Hand embroidering is the process of creating close stitches with embroidery floss or pearl cotton. The stitches are placed together in such a fashion to create interesting surfaces, textures and patterns. A common embroidery stitch used to connect a patch is called a blanket embroidery stitch. Practice the blanket stitch on scrap fabric prior to starting the project.
Things You’ll Need:
5-inch embroidery hoop
Step 1 – Cut a 10-inch square of fabric. Cut a simple 3-inch shape from a contrasting piece of fabric. Shapes include squares, rectangles, hearts, circles or stars. The shape represents a fabric patch.
Step 2 – Pin the cutout shape on the center of the 10-inch square of fabric. Make sure to pin the cutout on the front side or printed side of the fabric square.
Step 3 – Center the embroidery hoop around the cutout shape. Secure the embroidery hoop in place and tighten. Pull the fabric within the hoop taught.
Step 4 – Cut a 24-inch length of embroidery floss. Do not separate. Work with all six strands.
Step 5 – Thread the embroidery needle with the floss. Pull the inserted end through the eye of the needle approximately 6-inches. Tie a knot at the opposite end of the floss.
Step 6 – Insert the tip of the embroidery needle through the back of the fabric directly next to the outside edge of the patch. Pull the embroidery floss through the fabric until the knot is flush with the fabric surface.
Step 7 – Turn the embroider hoop so the needle is on top. Work clockwise and insert the tip of the needle approximately ¼-inch from the insertion point and at a 45 degree angle. A diagonal line is created.
Step 8 – Point the tip of the needle toward the outside edge of the shape. Push the end of the needle along the back of the fabric inserting the tip from the back to the front of the fabric approximately ¼-inch from the first stitch. The needle will appear as if it is creating a straight line.
Step 9 – Place the embroidery floss under the needle. Pull the needle through the fabric. Continue to pull the needle until there is no slack left in the embroidery floss. The stitch creates an upside-down backwards L shape.
Step 10 – Repeat Step 6 through 9 until you have gone entirely around the shape.
Step 11 – Finish off the blanket stitch by completing the last stitch. Insert the tip of the needle on the opposite side of the embroidery floss that is directly next to the needle. Pull the needle to the back of the fabric. Tie a knot to finish.
Tip: Interchange pearl cotton, buttonhole thread, quilting thread or crochet cotton for embroidery floss.