going! This one was completed on the train to Grandma and Grandpa's for Thanksgiving.

For my sister (Pattern from Urban Threads)

As is typical for people my age, a lot of my friends are having babies. What did I decide to give them for a welcoming gift? Embroidery!

(doggie pattern from The Baby Gardner)
(sloth mama pattern from Wild Olive)

It snowballed quickly, and practically every gift I gave last year was something I made or embellished with a needle and thread.

Going away gift (pattern from Wild Olive)
...Not bad for my first ever attempt at French knots.

Wedding gifts
(design on the right adapted from a Scout Creative poster)

Moving out gifts for the housemates; (top two are tote bags)
(patterns from Urban Threads: Sheep, Rex, & Nom)

I have learned a ton about the craft in this short time. There is a lot more to learn too.  It's a great way to decompress, and be productive at the same time. My go-to phrase to describe how it feels is "like coloring for grown-ups". I'm excited to share more of these projects with you too. For instance, this year I made all of my Christmas gifts! But that's another post.

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