Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Redwork Embroidery: Rustic Christmas Snowflake

This was intended as a Christmas present.  Except it didn't get finished until the beginning of April.  And by the time I finished it, I liked it so much I decided I would keep it for myself (since I'm dangerously low on Christmas decorations) and make a different one for this coming Christmas.

Warning: you might become addicted to hand embroidery after completing one project.  It is a very cost effective craft, unless you start embroidering with gold thread.  And it is so, so relaxing.  I couldn't believe how much I was itching to just sit in my rocking chair with my needle, hoop, and thread.  

This is traditional redwork hand embroidery stitched on cream colored muslin.  I used DMC #321 (bright red).  Even with washing it, I haven't noticed any dye running - which makes me extremely happy.  I put it in a 6" hoop and plan to loop a red ribbon or perhaps some jute string around the screw so I can hang it on the wall.

This was really simple to do.  I basically found a snowflake online, printed it off and traced it onto the muslin using a water soluble quilting marker.  Then I used the split stich, or chain stitch, to form the pattern.  This is the first embroidery project I have done in about 5 years, so I was pleasantly surprised with how it turned out.  

For my next project I think I will try cream broadcloth.  I had issues with the fabric puckering, no matter how gentle and consistent I tried to be with my stitching.  But I'm no expert, that may be the problem.

At this point I haven't decided how I'm going to finish the back.  I've seen where people will pull the fabric tight, cut it short all around, and then glue the fabric to the hoop.  I kind of hate that idea.  What if it gets dirty somehow and you want to wash it?  I don't live in a museum, people.  I have dirty, grubby little kid fingers that manage to get in the strangest of places.

I think I will do a loose running stitch in the back that will pull the fabric and then tie the string in a bow.  That way if you ever needed to take it off the hook for a washing, all you would need to do is loosen the running stitch.  You would still have to re-tighten the hoop from time to time, but that seems kind of a minor setback.

Be inspired; go forth, and create!  Search on Google for different images or coloring pages for ideas.  There are thousands upon thousands of them.  Or draw your own on some fabric if you're good at that sort of thing.  I have the vision but don't know how to get my hands to translate that vision properly.

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