Floral Embroidery for Spring

Embroidery is as close to universal as an art can be. It is practiced in every culture, every country. Though different techniques and materials are used, still, the purposes are the same: to reinforce and to embellish. 

My family is from Western Pennsylvania, and every woman in my family—my mother, grandmother, great grandmother—was taught to embroider. Whether they kept up with the skill or whether they wanted to learn it in the first place is another matter, but still, they did it. They took needle and thread to fabric and made a tulip or two or ten.   

I, unlike some of the other women in my family, enjoy embroidery.

It is a useful skill because it can reinforce the garment or fabric and is apart of stitching in and of itself, but also, it's just beautiful. And the ability to make things more beautiful is absolutely a useful skill in this world. Don't let anyone tell you different.  

Basic embroidery stitches are easy to learn, and there are approximately ten million tutorials on Youtube and Pinterest. Here is a link to one that I think is quite helpful: Embroidery Basics       

This week, I did a small project using bleached linen, cotton thread, an embroidery needle, a water-soluble marker, and a vintage picture frame. 


First, I removed the glass and laid it down on my linen.


Then, I traced the glass using my water-soluble marker.


I created a very simple floral design.

Once I was done with my design, I put my fabric in my hoop.


I doubled my thread and tied it off.


I started working on my flower stem using, of course, the stem stitch.


To do the flowers, I used a French knot, and for the leaves I used a fishbone stitch.

As you can see, I may not be the most talented embroiderer, but, still, I rather like how this turned out. Once I finished my design, I pressed a damp washcloth onto my fabric, dissolving the ink.

This was a big mistake. I forgot to cut out my work using the glass tracing from earlier, so once my work dried I had to retrace the glass, cut out my work, wet the linen again, and wait for it to dry once more. If you do this project, don't make my mistake. Cut out your work before dissolving the ink.

When my work finally dried, I put it in this beautiful, vintage frame, which I got on eBay for a few dollars.