I’ve been on an embroidery kick lately. I’ve merely dabbled in it before, but now I’m kinda obsessed. It started with a rap embroidery sampler, then another, and now I’ve been sketching up new plans almost everyday. I’m teaching embroidery at the Hudson River Museum starting this Saturday, February 14th. Click on the “Classes” link in the navigation bar or read on to learn more about the upcoming classes.
When I saw the Valentine’s Day candy displays in stores, those little conversation hearts were just begging to be stitched. Do I have the patience to fill that heart in with stitches? Ha! Valentine’s Day is this week! Who has that much time? We’re making it super easy and painting that heart in first.
With just a handful of supplies, you can make this easy gift or decoration before this weekend.
Materials and Tools:
- Piece of paper and pencil
- 12″ square of woven fabric (muslin, linen, cotton)
- Acrylic paint in yellow, pink, purple, blue or green
- Foam pouncer or paint brush
- 6″ embroidery hoop
- Embroidery needle and floss in yellow, pink, purple, blue or green
- 2″ length of coordinating ribbon
- scissors, tape, cardboard, scrap paper
Trace the inside of the embroidery hoop on your paper. With the circle facing out, fold the paper in half widthwise. Draw half of a heart inside the circle. Keep in mind that candy hearts do not have points; they are slightly flattened on the curves. Cut out the heart and refine as needed to create a template.
Tape your template to the fabric, aligning the heart in the middle of the fabric. I put cardboard underneath to protect my work surface. Using the foam pouncer or paint brush, paint the heart two or three coats. My project took two coats to be opaque. Let dry for at least an hour or overnight.
While your paint is drying, sketch out some ideas for your candy hearts. I traced the heart template on scrap paper and doodled a few different candy heart sayings. Depending on who the recipient is, you can choose a romantic or silly one. Does anyone remember the “Fax Me” heart from the 90’s? Hubba hubba!
Once your paint has dried, stretch your fabric into the embroidery hoop, pick your floss, thread your needle and get stitching. I used a simple backstitch, keeping my stitches about the size of a grain of rice. Here’s a helpful video tutorial on the backstitch. I added a yellow stem stitch border around the heart to make it pop more.
Once you’re done stitching, it’s time to tuck away all of that extra fabric. Round the corners of your fabric to make a circle. Starting about 1′ from the edge, sew a large running stitch all the way around the circle. Bring the fabric to the backside of the hoop. Pull the thread tight, gathering the fabric together in the center and tie the thread off.
Add a ribbon to the top of your hoop and tie the ends together to make a hanging loop.
Hang up your art, or wrap it and give it away for Valentine’s Day!
Would you like to learn to embroider in person? Or just have some company while you stitch? Maybe see some new artwork or a planetarium show? I’m teaching embroidery at the next Crafting Community class at the Hudson River Museum. We’ll be remixing traditional embroidery samplers with modern rap lyrics, inspired by the new Frohawk Two Feathers exhibition. Work on a love-themed sampler, or ignore the holiday and join us for some fun. You can make our featured project, or bring your own needlework, knitting or crochet project. The class is free and all materials are provided, including coffee and home-baked goods.
Join us this Saturday, February 14th, from 2-4 PM, and mark your calendar for the upcoming classes on March 14th, April 11th and May 9th.
Click on the “Classes” link in the navigation bar on top to see where and what I’ll be teaching next! I hope to see you there!