Friday Freebie Pattern for June – Hand Embroidered Honeysuckle…

Welcome to June’s Friday Freebie Pattern. Following on with the chosen theme of Birth Flowers, the pattern for June is the Honeysuckle flower.

Honeysuckle pattern by Stitchdoodles

Honeysuckle flowers symbolise Happiness, Sweetness and Devotion (apparently!) so a perfect choice for this time of year!

Honeysuckle Pattern Template Download

Honeysuckle embroidery Flower

Once you have the template downloaded (from the link above) – transfer the pattern on to your fabric ready to stitch.

I used Robert Kauffman Essex Linen in Linen color.

Next you need to decide what colour you would like your flower to be. I had a gorgeous thread from Cottage Garden Threads which I purchased recently and this was the perfect excuse to try it out.

The thread was a stranded variegated cotton in a color called ‘Apricot Ice’. It stitched up beautifully as it was really soft and the colour variations were nice and even throughout. I used 2 strands for the petals. If you have DMC stranded cotton then 2 strands would stitch up the same as this thread.

The petals are all stitched in Long and Short stitch (also called needlepainting). Start from the bottom of each petal and work upwards filling in the shape as you go.

Once all the petals are stitched, using a light green, brick stitch vertically up the stem to fill.

The leaf is stitched in a dark green with Fishbone stitch. It would look equally nice in fly stitch or another of your choice.

This honeysuckle flower is a really simple and quick stitch for this months flower and would lend itself to so many colours – enjoy!

Yarn wrap an Embroidery Hoop for that wow factor!

I am forever looking for new ways to display my finished embroidery as it can be so boring to just use the wooden hoop to frame the design after you have spent all that time stitching.

I have been wrapping some of my hoops in a gorgeous variagated Malabrigo Yarn and have been asked many times how I get them to look so nice! Here’s a short video of the whole process so you can see for yourself…

The secret to getting it tightly wrapped is in the double sided adhesive tape I put on the inner edge of the ring to hold the yarn as I wrap. I use Stix2 Ultra Clear Tape.

Making sure you finish the yarn off on the underside of the hoop VERY securely is also crucial to a nice finish. Very often I use a hot glue gun for this but not everyone has one so you can use the double sided tape for this as well providing you are using a strong one like the Stixx 2.

Here’s a comparison of a design in a Flexi Hoop compared to the Yarn wrapped hoop. They are both really nice but I do think the Green Yarn compliments the design much more and makes the design really pop!

Why not give it a go and let me know how you get on!

Friday Freebie Pattern for May… Hand Embroidered Lily of the Valley…

Welcome to May’s Friday Freebie Pattern. Following on with the chosen theme of Birth Flowers, the pattern for May is Lily of the Valley.

Lily of the Valley symbolises happiness, humility and sweetness …

Once you have the template downloaded (from the link above) – transfer the pattern on to your fabric ready to stitch.

I used Robert Kauffman Essex Linen in Sand.

Choose your colours. I used DMC stranded threads – 2 strands for all the stitches in the following colours …

For the 3 large leaves, I used 1 strand of #699 plus 1 strand of #3345 to give a variegated look to the leaf. Thread up your needle with the 2 different colours (1 strand of each).

I Stitched the leaves with Brick Stitch. Starting in the centre of the first leaf – Brick stitch a line all the way up from the bottom to the top of the leaf so you have a good starting point. Then continue to fill in the leaf with brick stitch working from your centre line outwards on each side.

Before you stitch the middle leaf, using #704, stem stitch the stems for the flowers otherwise your brick stitch will cover them up.

The best order for stitching the individual parts where they overlap each other is Main Leaf, then green stems, then white flowers.

Here’s a nice close up for you with stitch and colour guide for each part of the flower…

Lily of the Valley Free Pattern by StitchDoodles

Finally, I decided to Back stitch a line in black where the leaves meet so they could be distinguished from one another ( if preferred, leave this step out.)

So there you have it, frame as desired, sit back and admire!

Show me how you get on if you decide to stitch some of these flowers for yourself.

Stitch Tuesday – Turkey Rug Stitch

I have not done a stitch tutorial for a while and my latest pattern called for a ‘fluffy’ stitch for a squirrels tail so I decided to see if the Turkey Rug stitch would do the job!

Turkey Rug Stitch is basically a series of loops worked within a shape that can then be cut to form a pile (hence the ‘rug’ reference as it can be used for making rugs).

Here’s a run down of how the stitch is worked… I did a couple of practice shapes on my doodle cloth…

Firstly, draw a shape you want to fill with the loops and use at least 3 strands of thread for stitching. Bring the thread down on the left corner of your shape and don’t pull it all the way through – leave about 1/2 inch of thread sticking out of the left corner on the right side of the shape.

Bring the needle up at ‘1’ just to the right of the thread tail and then take it down at ‘2’ just above the thread tail. Pull it all the way through and this creates a small holding stitch (3).

Bring the needle up at ‘4’ just below the holding stitch and next to the thread tail. Take the needle down to the right at ‘5’ creating a loop (similar in height to the thread tail).

Next, you are going to make a small holding stitch over the right side of the loop which catches the thread and stops it from pulling through so the loop is secure. Come up at ‘6’ – directly to the right of the loop – and then take the needle down in between the loop trapping the base of the loop when you pull the thread all the way through and creating a small stitch.

Create a second loop next to the first in exactly the same way as before and secure with a holding stitch.

Continue along the edge of the shape to the right and finish at the end with a holding stitch.

Create the second row directly above the first working in the opposite direction so you will be taking your stitches to the left each time and bringing the holding stitch over the left side of the loop in to the centre to secure.

Continue working rows of loops to fill the whole shape going in alternate directions. At the end of the last row bring the needle up under the last holding stitch and snip off.

The next step, using sharp embroidery scissors, is to cut through the top of the loops so that you have a nice spiky looking shape!

Trim to your desired length and neaten around the edges so the shape is clearly defined.

This was a really fun stitch and I did a couple of examples so I could get the hang of it.

As I said at the start of this post, my reason for trying this out was for a little squirrel who appears in my latest pattern. I stitched him up and used the stitch for the tail and as you can see it was perfect for the fluffy effect!

I can think of so many fun ways to use this stitch so give it a go and you will be wanting to create some fluffy creatures of your own!

How to start an embroidery project for the best results (the necessary bits before the stitching!) …

So, you have fallen in love with a new pattern and can’t wait to get stitching – taking a bit of time with the prep can make all the difference to how enjoyable it is to stitch as well as the finished result.

First things First – choose your fabric…

Tip… For beginners and those wanting an easier transfer journey consider choosing a light fabric.

Fabric Size… Depending on the frame or hoop you are going to use to stitch the design in as well as the way you intend to frame it at the end will determine how much extra fabric you need around the design. Usually 3 inches extra fabric around the whole design is enough – too much and it gets in the way as you stitch, too little and it doesn’t hold tight in the frame or you have to keep moving the frame around the design both of which spoil the embroidery.

In the above photos, I chose a bar frame to stitch the pattern in, firstly making sure the frame fits around the pattern with plenty of space around the pattern edge. I then placed the frame on the fabric and cut the fabric at least 2-3 inches bigger than the frame.

Finish off the edges with pinking shears to prevent as much fraying as possible as you stitch. It is so annoying have frayed edges catching in your stitches and puckering the edges of your project.

Now on to transferring the pattern to the fabric…

How you choose to transfer can depend on a variety of factors. With more detailed designs, I actually prefer to trace them as it gives a much nicer end result and it actually isn’t as difficult or time consuming as you may think.

A good light box is so much easier than a window!

Print out your pattern at 100% and tape this pattern to the light box to prevent slipping.

Light box illuminating the pattern through the fabric for tracing

Place your fabric over the pattern centrally and secure with tape to the back of the light box to help stop it moving. Carefully trace your design using your preferred pen – I love Frixion pens as they write on smoothly, show up well on the fabric and once all the stitching is done are erasable by heat so a quick iron will rid any marks left showing.

Resulting pattern completely traced and ready to stitch.

Finally, make sure it is nice and taut for stitching…

Whether you use a hoop or a frame to stitch in the key is to make it taut! I can’t emphasise this enough. Your stitches look better, the end result looks more professional and most importantly it is so much more enjoyable stitching a pattern when it is properly stretched as it just makes it easier from start to finish.

If you want to find out how to use a stretcher bar frame like the one above, you can read my blog post here

Take that bit of extra time to set the project off on the right track and you will love how much better it makes your piece look in the end.