Not Your Grandmother’s Craft: Tips For Modern Embroidery

I used to think that embroidery was something only old ladies do while watching the news. Not intending to knock my elders in any way though, I know of some pretty bad-ass, needle wielding Grandmas (including mine). My point is that embroidery seems like a hobby that takes 50 years to master, carried out only by those with time, skill, and grandchildren. Lately, I have noticed embroidery popping up everywhere. Patches on hats and on coats, embroidered butt pockets, and embroidered denim sleeves. I have seen Pinterest filled to the brim with fabric art pieces in embroidery hoops hung up on walls. Of course, this sparked the artistic talent in me and before I could even say “what is a chain stitch” I had pumped out some awesome pieces. It makes such a great customized gift and can spruce up your apartment. People will be asking you what cool trendy store you got your embroidery from. Here are some tips to make YOU that cool trendy store:

Get Creative With Materials

If you are a human, you probably have some type of fabric in your possession. If you don’t have rolls of it, you probably have an old shirt to spare, an old canvas bag to experiment on, or some denim jeans to spruce up. Think outside the box with your materials. Luckily when I started I had a roll of canvas material sitting forgotten in my craft bag. I’ve tested denim, burlap, and cotton so far and I plan on trying out so much more. Don’t stop at the fabric, experiment with threads too. Try yarns, string, human hair (no judgment here), anything. Check back with me in a month and probably 70% of mine (and my partners) possessions will have some kind of thread design in it.

Try Out Eccentric and Strange Designs

It’s cool to be weird right? It seems like strange is new black, and you can make some awesome projects the weirder you get. Anyone can make an embroidered flower… but how about a tooth? Ok maybe you aren’t a Molar Bear fighting against enamel cruelty (I’ve been waiting my whole life to use that line), but you get where I’m going with here. ┬áIf you aren’t into creepy-teeth strange you might be into cats-doing-human-things strange, or plants-with-faces strange. The weirder and more personable your art is the more attention and praise it will get (or should get). That’s just an artist tip though. If you don’t want your family and friends to question your sanity, stick with band logos, favourite tv-show characters, or funny quotes. Anything goes here, the eye is in the needle-holder!

Use Pre-Made Stencils

Can’t seem to get your beautiful ideas to paper? Try sights like Etsy to find pre-made stencils you can purchase for your stitching projects. If you see a picture or design that you love somewhere else, get proper permission from the artist to use it for your project (seriously though, don’t steal art)! Have an artist friend? Bribe them with beer and pizza to try and get them to help you with your idea. What I am trying to say is that hand embroidery doesn’t have to be done by professional artists. You don’t have to be good at drawing to stitch, so anyone can give it a shot.

Learn Different Embroidery Stitches

One huge thing that helped me out a lot was spending a hot minute learning different stitches. There’s more to life than you standard up and down sitch (that’s called a Running Stitch, see you can learn stuff here). If you can throw in fancy stitch or two, you can make your piece look even more impressive. You’ll even find that certain stitches work better for different things and can save you time and brain cells. I recommend mastering some stitches before you dive in, and you can find some awesome help here. Don’t overwhelm yourself though, you can add in other stitches and techniques as you go!




1 comments so far.

One response to “Not Your Grandmother’s Craft: Tips For Modern Embroidery”

  1. April says:

    Oo I saw some embroidery come up on Pinterest the other day and contemplated taking it up. I might have a go and see if I enjoy it. Will be following these tips if I do. Awesome post, and love the images! Your blog is so pretty!

    April x

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